“The moment a person realizes that reality has many faces, he/she takes the first step on the road to wisdom.”

Hopstaken’s Newsletter – commemorative 5th edition – October 8, 2006

Nobody taught her, yet she knows how to pose in a truly charming fashion, and even, how to paint a Picasso-esque shadow. Note her one horn, the way she wags her tail, her flirt with the fotographer, and the yellow ticket in her ear. Her ID card ... This newsletter is published by Loek Hopstaken of Hopstaken Bedrijfsadvies, Amsterdam, The Netherlands (www.hopstaken.com). Intended publics: Loek’s personal international network, including many former students at DDU of both himself and his pal Peter van Oosten. Regular contributors: Peter van Oosten, Martin Zuurhout, Larry O’Connor. This edition: Photos: Peter & Loek; Sashanka Poudyal; Eew Sawaluck Suwannawong; Zhou Lincheng (Apple); Nguyen Thuy Duong (Tracy); Turkish photographers; If you want to have original size pictures (if available), send me an email: hopstakeninternational@gmail.com. 1. Welcome to the commemorative fifth edition of ‘What is Wisdom???’ – by Loek Hopstaken 2. What do you know? - by Loek Hopstaken 3. About being a happy person – by Paul Scholey 4. Meet Mai Van – interviewed by Loek Hopstaken 5. Many children have the potential of developing genius – by Martin Zuurhout 6. What does it look like? – by Xiao Yezheng (Johnson) 7. The What is Wisdom??? Intern Program 2006-2007 8. Tips to become a good manager - by Le Thu Lan 9. Are you a Giver or a Taker? – by Loek Hopstaken 10. Summer trip to Andalucía. - By Eew Sawaluck Suwannawong 11. Contribution of travel to cultural change – Zafer Öter (Grad.Ass., Dokuz Eylül Univ., İzmir, Turkey) 12. Wise Quotes & Crackers from around the planet 13. What we can learn from dogs – by Cheri Baumann (www.myprivatecoach.com) 14. In my hometown the sun is shining – by Liu Jian Tian (Joe) 15. Experience is never enough … by Tran Thi Huyen Nga (Anna) 16. Accounting is not related to Love. - by Peter van Oosten 17. Cultural notes 18. PICTURE GALLERY 19. Birthday news 20. This issue’s lyric: Nature Boy “A friend is a treasure, more precious than gold. For love shared is priceless, and never grows old.” 2 3 6 6 8 10 11 11 12 13 16 16 17 18 19 19 19 21 25 26


“Do not do all you can, do not spend all that you have, do not believe all that you hear, and do not tell all that you know.” Chinese proverb

1. Welcome to the commemorative fifth edition of ‘What is Wisdom???’ – by Loek Hopstaken
“Practice random kindness and senseless acts of beauty.” Anne Herbert The Fifth – what makes it commemorative? Commemorative: there is something to remember, as with a jubilee. First of all, ‘5’ is a memorable number. Many magazines don’t even survive nr. 4. And second, this month one year ago What is Wisdom??? No. 1 arrived in your mailbox. Within a year there have been many changes in people’s private, family and career lives. The year around Graduation – say, 2 months before to 10 months after – is one of many emotional highs and lows, ups and downs. First getting your graduation credits sorted out and make sure you qualify for graduation, then back on your own again getting your new life sorted out and make sure you get a job, and handle both your old and new network of friends, and family. Of course, some continue their studies elsewhere. Freewheeling However, several embark on a career path from Day One. Others go straight for marriage, have a baby and settle down. It’s as if for them the intensity and speed, so characteristic for the last months before Graduation, are replaced by an intensity and speed to ‘have it all, and fast, please’. In a hurry to secure a sound future. Now, there’s nothing wrong with a sound future, but what happened to good old freewheeling? Or were the years spent studying the years of freewheeling? When the Dutch Army decided they didn’t want me in their ranks – officially, because of hay fever1 - this meant that I could take a break between high school and college. Sure, many class mates went on to college, or joined the army despite their objections. I managed to convince my parents to take a sabbatical year, in order to make and save money for traveling. From July 1971 till September 1972 was my freewheeling year. This laid the foundation of my interest in cultures, and to this day I pick the fruits of having established a small but international network of friends. I must confess that freewheeling became a way of life … I was not exactly a model student. Most of the time went into, well, exploring ‘life’. You know what I mean. For several years my life was making money to travel, travel further and travel some more. In my case it took me 7 years to admit that finding a wife, having babies and settling down wasn’t such a bad idea after all. And that was it for freewheeling. Nelly and I married May 14, 1980; 3 weeks later our son Thomas was born. Did I mention intensity and speed? Now I hear graduates talking about getting married and having babies 7 weeks after Graduation … Why? If you can freewheel for 7 years, and then have a family within 3 weeks? Are you really in a hurry to get old? Read ‘The Circle of Life’. Teaching & Traveling in the Far East In the last edition I introduced my idea to create a subsidiary of my company in the Far East, notably, Vietnam (Ho Chi Minh City) and China (Beijing, Shanghai). Several members of our network have been looking seriously the possibilities. It’s not easy. There is lots of paperwork involved, and the pay would not be sufficient to cover my expenses; I have a household to run in Amsterdam. So far, there is no result. But, as the Spanish author and creator of ‘Don Quijote’, Miguel Cervantes said: “In order to attain the impossible, one must attempt the impossible.” Therefore, I maintain my dream of establishing ‘footholds’ in both Vietnam and China. I’ll keep promoting my dream until the end of this year. If by then there is no result, I’ll keep my dream, but change my plans. Which means, I’ll re-focus and become a tourist, and will start planning a tour, possibly with Peter, to meet many of you in your home environment. And have some more of those wonderful reunion type meetings. Meanwhile, I proudly present my Chinese name, as created by Fangbing Yuan (Amanda), with help from Zeng Qian (Tracy):

陆可 霍普斯达根
Pronounce: Lù kĕ Hùo pǔ sī dá kĕn Unofficially, but the probable truth: the Dutch Ministry of Defense didn’t want guys in their ranks who had been active supporters of conscientious objection, like me. This was 1970-1971, the Vietnam war was still on, and as The Netherlands and the USA were allies, many of my generation were against any form of involvement with that war. “A friend is a treasure, more precious than gold. For love shared is priceless, and never grows old.”


