On 1 August my wife and I moved from Sydney, Australia to live, work and study in the Netherlands. As an anthropologist I am keen to document over time our experiences of immersion in Dutch culture and society through the lens of the distinctive anthropological research method ‘participant observation’ and other qualitative tools. As always, the challenges will be to avoid essentialising and include an element of reflexivity.

From Newport Beach to Den Haag – fascinating times ahead!

From this:

and this:

and this:

To this:

and this:

and this:

9 thoughts on “Anthropological lens on the Netherlands

  1. Let me say this. Seeiing for the first time where you came from, i wouldn’t have changed. I would have happely explored every Billabong, beach and small town along the coast. I envy you for having grown up on a farm. I think you miss so much growing up in a town like me. I would have loved the farm and it’s opportuneties. But then again you wandered threw your own life and eventually came out here. And i have Always been here, the longest-time occupant of this street in The Hague. 58 years in the same place, i know every brick in this house by his first name, seen most of the neighbours come and some go or die.
    I welcome you and your wife into our little communety within this street in The Hague. In such a short time you have taken up a place among the old ones, and much of this succes was deu to your own vibrance, not like some other expats who come and go without leaving a trace.
    And with our bike-rides i am happy to have been your tourguide of the dunes and other such nice places, as we have them here.


    1. Thanks for your comment Martin! Yes, our life in Australia has been very good, and there certainly are many beautiful places to explore there. However, we are really enjoying our ‘new life’ here in Den Haag and the Netherlands, experiencing a different culture and environment, and, most importantly, making wonderful new friends, such as you! We have really appreciated your friendship, guidance on Dutch culture, and especially those fabulous bike trips exploring new, interesting places around Den Haag. Long may it continue! We feel it is very important, if you are an ‘expat’, to contribute something to your ‘host’ country, make friends, learn about culture, and not just spend your time with other expats and then return to your own country.


  2. Two beautiful, dynamic and fascinating cultures. Den Haag is full of amazing western history, with wonderfully warm and friendly people! The Northern Beaches has a unique and rich indigenous history with a wonderful sense of community. Loving Den Haag, the food, the architecture, the vibe!!!!


  3. Two beautiful environments to completely surrender into exploration and observation to bring nourishment and vitality to the self!

    Looking forward to reading more!


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