I take a LOT of pride in being Dutch. Both sets of my grandparents, my Omas and Opas, emigrated to Canada in the 1950s. I’m pure! 100% Dutch baby! That means I like all sorts of weird things like dropjes, stroopwaffels, stamppot (mashed potatoes with dried, then re-cooked, Kale. Delicious! often served with farmer sausage), and Oliebollen (which I make every year at New Years!), to name a few. I also grew up celebrating a modified version of Sinterklaas every year at the beginning of December. Whenever we visit my home town, I always go into the Dutch store and stock up on our favorites, it’s a taste of my childhood and my history 🙂
One interesting tidbit that I share with pretty much every person I meet, is that I am almost positive we are related to the 8th President of The United States, Martin Van Buren. Reason being? That’s my Oma’s maiden name. Our Van Buuren though, comes with an extra “u”, but that doesn’t surprise me, as it was common to modify last names when moving to a new country like the USA.
Martin Van Buren was born in the village of Kinderhook, New York, on December 5, 1782, about 25 miles (40 km) south of Albany, New York. His father Abraham Van Buren (1737–1817) was a farmer, the owner of six slaves, and a tavern-keeper in Kinderhook. Abraham Van Buren supported the American Revolution and later the Jeffersonian Republicans. Martin Van Buren’s mother was Maria Van Alen (née Hoes) Van Buren (1747–1818).
Van Buren was the first president born a citizen of the United States, as all previous presidents were born before the American Revolution. His great-great-great-grandfather Cornelis Maessen van Buren had come to the New World in 1631 from the small city of Buren, Dutch Republic, in present day Netherlands. Van Buren grew up in a Dutch-speaking community. His native language was Dutch, and he was the only President who spoke English as a second language.
That, right there, is pretty much proof. Thanks Wikipedia! What makes it even more special to me though, is that I recently became a US Citizen in October. October 29th to be exact, and what a proud day it was for me.
Tonight my sister posted this video on Facebook, and I just wanted to share it because it gave me a good laugh. It has caused confusion for quite some time. I say I am Dutch, but my ancestors are also from Holland. But what is the difference between Holland and The Netherlands? Well, Holland or North Holland and South Holland, are different provinces in the country of The Netherlands. Still, I say all my extended family is in Holland, it’s just easier that way. Plus, most of them are in those two provinces anyway, so technically, I am telling the truth.