2. What do you know? - by Loek Hopstaken
2.1 DDU: ‘Small’ is beautiful but “big” is powerful. Since three years Dutch Delta University has been looking for a strong partner. Part of a bigger university gives the teachers and the students more opportunities. Since many years we have been cooperating with the University of Izmir in Turkey, Columbus University in Spain and London School of Commerce in London. DDU students may continue their studies at these universities. Some did this in the past: one year in the Netherlands, one year in Turkey and one year in Spain. Last June three students graduated. However, cooperating with European universities, as we have been doing up till now, is not a solution for all the problems a small university encounters. Therefore we are planning to merge next year ( March 2007) with Management Institute of Canada (MIC; www.micanada.org ). MIC is strong in distance learning. We will need their knowledge in the near future. A problem we can solve after merging is: the many years a student has to stay for education in Europe. Following an education in Europe for 3 or 4 year for most students is too long and too expensive. MIC and DDU will offer e new BA-program (BBA and MBA). Students can study the whole program by distance learning or he or she can choose to study partly in Amsterdam/Deventer, Paris or Montreal. At the moment we are in the middle of a reorganization. Right now, Dutch Delta is a tiny university with just 35 students in the last period of their study. In 2007 DDU will make a new start with more possibilities under MIC wings. E.J. Deelstra President of the DDU 2.2 The 3 Most Important Things To Do One of the greatest factors of successful people is how they manage their time. The best way to begin this task is by simply making a “3 Most Important Things To Do” list. Make this list at the end of your business day. This will be the first thing you see in the morning, and will give you direction for the new day!

September: Meng Xiao Xiao graduated!

“A friend is a treasure, more precious than gold. For love shared is priceless, and never grows old.”


2.3 The Circle of Life – by George Carlin (forwarded by Zane Ibrahim) Do you realize that the only time in our lives when we like to get old is when we’re kids? If you’re less than 10 years old, you’re so excited about aging that you think in fractions: “How old are you?” “I’m four and a half!” You’re never thirty-six and a half. You’re four and a half, going on five! That’s the key. You get into your teens, now they can’t hold you back. You jump to the next number, or even a few ahead. “How old are you?” “I’m gonna be 16!” You could be 13, but hey, you’re gonna be 16! And then the greatest day of your life . . . You become 21. Even the words sound like a ceremony. YOU BECOME 21. YESSSS!!! But then you turn 30. Oooohh, what happened there? Makes you sound like bad milk! He TURNED; we had to throw him out. There’s no fun now, you’re just a sour-dumpling. What’s wrong? What’s changed? You BECOME 21, you TURN 30, then you’re PUSHING 40. Whoa! Put on the brakes, it’s all slipping away. Before you know it, you REACH 50. And your dreams are gone. But wait!!! You MAKE it to 60. You didn’t think you would! So you BECOME 21, TURN 30, PUSH 40, REACH 50 and MAKE it to 60. You’ve built up so much speed that you HIT 70! After that it’s a day-by-day thing; you HIT Wednesday! You get into your 80’s and every day is a complete cycle; you HIT lunch; you TURN 4:30; you REACH bedtime. And it doesn’t end there. Into the 90’s, you start going backwards; “I Was JUST 92.” Then a strange thing happens. If you make it over 100, you become a little kid again. “I’m 100 and a half!” So, may you all make it to a healthy 100 and a half!! 2.4 How to stay young – by George Carlin (forwarded by Zane Ibrahim) 1. Throw out non-essential numbers. This includes age, weight and height. Let the doctors worry about them. That is why you pay ‘them!’ 2.Keep only cheerful friends. The grouches pull you down. 3. Keep learning. Learn more about the computer, crafts, gardening, whatever. Never let the brain idle. “An idle mind is the devil’s workshop.” And the devil’s name is Alzheimer. 4. Enjoy the simple things. 5. Laugh often, long and loud. Laugh until you gasp for breath. 6. The tears happen. Endure, grieve, and move on. The only person, who is with you your entire life, is you. Be ALIVE while you are alive. 7. Surround yourself with whom and what you love, whether it’s family, pets, keepsakes, music, plants, hobbies, whatever. Your home is your refuge. 8. Cherish your health: If it is good, preserve it. If it is unstable, improve it. If it is beyond what you can improve, get help. 9. Don’t take guilt trips. Take a trip to the mall, to the next county; to a foreign country, but NOT to where the guilt is. 10. Tell the people you love that you love them, at every opportunity. Always remember … Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away! We all need to live life to its fullest each day!! Have a wonderful day!!!!!!!

September 11: DDU President Mr. Deelstra opens the new academic year. “A friend is a treasure, more precious than gold. For love shared is priceless, and never grows old.”


September 13: my first class in 2006-2007 2.5 This issue’s word: Dutch (adjective) – by Dr. Language (YourDictionary.com) Pronunciation: [dêch] Definition: Native to Holland; descended from the people of Holland or the lowland Germans. Usage: Today’s contributor wanted to know why so many negative terms in English contain ‘Dutch.’ To be ‘in Dutch’ is to be in trouble, a ‘Dutch uncle’ is one who admonishes harshly, ‘Dutch comfort’ is schadenfreude, the comfort of knowing someone else is less fortunate than you, ‘Dutch reckoning’ is a bill with no particulars, a ‘Dutch treat’ isn’t a treat at all (you have to pay), and a ‘dutchman’ is any device for hiding a structural defect (except the ‘Flying Dutchman’, of course, the ill-fated ship of legend forced to round Cape Horn eternally as punishment for the blasphemy of its captain). Suggested Usage: Actually, very few of these opprobrious epithets are in current use because their origin is the rivalry between the English and Dutch for control of the slave trade in the 17th century. ‘Drunk as a Dutchman’ is being replaced by ‘generous as a Dutchman’ and the cute little Dutch boy on cans of the paint company by the same name (Dutch Boy), indicate that our negative attitude toward the Dutch has waned completely. Etymology: From the Germanic the noun theudo ‘people’ from teuto-. The suffixed form gave *teut-onos ‘they of the tribe’ borrowed by Latin as Teutoni ‘the Teutons’ thence back into the Germanic languages as ‘teutonic’. Today it is the word for ‘German’ in German (Deutsch) and our word for, well, Dutch. The Pennsylvania Dutch, however, are actually of German ancestry, from the Neckar Valley in Germany, but ‘Deutsch’ (or ‘Deitsch’ in early German) was misperceived by English-speakers as ‘dutch’. Latin totus ‘all, whole’, today ‘tutti’ in Italian, as in tutti-frutti (all fruits) ice cream, shares the same source. Moreover, Latvian and Lithuanian tauta ‘people’, Irish tuath ‘country folk’, they all come from the same root. 2.6 The Doors to Happiness – by Arlene Unger “When one door of happiness closes, another opens; but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one which has been opened to us.” (Hellen Keller) Crises and losses can become opportunities, but only when we change what we are doing and allow the change to help us grow in some way. We are never too old to change and grow. This magical part of life is available to us throughout our lifetime. It is up to each of us to take advantage of the learning that comes with every crisis, so that more doors continue to open around us. 2.7 In Case of Emergency: ICE – forwarded by Secil Karaman Recently, the concept of ‘ICE’ is catching up quickly. It is simple, yet an important method of contact during emergency situations. As cell phones are carried by majority of the population, all you need to do is store the number of a contact person or persons who should be contacted at during emergency as ‘ICE’ (meaning In Case of Emergency). The idea was thought up by a paramedic who found that when they went to the scenes of accidents, there were always “A friend is a treasure, more precious than gold. For love shared is priceless, and never grows old.” 5

