Tuesday, 17 November 2015

My A-Z of the Netherlands: "P" is for Postcards

Nota Prévia:

Este post segue em inglês, uma vez que esta série de post's, My A-Z of the Netherlands, foi assim iniciada, em 2012. Entretanto, por motivos vários, não tive oportunidade de dar continuidade a esta série. 

Até à data, foram publicados os seguintes post's da série My A-Z of the Netherlands:
"V" is for Veterinary Costs;

O post que se segue foi escrito em 2013. O tema? Esse gosto tão holandês pelos postais, onde parece existir um para cada ocasião. Dado que o Natal está à porta e algumas pessoas gostam de enviar postais nesta quadra, pareceu-me ser boa altura para, finalmente, publicar este My A-Z of the Netherlands: "P" is for postcards. Enjoy!

Until I left Portugal in December 2007, writing postcards was no longer a habit. One could find postcards for Christmas, Easter and birthdays, but I don't recall finding any for other special occasions like a graduation or a new house, getting a driving license or sending best wishes in case of illness, as I have found in the Netherlands when we arrived here. This country offers a wide variety of postcards, almost one for every single occasion and making postcards is also a very common hobby.

Lately, I sent some Dutch postcards to my beloved ones. Let's take a look?

The "Bedankt" postcard

The postcard below was sent to my godmother to thank her for sending me an Agatha Christie's book. Very pretty, don't you think?

The "Geslaagd" postcard

In the Netherlands, a "Geslaagd" postcard is offered to those who have finished their high school studies with success. A moment of pride for the families, it is also a kind of national celebration. If you see a school bag and the national flag hang on in a house, you know that someone over there have concluded their compulsory studies with sucess. However, I use them on other similar occasions. This one I sent to a blogger friend who graduated as a PhD. ;-)

The "Te Laat" postcard

I find very amusing the "Te Laat" postcards. This one I sent to my cousin A. to apologize for my delay to congratulate her on her birthday. 

The "Jaring" postcard

The postcard bellow I sent to a friend for her birthday last May. By then, she was unemployed in spite of her high education level and her 14 years of work experience. In our mail exchanges, I noticed that she was sad  - she said she had no special reasons to celebrate her birthday - and I wanted to cheer her up a bit. In this postcard, it is written: "Dear friend, Your birthday party doesn't last long enough to celebrate how special you are."

The "Nieuw woning" postcard

Life brings many changes like to move to a new house or come back to our homeland. This postcard I sent to a friend couple who returned to Poland to wish them much happiness in their new house (woning).

The "Gestopt met werken" postcard

This postcard is generally sent to someone who gets retired from his/her work. It was the case of A.'s father and I bought this one to send him. Now it is time to enjoy more what life has to offer, relax and have fun!

Have you enjoyed the postcards I sent?

Dutch postcards also reflect specific cultural aspects of Dutch society.

The "Beschuit met muisjes" postcard

If a friend couple of ours has a baby boy, we should offer them a postcard like this; in case of a baby girl, the same postcard in the pink version.

"Beschuit" means rusk and "muisjes" little mice, which, in this particular situation, are aniseed sprinkles, symbol of fertility and considered to be helpful during the lactation period.
Generally, the happy couple offers these rusks to the family and friends visiting the new born baby.
The topping could also be orange in case of a Dutch Royal child.

The "Zwemdiploma" postcard

Being the Netherlands a country of many channels and lakes, it's necessary that Dutch children got swimming lessons at early age for safety reasons. Imagine if they fall on the channel nearby when they are playing on the grass with their little friends, for example...

There are three levels they must achieve: A, B and C. , also known by the "Dutch ABC Certification". Getting the swimming diploma is a very important moment for the child and the parents. 
Most probably, the child will receive a postcard like this one to celebrate this important achievement.

The "Abraham" and "Sarah" postcards

If a man is turning 50 years old, he receives a postcard congratulating him for becoming Abraham. If it is a woman, she receives a postcard congratulating her for becoming Sarah (Bible characters). Aging in the Netherlands is considered a normal process of life. More than this, it is something that is valued and treasured.

