Rotterdam Local Customs

  • Photo op of Michael
    Photo op of Michael
    by windoweb
  • Local Customs
    by berenices
  • Vijverlaan - Kralingen, Rotterdam
    Vijverlaan - Kralingen, Rotterdam
    by ATLC

Most Recent Local Customs in Rotterdam

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    Grolsch -> Just like home sweet home! :)

    by Jerelis Updated Nov 16, 2013

    Let’s make no secret of it. We both like a nice cold glass of beer. Being at our travel pace is always a challenge to find a beer we like, which reflects our taste of having a beer. At Alkmaar (and this probably counts for our entire home country) it was rather difficult. We found out that there are a few local beers, only known in the particular area. But anyway nothing really special, which was a bit of a disappointment. Therefore we finally bought the same beer as we drink back home, Grolsch!

    Grolsch Brewery (Grolsche Bierbrouwerij) is a Dutch brewery founded in 1615 by Willem Neerfeldt in Groenlo (Grolle). The beer from Groenlo gradually became better known in the surroundings of Groenlo. Through the years the demand for Grolsch beer shifted from a local to national and eventually international level. It is a bit bitter and has a pale colour. You can taste the hop flavour, and has a alcohol content of 5 percent. You should try it!

    Grolsch.
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    Voltage, frequency and plug ins.

    by Jerelis Written Jun 28, 2013

    Maybe it sounds a bit weird, but as an experience traveler I know that you every now and then need this kind of information in advance: electricity in the Netherlands is 230 Volts, alternating at 50 cycles per second. If you travel to the Netherlands with a device that does not accept 230 Volts at 50 Hertz, you will need a voltage converter.

    There are three main types of voltage converter. Resistor-network converters will usually be advertised as supporting something like 50-1600 Watts. They are light-weight and support high-wattage electrical appliances like hair dryers and irons. However, they can only be used for short periods of time and are not ideal for digital devices. Some companies sell combination converters that include both a resistor network and a transformer in the same package. This kind of converter will usually come with a switch that switches between the two modes. If you absolutely need both types of converter, then this is the type to buy.

    Outlets in the Netherlands generally accept 1 type of plug: Two round pins (see the picture). If your appliances plug has a different shape, you may need a plug adapter. Depending on how much you plan to travel in the future, it may be worthwhile to get a combination voltage converter and plug adapter.

    Two round pins system.
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    Beer-on-wheels

    by berenices Written May 4, 2010

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    An interesting sight we saw as we were walking around the city was the beer-on-wheels, a contraption which looked like a bar moving along the street powered by 8 pairs of legs. In front was a huge beer barrel, and 2 guys in the middle seemed to be ones serving out the beer. All in all, there were 12 guys in it, and were they having a lot of fun as they pedalled and drank their way down the street!

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    Kralingen

    by ATLC Written Sep 8, 2008

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    Another neighbourhood in eastern Rotterdam is Kralingen. It's an upscale area, with the Erasmus University that is renowned for its Business School (MBA).

    The neighbourhood is quite old, although (like great parts of Rotterdam) part of it was bombed in WWII. It has delightful nooks and crannies! Come with me and take a look at the photos...

    Vijverlaan - Kralingen, Rotterdam Vijverlaan - Kralingen, Rotterdam Vijverlaan - Kralingen, Rotterdam Vijverlaan - Kralingen, Rotterdam
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    Afrikaanderwijk 22

    by ATLC Written Aug 28, 2008

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    Final photos of the Afrikaanderwijk tour. A big fish shop that looks more like a Turkish coffee house when I peeped inside (photo 1). On Wednesday the market is on. A very big market, they were just putting up the stalls (photos 2 and 3). Again loads of outlandish shops (photo 4) and finally an interesting shop that I should visit in future (photo 5). It's a tea and vegetarian shop.
    The shop where I bought some Surinamese snacks is not on the photo. The guy (Hindustani) was interested that we should visit his neighbourhood. I said I liked it. He offered us some fresh Surinamese black pudding. I declined but only because I had just eaten. I like black pudding!

    This outing gave us a good impression of life in the Rotterdam inner city. It has certain problems. It also has enormous cultural richness. It has poverty. But also the wealth of looking after each other and the many things they do together (like in the buurthuizen or cultural centers). There is a higher crime rate. But we didn't really see anything happen and personally I felt completely safe.