mobile phones with patients, but they didn't know which numbers to call. He therefore thought that it would be a good idea if there was a nationally recognized name for this purpose. Following a disaster in London, the East Anglican Ambulance Service has launched a national ‘In case of Emergency (ICE)’ campaign. In an emergency situation, Emergency Services personnel and hospital staff would then be able to quickly contact your next of kin, by simply dialing the number stored as ‘ICE’. Please forward this. It won’t take too many ‘forwards’ before everybody will know about this. It really could save your life, or put a loved one’s mind at rest. For more than one contact name simply enter ICE1, ICE2 and ICE3 etc.

3. About being a happy person – by Paul Scholey
Hello everybody. It has been perhaps a long time since you have heard from me. I’d like to share something with you that is important. What I notice as I grow older is that many people find it difficult to be true to themselves. People often try to BE someone else than they really are. They DO what they THINK other people expect them to do. They have this enormous list of things in their heads that they MUST DO before they can be satisfied. For example, “If I become director of the company, I will be satisfied.” Or, “If I marry that girl, (Miss Asia) then I will be happy”. A problem arises. What happens if you don’t become president of the company? What happens if you marry the nice girl next door? Will this make you unhappy? A lot of things we ‘want’ come from outside. For example, a father may say, “Son, I expect you to be president of the company. Then I will be proud of you.” Or your girlfriends may say, “That man you are dating is really nice. the problem is that he is not good looking enough! Look at who I am dating! He is really handsome. Poor you!” So what do you think? Will satisfying the desires of your parents or your friends make you really happy? Of course, it can be a good thing to want to satisfy your parents and your friends. When you love your parents, or your girlfriend, or your friends, well, you want them to be happy, right? And the choices you make can make them happy or sad. Right? Yet, YOU have a real responsibility to BE true to who you most deeply are. In fact, you can only make someone happy if you ARE who you are. If you are pretending to be someone else, you can’t really make them happy. Don’t you think so? To conclude, allow me to express my hopes for you. I hope that your experience at DDU has helped you to discover your talents and your qualities. I hope that you are true to your talents and qualities. I hope that you are building up good relationships, in which you show who you are. I hope that you are being true to your hearts. I hope that this little article finds you happy in your lives. I think fondly of you and of the time we spent together in Deventer. Your old English teacher, Paul Wilfrid Scholey

4. Meet Mai Van – interviewed by Loek Hopstaken
Tran Thi Mai Van graduated from DDU as a Master of Business Administration in July 2004. She also received the Student of the Year Award. She is married to Nguyen Ngoc Linh; they studied at DDU together. Van, please introduce yourself. Hallo, my name is Van. I’m Vietnamese. I have studied 1,5 years in The Neitherlands. I married in December 2005 to Linh, my close friend from university time.

“A friend is a treasure, more precious than gold. For love shared is priceless, and never grows old.”


You have a very interesting job. Can you tell us about it? I’m now working as an officer in the International Cooperation Dept. of The Electricity of Vietnam (EVN), a large state-owned enterprise, operating in the entire country, specializing in the electricity business (including stages such as electricity research, survey, transmission, distribution, production of electric equipment and spare parts, export and import) and a number of other areas of production and services related to the electricity industry. EVN is responsible for investments to develop the electricity industry, to organize production and consumption of electricity, and in this way satisfying the need for electricity, for both production and living. In general, you can image my department as a bridge between EVN and foreign partners. In particular I work as a project coordinator, interpreter for the management team, and I co-chair some workshops. I have opportunities to meet many people from many countries, to travel and open my mind, to be creative and get more experience when doing this job. But considering the fact that we are not well paid, it’s not too interesting. From your personal point of view, how would you describe the ‘added value’ for an Asian student to study abroad? In other words, what have been the advantages sofar? I think more or less the study abroad benefits to Asian student. It’s an exciting and challenging way to broaden your mind and enrich your knowledge. From my personal point of view, Asians become more self-confident, increase their self-awareness, bwecome more mature and flexible, and gain a greater understanding of the world. Moreover, with the meeting of many cultures, Asian students also have chance to increase their interest in other cultures and languages, obtain knowledge about economy, history, and geography of a foreign country, and have opportunities to travel. Van, the past two years you have been observing the rapid developments in Vietnam. Is there anything that wories you, and if yes, what should be done about it? Vietnam is on the way of accessing the World Trade Organization (WTO). What I worry about is the picture of Vietnamese economy in after access to WTO. It will be in grey if companies are not strong enough to successfully compete with foreign firms. Of course I do hope to see a very positive and bright picture. Higher and adequate salary could be used to fight corruption, cause more motivation and responsibility, and reduce the brain-drain which only strengthens foreign companies. Last year, Vietnamese students introduced us to their culture, or better: multitude of cultures. Despite the wide variety in different cultures, Vietnam is one nation, with a strong national identity. Now, many European countries, including The Netherlands, experience social problems relating to the ‘melting pot of cultures’. Suppose you are a PR consultant to my country, and I ask you for advice in this matter, what would you recommend? With the globalization, sooner or later, not only Europe but the whole world will become borderless, at least in meaning of economy. Integration is indispensable. Integrating but not dissolving in each other. Each culture, even the smallest and most simple ones, has its own specific characteristics. They deserve to be respected. Events to honour, exchange the fine and particular features of different cultures are needed. What is your dearest memory about your time in The Netherlands? The dearest memory about my time in The Netherlands was a trip to an island named Terschelling. At that time I travelled with my classmates Nancy, Ben, Edison, Ronald, and Linh. We spent 5 days there to relax, enjoy seafood, fresh air and very peaceful sites, outdoor activities and share life with each other. I also realized a comprehensive development in Holland, even in an island, the infrastructure, outlets system, quality and pricing there are the same as in big and central cities. Do you recall an event at DDU, in or out of class, that made a lasting impression on you? A true ‘moment of learning’? Those were the times when we did the practical assignments at Nefit and Ovimex. Managers from small companies like Ovimex to big ones like Nefit, all provided useful and valuable knowledge. “A friend is a treasure, more precious than gold. For love shared is priceless, and never grows old.”


