Anthropology of the Dutch: socialism in the Netherlands

Anthropology of the Dutch: socialism in the Netherlands


Among all the nations
and people I visited… I never met a stranger breed
than the Dutch. Not just one people, but a tombola of
cultures, clubs and groups. With strange tribes
and exotic communities. Like the classical ethnologists
before me, I will visit them… measure them… dissect and scrutinize them. I’m going on safari in my own country,
in search of the jungle within us. You can call me the Pigeonhole Man. In search of the socialists. What do they like? Mrs. Marijnissen, what do you cook for your husband? Where do they keep their capital? The money? -Is the SP treasure chest here? Are they ready for the revolution? How often do they agree with each other? Who opposes it? Rejected. How close are they to the common man? I hear that you are not a member of the SP.
-No. One hundred years ago there were already
warnings about the dangers of socialism. Founding father Troelstra in particular
had excessive and shameless wishes. I quote from The Socialist Threat. A contribution to the knowledge of
Infectious Diseases of the Soul Troelstra states it is necessary that
workers earn 20 guilders per week… as long as free education
and relaxation is provided… books, a right to a pension when
sick, and an 8-hour working day. And in the meantime you
have made more demands. Where did the socialists get it from? The arrogance. In the country’s capital stands
the Fortress of Labor. A palace, not built for
noblemen or merchants… but for workers with a socialist heart. The workers had saved
to create a power base. They no longer wanted to be
subjugated by the capitalist cigar smokers. The socialsts let workers’ hearts beat
with rousing words and strident lyrics. The only real heir of the socialist workers… is a movement. A political party, often
abbreviated as SP. That collection of socialists sometimes
throws a rousing song into the battle. Are you a socialist? Yes. Yes. I am a socialist, yes. A song of the party muse, for example. What is a socialist? That is someone who goes
for equality, actually. Artist Geert Timmers, alias Bob Fosko,
writes party songs for the SP. Moreover, he can discuss everything. He is a socialist, but not a party member. …equality. I am not such a member
person, I am not part of the collectives. In my head, yes, but no membership. Nowadays too, the song lyrics
promise a better world. As in: one for all, all join hands… you are not alone. Knowledge of thralldom points
to a road of liberation. Thralldom… -With that they mean… if you know how you are being
oppressed and by whom… Then you can fight it and
stand up for your rights. So knowledge is power. Right? -Yes. The exaltation of the worker,
that is what we see here. -Yes. In the beginning the chairman of the
like-minded thinkers had a higher seat. Nowadays, the socialist dislikes
the trappings of prestige. He is one with his people.
And recognizes them immediately. What kind of people are they? They are people with their
feet firmly on the ground. They are very down-to-earth people who… Ordinary people? -Ordinary people.
They are normal people. -Yes. Apparently the SP is the
party for ordinary people. Hello sir! -In the old working-class
districts of Brabant you can still find them… Hello other sir…
Hello. The foot soldiers of the party. The members are located at
the third door on the right… Socialist Annie faithfully
delivers the party newspaper. 21 is also a fanatical member. Nearly half of the street are members. 31, 33, 78, all the way in the
back, that is a bit of a walk. So you know everyone.
-Yes. They were once members of something else…
Members of the Catholic church. Servants of the priest.
Blessed are the spirits of the poor, he said. They were kept poor and dumb
until the socialists went into the neighborhood. The liberators. They brought bread, advice and worldly
thinking to the working Catholics. Who is this? -The Bolwerk family. The Bolwerk family. Nobody’s home. -Yes, a real
SP member is at work of course. In this street in Schijndel socialism
is in the hearts of the residents. You are also members of the SP? -Yes. How did that happen?
-That’s the way it’s always been. But why did you become a member? That happened when they were
busy with the houses here. Demolishing. -The rents went up a lot. We’ll help you, said the socialist. Clientelism, the church said. No, finally respect,
the workers cried… who were often the target of accusations. Colleagues call you anti-social?
-Anti-social they said. I said: How come? I say: If you don’t know your
neighborhood, that’s anti-social. Today the socialists are still generous. I will ring the bell. I hear that it is the party
for the ordinary people? Yes, I think so. Yes, I think so too. Yes. How do you see that?
How do you notice that? In many things actually. They stand up for you. Otherwise these
houses would have been demolished long ago. If the SP had not been here. If it is needed, you
can always rely on them. You have that feeling? You can go
to them for help? -Yes. If you call Tonnie Wouters, then… if she is not there, she will
call you back, right away. Can someone’s home show you
they are an SP member? No, I don’t think so. Are you a SP member?
