I spent today, in Smithfield. One of the buildings in this light industrial area, has a facade that looks like a building in Amsterdam, although the gate, beside it, rather destroys that illusion.
A scattering of Dutch-Australians go there, every day, except Mondays to buy Dutch confectionery, or other Dutch-related items, and to basically, get in touch with their Dutch roots. Perhaps to have a Dutch croquette, or herring, in the little restaurant.
Before joining the D.A.C.C., I used to go there, once a year to buy St Nicholas items, for my son and daughter.
When the Dutch (Cultural) Australian Centre, needed to leave the Dutch Australian Cultural Centre, at the Abel Tasman Village, ( where my father now resides, ) the proprietors of ‘Het Winkeltje"/ Holland House, offered us space, beside the Dutch furniture section.
We’ve put up signs, and, when we are there on Wednesdays and Sundays, some people do find us.
When they do venture into our current set-up, they are so keen, to prove to us and the children or grandchildren with them, that they know all about this.
After all, this is where they were born. Their identity!! Their place in the world! No matter how much they, or their parents tried to be instant-Australians, in the fifties, sixties and seventies!!
Please, don’t misunderstand me. I am sure that the (tolerant-) Dutch in the Netherlands, are just as keen for their immigrants to assimilate, or go back, as anyone else! Please just read: Ik heb niks tegen Nederlanders, if you’re Dutch or Only in Holland. Only the Dutch (by Mark Resch), if you only read English.
Another day, spent in the Dutch Australian Cultural Centre and seeing how obvious it is that, no matter how hard immigrants, (from the Neherlands ) tried to be Aussie, they cannot deny their roots!!