Our network is slowly growing. Is there anything we could do, or should do to make sure it will not only survive, but develop into a real asset to alumni and alumnae? Give readers chances to raise their voices by encouraging them to write, discuss and introduce this network to their friends. Do you have any advice to those who just returned, or will return soon? Just take it easy! Thank you, dear Van!

July 2004: Mai Van MBA Student of the Year with President DDU; and August 2004 with fiancé Linh and friends Nancy and Ben in the Amsterdam Vondelpark

5. Many children have the potential of developing genius – by Martin Zuurhout
One of my former MBA students is Robert van Harten, managing director of Mira International in the Netherlands. His company imports several non food products from India, like for instance incense and tapestries ( http://www.wierook.nl/over_ons.html ; unfortunately this website is only in Dutch, but worthwhile looking at the different pages). Robert informed me that he is also sponsoring a successful educational institute in India, which practices a certain Dr. Glenn Doman’s teaching method. Robert: “Science tells us that we are only using a small percentage of our brain. Glen Doman’s method activates and awakens the brain at an early age and stimulates its growth to fullest genetic capacity. What is it, that really distinguishes our life from that of (other) animals? We eat, drink, sleep like they do. We live, like many of those, in social groups, in a collectivity, which we call society. But it is our mind, our mental power, that distinguishes us. We are the first conscious beings. Unfortunately most of our brain lies asleep, undeveloped and unutilized. Still the real difference between human and animal is, that we can use our minds to invent products to make our lives more comfortable; that we can use our minds to organize acts in life to build productive systems, structures, organizations and institutions. But when we examine this matter more closely, we should realize that all this comes down to the individual, using his/her partly awakened mind to explore the immense possibilities, that are open to it, and choosing to benefit from a few of the opportunities it discovers. It is the mind that sees, and the individual who chooses. We can say that, when the mind awakens, it becomes open to the freedom of choice. Animals do not have this and therefore we can call it the human choice”. Robert told me that he has studied Dr Glenn Doman’s books from the Institutes for the Achievement of Human Potential. Doman’s rationale “A friend is a treasure, more precious than gold. For love shared is priceless, and never grows old.”


of learning comes from the theory that the mental growth of a child is directly related to the physical growth of the child. The physical growth is seen through creeping, crawling, sitting, standing and ultimately walking straight and without help. Each of these milestones is an external and explicit growth of a child implying the growth of the brain. Growth of brain in turn implies neurological growth. Good hearing, sight, touch, taste, smell and breathing, which are the hallmarks of a good learner, are slowly finessed in the first five to seven years of a child’s life. How does a child learn? By using its senses and having the brain translate it to him or her. An example: every 2- years old child knows how to read “Pepsi”. How? Because it has had at least 5 pleasures at one go. It heard its parents say Pepsi [hearing], it was given something cold [touch], that fizzed in its mouth [taste], that looked quite dark [sight], and that smelled like nothing in particular. Now, it is hardly a surprise that this child can ‘read’ the word anywhere. By stimulating all its senses at the same time, the parents have successfully helped their child to learn a word on its own. Doman builds on this; he says, that the child has demonstrated amply that it is capable of learning to read by itself. If we could stimulate at least two of the child’s senses simultaneously, surely she/he could learn to read well at an early stage. The two most important senses, used for reading, are the eyes and the ears. Yet these sense organs are not the teachers themselves, for the eyes see, but do not understand, while the brain does not see, but understands. The ears hear, but do not understand, and, likewise, the brain does not hear, but understands. It is the brain, that performs the important job of putting together what the eye has seen and what the ear has heard. It combines these information streams and comes up with a single idea. Reading, therefore, becomes a combined skill of the eye, ear and the brain and reading is said to be perfect when these three work synchronously. To enable a child to polish up its skills at using its senses, Doman developed and systematized the use of flash cards. The cards show words in big letters, which a baby can see clearly and they are flashed at the child. As the card is flashed, the mother calls out the word. Thus a double stimulation of seeing and hearing enables a child to read. After having studied this method, Robert believes that children can learn at least twice as fast as they normally do in traditional schools; and here they don’t get homework, overloads or strain of any type. Learning can be fun for the kids and will be a way for parents to relate to them positively. The reason why Robert is sponsoring the Primrose School is his dedication to the idea, that learning is a process of adventure and joy, because children “learn what they live”… If children live with criticism, they learn to condemn. If children live with hostility, they learn to fight. If children live with fear, they learn to be apprehensive. If children live with pity, they learn to feel sorry for themselves. If children live with ridicule, they learn to be shy. If children live with jealousy, they learn what envy is. If children live with shame, they learn to feel guilty. But: If children live with tolerance, they learn to be patient. If children live with encouragement, they learn to be confident. If children live with praise, they learn to appreciate. If children live with acceptance, they learn to find love in the world. If children live with negotiation, they learn to have a goal. If children live with sharing, they learn to be generous. If children live with honesty and fairness, they learn what truth and justice are. If children live with security, they learn to have faith in their self. If children live with serenity, they learn to have peace of mind. If you want to know more about this new school, see the website www.primroseschool.org.

ai(4) Love

Warm regards, Martin J.C. Zuurhout ( www.martindelta.nl and info@waarden.info )
“A friend is a treasure, more precious than gold. For love shared is priceless, and never grows old.”


