Student - 13 januari 2011

Under The Same Roof

It was not a common nieuwjaarsborreltje, it's a life lesson which taught me how to live with joy and love.

Last week I was invited by Fritz & Cato to attend their Nieuwjaarsborreltje on Friday night. I was reluctant to go as I would be the only non-Dutch there. 'Derek, don't be shy, one more Chinese may come, she's a doctor', said Mrs. Cato, Mr. Fritz's wife. Thanks to Cato's lure, I didn't miss a far-more-than-excellent banquet and a bunch of legendary people.

It's an annual banquet which is held in their house for more than 20 years, which they call nieuwjaarsborreltje, New Year drink in Dutch. They moved in this area of Wageningen Hoog in 1986. After a silent New Year alone, Mr. Fritz decided to do something to build up the connection between the neighborhoods. So in the next year, a New Year banquet was created. By a happy coincidence, a boy called Deli Pan was born at the other corner of the world. Twenty-three years later, they met each other finally.

At the appearance of a black-haired guy at this banquet, many of them showed their curiosity to me and pick up a short chat with me. I found out most of the guests were over 50, all of them retired from a successful career. Mrs. Caroline, an Australian woman, made a grand tour to Europe with a big backpack 40 years ago and met her Mr. Right in Holland. Mr. Bert, who has a Chinese daughter-in-law, even after retirement continues to work for PUM, Netherlands senior experts, to make contribution all over the world.

Mr. and Mrs. Koon, a couple of ad designers, have two beautiful daughters. Unfortunately, when they were about 5 years old, a 'Tay-Sachs' disease changed their lives. Just google it then you will know how horrible the disease is. The patients with this disease can't live over 12. However, with the persisting love and effort of their parents, the elder sister is now over 15. All of us love them and they kept smiling through the dinner, which really impressed me. I'm sure I will meet them again next year.

The nieuwjaarsborreltje reached the climax after the speech of Fritz's son Gerard, when Mr. Bert on behalf of all the neighborhoods, presented two delicate gift-boxes to Fritz and Cato. A nice Philips MP3! Haha, it's such a perfect gift to these two fans of classical music.

It was such a heartwarming gathering; a scent of human touch filled the snug house of this legendary family. It was not a common nieuwjaarsborreltje, but a life lesson about how to live with joy and love. We are living under the same roof, never hesitate to share something with others, no matter sadness or happiness. A world of love is always in your hands.
 
Video of the week:
Let's savor this classic again.
 

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