Later this year, Dutch News will publish the 250th interview in its regular 10 Questions interview series. But who should be that very special guest?
To qualify for inclusion, the interviewee must have lived in the Netherlands for at least three years and should have roots outside the country, but that is about it.
Photographer Jimmy Nelson, Mauritshuis conservator Abbie Vandivere, former Ajax football player Lasse Schöne and Concertebouw musician Dominic Seldis are among the people who have shared their views on life in the Netherlands.
But the series has also included people who chose to retire here, refugees, start-up entrepreneurs and those who came for love. ‘One thing that really stands out is how few people actually describe themselves as expats,’ says Dutch News editor Robin Pascoe. ‘International, immigrant, global citizen… expat is a seen as a bit of a dirty word really.’
In the 10 years since the series was introduced, people with 59 different nationalities have taken part. The youngest interviewees were 11-year-old twins, the oldest were in their late 80s.
One question finds out which Dutch person the interviewee would most like to meet, whether dead or alive. Anne Frank, queen Maxima, footballer Johan Cruijff and painter Vincent van Gogh are among the most popular choices.
Interviewees’ favourite Dutch things range from their trusty bikes, to the two minutes silence on Remembrance Day, as well as a whole gamut of Dutch traits and habits.
Just two of the 10 questions have been changed since the launch. ‘We used to ask what people missed about home, but they nearly always answered “friends and family”,’ says Pascoe. ‘And we stopped asking people about their favourite Dutch food because the answer was always either cheese or bitterballen.’
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