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    Afrikaanderwijk 19

    by ATLC Updated Aug 28, 2008

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    This tip and the following is about the Kosselbuurt. This is a sub-area within the Afrikaanderbuurt. It stems from 1924 and built with concrete slabs, a cheap building material in those days. It's a bit in Mondriaan style. It was a very pleasant surprise to see this village-y neighbourhood. They are tiny houses and I'd really like to live in one of them.

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    Afrikaanderwijk 20

    by ATLC Updated Aug 28, 2008

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    Here's the Kosselbuurt again, that delightful area, a village within the city or Rotterdam, and the multicultural Afrikaanderwijk neighbourhood. We walked the streets, peered into houses and there I got talking to an elderly lady.
    I told her how beautiful it was and asked her if she enjoyed living here. She said yes, she loved it and had for the last 32 years. She told us about her family history, she had grown up here. Then she asked us in to show us a photo of her parents and her sister when they were very young.

    Suddenly, from outside, some people were calling out: hey neighbour, are you ok? We walked out again and there were the neighbours telling us that they look after their old neighbour and had noticed us (yes, we are coloured too!) going into her house. I realised immediately that the fact that we were strangers and coloured, triggered them to check us out. I told them lightly how we admired the neighbourhood and did they enjoy living here? Yes, we do, they told us. But things are changing. Other people are coming to live here too. The guy say: other brands. Not your kind, he hastily added. That was funny. And yet not so funny.

    I commented on the house that was for sale next to the portal to the little square. Ah yes, the neighbour said, but you don't want to buy that. Below in the portal are always drugs dealers and gays having their way. The guy was clearly homophobic. But I could understand that the people living there were feeling unsafe. A sad thing.

    Continue the Afrikaanderwijk tour here

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    Afrikaanderwijk 21

    by ATLC Written Aug 28, 2008

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    Almost at the end of our audiotour which was highly enjoyable and very educative. Photo 1, back on Oleanderplein. Photo 2 is the metro station Rijnhaven. Another way to enter this neighbourhood is the next station Maashaven. Ah look at photo 3: typical to hang out the laundry to dry. Ata Bakkerij is a Turkish bakery (photo 4). I once parked in front of it to run in and buy some baklava. I promptly was ticketed for illegal parking. Duh! Lastly another example of Mondriaan-style building in photo 5.

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    Afrikaanderwijk 18

    by ATLC Written Aug 28, 2008

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    Along Marentakweg I noticed this flowery balcony (photo 1). It's fun to see how people live. This balcony was all flowers. Another was more an extended room with cupboards, laundry, or satellite discs. A Turkish artist made a beautiful blue street sign in photo 2. The Dutch name Stokroosstraat (stokroos is a kind of rose) was depicted with a comment that it originated from the Middle East. Photo 3 shows the youth center De Brug. Here's where youngsters come to chill. And make trouble. If they can... then all the windows break! Because being bad is cool... Fahid tells us in the audio tour that the Odastraat (photo 5, shown with all those city names in the previous tip) is a popular place for drugs dealing. From there they have a good overview over Oleanderplein and can see police coming from afar. We often saw police (photo 4), on bikes or scooters or in a car.

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    Afrikaanderwijk 17

    by ATLC Written Aug 28, 2008

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    Just off Oleanderplein, we walked towares Marentak straat. All during our picnic lunch we were watching a large group of young children having a lot of fun. Drawing closer we saw that the local sports school had organised a sumi game with the kiddies hoisted into them (photos 1 and 2). Photos 3 and 5 show the names many cities, not capitals and most of them not that well known either. They are the places from which the people that live in Afrikaander buurt come from: Morocco, Turkey, Netherlands, Cape Verde, Antilles, Suriname, etc. etc.

