High Road to Culture in Flanders and the Netherlands

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High Road to Culture in Flanders and the Netherlands

Babel behind the Dikes. Living in the Bijlmermeer
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Babel behind the Dikes. Living in the Bijlmermeer

(August Willemsen) The Low Countries - 1994, № 2, pp. 92-97

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The Bijlmermeer is new. That in itself is enough to put many people off. Anything new is bound to be hated by an Amsterdammer. How often has the author, who lives in the Bijlmermeer, had to listen to the argument: ‘That sort of place is artificial, designed on the drawing board. It hasn' t grown organically, like Amsterdam. Look at the way the canals grew, like a living organism, naturally, one after another like the skins of an onion.' The author look at the canals. They are magnificent. And artificial. Just like the Bijlmermeer, where there is a strong sense of community spirit: Bijlmer residents are not ashamed to be nonconformists.

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