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From Two Worlds: Embracing Our Dutch Heritage in New Brunswick, Canada

We’ve captured the heartwarming stories of dozens of families and couples, but today we’d like to take a moment to share a different story – our own. It’s a story that intertwines two families, two countries, and a shared love for traditions and heritage. Keep reading to learn more about our Dutch roots and the values that have shaped us to become Dutch photographers in New Brunswick.

A Tale of Two Migrations

Our story begins with migration, a common thread in many Canadian households. Bert’s family made the journey to Canada in the 1950s, seeking new opportunities in this vast and promising land. Meanwhile, Dianne’s family embarked on their Canadian adventure in 2002, landing on Canadian soil on a chilly February 25th. While our origins span two different eras, our Dutch heritage binds us together.

 Taste of Home

One of the most delightful aspects of our Dutch heritage is the culinary connection. For both our families, bread is a staple of life, lovingly baked and savored. The quintessential Dutch meal includes a hearty combination of meat, potatoes, and vegetables, often featuring beef or chicken, boiled potatoes, and beans or carrots. The love for these simple yet wholesome dishes transcends generations.

Gezellig: The Essence of Dutch Comfort

A word that holds a special place in our hearts is “gezellig.” It’s a term that encapsulates the Dutch spirit of coziness, enjoyment, and comfort. In the English language, it’s akin to the Danish concept of “hygge.” When you step into a Dutch home, you’re enveloped in an atmosphere of gezellig, where warmth and hospitality reign supreme.

From City to Farm Life

Our Dutch heritage also encompasses a fascinating blend of city and country living. Bert’s father’s family hails from the bustling streets of Rotterdam, while his mother’s roots are firmly planted in the rural countryside. Their union resulted in a family that embraced both worlds, finding joy in the simple pleasures of country life, and now us here as Dutch photographers in New Brunswick.

Farming in Our Blood

Farming runs deep in our veins. Dianne’s parents, too, grew up in the countryside, as children of farmers. The dream of continuing this legacy in the Netherlands was thwarted by farming restrictions, leading them to make the life-changing decision to move to Canada. Here, they found a new beginning and a shared dream.

A Journey of Love

Our personal love story is also woven into the tapestry of our Dutch heritage. After just six years of knowing each other, we began dating, and our love story reached new heights with a seven-month engagement. We celebrated our marriage with two receptions, one in Canada and another in the Netherlands, solidifying our bond with family on both sides of the Atlantic.

An Unbreakable Connection

Our Dutch family holds a special place in our hearts, particularly as one of our siblings has returned to the Netherlands, and Dianne’s beloved grandmother still resides there. The ties that bind us across borders remain strong, although the number of years since our move increases. Dianne’s last trip to the Netherlands was back in 2017 (when she visited this castle), and we are really hoping to go back soon.

Honoring Our Roots

We were so proud to be part of a Canadian region deeply influenced by Dutch culture. The “Dutch Store” Norwich Delicatessen and a vibrant Dutch community, complete with a large church and school, have kept Dutch traditions alive for generations. Now here we are in New Brunswick, and while we are not as surrounded by “Nederlanders”, we haven’t forgotten where we came from. In fact, we’re so proud of our roots that our entire Airbnb is styled as a modern European home.

The Heart of Our Heritage

What do we love most about our Dutch heritage? It’s the feeling of home that washes over us when we savor “hutspot” or “boerenkool”. The deep-rooted sense of history and connection that defines who we are. And the knowledge that both Canada and the Netherlands played pivotal roles in our lives and in history.

As we reflect on our Dutch heritage, we’re filled with gratitude and excitement. We eagerly anticipate the day when we can make a family trip back to the Netherlands, forging even stronger bonds with our heritage and creating new memories to cherish.
In the end, our heritage as Dutch photographers in New Brunswick is more than a collection of traditions; it’s a part of our identity, a connection to our roots, and a testament to the enduring ties between Canada and the Netherlands. 

Have you checked out the blog post about our Airbnb? It’s right HERE!!!

These images were captured on our last trip to the Netherlands. It’s a castle near Houten named Heemstede.

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