Celebrating Chinese culture in Rotterdam, 2009


Around 1920 the first Chinese arrived on Katendrecht, a small peninsula in the very center of my hometown Rotterdam. As sailors they couldn’t find work anymore on the ships which brought them to Rotterdam that days.

Soon the Chinese community on Katendrecht grows into the first and biggest Chinatown of Europe.

Nowadays the younger generations are succesfully adapted to the Dutch society and live in Rotterdam or elswhere in the Netherlands.

On Katendrecht still are living a thousand Chinese, mainly from the older generation. They all speak Chinese (sometimes the only language they speak) and are celebrating their culture.

In the theatre next door my house they play the old “Chinese Opera” and Chinese harp, this time - which was once and an extraordinairy exception - for a wider audience then the Chinese community only.

In between the different acts and at the end of the show the actors and the musicians came out for a bit of fresh air.


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