I felt so small when I arrived in the Netherlands for the first time. Of course, I am an Asian and my height is only 154 cm – which is quite normal in my motherland. But when I came to Holland, I met tall people everywhere, both men and women.
For the Dutch, meeting a girl of my height is strange too. An Asian friend of mine felt a bit insulted when, on her first visit to the campus, a Dutch man said to her, ‘You are very short’. By now she must be accustomed to the generally outspoken Dutch.
It’s an issue in my class too. I have so many Dutch friends who are over 180 cm in height. To talk to one of my Dutch friends I have to bend my head right back to look up at him. For me, sitting at the front of class is a must. Otherwise, I cannot see anything that’s written on the blackboard. If Dutch people sit in front of me, I’ll miss a lot during the class. Even if I ask the person to bend a little bit, it does not help. Yes, welcome to the Netherlands, the country with the tallest people on earth.
Lini Anisfatus Sholihah, Master’s student of Nutrition and Health, from Indonesia
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In Indonesië is haar lengte van 1,54 meter heel normaal. In Nederland komt Lini overal heel lange mensen tegen, zowel mannen als vrouwen. Met één van haar Nederlandse vrienden kan ze alleen praten als ze haar hoofd helemaal naar achteren tilt. Tijdens colleges moet ze ook vooraan zitten, anders lukt het niet om het bord te zien, met al die lange mensen voor haar.