6. What does it look like? – by Xiao Yezheng (Johnson)
A group of artists designed the mascots for the Beijing Olympic Game in 2008, as every Chinese inhabitant knows, called Friendlies (in Chinese character it means children of beatitude). In fact, the Friendlies are quintuplets: ‘Beibei’: a little blue fish which symbolizes the sea; ‘Jingjing’: a little black panda which symbolizes the forests; ‘Huanhuan’: a little red torch which symbolizes the Olympic fire; ‘Yingying’: a little yellow Himalayas antelope which symbolizes the earth, and ‘Nini’: a little green swallow which symbolizes the sky. The five colors together form the logo of the Olympic rings, and the name of them together ‘Bei Jing Huan Ying Ni’. In Chinese characters this means: Beijing welcomes you.

It is said that in this day and age most Chinese people are most fascinated by the little green Friendly: Nini. Not only because of its natural peaceful color, but also of its modeling and its image. Nini’s modeling comes from the traditional kites of Beijing swallow, a handicraft that has been around for hundreds of years. It’s image, the little swallow, in Chinese character is ‘Yan’. The inhabitants in Beijing know that is also the name of ancient Beijing over a thousand years ago. Yet this is not all. Recently some people discovered something interesting. If you observe a Nini from a different angle, you will find that the little swallow turns out to be a lovely green turtle! The little swallow Nini is turning out to be a …

“A friend is a treasure, more precious than gold. For love shared is priceless, and never grows old.”


7. The What is Wisdom??? Intern Program 2006-2007

Detail of a 16th century painting Last August, when I had no idea how busy September would be, I thought up a program to involve our network in making this newsletter. The idea is to write four articles for four editions, add illustrations, while being coached in the process. Many responded to my request, yet, we made a bit of a slow start. We have contributions from Joe, Eew, Anna, Johnson and Tung (Fire)’s wife, Lan. This newsletter contains the first few products of this program; I hope many will follow.

8. Tips to become a good manager - by Le Thu Lan
It might sound strange to many that management tips are written by an ordinary employee. But have you ever thought that looking at the issue of management from employees’ viewpoints somehow would help? Recently I have quit my job, and changed to a very similar one in another organization due to a management issue in the old one. I have nothing to complain about my job, but many about the management scheme. That’s how the idea of writing about management tips came to me. What I share with you in this article is also what I expect to see in my managers (either the previous, or the present, or the future ones). Give guidance, not instructions to people If you assign duties to your employees, just tell them what you want, not how to do it. People tend to feel more defensive when you try to instruct them how to fulfill their assignment. They may even think that they are underestimated. This ultimately will constrain their initiative, innovation and ownership attitude. No one benefits in such game. Give your people the responsibility for doing their job, and then leave them alone to do it! “A friend is a treasure, more precious than gold. For love shared is priceless, and never grows old.”


Don’t do everything. As a manager, you’d rather plan, organize and control than do. Bear in mind that you were promoted because of your management ability. Avoid becoming a do-it-all leader. You are considered a successful manager when your team/business/organization can run smoothly in your absence for more than one week. If not, you need to sit down and take time to reconsider your leadership skills. Understand your limitations Good managers don’t have to know-it-all. So, don’t try to pretend that you’re more knowledgeable about a subject than your subordinates while in fact they may very well know more than you. Seize any chance to increase your knowledge. You can be the boss, but that doesn’t mean that you cannot let your people teach you a thing. Each of your people has his/her own strength and your job is to gather these strengths. “I not only use all the brains I have, but all I can borrow”, said Woodrow Wilson, the twenty-eighth President of the United States (1913-1921). You don’t have to know how to do everything. However, you need to know enough to distinguish productive from unproductive actions. Get your people involved Actively listen to your employees and give them the opportunity to show their point of view. Put your ego aside and you may find something helpful. People need a leader rather than a dictator. So, learn how to lead your people to unleash their full potential. You are still the person who makes the final decision. Their contribution may be less helpful this time. But by getting them involved in the decision loop, at least you let them know you respect their input. Next time they may help more effectively. Allow for mistakes It’s impossible to find an employee who never makes any mistake. It’s wiser to allow for mistakes. Instead of making sharp criticism, offer them assistance to bring about improvement. And remember to do all these in a private meeting. Do not make your employee lose her or his face in public. And as a last word, bear in mind that your job is to create a world where people want to belong.

9. Are you a Giver or a Taker? – by Loek Hopstaken
“Our greatest joy and satisfaction comes from the act of giving.” Leo Buscaglia The best and worst marriages Balance is what makes relationships tick: communication is a game of giving and receiving, and then giving something of more or less equal value in return. When the balance goes out, and stays out, this marks the end of the relationship, whether it’s business or private. In business this process usually goes very fast. But even the best of friendships die as a result, although it may take a little longer. The best marriages are Giver-Giver marriages. The worst, Taker-Taker marriages: it’s a field of conflict. And how about Giver-Taker marriages? Sometimes they work, sometimes they don’t. It all depends on the degree the giver can take, and the taker can give. Are you still with me? No? Let’s investigate. Selfless: Givers When considering friendship, and who I call ‘my friends’, I recently made a rather shocking discovery. One of the kind that you may say: “Oh, really? Of course it is like that. I knew that already.” Great. Yet, I checked what happens to me when I select my friends, and, what’s more important, who remain my friends. It’s not only an emotional match. Subconsciously I more and more seem to select people with a giving nature: those who return my communication, those who have a sharing attitude. Warm people, who appreciate receiving and show their appreciation. People who give, not because they want something from you, but selflessly, just to make you happy, or at least to make you feel comfortable. People who find helping others normal, just because they … care. People who still believe there is some goodness in other people. Sensitive people, these Givers. I hear you think: yes, but you can’t give 100% of the time? No, of course not. It should be around the 50%. The other 50% is given to the Giver. Balance, right? Real givers usually give to give, not to get. Givers are often laughed at, ridiculed, scorned, misused, sometimes even molested, by other people. Look at young children who have a social attitude: they get nagged and teased by the bullies: the ones that see life as a grabwhat-you-want situation, and deal with life with an everyone-for-him/herself attitude. Selfish: Takers Now, there are people who tell me: “The whole purpose of giving is getting something in return, right?” People who are nice to you because they need something you have, or can do. Who only give to get. When you don’t have anything they want or need, or no longer in a position to make a difference to them, they waste you as being useless. People who turn their heads when they see suffering, and deny help the moment when it’s needed most, saying “It’s your own fault, “A friend is a treasure, more precious than gold. For love shared is priceless, and never grows old.”


