Moluccans and the Dutch winter

Molukse Barak

Moluccans and the Dutch winter

Moluccans who came to the Netherlands were likened to birds in a cage by their families in the Moluccas. Because of the cold climate they encountered in the Netherlands, they spent much more time indoors than their family members back home and had to get used to the cold weather. In 1951, on their journey to the Netherlands, the men were issued with a warm winter military jacket in Port Said. Women and children were given a dark blue tracksuit, including trousers to keep out the cold. However, trousers were uncharted territory for them, as back home they were only used to wearing a sarong. In their living quarters in the Netherlands they therefore wore their trousers over their sarong to keep the cold at bay. 

 

They always believed they would soon be back in the Moluccas: ‘That’s why I never learnt to ice skate, for example. Once I’d returned to my own country, I would never see ice again. Looking back, I think it’s something I should have learnt. I did learn how to ski. The funny thing is, I’m crazy about snow’, explained one of the women who lived at the Lage Mierde Camp.
 

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Moluccans and the Dutch winter

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