News - April 12, 2012

Easter in a Dutch family

Last Sunday I was invited for the family gathering of the Schiphorsts-my first time to see a Dutch family celebrate Easter. From the morning to the evening I had an amazing ten-hour with them.

A family full of art talents
Art of Easter eggs
At about 11.30, Frits and Cato, the host and hostess, just came back from the church, while their children and grandchildren were still on the way from all quarters of Holland to Wageningen. Cato took me to the living room, to be exact, a gallery of Easter eggs; I found many delicate paintings on the eggs such as some comic strips, Mondriaan's yellow-blue-red and even van Gogh's starry night. They were made by the family members and kept year after year. What would I draw if I also made one? I couldn't find any better options than the Chinese characters. But I didn't give it a try because of the limited time. A small pity.

Game of eggs hunt
It was the highlight of the day, which kicked off at about 14.30. The kids had to find out 40 hard-boiled and 60 chocolate eggs dispersedly hidden in the backyard. The one who would find the most would win. What I still remember, however, is not the winner, but the "loser" Mathijs, the second eldest among those kids. Once he found an egg, he would give it to a younger cousin next to him. He ended up with an empty basket. I praised him in Dutch for his sacrifice, obviously he didn't understand until I turned to his uncle, Rob, for translation. Guess what he said? 'I'm just good at looking for something, but not getting it.' Dutch philosophy didn't buy the Chinese compliments.

Bet on the KNVB Cup
There was a football game took place in Rotterdam at 18.00 on Sunday afternoon - the Dutch FA Cup final between PSV and Heracles. Heracles is a provincial team from Almelo, where coincidentally is the hometown of Frits and Cato. The ending should have been like this: the provincial underdogs miraculously beat the Dutch powerhouse and lifted their first ever trophy. But we knew it was just not to be. PSV won a landslide 3:0 victory. Ageeth, a daughter of Cato, even initiated a gambling for the match: one euro bet on the half-time and full-time results. Who was the winner? Rob. He took all 15 euro into his pocket. How lucky he was!

This is my story of Easter.

Vid of the Week: Take a close look at how the kids played the eggs hunt game