you stupid.” Why would they lend a hand? There is nothing in it for them, so why help? I hear you think: yes, but a Taker needs a Giver to satisfy his needs? You are right. And that’s where the problem of Givers and Takers starts … and ends. Givers become Takers, Takers don’t become Givers Now, don’t mistake me: I’m not saying givers are ‘good’, and takers are ‘bad’. I only say that I personally prefer the company of Givers. When you have a giving nature, and giving too much of yourself to friends or lovers, or worse, you have had some cruel experiences with a really bad Taker, there will be a moment you become very, very tired. You may decide to become a Taker, to ‘get even’. In other words, restore some balance in your life. You may also get sad, even depressed. I’ve seen some of my early friends turning from Givers into Takers. Others turned into grumpy old men. Guess what happened in their lives. I don’t want to know the details. How about the lives of Takers? Only rarely do Takers become Givers, but even then I have my doubts. There are examples of some fabulously rich people, like Bill Gates, who have become big-time Givers. Perhaps Bill has become a real Giver. But I’d like to work and communicate with him for awhile to find out if he’s a genuine Giver. Often Takers give as a PR act, to improve or repair their reputation. And when you’re so wealthy as Gates is, it’s surely easy to give … money. Givers don’t necessarily give money. They give attention, a listening ear, provide solace, give understanding, offer a shoulder to cry on, put a gentle arm around you when you really need one. Recognizing Givers and Takers People are very good at making simple things complicated. You’ll meet persons who are real Givers where work is concerned, both paid and voluntary, but who are demanding Takers at home or in social life: they don’t have friends. It’s as if they compensate their giving to work by taking from family; friends usually stay out of sight. Compulsive Givers excepted, of course. These people can only give-give-give. Perhaps they are trying to please everyone, in a constant attempt to avoid disaster, like physical harm, or loneliness. Compulsive Takers long for power, because they think this can satisfy their constant hunger for more: more goods, money, or people. Have you ever felt you suffered from ‘ups & downs’? Nearly everyone has. Givers just love to give when they are ‘up’, and they try to hide when they are ‘down’. Takers happily take what they can when they are ‘up’, and they may share something with you if you provide good company and say ‘yes’ to whatever they say. But when they are ‘down’, they simply DEMAND your attention, and accuse you of terrible things if you don’t listen to their complaints. And whatever you do to help, it will never be enough. Givers often show true care for Mother Earth, and like making things more beautiful, more attractive. Takers are only willing to participate when they see some personal advantage in this. Fact is, that Takers seem to survive well – often at the cost of Givers. Are you Giver or a Taker? Most readers will recognize a bit of both. Again, it’s all a matter of balance. The Givers I mention get in trouble when they overdo it. Which means: they don’t insist on receiving something in return. They give their soul away, if they don’t watch out. Takers who want to build a better image should force themselves to give. These past years I have seen Givers becoming Takers, but never Takers succeeding in becoming Givers. But most important: time will tell, and the moment of truth is simply if your friend, or lover, is there to help you in times when you need help. And then helps to help you. Not helps, and expects you to pay a price some day … And cultures? Are there ‘Giver-cultures’ and ‘Taker-cultures’? In many cultures, in particular the Asian ones, I detect forms of hospitality that make me as a Dutchman feel embarrassed. Giving is seen as civilized behavior, even if the Giver herself/himself has almost nothing. But hospitality is found everywhere. When we visited our friends in New York, they gave up their own bedroom and let us use their car without a second thought. I haven’t studied this, but I can imagine that each culture’s history also has its Takers – conquerors. And how about slavery? Isn’t there a Taker at work? Forcing others to give their lives? Something to look into. This article is not based on scientific research. It’s my personal observation. So don’t take it too seriously. Yet, sometimes, when I see another Giver being maltreated by a Taker, I think: “Givers of the world, unite!” “If you want to be happy for an hour, take a nap; for a day, go fishing; for a month, get married; for a year, inherit a fortune; and for a lifetime, help another person.” Chinese wisdom

10. Summer trip to Andalucía. - By Eew Sawaluck Suwannawong
I cannot wait to tell you my whole story about my summer trip to Andalucía in Spain, but 500 words won’t be enough. Never mind! I will only pick some parts of my experience then. “A friend is a treasure, more precious than gold. For love shared is priceless, and never grows old.”


In Madrid. My trip in Spain began in Madrid. We (my boyfriend Wanne and I) flew away from home, from stress, from fellow friends, from jobs and from studies. As a student, the first thing you have to look at is the budget. Our choice was to end up at youth hostels, “the smart choice for young people”, as much as possible. We traveled with heavy bags of about 10-15 kilo, because we planned to go camping. Being in Spain, you become Mr. and Miss Bottle: everywhere you go you should have a bottle of water with you, because it is hot, hotter, and hottest. The first place that we visited was weekend markets. The first moment we entered the area, I was a bit scared when I saw five black men running to me at top speed, but they didn’t harm me, because they went around me. Was it an experience of being super star for a second? It seemed like they ran to me, because they needed my signature. But no, instead they were running from policemen, who were chasing them, because those African people were selling illegal products on streets. It was almost impossible for the police to get them, because they operated as a gang. When the policemen would sneak up to them, they ran away, leaving their products on the spot. It was very funny to see this catand-mouse game and I believe this cycle will never end in this country. Later on, we ate many things for the first time in Spain like Jamón Serrano and Orchata, paella (fried rice with all kinds of things).We stayed in Madrid for two nights then we took the train to Granada. In Granada, of course the most wonderful place that you should not miss is the marvelous Alhambra. I guarantee that you will never be disappointed if you go on an early visit. When you visit the Alhambra, one place that you should go to is the Palacios Nazaríez. There is a timeslot period in which you have to enter on time. When arriving too late, even if you were waiting in the long line, you won’t able to go in. What is inexperience? We did not know that the timeslot was not for the main entrance but for the second entrance to the Palacios Nazaríez. When we found out, we had only 20 minutes left, but - when looking at the long line - “oh, my Buddha!” told us that we would never make it on time. After 15 minutes, and no movements, Wanne said to me that he saw a Chinese-looking girl that was standing near the entrance. Then Wanne got the idea: why don’t you ask her to go together. It took me few minutes to think and dare to make my decision. No other people would ask, of course, because they don’t look Asian. Time was running out and the big moment had come: Eew with her big smile approached the girl, pretending to be a good friend of her. Wanne. The whole long line was looking at me, but I pretended to shout to Wanne, that I found our friend, who was standing over there. Fortunately our timing was perfect; we were the last 3 of our timeslot to enter the gates of the spectacular Moorish palace. It made the experience even more intensive and enjoyable. The girl was a nice, shy Korean girl, that had obviously not have any DDU training. I shocked her a little bit by my action, but we took lovely photos of her to make it up to her. Feeling guilty? Not really, being Asian is beneficial in a case like this. To Malaga, we could not manage to book any hostel within the range of our budget, two days in advance. Lucky for us, that my dear friend Valentine (also DDU graduate and living in that area) could manage to find us a pension. Many of the local Malagan pensions are run by old people, creating a nice /old atmosphere for low prices. I met Valentine with his girlfriend Sveta. They are really sweet to each other and seemed to be much in love. It was a good and warm feeling to meet my friend again, after not seeing each other for a long time. He is a big man now and working on his future, and “A friend is a treasure, more precious than gold. For love shared is priceless, and never grows old.”


