Author: Sarah Bringhurst Familia

Migration and the Dutch Canon

On Friday several members of the Hiraeth team drove to the beautiful little town of Wageningen about an hour and a half southwest of Amsterdam, to participate in a conference on The Value of Life, organised by Wageningen University. Meghann Ormond, Assistant Professor of Cultural Geography at Wageningen and co-organiser of the conference, invited Hiraeth to take part in a two part session entitled ‘Whose Heritages Matter? Re-imagining “Dutchness” through migration in and beyond the Netherlands’. The session focused on the Canon of Dutch History, a 2005 initiative that chose fifty topics in Dutch history as a “canon” that...

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The Death of Vicente Gutierrez

People have many ideas of what it means to be Mexican: the food, the sombreros, the joy, the crime; a wall. While they are not entirely wrong, there is a whole Mexico that is slowly being forgotten and replaced by the misconceptions of today: that of folklore and mysticism. I think that not even the Mexican people remember it clearly anymore. But I know a story about this Mexico: about the sand, the rancheros and the people. It is the story of how Vicente Gutierrez died. Vicente Gutierrez was a man of Mexico. He had the mustache, the horse,...

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The Good Old Language Struggle

Yesterday I was thinking of the downs of living “abroad”. I must say I very rarely put myself this question, but I know that it is a very relatable topic to most expats. If you are one, you might immediately have a whole spectrum of ideas on it. Things like the absence of friends and family might automatically pop into your mind, or the missing of certain foods, your hometown, the weather, or a type of human warmth very specific to where you come from. Personally, the following sentence immediately banged in my head: Will I ever get used to making mistakes in almost...

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Walking into a Memory

One of the beautiful things about moving often is that you experience the “little things” of life in so many different ways. Like the smell of the plants outside your window. Or the way different fruits taste when they’re in season. Or the cadence of stray overheard phrases in different languages. Among the constant yet changeable things in my life is the evening walk that my husband and I have taken regularly ever since we got married thirteen years ago. From the beginning, it was a great time to reconnect as a couple, talk about what was on our...

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The Lily and the Rose: Living Between East and West

“The West for me means ambition, the East contentment. My heart is ever in one, my soul in the other.” – Ameen Rihani, 1921. Every morning when I looked out of my bedroom window in Karachi, I would see them. Rows and rows of carefully planted lilies in my grandmother’s garden next door. The lily, pale and delicate, was to be nurtured and protected. Just like me. These trumpet shaped flowers with their long stems and many colors came to represent my sheltered and protected upbringing in the East. When friends or family or acquaintances would ask my parents...

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  • Hiraeth Ep. 24- Calmness Amidst Chaos 20/11/2017
    Francesca Aikman is an artist from the North West of England who lives and works in Amsterdam. She arrived directly after finishing a degree in Fine Art at university in Preston to take up a residency at OT303, and, without her really realizing or planning it, Amsterdam became home.  Recently, she has been making small, […]
  • Hiraeth Ep. 23- A Moving Legacy 02/10/2017
    In this episode, Sarah talks to Lucille Abendanon who has three nationalities and has lived in six different countries. Lucille shares not only her own story of movement, but also the incredible stories of her Dutch Oma and Opa who survived life in Japanese concentration camps. Lucille is a writer and values the power of […]
  • Hiraeth Ep 22- Crimea Calling 18/09/2017
    In 2010, Masha and her brother inherited her grandparents’ home in Crimea, the place of her birth. Last Spring, she traveled there and felt a tug to return and explore her roots. She has long felt the pull between lands and questioned her sense of identity- having lived in the US since the age of […]
  • Hiraeth Ep. 21 - Embrace The Journey 04/09/2017
    I met Cynthia on instagram- While she runs the very serious business of recruitment and coaching for expats through her company Xpath Global Careers, she also happens to run a hilarious instagram account called @expatmemes which pokes fun at the trials and tribulations of international life...  Many times, I found myself commenting (or at least thinking) […]
  • Hiraeth Ep. 20- Summer Wrap Up 21/07/2017
    In this episode, we talk about art, politics and plans for the future.  This episode is a series of audio clips from team meetings and conversations recorded over the past six months.  It is a reflection on the year so far- as we wrap up for Summer vacation.  We will resume in the Fall, and […]

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