A competition held during Dutch Week (from 2 to 9 October 2021) invited non-native speakers to demonstrate that with a bit of creativity, learning the language could be an entertaining and engaging pursuit.
“By practising Dutch, you expand your boundaries, you meet new people and your world becomes more interesting,” said the organisations behind the initiative, which included the Flemish immigration agency, Atlas and Huis van het Nederlands Brussels, among others.
Non-native Dutch speakers were invited to submit video entries demonstrating a fun way to practice the language.
A jury selected three winners based on originality, creativity and the way in which the participants practised their Dutch.
A winning entry from Brussels featured a cooking video using kitchen vocabulary and some of the food items they’d learned the Dutch names for.
Another, featured expats living in Bruges speaking Dutch and describing the ways they practice. “Practising Dutch gets the Bruges ‘language ball’ rolling,” the video explained, as various speakers – including Bruges mayor Dirk de Fauw – “passed” an inflatable globe from one person to the next.
“Language brings people together and leads to warm encounters. Language binds us all together! From person to person; regardless of origin, colour or social background. From the mayor to the (non-Dutch-speaking) citizen. We are all Bruges citizens! And we are very proud of that!”
The third winner, from Wetteren, titled their video “My Buddy and Me.” It showed how learning Dutch could be fun when done with a friend.
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There were around 30 entries to the competition, which can be viewed on the competition Youtube channel.
Winners were invited to choose from one of two prizes: a workshop from the organisation Avansa, or a museum visit to either the Huis van Alijn in Ghent, the Fashion Museum in Antwerp, the Africa Museum in Tervuren or the Museum of Natural Sciences in Brussels.