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Date modified 16 mei 2010

The Sixties

Our story.

Rijswijk in 1960
The Haagweg / Herenstraat / Geestbrugweg
crossing in the center of Rijswijk in 1960.
Rijswijk, the Netherlands, the town where we spent our childhood. Our houses happened to be approximately 300 meters apart, but we were unaware of this, at the time.
We happened to visit the same kindergarten, the same elementary school (Ottoburgschool), even the same high school (Dalton scholengemeenschap in Voorburg) , but ... remained strangers to each other.
In the summer of 1987 we met, and decided to live together, Nina and Joop had already been born, in Basel, Switzerland. Nowadays Henny is teacher at an elementary school in The Hague and Hans is software engineer in Leiden.
We've seen our environment change from a friendly, cozy neighborhood into the always-in-a-hurry society of today. As people used to travel by foot, or on bike, nowadays almost everyone appears to own a car... and uses it, even for distances as short as a few hundred meters. That's why we regularly like to escape to the 'wadden', one of the rare spots in the Netherlands where you still can experience silence.


The Wadden
Holiday at the 'wadden' of Terschelling in 2007.

Historical context

We both grew up in the no-nonsense era, the country had to be rebuilt from WW2. All designs were functional, not beautiful. Children got little attention and authority was valued: You had to do what you were told to and shouldn't complain, because what your parents had experienced during the war was much worse. This attitude provoked a reaction, the PROVO movement. Combined with the growing wealth it has resulted in the western world of today, where consumption is valued above thrift, presentation above content, and where children are being treated like adults. Also, a growing number of refugees have come from all over the world to settle in the Netherlands. Together with Surinam, Turkish and Moroccan people - who came over in the sixties and seventies (being stimulated by companies to do labor here) - they have given society a multi-racial character. The way this has worked out here can be considered examplary to the world, and speaks for the very important values we didn't loose: freedom and tolerance.


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