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Dutch books about heimwee

Heimwee (the Dutch word for homesickness) is a strange phenomenon. The sensation can appear almost from nowhere and then be extremely difficult to shift. A great way to tackle heimwee is to discuss it openly with your partner, family or friends. In addition, a number of Dutch books specifically cover the topic of heimwee, and include handy tips from Dutch emigrants on how to overcome it.

heimwee or homesick

Heimwee – learning to understand it better

Perhaps you (or your Dutch partner) believed that you’d left the Netherlands for good. But then you’re suddenly hit with heimwee, so much so that you become physically ill. Returning home might seem like the only viable solution, but this might prove problematic, especially if your partner and children are happily settled. So, what should you do? The first thing is try to and get a better understanding of heimwee. Surf the web for stories about heimwee or browse our helpful blogs, including “Feeling Homesick After Emigration? Top 10 Tips for Managing ‘Heimwee’!”, “Feeling homesick – should you stay or should you go?” and “Homesick for Holland? Reminisce with poems about the Netherlands!”.

Books about heimwee

It’s also useful to learn how others handle heimwee – remember you’re certainly not the first and definitely not the last to have experienced this troublesome problem! Books about heimwee which are well worth a read (even if you don’t feel particularly homesick) include:

  • Ik mis alleen de HEMA’ or ‘The only thing I miss is the HEMA” (Manon Sikkel & Marion Witter): in this light-hearted Dutch language book, Dutch emigrants as well as returnees relive their personal emigration adventures, detailing their hopes and dreams before leaving, what life was like in their new home, and whether or not they were any happier than before. Many emigrants will recognise themselves in the colourful stories, and the book can make a valuable contribution to the mental preparation of those on the cusp of emigration. Naturally, heimwee is a frequent theme – readers can observe how it manifests in others and master how to deal with their own feelings of homesickness.
  • Heimwee (Miranda van Tilburg): this Dutch language book explores what heimwee is, who is susceptible to it, how it presents, and what the causes are. It also shares a number of useful tips on how to help prevent and combat homesickness in both children and adults.
  • Heimwee – een anatomie naar het verlangen naar elders or “ Homesickness – an anatomy of the longing to be elsewhere” (M.Baudet): a fascinating collection of Dutch language stories and essays by prominent Dutch writers, poets, scientists and journalists, on the features unique to heimwee. The book also contains several striking images and paintings that cleverly depict the phenomenon.
  • Britt gaat een nachtje logeren or “Britt’s having a sleepover” (Berdie Memel Saris, Egbert Koopmans & Martin Kemperman): children suffer from homesickness too, often in silence. If this sounds like your little one, try reading them this story about heimwee, which broaches a sensitive topic in a playful way.

Prefer to read this article in Dutch? Then why not visit our sister blog, Heimwee.info, specifically intended for Dutch emigrants abroad?

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