It is New Years Day morning, I am awake early and contemplating the local traditions of Bunne. Although we are currently living in this rather small township, we had a decent New Years Eve party. Every year one of the locals invites all people in Bunne to celebrate the New Year from 12.15 onwards on January 1st.
Local traditions and customs
The remarkable thing is that this New Year’s party is in a ‘mock’ bar. This particular local has moved the total inventory of an old bar in the center of Groningen into his barn. It is brilliant. Once you are inside you feel as if you are in a real bar with pool table and all. It is a hobby for the owner. He can host family gatherings and offer local community groups to use the space.
On the way to the bar while picking up our immediate neighbours we came across another one of Bunne’s village traditions. Young people from Bunne roam the streets and gardens of the locals and randomly ‘steal’ items that they display on the main junction in Bunne. This custom is called ‘slepen’ meaning ‘to drag’.
As we live in my sister’s house I am not really sure what it is they took from her garden and neither were the neighbours. I think we have lost her bin. I am quite amused and think it is a rather peculiar yet fun tradition!
World wide traditions
There is a world wide organisation with the name ‘Meet Up’ that brings people together. Often for Expats but also for newcomers in different cities in your own country. Our oldest daughter moved to Melbourne and has made use of several of their meetings.
There is a regular Expat Meet Up in Groningen. It is hosted in a bar called ‘Pacific’ which is believe it or not an Australian bar. They pride themselves to be the only Australian bar in Groningen! Can’t be that hard… 🙄 The Meet Up is every first Friday of the month and we are planning to go and join them. It is open to Expats but they allow Dutch people to come as well. Keith and Zoe are Expats and I feel I am actually both.
The Pacific Bar seems fun with walls full of quirky Australian traditions. Somehow they seem to think that Biltong is Australian, but true Aussies know that is not the case. And true South Africans would certainly object to this claim.
My own habits and traditions
At the moment we are living a bit in Limbo land. We don’t know for sure if we are going to stay in Groningen. Very likely for the next few weeks we won’t move anywhere else. Consequently we don’t know if we should start looking for jobs and different accommodation closer to the center of Groningen.
I find this very hard as I am the type of person that wants to get on with things. Once I know what our path is I get in ‘super’ action and work through the ‘to-do’ list. When there is no such list I feel a bit lost as I do at the moment
For now though, while I am here I will make the most of it and rekindle old Dutch traditions. The Dutch may not have a culinary kitchen of significance but they do have some damn good treats!
See for yourself!
Happy New Year and see you soon!