hopes to get the Spanish citizenship within 2 years. Let us wish all the best to him and his girlfriend. We walked to Picasso’s house and toured around the city, had lovely sea food and potato dinners and swam in the sea of Malaga. We had a great time together, but of course there was time to say good-bye again. I hated it, but I had to realize that we all have our own path. Valentine feels more home and comfortable in Malaga than in the Netherlands, and I don’t blame him, because Malaga reminds of Long Beach, California. In Sevilla, we discovered that traveling by bus is much cheaper than going by train. Sevilla was extremely hot, hotels are expensive, and water was outrageously expensive, but never mind. There is a huge park in the middle city of Sevilla with a big monument, which we could not find easily, because the park was just too big. Of course: visiting a real Flamenco show was one of our goals. Five years ago, Wanne had a very great experience watching real Flamenco, which inspired him later to study Flamenco. It is in a very secret place, in an alley, which is very difficult to find. Right now, it turns out to be a Flamenco-tourist bar, where the flamenco is scheduled and the prices for drinks are extreme. Wanne said there was no sign of the original Flamenco, like he experienced five years ago. What a great disappointment!!! But at least, on our way back to the hotel, we enjoyed the beauty of the Moorish quarter at night. We were speechless! Those 3 days in Sevilla, we had breakfast at the same place every morning. Because it was good and for a reasonable price. We always ordered the same thing to eat with exactly the same drink. Well, because cheating happened to us a lot in this city, this place could not be any different. The first two breakfasts, we paid the same price, but on the last morning, they asked for a double price, which we didn’t like, of course and we still don’t understand why they asked more than the 2 times before. We even got less than what we usually got. When we asked them for explanation, all the waiters started shouting in Spanish. Well, how rude people, but yes, what do you expect from tourists, not speaking much Spanish. The whole day people tried to cheat on us in various situations, but they didn’t succeed anymore. To Cordoba. Cordoba was our last city, before our return to the wet Lowlands. Cordoba is a very small city with great shopping prices for, especially for shoes. We carried many pairs of those back home. Our sightseeing was mainly oriented in and around the Mezquita, a big Mosque rebuilt to be a Cathedral. It was a wonderful place to be and it’s truly on of the most exciting places, one should ever go to. On a warm Cordoban night we were lucky to have a chance to see one of the best flamenco concerts of the year, surrounded by the real Spanish flamenco aficionados. We have been shouting the whole night “Olé” at the end of every song. This marvelous event was organized in a Medieval Palace with a wonderful Moorish garden. It did not start before 11 p.m. and lasted 4 hours with all famous artists “A friend is a treasure, more precious than gold. For love shared is priceless, and never grows old.”


of the year. The whole event was free and part of the “Year of Flamenco”, organized by the municipality of Cordoba. Eventually the day arrived to go back to the Netherlands. We had a nice 3 weeks with good food and loud Spanish natives. It was a fun experience and a reminder, that home is not such a bad place…

11. Contribution of travel to cultural change – Zafer Öter (Grad.Ass., Dokuz Eylül Univ., İzmir, Turkey)
We may be aware or not, but societies change forever including their cultural aspects. Culture is a concept that embraces all human activities and human productions throughout history. Culture is an unfinished and changeable organism. As ancient Ionian philosopher of Ephesus stated “Everything changes, and one can not swim twice exactly at the same river.” However, thanks to repetitions and the rules governing natural life we can understand the developmental phases of natural changes. Social life is not so. What all human beings have done throughout history and what they are doing today results in world culture or universal culture. Observation of the change is a difficult job. If we had recorded the whole life of the change subject, we would better understand the change process but who can stop the flowing time in real life?. Social life of human beings is a complex structure. Ideally human beings have freedom of thinking and thus they are capable of creating different acts than other creatures or their ancestors. This is mostly thanks to their ability of free thinking and creativity, imagination, search of the good, the beautiful. Animals and other living organisms do not worry about the whole world, the whole population, the future, the past. But human beings do. That’s why human beings are not generally comfortable in their minds. Human being want the total information and in the best way. There is an a priori belief in human beings that the things might be better. So we ask ourselves; why insisting the way ancestors lived? Why not change? There should always be a better way of it. But how do we decide about in what way we should change? If you only have a hammer you probably know hitting with it, but nothing more. If you have a knife with the hammer you can start crafting some tools, and change the life for better or for worse. That’s the same for ideas and culture. If you have few ideas, you will have a simplistic culture. Therefore, the aim should be to multiply the ideas and cultural expressions to develop new social tools. There are several ways to collect new ideas find different approaches including travel. Travel offers great opportunities for culture seekers, innovation seekers, and authenticity seekers. Now comes the question of how should we travel so that we could discover new cultures, ideas and so on. The first imperative is being open-minded, that means a hygienic mind, free of prejudices, respectful to other’s values. Some people arrives this state without physical travel (spatial displacement), because they travel psychologically. Both physical and psychological travels should be continuous activities of each contemporary individual for better understanding of different cultures. These travels require some investment, but thanks to Internet and increasing mobility infrastructure there seems better conditions than our ancestors. The triggering motivation is critical before these travels. One should travel in the role of a student, not a teacher. Otherwise, the teacher role limits the boundaries of learning and discovering. Because learning is an infinite task of us.