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    Afrikaanderwijk 16

    by ATLC Updated Aug 28, 2008

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    Photo 1 is the St. Andriesstraat. Everything here is Turkish. The jeweler, the baker, the butcher, the vegetable shop, the coffee house... we went to the bakery and bought a hot Turkish pizza filled with salad and sauces (photos 2 and 3) . I enjoyed a borek, puff pastry with spinach and feta cheese. Very cheap and tasty! We sat on a bench on Oleanderplein and watched the children play (photo 5). As we watched I noticed the buurthuis Oleander (photo 4), a neighbourhood center such as we saw many in other sub-areas of this neighbourhood. On Wednesdays the Hindu girls take dancing lessons there. You may have noticed I mentioned Hindu people before. The are originally from India, but these people were sent to work in Suriname, and as such they are Surinamese Hindustani (as we call them). There are large communities of Hindustani in Rotterdam, The Hague and Amsterdam. Here they keep together, marry amongst themselves, celebrate and live.

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    Afrikaanderwijk 15

    by ATLC Updated Aug 28, 2008

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    Could you have guessed? This is a Pakistani mosque on the corner of Blazoenstraat/Boudewijnstraat. 80% of all Pakistani in Rotterdam, live in this neighbourhood.
    The sign says: Masjid-Wa Darul-Ulum Islamia Ghausia (photo 2).. You could visit but the imam will not shake hands with a woman. His religion forbids it. Only once, when he meets a woman for the first time, he will shake hands. But when you leave, he already knows you and will not do it anymore. Just recently a Dutch high court judge ruled that a muslim could be denied a job at the Rotterdam Social Security office. He refuses also to shake hands with a woman. It may be against muslim religion, but in our Dutch culture it is a sign of disrespect if you do not shake hands. So go figure... a very diverse society!

    Just round the corner on Putselaan (photo 3 and 4) is a Hindu temple. And on the other corner of Putselaan is the primary school Oranje School. It is a christian school and the children are taught about all religious holidays. Christian and muslim and hindu. Nice eh?

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    Afrikaanderwijk 14

    by ATLC Written Aug 28, 2008

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    Muslim women are a normal sight on Dutch streets (photos 1 and 2). Not only in those typically 'coloured' neighbourhoods like Afrikaanderwijk. The next photos show centers for muslim women and muslim youth. There is a blue OK sign in photo 5. This means that if you are in trouble as a girl or a woman, then this is a safeplace where you will be protected.

    The red building in photo 4, now housing those two muslim centers, used to be a rectory. The local church set up activities to help the muslim people that came to live here. There was a lot of poverty and the church provided meals which people that came prepared themselves. On the corner of the Putsebocht, just next to these photos, used to be a protestant church. It doesn't exist anymore. An apartment flat is built there now.
    But this protestant church was the first to host the muslim community. Each Friday, the church benches would be removed, and the mosque carpets would be laid out.

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    Afrikaanderwijk 10

    by ATLC Updated Aug 28, 2008

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    Photos 1 and 3 show the playground on Martinus Steynstraat. Just across from the primary school Da Costa (photos 2 and 5). Miss Agnes has worked there for 25 years and experienced the 'colouring' of the neighbourhood. In the beginning of her career it was unusual to have a Turkish child in her class. Nowadays, she thinks 'help! I have a Dutch child in my class'.
    This is a problem in many downtown areas of Dutch cities. We're even talking about black and white schools and the government is trying to change that by making schools more mixed.
    Photo 4 shows a popular pasttime for children of many countries. Hinkelen this is called in Dutch.

    Continue the walk here

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    Afrikaanderwijk 13

    by ATLC Written Aug 28, 2008

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    At the crossing Putselaan/Putsebocht, our host Farid tells us abou this dangerous crossing. Sometimes a car would stop in the middle of the road and the driver and a pedestrian would start talking. That's not something you can do in The Netherlands. But when I crossed myself, the cars stopped, even though I was still on the pavement. The Morroccan drivers kindly let me cross and we waved. After crossing I discovered a nice leafy spot and a fountain (photo 1) and crossed again to find myself in front of a Turkish haberdashery shop (photo 2). These shops are always very nice to browse because they sell everything you can imagine and it's cheap too! Photo 3 shows there used to be a pharmacist in this building. The fading lettering gives it away. I think these are houses from the 30s, also the Bloemfontein primary school in photo 4. The locals will sit here under the trees and reminiscense about their homeland Turkey. Lots of them are homesick. But if they return, they will be seen as rich Europeans and that is also not an attractive idea.
    Finally, a poster in a window (photo 5) protests the renovation of the neighbourhood and the loss of the nice old houses. open Bezopen in fact means something like: demolishing is madness

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