-Yes, for… -You too then. You too? -But you don’t look very SP-ish. How come? How should I dress? That I don’t know. You look so athletic. -I am 76. And look at that place? Are you 76?
-Yes. Dineke is 76. I have been a member as
long as we’ve lived here. I was wondering if you could tell if
someone was an SP member from their home. Yes, maybe. All of my things are old. Everything is old? -Antique. Is that SP? Antique? -I think so. Yes? Did you use to be Catholic?
-I am still Catholic but not practicing. Is it really the party for the ordinary people? I think so. Or isn’t it? -Yes, yes. Only need to call and they’re here.
-They do everything for you. Who are those ordinary people then? -Us. You. -All of us standing here. Yes. I think so. Or not? -Yes! I don’t know, if… -I am normal, but
what are the others? Abnormal? No, they are full of air.
And they do nothing. They are full of hair?
-Air! Air. -Oh, air! That’s what we say here. I am
here and the rest can get lost. Full of air, and the rest can drop dead. Yes. Pussy from Gulik. -What did you say? Pussy?
-Pussy from Gulik. I am a pussy from Gulik. The workers. With their colorful language. 76 and still working 30 hours per week. For the working people. -The working people.
I am still working. I am also a worker. But not every worker is a socialist. Those people?
-No. I hear that you are not SP members. We never vote. Because I have little faith in politics. You can’t just change everything
around and say now it’s better. That’s what’s suggested, but it never happens. For the people, and especially
with the people. That’s right? -Right. -Yes. Everyone loves the common man. All parties try to satisfy him. They speak to his sense of responsibility. Or to his hatred, or to his indignation. The common man is the master. He lets his slaves fight it out. In a colosseum. In this arena, the slaves
fight for popularity among the people. With rusty weapons. Like principles and policies. The one group fights
differently than the other. The envy is great. People keep an eye on each other. What do they do? What do they think? What are their plans? That is why a spy is indispensible. Someone who keeps an eye on the other group. In the party of freedom-loving merchants,
the VVD… Johan Houwers is an observer. The so-called SP watcher. What do you do with the
information you gather? I speak to my party
about it sometimes. And try to give a good picture
of what moves the SP members. So we can take it into consideration
during a debate. Imagine, explaining the difference
between a VVD and an SP member. The SP has a different image of people. They always have an idea that
people are being shortchanged. Things are being done to people. They believe everyone must have the same. They always have a sense of
deprivation, that kind of feeling. Being wronged?
That’s is indeed the right word. Do you see them by the coffee machine?
-Yes. But you don’t sit down
together for a meal. Because in the Parliament restaurant
the parties each sit separately. And there is no mingling. And the SP members themselves,
the person, homo-SP-ian? Those are hard working people who
sometimes enjoy life too little. They should be able to do more of that. But they do that their own way, probably. But I don’t always see it. They are wronged and no fun. They are worriers, the socialists. They have given themselves quite a mission. The world must be better, poverty must go. And if no one else does it,
then they will. Bear the suffering of the world. Needed in the fight against poverty:
a base of operations. And to frighten the capitalists… that base of operations is
a former bank building. Full of pride, the socialists move in. The bar is open! Everyone is invited, including the builders. When the new party building… The people were allowed to
choose the building’s name. Brave and courageous as they are
the socialists chose ‘the Courage’ (de moed). There was courage
needed to then believe… that the then still small party… would grow to be one of
the country’s largest. They are also brave enough to see
the humor of another name suggestion. I thought the funniest of them
all was ‘The Remittance’. ‘The Remittance’ is the
notorious rule which demands… that every socialist politician must
give a portion of their salary… to the party funds. A big portion. And this is why the Socialist Party
is also the wealthiest party. Here is the safe. You can see
that it was once a Rabobank. We now house our archives there. Socialists also love information. And they keep the information safe. But is it secret?
-Well, we do have it locked. Because there are documents
which we would like to keep. It is more a matter of not allowing just anyone
to nose around… and think ‘Oh, that’s nice’. This is the storeroom. The beating heart of the SP actually. In the inner sanctum of the bank… all the instruments for the
elevation of the people are kept. T-shirts, flags. The gadgets and the
posters and the vests. -Gadgets? There’s a gas mask. -A gasmask? Probably a stunt with Remi Poppe. The coffee cups. Sweet stuff. Packets of sugar.
