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Holidays far away from home

Summer holiday
By: Richard Spaans

For most Dutch people summer vacation has come to an end. For natives, it is a matter of course, but how do Chinese expats working and living in the Netherlands experience this period? For this, I have interviewed several expats.

“I sometimes ask for annual leave in July or August”, says Yuanyuan Zhou, Marketing Communications Manager at HIKVISION Europe. “Europeans are used to have vacation during those months. It is a local cultural thing. Asking for a holiday in summer time sounds more reasonable.” Li Huan, Marketing Manager at Huawei Enterprise, adds: “I may take off a couple of days during summer vacation for a short trip to some European cities.”

However, vacation and traditional celebrations could also be a perfect way to integrate into the “foreign” Dutch society. Experiences can result in lifetime memories. Zhou: “A few years ago when I just arrived in the Netherlands I went to some local events and festivals with newly made local friends. It helped me integrate into the local culture which was very important to me.”

Taking part in Dutch festivities and vacations is one thing. Keeping alive own cultural traditions can be equally important. Li: “Since I usually spent my annual leave during Christmas holiday, I rarely go home for Chinese New Year which is about two months after Christmas. Instead I usually dine and hang out with Chinese friends here to celebrate which makes me miss my family less.”
The bottom line is that experiencing holidays and vacations in another country as an expat can be very interesting and create new memories, while at the same time it is just as important to remain own cultural traditions. So celebrating King’s Day as a Chinese expat can be a great event, but do not forget about the Mid-Autumn Festival.

This information is also available in: Dutch

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