Other special occasions
(the following postcards are from my private collection)

The "Zin in een date?" postcard

I told you that the Dutch have postcards for every single occasion, remember? Even to invite someone for a date...;-)

Or to invite a friend for something funny...

The "Samen Wonen" postcard

And if you want to ask that very special person to live together with you, why not to do it with a beautiful postcard such as this one? ;-)

The "Je bent zwanger" postcard

If a close friend gets pregnant, most probably she will receive a postcard like this one to congratulate her on this such special moment of her life.

The "Oma"/ "Opa" postcards

And if you want to congratulate the grandparents, there are also postcards available...

The "Jaar getrouwd" postcard

I like these postcards too because we can chose the number of years that applies on the situation (how many years of marriage). Very lovely to offer to our parents and grandparents.

The "Beterschap" postcard
The best wishes postcards are generally given to someone who is ill at home or in the hospital. This is very funny one, don't you think?

The "Welkom Thuis" postcard

I find these ones very lovely too, specially if a love one is returning home from the hospital or from a long trip.

The "Nieuwe Baan" postcard

A friend gets a new job and you want to show that you share his happiness. What about to send him a postcard?

The "Rijbewijs" postcard

If someone gets its driving licence, it's also easy to find out funny and cute postcards in the Dutch bookstores. I like this one with an old car.

The "Tot Ziens" postcard

In case we need to say goodbye to someone - a work fellow, a friend who goes to live in another country, etc -, it's nice to offer him a postcard like this, wishing him good luck and safe journey and telling him that it was nice to meet him and we hope to keep in touch.

Do you like to send postcards?


Crocheteando...momentos! said...

Uau! Qual deles o mais lindo! Adorei conhecer e bj amigo

bea said...

Cada povo com suas manias. Parecem-me postcards a mais, mas alguns são muito bonitinhos.

Agnes said...

Adoro a cultura dos postais e adoro a diversidade de países como a Holanda e a Inglaterra que me alimentaram o "vício", há sempre um para cada ocasião :)

Sami said...

Beautiful and cute postcards. In English speaking countries there's also a big selection of postcards for every occasion, but some of the above I had never seen (asking for a date or to move in together, or invitation to something funny).

Love Adventure Happiness said...

Adoro enviar postais, mas o último que enviei para Lisboa nunca chegou ao destino :(
Aliás, tenho de reenviar...

Margarida Elias said...

Espectáculo!!! E eu gosto muito de postais. Adoro o gatinho que me enviaste. Beijinhos!

ana said...

Que giro, Sandra.
É bom receber postais e notícias, são surpresas. :))

Paula Lima said...

Adoro receber e mandar sejam postais ou cartas!
Saber que há um país no mundo que se identifica com o meu gosto de mandar cartões é fantástico.
Hoje em dia a tradição de escrever cartas e postais perdeu-se completamente.
Ah e eu gosto de personalizar e fazer os meus cartões, pelo menos no Natal.
às vezes penso em surpreender quem os recebe no Natal e simplesmente não mandar, mas depois não recebia algumas das msg na época que dizem:"vocês nunca se esquecem"!
Como diz o meu marido sempre que abrimos a caixa do correio e apenas encontramos as habituais contas "já ninguém escreve aos coronéis" - adaptação livre dele de um título do Garcia Marquez!

Presépio no Canal said...


So true. Enviar postais é muito mais bonito e mais amigo também. Implica carinho na procura ou na elaboração, na redacção e no envio. É todo um ritual. O seu marido diz bem: hoje os correios só trazem contas. Em Portugal, perdeu-se o hábito de enviar postais. Vai tudo corrido com uma mensagem de telemóvel. Espero que na Holanda, o hábito se mantenha. E por falar nisso, hoje entreguei um cá e enviei outro para Inglaterra, ambos de aniversário. :-)