News - July 12, 2012

What is freedom for you?

In my two years' life in Wageningen, last Wednesday was my first time to visit the Wageningen's museum, De Casteelse Poort (Castle Gate).

The wall of freedom
It's free, open on that afternoon and quite a few visitors turned up. Some students, like me, visited for the first time too. 'Leuk, interesting,' one of them said. I also found it interesting, especially the exhibit of the peace of Wageningen 1945. Rather than the copious first-hand collections of WWII, I was more impressed simply by a wall in that room.
A gate stands in that wall. A question with a sub-caption in Dutch hung above the gate: 'Wat is vrijheid voor jou? Teken of schrijf wat jij denkt en voelt.' Literally it means 'What is freedom for you? Draw or write what you think and feel.' I was captivated rapidly, not only by the idea of the design, but also by what people wrote on two sides of the gate.
People can doodle their thought on a piece of white paper and hang it on one of the 120 hooks. My eyes first rested on a drawing: a bird eating a donut; it's an illustration for a poem:
Geen gevangenschap (No captivity)
Vrij uiten van mening (Free expression of opinion)
Doen wat je wilt (Do what you want)
Als een vogel bijvoorbeeld met een lekkere Donut. (As a bird for instance with a delicious donut)
It triggered a domino effect, which forced me to skim across the rest. I recognized several high frequency words such as respect, peace, love, happiness and everyone. The only small pity was that most works were made in Dutch, but it didn't hinder my understanding-I guessed it's because people prefer basic vocab to define such a kind of essential life value. In the end, I was so overwhelmed that I took out a piece of paper and wrote some Chinese on it. What did I scribble down? Something like 'Freedom is to use whatever language you like to say what you wanna tell.'
In addition to some emotional yield, I took home a question: Why is the museum free and only free on Wednesday? Who can tell me the answer? 
Vid of the Week: A painting returned to De Casteelse Poort