-Sugar? That too? Next to the socialist sugar packets… socialist sweaters, socialist beer mats… socialist mittens… Science. The socialist greeting card. We are an organization with members.
The members meet up. Members get sick.
They have birthdays. Then it’s nice to send them a card. And, of course, socialist songs. To keep the community together, every
symbol is brought out of the cellar. For the annual Family Day. ‘See in droves, valiant and wide, the
workers’ army marches onwards. ‘Without masters, without lords,
prepared for the great battle.’ ‘See their banner, red as blood,
emblem of morning days.’ ‘Waving prominently and carried
ahead, greeted by the freedom’s sun.’ ‘People of slaves, long in pressure,
feels free from shackles, ties.’ ‘Now goes on to conquer the lands,
for a future of happiness.’ For a future of happiness’. SP now! SP now! SP now! SP now! Have a good day! A guide in the field is imperative. Among the socialists with a sociologist. Meindert Fennema belongs to
the left flank of the population. But he is no socialist. It is a kind of human deer camp. Can you say something
about the SP members? Well yes, the SP has a following
who have long believed… that things are not going
well with the Netherlands. And they blame this on ‘others’. And they call the ‘others’ neo-liberalism. That is the enemy? -The enemy. And that’s an abstract enemy. But actually neo-liberalism is, on such a day… the lack of collective community spirit. So this is the opposite
of neo-liberalism. Ensuring that people do
things together again. Without this having to cause you too many
disadvantages for yourself. Because the SP members, of course,
also like to look after themselves. Sorry, there is Kees Slager.
Hello Mr. Slager. Have you read his book? Kees Slager was allowed by the SP to write a book about the
emergence of the party. He immersed himself. And he wrote.
And he became a member, and politically active. I always understood that at the SP they
learn to celebrate each victory. Yes. -Even if it’s very
small, grab a beer! -Yes! And that, that partying that is still… pretty much the
‘Brabantisation’ of socialism. You could say that. That good-natured attitude. ‘Guys, we have a whole stack of stands,
which we are going to use’ ‘The last three we’ll use in a
pop concert center or something.’ And then: guzzling. Never drugs. But beer, yes, And in the past you had to be busy
doing something at least 4 days a week… from 7 to 9 every evening. And actually that was meant to be
seven days a week. And if you didn’t do that, you couldn’t be a member. Now you must plead for someone
to become a member. Much has changed. But
that was also fun too. It was more of a community
than it is now. It’s not so bad. It is a club. You belong to something. Is the SP an authoritarian club?
-They really do have that image. But I do not think so. I am now
the division party chairman for Tholen. And I had problems with the Bergen
op Zoom division for awhile. Because the chairperson there was impossible
to work with. I told the party executive, can’t you do something? They said: No, they are autonomous.
We can’t do anything. The members there must do that themselves. But we are still an authoritarian
party, I always hear? But no. The archetype is still
the educated worker. Who has done well for himself. But who actually thinks he is … walking up an escalator… while the escalator is actually going down. And he was not used to that. And he sees that as a very unjust thing. In order to fight injustice, you need to be able
to count on the strength of young people too… The young socialists will have to
bear the torch in future. And that’s why for the young socialists
there is the young socialists’ school. And although some may sarcastically call it
‘the indoctrination camp’… for the socialists it’s ‘The Summer School’. At my school they assume… that you won’t become
a member of a party. There is no consideration
that this is even an option. Let alone that democracy is expanding… and you are putting in an effort for society. Parties are becoming a kind of
social automobile club. What is in my best interest? As happens at school, there are
the silent and the outspoken ones. This is in any case a contradistinction. Which automatically puts individualism on
an equal footing with self-development. I do not believe that position is correct. The militant members of
the organisation ‘Red!’… meet for a weekend of games, relaxation
and to plant seeds for the revolution. As befits a socialist, it’s all
about working in the group. And the most important thing the
group can do is: demonstrate. Demonstrating is the cause
of the young socialist. Cynics call them the Red Jehovah’s. They don’t meet, they deliberate. They don’t take minutes,
they make agreements. Because everything must lead to action. So the philosophy is dissected. Also criticized, but not for long, since
there’s still a lot to be changed in the world. Come on… the socialist society
won’t happen just like that. And all of that can’t happen
without leadership… of the chairman of the red youth party. You can simply call her Lieke. Some groups inside, others outside. ‘Make a campaign plan about
how to deal with exploitative landlords.’ Yes, Many Red! groups are running local
campaigns against exploitative landlords. Like this person from Zutphen, here at the table.
