Almere – Outside on the Deventerpad you can already hear it: the stamping of the clogs of thirteen Chinese children who are learning the clog dance in Casa Casla. It is the extracurricular summer activity of the Chinese education center Netherlands.

Uzomerkamp 22 1nder the guidance of teacher Limin Sichi Yang, the children show what they have already learned on this first day. From the loudspeakers the music of the ancient clog dance sounds. The children are already good at dancing: hands on their sides, clogs on their heels, steps, claps and turns, everything goes perfectly together. Then the children have to sit on the floor and a Chinese song is rehearsed.


The extracurricular activity lasts ten days and is rounded off with two performances, one on August 27 on the square in front of the cinema in the city and one on September 5 at the Floriade. “The children learn Chinese songs here, the Dutch song 'Aan de Amsterdamse grachten', the clog dance and a Chinese folk dance,” explains Wen Zhang, the dean of the Chinese education center. “The aim of the performances is that the children work on their self-confidence, to show who they are, because they are quite shy.”

Chinese language
Outside the holidays, the children - and adults too - receive lessons in the Chinese language during the weekends. That happens in the Oostvaarderscollege. “The school is intended for children with a Chinese background,” says Zhang. “Children pick up the language faster than adults. The goal is not only that they can speak Chinese with their parents, but also with grandma and grandpa.” The lessons are also focused on the future. “Later, if they want to, they can go to work in China or in the Netherlands at a company that has connections with China.”zomerkamp 22 2

Miss Yang picks up the lesson again. She quietly practices the clog dance with the children. Yang is not the first one. She graduated from the conservatory in The Hague in the subject of singing. She made it to the semifinals of the TV program Holland Got Talent with her performances. “I have been doing the clog dance with children for ten years. I also performed it in Shanghai.” Yang has accommodated her activities in the Dutch-Chinese Cultural Exchange Foundation. “And with this extracurricular activity I also teach the children about Dutch culture.


Click here to read the article in "Almere deze week".

Source: Almere Deze Week, Robert Mienstra