Sunday, 7 December 2008


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Our Christmas tree
When we lived in Holland we had many many traditions on a national level from Sinterklaas to eating raw herring with onions. In our family we had our own traditions such as my mums christmas pudding and eating potatoe salad (huzarensalade when there was a fair in town) All these little and big habits and customs were and are shared by many and brought a feeling of bonding and togetherness. They also were part of who we are. We know what is expected and how to handle.
By moving to another country we lost many of these traditions and it was almost like a loss of identity, of loosing yourself. Nowadays I have pairs of wooden clogs on places in my house whereas in Holland I wouldn't even have looked at them. You so need them to hang on to a part of yourself that a bit disapeared.
We reinvented ourselves however and now have bit of both worlds although it will never be the same. Actually you know belong a bit to the one and a bit to the other culture, but it works and you have to luxury to choose the good things out of two.
Here a quick rhyme about the christmas Tradition for Sunday Scribblings

What has occurred at our house is a demolition of Dutch tradition
The Dutch and Kiwi customs formed however a coalition
Sinterklaas from Spain brought presents in a bag to me
Now Father Christmas in his sleigh put them all under the tree

Yes we still have a tree with lights on at night
What's new is the BBQ from a sausage we take a bite
In Holland the host provides all the drinks and the meat
 In NZ they bring their own Don't you call that a Dutch treat?

With Christmas we dressed up
now we wear shorts and jandels
 and say "Good on ya mate"
as we put on the candles

Wish you all the spirit of Christmas, however you celebrate it, Marja


  1. A blending of traditions how nice and in doing so adding to traditions and your new countries richness.

  2. From blending traditions comes a whole new tradition! And you have created it! Fascinating pots!

  3. Marja it would be nice to read more about the dutch tradition of Sinterklaas

    great thing about traditions is that they are never building our own is a fascinating aspect about them

  4. Kia ora Marja

    Marvellous, marvellous and well written cultural poem with fantastic rhyming scheme, imagery and rhythmic flow coupled with a comparison of the collision of cultural traditions especially when one leaves one country of birth for an adopted other. Such a well written poem is worthy of the poet's signature:©Marja Blom



  5. Kia ora Marja,
    This sums up so much of how I feel as well. Thank you for writing and sharing this. I must write I really miss a white Christmas and the Swedish traditions we had in our family. I love your poem, the blending of the old and new indeed. Happy holidays my lovely friend.

  6. i think there's a necessity to adjust ourselves to the new place we are in. but its still good to recall our grown up traditions and even practice it. great poem

  7. This is great. Enjoyed it. People talk about diversity nowadays, as if traditions are out. But if we didn't all have our own distinct traditions, how can we enjoy and participate in others?

  8. Traditions are so individual and so deep rooted. This was so lovely. Thanks for sharing it. Loved the way you greet each other now...but that is just one more tradition :)

  9. es magnific! Marja your writings delight and radiate love and fondness.

    Always such a pleasure to visit your blog!!!

  10. so lovely to hear about your traditions :) Thank you

  11. Great tradition.I like traditions too.Your christmas tree looks very beautiful.We have just on the evening of the 23th december our Xmas tree in the living room.

  12. I do so admire you Marja, for making the dramatic transition from your prior country to your new one!
    I have linked you today, & thanked you for your award.
    Hugs xx

  13. We call it 'going Dutch'! Lovely post as usual Marja. Your two Christmases couldn't be more different!

  14. The Australian custom of 'Bring a Plate' caused me a lot of worry at first.

  15. Beautiful tree Marja, I dont have one in my house but my mom has one..cant wait till Christmas :D

  16. Lovely tree. I guess all traditions have to evolve as we move across the globe. Maybe that is how new ones start.

  17. It's good to keep some of the old traditions and to take on some of the new. Put it all together and you have yourself a brand new, blended tradition of your very own.

    Lovely tree, lovely post and beautiful poem.

  18. Hoi Marja..Paling en kermis...Kip en kerstmis..mandarijntjes en Sinterklaas..There are many things in live you will always remember and wich you will need when you grow older..It gives you a feeling of safety..comfort..HOME.
    Home is where the hart is...
    Well..Good on you mate..ik steek n kaarsje voor je aan!


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