And from Nijmegen. Carefully Lieke weighs the social heart. In search of the talent,
the one who stands out. Everyone may be equal, but even
the socialists need… to look to see who stands out, who can
best serve the good cause. Is there anyone sitting here who
you want to talk to later on? Not especially. And that girl for example? Yes, she is good. And Niels is very
good. With that gray shirt. By the window. Those two. -Yes. Are these seasoned party members?
-These are seasoned members. Michelle was the contact person of the
Red! group in Nijmegen for a long time. Does something like an
‘ideal SP member’ exist? What makes you happy? What kind of
members? -The activism. And the passion. When young people say: God dammit, it can’t
go on like this. We must change the world. We will begin in Nijmegen or Amsterdam. But after that we’ll paint the entire country red. And make sure a socialist society comes. Does that direct action stem
from the revolutionary past? Yes. Great revolutions come from
the people themselves. From below. Great changes do not come from parliament. So if we want to create
a real social society… then we shall have to bring about great
change, with the people. There are all kinds of different types here.
That boy on the right is very young. Yes. He is still in high school.
He’s about 17, I think. That boy with the ponytail, I found
him very outspoken just now in the hall. Is he an interesting conversation
partner? -Not especially. No? -No, I would choose
that very young boy. The youngest? Yes, yes. But is he already a bit well grounded?
-Yes. A select group of young socialists… are taken separately into the dorm
where it smells of collectivity… under the watchful eye
of the chairperson… who is experienced in the socialist use of language. Do you still believe in the
concept of a socialist Utopia? Yes, I really believe in a society… which is based on a different
system than it is now. I do dream about it, yes. And I think
practically about it… and whether it is possible
and how to achieve it. What have you learned? It is actually very broad. It comes from a lot of directions. We have had some inspirational education
about the economy. And about health care
and about the union. It is inspiring, from many angles… The chairperson may be satisfied. People care
about the cause. Inside and out. Becoming a member is
often firstly intuitive. If I am speaking of myself
in any case, yes. I have chosen for the SP, but what
exactly does the SP think about it? Where do we want to go?
Is this really my party? Is it not the other way around?
The SP looking to see if you belong. What is the SP? We together are one party. We have here a national executive. But they cannot eject us, the
party does not work like that. But they do look to see who is talented, right? And no one who has wanted to
join has ever been turned down. We are based very locally,
it is not top to bottom. You are talking about Red!. But the SP… The SP is also based on the regional divisions.
-Yes, yes. The party council, the highest body,
consists of divisional party leaders. It comes from below. It is not the case that the parliamentary
group comes to see who is suitable. It comes from below.
It can be no other way. In the party of the normal man. No ranked order. Hardly any hierarchy. But there is discipline. The education does not stop with the young. Also the other active members
must be ideologically initiated. For that, the ‘senior member training’ was created. We do really listen to the people. But we have our own
criteria, discipline and principles. If it is not in line with equality,
human dignity and solidarity… people can think what they like,
but we won’t simply agree with that. We make our own assessments. We are going to discuss the 14 points,
which make our party… with you. First, the 14 points, the founding principles of
the party. The central theme of ‘red’ education. A SP member knows their responsibility… does not ignore wrong developments… says what needs to be said,
does what needs to be done. We rely on our own strength. The combination of the correct skills
and ideas is a powerful weapon. Unselfish efforts and devotion
are part of this. Point 9. Solidarity makes power.
