The Stedelijk College on the Henegouwenlaan in Eindhoven witnessed a real dance, a culture quiz, and many new faces. As part of internationalization, students from Indonesia visited the school on Thursday to get acquainted with Dutch culture.
Students in uniform and even the crown prince came on this visit. It’s a colorful scene in the classroom and the team leader higher class havo Henny Damen joined them. “I am wearing a special Batik blouse. This is typically Indonesian and is even more appreciated by the locals than someone in a three-piece suit. I bought it during the many visits to the country.”
In addition to the attire, the students also see differences between Dutch and Indonesian students. “My classmates would rather drink soft drinks than tea or coffee, something the Indonesians actually like. They leave out soft drinks. That is healthier,” explains one of the Dutch students. “In Indonesia, we’ve a lot more herbs and spices, here in the Netherlands we have to manage with pepper and salt. Not bad, but it’s still different,” adds an Indonesian student.
Getting to know the Dutch pupils has finally taken off, according to the crown prince of Yogyakarta Kanjeng Pangeran Hary Wironegoro, who is present in this visit. “During the corona crisis, the students were able to have online contact. They learned some of the Dutch culture and now we’re finally able to come to the Netherlands. That took two years, but we’re happy to be here.”
This is a special meeting that will be an example for other schools in Indonesia. “We want to show what we can learn from each other and inform this back to the government at home. Eventually, we want to come to the Netherlands every two years to show our commitment to sustainable development goals,” the Crown Prince explained.
During this school year, the Stedelijk College Eindhoven students will also visit the Indonesian island of Java. “You’ve to see it as a kind of exchange. We’re going there with 44 students in February to get to know the Indonesian culture. It is necessary,” says team leader Henny Damen.
According to Damen, the visit to Indonesia shows what differences there are in the world. “You have a different climate there, different traffic, and also a large group of people who have to live on a few euros a day. This exchange should make our students aware of that.”
Translation: Chaitali Sengupta. She also gives online INBURGERING classes.