Dutch Election Night: Unfolding the Ballots

By Marijn Thijs At 21.00, the large grey wheelie bin serving as a voting box was ceremonially sealed in Sporthal Selwerd in the north of Groningen, only to be unlocked and upended a minute later, an avalanche of papers spreading out in the middle of the gym hall. Scenes like these could be seen all…

Flowers Keep the Cold Away

By Špela Krajnc “When my father died, I had to drop school. I was 19, but I had no choice. It was now or never.” It is a cold November Monday and Astrid is standing outside between her flowers with red hands covered with scratches. What looks like blood, is the color of the autumn…

When all the trains have left

By Anna Severinenko “It was always my dream to have my own bar. 8 years ago, it was finally about to open, everything was ready. But then the smoking ban came and killed everything.” Since last year Jack cleans the toilets and picks up garbage three times a week at the central train station in…

A very intangible heritage

By Marijn Thijs, Ines Mette, Matthew Richards and Emily Howard A sausage roll. Clog making. Indonesian rice tables. Student societies. Mid-winter horn blowing. Four of these are recognised as fundamental aspects of Dutch culture, according to the Centre for Dutch Intangible Cultural Heritage, whilst one had to withdraw its application following reports of violence during…

Alcohol intoxication just a phone call away

By James Field, Antonella Serrecchia, Frans Snackers, Migle Vaisnoraite A technical loophole is allowing underage drinkers in the Netherlands to get alcohol delivered to their doors almost free from age checks, and delivery companies can sell free from fines. The student city of Groningen provides a telling example, with local authorities passing the buck as…