The power of the party is greater… than the sum of its members. Subjectiveness and opportunism,
we reject. -In the back. Gaining knowledge by actively
fighting for a better world. …and you can guarantee that here. Remi Poppe, the ‘little one’,
and Nico Heijmans, the ‘big one’… have served within the party for a long time. Just regular guys, who
serve as great examples. With passion and conviction of
the priests of days gone by… they inspire those who belong. Warning them
about false desires. That playing with desires of people… and those are false desires,
individual desires. Greed, you can also call it. People who act on greed and want
a position, are no good. And look what happens with the banks,
Albert Heijn and many more of those figures. It is not going well with
those greedy directors! Their greed was wrong. They wanted
to keep growing greater. The practical evidence is there. And then they still dare to say… without those high salaries we
cannot get the right people. We don’t have that. We have
a remittance arrangement. Everyone here agrees with
this remittance arrangement? Then we are still on the right path. The remittance is the main reason
why now and then members… abandon the group. Sometimes there are also group members
who split from the whole… due to the ‘governing culture’. As in the case of Dick, Rene and Maria,
who recently deserted. “Onwards to socialism’,
a book from 1974… describes how the party must present a unified
front to society. ‘Of course, it could be the case
that the division in Leeuwarden…’ ‘reacts differently in public than
the Utrecht division.’ ‘Someone who talks with a member in Enschede,
will hear the same from a member in Oss.’ What is it like to no longer belong? Do you mind that I have to laugh at that? I think it is a relief. Even though I still have my membership… I do not need to ‘belong’. Because that whole concept of belonging has, in
this context, a strange taste. -Why? If you see at the convention… with every sentence that Emile spoke… and I stand behind everything he said. But after every comma, an
applause machine started, man. Really. I prefer being a bit authentic.
-It wasn’t about the money for you? No. No. -Not about the remittance hassle.
-No. Most people who leave the party
are angry about money. When I entered the Provincial Council,
I had to sign a form right away… that the Provincial Council would transfer my
entire salary over to the SP. And then the SP usually booked
the money over to me 14 days later. Once I phoned them and said: You have something against the
market effect and banks… but you do the same as what the banks do. And that’s holding on to the money for 14 days until
the interest has been earned, then booking it on. What I noticed in hindsight is:
The SP has two faces. The SP has a very social
face to the outside world… and gives the impression
of a very warm family. But if you look at the
interior of the SP… then you see a very
hierarchically-structured party… where you have to be on the lookout if
you want to maintain your autonomy. Before you know it, you have lost that. How is control exercised
by those in charge? You get ukases: directives
which you must follow. What was nice is that the senior party
members are not allowed to go on vacation… because Emile doesn’t go on vacation. And no excuses. -And no excuses.
Everyone must be ready. And who were you accountable to? A party division is initially answerable… to the regional representative. And they report back to, or take
it to the party leadership. But the problem is that the
regional representative is also… the party chairperson in
the Provincial Council… and of the party in a municipal council… and also the divisional chairperson,
and a paid training officer. A complaint about them
has to be handed in to them. That is the bottom line. And that
is where it all goes wrong. Who is the boss in the party?
I think Jan Marijnissen. Not Emile Roemer? -No. -No.
He is not the boss? -No. The leadership of the SP is clearly
in the hands of Jan Marijnissen. The ultimate socialist is Jan. The primus inter pares. The first amongst the equals. His realm: Oss. A place once so lacking in discipline that socialism
grew here like weeds. His mother lived across from here… The carpet factory. The pride of Oss. Until those darn socialists stood
at the gates with talk of strikes. Her son at the front. He was intent on bringing this bastion to a halt. And for that he gave up his good
job at the sausage factory. It was not easy for mother Marijnessen. The socialists love Jan so much… that since 1988… he has been re-elected
year in and year out… as party chairperson. Everyone says Jan has remained so normal. In the house of the normal man, normal shoes. A simple couch, but also art. And a vase of pink roses. If I look at these houses, they look like
a kind of middle-income houses. We bought the house for 50,000 guilders. And in 1995 we moved from
a house four doors away… to here. I see no further exorbitant… expenditure, hifi equipment. Our stereo was bought in 1976. What do you like to listen to?
What kind of music? Yes, mainly classical at home. The true socialist can be identified by
asking about their personal property. Strictly speaking it is too
big for the two of us. So whether we will live here
forever, I don’t know. But then smaller rather than larger. The socialist Jan excels at being a normal man. Mrs. Marijnissen, may I ask you something? What do you usually cook for your husband? I had not yet said hello.
Hello, Mrs. Marijnissen. Hello, Marjan. What do you cook for a political leader? Just potatoes with a bit
of meat and vegetables. Leeks, salad, you name it. Or spaghetti, fried rice, or… It is the aim of socialism
to elevate the common man. Whether this ideal has been achieved can be
checked by looking in the bookcase. This is more foreign.
America and this and that. These are all biographies. I see that you are a heavy underliner. Yes, I always do that. And folds. Dog-ears. Wasn’t
allowed by my mother. -Yes. What I find important,
is that I see here… That is Marx. His only error was that he thought there
was a necessity behind the course of history. Are there right-wing
authors in there? Yes, but then here.
