“Why are you my friend?” and other 5 questions to my Dutch friend (Interview)

Recently I have published my opinion about making friends in the Netherlands. And in the end, my point was that making friends requires a good dose of time, energy and attention, always and everywhere. There I have also addressed the question someone raised to me: why did some Dutch people choose to be my friend? I gave my answer, but at the same time I reflected it would be better to ask them directly!
So here this and other 5 questions answered by my dearest friend Marieke – my very first Dutch friend.

Making friends in the Netherlands

1. How did we meet and for how long have we been friends?

In 2014, I got to know Marta during my internship. We were both students and all students came together during lunch. The main language was English because of the majority of the students came from abroad.

2. What do we have in common?

Love for fun and challenges (and food). That is a lot of talking, also much laughing and stepping out of our comfort zones regularly for us. Besides being able to chat well about light-hearted topics, we both appreciate our serious conversations.

3. Have you ever questioned why are we friends? And do you have an idea why you are friend with me?

No, until you asked not. We often thought the same, and we could laugh together. You are very intelligent but absolutely not arrogant and super empathetic, so I love to hang out with you! We want to invest both in our friendship and I get a lot of positive energy from our contact.

4. What do you like of having friends from abroad?

As a friend is from abroad, the likelihood of (even) more interesting conversations is higher due to possible insights from another culture.

5. What is most challenging in having friends from abroad?

Building a friendship while not speaking the same language is most challenging. More chances exist to not understand each other, and you may cannot clarify misunderstandings. Perhaps asking if you really understand each other and not making many assumptions is (even) more important.

6. Marta’s statement: speaking the language of one of the two brings friendship a level up. Would you agree? Do you think it is helpful if your friend (from abroad) speaks Dutch?

Understanding is most important in friendship I think. Speaking the same language can definitely lead to more understanding, and so I certainly think if both speak the same language this could promote friendship.

Thank you Marieke for taking the time to answer my questions, and for making me feel at home!

Do you also have Dutch friends to discuss this? We found it fun and informative as it made us reflect deeply on our 7 years (!!!) friendship. Feel free to share your point of view in the comments below!


Featured picture by Christin Hume on Unsplash.

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