Before I came to Wageningen, I joined a pre-departure briefing about ‘how to study in Holland’ which was held by the Royal Netherlands Embassy in Indonesia. They told us that, as new students, we must prepare ourselves for a culture shock. And especially for the difference in eating habits, as Dutch people eat lots of bread, for breakfast and lunch.
When I heard about it, I could not imagine how I could survive in a country where people just eat bread, because as Indonesians we usually eat rice with some dishes for breakfast, lunch and supper. I seriously contemplated bringing lots of rice form Indonesia to Holland to survive this ‘mission’. But luckily a senior student from Indonesia told me that I would be able to find rice as well in the Dutch supermarket.
After I came here, I was surprised to find not only rice in The Netherlands, but also some other typical Indonesian foods like satay, kroepoek, nasi goreng, tempeh, sambal and many other Indonesian spices. Moreover, some cities in The Netherlands also have a ‘Pasar Malam’ event where all kinds of Indonesian food can be tasted and bought and where one can immerse oneself in Indonesian culture. And, of course, there are many Indonesian restaurants in Holland.
There is absolutely no reason to warn Indonesian students – or any international students – for a food culture shock. In fact, Holland really feels like my second home. And that is mainly because I can find all the trusted food here.
By: Widya Putra, MSc student of Food Quality Management, from Indonesia