Everything by Bolkestein. So you are the young man on the
left with the nice pants. -Yes. When my sisters had moved out and
I returned from boarding school… I lived with my mother for years. Didn’t she say: Jan, don’t do that.
It will be bad for your career. ‘Join D66’. -No! -Yes!
‘You will have a much better chance.’ And she thought of a word, because
when someone phoned: Is Jan home? No, he’s not home, he is ‘trooping’. A verb, ‘trooping’. With the ‘troop’
of the SP. In the party you are probably seen
as first among the equals. What makes you the ultimate
first among the equals? Was it because you had
earned the leadership? I think it has a lot to do with… In the SP it’s: Don’t talk but polish. So if you have a record, you can show
that this is what I have done. That is very helpful.
And it still is with the SP. I have noticed that too. People in the party say you’re
expected to do something. And that you are able to organize people. You can show that you can win elections. There are many qualities you must have.
Which I did not initially have. If there were difficult words
being used in the town council… I had notes in the drawer with
difficult words and their meanings. That is how I learned
all the difficult words. You say primus inter pares. I
never understood that before. This is how people like to see him. The normal man who has worked
his way up on his own strength. If the socialist experiment can succeed… then normal man Jan is the proof. Tangible
evidence of the elevation of the people. If everyone, just like Jan, keeps their back straight… and rolls up their sleeves, then they
too will have a nice bookcase. And then they can also
organize an exposition. To elevate the others. Everything hanging here, you chose? I found all of this. But this is white. -What did you say?
This is completely white. Are you color blind? Yes, that’s a light. Jan, average people won’t
understand this, seriously. You will get problems with this.
-You underestimate people. You talk too much and
don’t look enough. -Sorry. Onwards to the light, the socialists used to sing
at their harmonious party conventions. Up! To the light! Joined together! Set up high! Up! To the light The socialists come together. They may choose the leader. Although everyone secretly
knows who it will be. Unanimous, official. Unanimously chosen as
party leader of the SP! The socialist could say: What difference does it make that
our congresses are predictable? What does it matter that our
voting rounds are never exciting? When you see such a warm
family together with the same aim. Where else can you find such solidarity? Who is for? Who is opposed? Rejected. The socialist is proud of the solidarity. Who is for? And who is opposed? -Rejected. Who is for number 16? And who is opposed? Who is for? And who is opposed? -Rejected. Who is opposed? The solidarity is our power,
not our weakness. We are not voting cattle. We honestly agree with the party line. We have to, because otherwise
the weak will be the victims. As one, all together, the socialists
are ready to help those left behind. So there will be no more loners. It’s not nice being a loner,
loose from the group. Who is for? And who is opposed? -Rejected. We have them here too, the loners. Who is opposed? Number 26. Who is for? But they accept their loss cordially. Who is for? Who is opposed? We said in the beginning that we
know you to be a disciplined congress. I must tell you that we
have not been disappointed. When the discipline has done its work,
then their is time for fun. Who says that we are unable to enjoy ourselves? We are going to free the people. And afterwards, then we’ll grab a beer. The Pidgeon-Hole Man bids you farewell. He can longer call himself a loner. So many doors were opened for him. He is going to miss them, the people of the
fatherland he encountered during his journey. The noblemen, who must be so
cautious as they hold their name up high. And with stealth, continuing
their old and magnificent traditions. The autonomists. Who’ve retreated
into their newly-conquered paradise. The autonomists might perhaps even be able to agree
with the other conquerors: the marines. Who, from behind their fence, also keep
the civilian population at a distance. Their brotherhood, a boy’s dream. He will miss them. The anthroposophists… who hold their heads so high in the heavens… their feet so deep in the earth… the one more straightforward than the other… but, one and all, full of respect for
Mother Earth and all of her creations… The Pidgeon-Hole Man
will not forget them. The Molluccans. With their camp, a little
piece of Ambon in the woods of Brabant. Where they pass their homesickness
on to the next generations. And the residents of the valley in Gelderland. Who would rather discuss
a book than their fields. Stiffly they accept that others find them to be stiff. In the meantime they know better. He will also miss the Volendammers. Who, like it or not, have become the
representatives of the entire Dutch population. Wholeheartedly working, and singing,
until they bury their loved ones. The Pidgeon-Hole Man is heading homewards. And if you are yourself a loner, or a group person,
or both, as sometimes happens… then he hopes that you are happy with that.

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