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DUTCH DIARY I Added:23.11. 2005
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In this and several other articles over the coming months to try to mediate our experience of studying in Groningen (Netherlands).

In this and several other articles over the coming months to try to mediate our experience of studying in Groningen (Netherlands). Me and my friend we got a scholarship at the Masaryk University, sheltered from the Fund for the EU Socrates Erasmus program. We left to study pedagogy or to Educational sciences (or if they are to the Dutch Pedagogy, while you pronounce the letter g guttural chrčením) for one semester, ie from September 2005 to February 2006.

Already in the CR, we had to confirm the curriculum, so we knew that our main activity will study, among courses at the university, participation in the research project. Netherlands and the university town of Groningen is a traditional destination for Czech students, and it was not difficult to obtain basic information. Our teachers from the Department of Pedagogy at the Masaryk University in Groningen who were on internships, I highly recommend this student city located about 40 km from the sea, the capital of the northern Netherlands with one of the oldest and best universities in Europe.

When you say … the Netherlands, most of you would rather wait: When you say Holland … but I know that Holland is the name of only one part of the Netherlands and is incorrectly used for the entire territory of the Netherlands (paradoxically, the main Czech website travel to the Netherlands and are name Holland is widely used not only at home but also abroad). So when you say the Netherlands, many of you present tulips, great cheese, windmills, wooden shoes. This is of course only a fraction of Dutch culture. We start from the beginning, the character of the whole society greatly influences the geography of the country.

The name comes from the Netherlands of „low country“ („nether land“), and comes from the fact that a large part of the territory is below sea level. The fear of flooding (with whom they have considerable experience), the Dutch built a system of flood barriers. Part of the sea even dry out the bays and special techniques to help drain channels. Because vodnatosti country made famous Dutch wooden shoes, because shoes every other day for several hours submerged in the mud will fall apart and the leather not guilders (Dutch guilder = monetary unit here before very acclaimed introduction of the euro). What is more interesting, flood experience give a very specific character of local architecture. Almost every house has huge windows near the ground, we would say in the Czech Republic other than windows. The historical reason is said to faster water pouring out of the apartment. It should be noted that in showcases during the day you hit the curtains and see directly into people's apartment … it's just a reality show (it is not surprising that the program Big Brother was invented here).

In the Netherlands there are many lakes, rivers and canals and on them was born another local phenomenon: houseboats. Hundreds of them being based in Groningen, which is interwoven with a network of river channels. Many of those home-populated would cruise on the open sea did not survive, but they are seen as sailing and několikastěžníky for which the only port of Groningen on the road.

The Dutch were at sea and at home. When in the 16th and 17 century, cruised the seas of the first ocean and imported exotic goods to Europe, the Netherlands experienced its „golden age“. Also in Groningen, the trading, as lively as other Dutch cities, for a while, you find yourself in a „golden age“ when you visit a museum of shipping (shipping museum). But now back to the present and everyday reality, to which particularly need to be prepared. In the Netherlands the seaside waiting for you a completely different character than what weather you're used to. The fact that it rains often in Holland, we knew before we arrived. Only „often raining“ is not enough. Weather here is the April in September. While the sun shines, while it's raining, blowing wind, sun, rain and wind, sun, rain and wind, … but still very humid, coastal air. The weather is also one of the favorite topics of local conversations, because it is constantly changing and always have nothing to complain about!

We bought umbrellas proper because of the umbrellas, which we use in the Czech Republic would be here after the storm left a broken bone. How to drive in daily traffic on the bike (normal means of transport) for wind and rain while holding an umbrella over his head? Impossible. So there is a classic cape home that you do not forget!

This is the first example of the Dutch surprised the other groningenskych experiences in the next article …

Barbara Violet and Tomas Punar

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