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April is Dutch Heritage Month
March 17 , 2008
Calvin College will celebrate Dutch Heritage month in April with a slew of activities sponsored by the college's Dutch department and the Meijer Chair in Dutch Language and Culture.

Henk AayCalvin professor Henk Aay, the first holder of the Meijer Chair, said that with deep roots in the Netherlands, Calvin College is ideally suited to promote academic and community engagement with Dutch language and culture.

"The Netherlands is an important part of Calvin's heritage," he said, "but we have changed in many ways in recent years with students and professors with a much greater diversity of backgrounds. And that's great. In addition, through off-campus interims and semesters abroad our students have the ability to study in numerous countries. Their international understanding and experience has expanded, which is also great. Yet I believe that better understanding where the college came from will help us stick to and further articulate our educational and scholarly mission."

The upcoming month of events is intended to help the Calvin community and beyond better understand the Netherlands.

Month to Begin With Worship

Things begin with worship on Monday, April 7 when Aay speaks at 10 am in the lower level of the Calvin chapel as part of a regular on-campus Dutch chapel service.

The next day, Tuesday, April 8, will bring a public lecture at 7:30 pm in the Commons Lecture Hall on "The Legacy of the New Netherland Colony for the United States" by Janny Venema, associate director of the New Netherland Project.

The project was established under the sponsorship of the New York State Library and the Holland Society of New York and its ambitious objective is to complete the transcription, translation, and publication of all Dutch documents in New York repositories relating to the seventeenth-century colony of New Netherland.

Aay said the resource has already proven invaluable to scholars in a wide variety of disciplines, and it serves to enhance awareness of the major Dutch contributions to America over the centuries and the strong connections between the two nations.

On Monday, April 14 the celebrations continue with a 7:30 pm showing in the Commons Lecture Hall of the film Dorp aan de Rivier (Village on the River), a Dutch film with English subtitles.

The final eight days of the month will bring a flurry of activities, including

  • A Legacy of Letters: Early Modern Dutch Printing and Publishing in Hekman Library, featuring David L. Vander Meulen, University of Virginia, and Lugene Schemper, Calvin
    Tuesday, April 22 -- Second Floor Hekman Library at 7:30 pm
  • Geographical Discoveries: Sampling the New Bosatlas van Nederland by Henk Aay, Calvin
    Tuesday, April 29 -- North Hall 078 at 3:30 pm
  • Koninginnedag (The Queen's Birthday) with a variety of Dutch festivities on campus
    Wednesday, April 30 -- various locations

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