12. Wise Quotes & Crackers from around the planet
Forwarded by Nguyen Nhat Anh (Oliver): “This poem was nominated for the best poem of 2005, written by an African child: When I born, I black. When I grow up, I black. When I go in sun, I black. When I scared, I black. When I sick, I black. & when I die, I still back. & you white people. When u born, u pink. When u grow up, u white. When u go in sun, u red. When u cold, u blue. When u scared, u yellow. When u sick, u green & when u die, u gray… & u calling me colored??” “A friend is a treasure, more precious than gold. For love shared is priceless, and never grows old.” 16

“When we lose the right to be different, we lose the privilege to be free.” Charles Evans Hughes (1862-1948; American Chief Justice) “Enthusiasm finds the opportunities, and energy makes the most of them.” Henry Hoskins “There is no limit to what can be accomplished if it doesn’t matter who gets the credit.” Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882, American poet, essayist) “The trouble is, if you don’t risk anything, you risk even more.” Erica Jong (b. 1941; American author, who wrote ‘Fear of Flying’) “Expect the best, plan for the worst, and prepare to be surprised.” Dennis Waitley “The secret of success in life is for a man to be ready for his opportunity when it comes.” Benjamin Disraeli (1804-1881; British Statesman) “If you have made mistakes, even serious ones, there is always another chance for you. What we call failure is not the falling down but the staying down.” Mary Pickford (1892-1979; American actress of the silent movie era) “Don’t compromise yourself. You are all you’ve got.” Janis Joplin (1943-1970; American singer) “To be uncertain is to be uncomfortable, but to be certain is to be ridiculous.” Chinese proverb “The superior man understands what is right; the inferior man understands what will sell.” “I am not concerned that I am not known, I seek to be worthy to be known.” Confucius (BC 551-479, Chinese ethical teacher, philosopher; see picture) “He who gains a victory over other men is strong; but he who gains a victory over himself is all powerful. Lao-Tzu (BC 600-?, Chinese philosopher, founder of Taoism / Daoism)

13. What we can learn from dogs – by Cheri Baumann (www.myprivatecoach.com)
Now that September is over and children are back in school, I have been thinking about all of the great teachers I have had in my life. I would not be the person I am today if it were not for the many wonderful people who have touched my life, and have taught me things that range from the very simple to the incredibly profound. Great teachers also come in the ‘four-legged’ variety. When it comes to learning how to love yourself or others, there is a lot to be learned from dogs. Check out this great list: ~ When loved ones come home, always run to greet them. ~ Never pass up the opportunity to go for a joyride. ~ Let the experience of fresh air and wind in your face be pure ecstasy. ~ When it's in your best interest, practice obedience. ~ Let others know when they've invaded your territory. ~ Take naps. ~ Stretch upon rising. ~ Run, romp, and play daily. ~ Thrive on attention and let people touch you. ~ Avoid biting when a simple growl will do. ~ On warm days, stop to lie on your back on the grass. ~ On hot days, drink lots of water and lie under a shady tree. “A friend is a treasure, more precious than gold. For love shared is priceless, and never grows old.”


~ When you're happy, dance around and wag your entire body. ~ No matter how often you're scolded, don't buy into the guilt thing or pout...run right back and make friends. ~ Delight in the simple joy of a good walk. ~ Eat with gusto and enthusiasm. Stop when you have had enough. ~ Be loyal. Never pretend to be something you're not. If what you want lies buried, dig until you find it. ~ When someone is having a bad day, be silent, sit close and nuzzle them gently. So, the next time you need to think about how to love yourself or others, ask yourself, "What would my dog do?" You're bound to get a very LOVING answer :)

14. In my hometown the sun is shining – by Liu Jian Tian (Joe)
Maybe just because I haven’t been home for so long. Yes miss it! Again and again. Since 2002 I have been here, for 4years and 6 months, and I went back to my home town only 3 times. I really miss my family and my hometown. The weather outside is cloudy here. Even though it’s summer time, it was only 10 degrees this morning. I know it is Dutch weather, and I have no real reason to complain. Now I have start to look for sunshine in my heart. Sure, that city is wonderful, but my hometown smells differently. Like Rome, despite the dominating presence of the ancient Rome, it doesn’t compare to my hometown. Sunshine of my hometown, that is what I am longing for. By the way, my hometown is called Wuxi. It is located in the river delta, close to Shanghai. Something I always have to explain, as everybody knows where Shanghai is. The photo was taken in the nature surrounding Wuxi. Here you won’t find office buildings, no constructions, even no road. I hope you enjoy them, and you are always welcomed to my hometown. When you visit Shanghai, take a trip to Wuxi. Then take a walk in its surroundings, smell the air, and feel the warmth of the sun.

View of Tai Lake from the Temple

“A friend is a treasure, more precious than gold. For love shared is priceless, and never grows old.”


15. Experience is never enough … by Tran Thi Huyen Nga (Anna)
When I was a little girl, I wished to be a lady who knows many things about adults their behavior in the various circumstances. It is very innocent to think that it would help me to solve the problem before it would arise. It was not my first wish when I was actually a growing-up lady. You could ask simply why and you would figure out many reasons for that, such as I had more things to wish than that or I thought that it was not necessary any more or even I would say that it could get me into a trouble, when I would know how to solve the problem. Athousands of reasons. If the life is simple as it would be, perhaps one of listed reason above could be true. The reason for not wishing to understand more about PEOPLE or INDIVIDUAL is that I had suffered a spiritual pain. And I can tell you that this pain was gnawing at my soul for a long time. One day, I was brave to take a look around me and I reckon that I LACK ONE THING!!! What is that???? Where can I find it? I don’t know. Nobody let me lend their hand for that time. I wanted to do something to change my feeling from negative to positive. After that, I could not move on better!!!!!!!!!! Then, I was walking on the beach, I started to relax. My mood improved better and better. Suddenly, I recognised that I need the ASPIRATION to save my life. In the twinkling of an eye, I decide what I really want to do in this life and for that moment there was a radiating power that is pervasive and burning up my WISH: I want to “LET IT GO”. It seems that my life has improved now and I always keep in my mind that “please let it go and move on to the next step” and for this stand, I strongly believe that “Experience is never enough….”, So please think wisely when you decide to have a wish to know more about things to improve the situation. Perhaps, it will be helpful if we wish that we do not know more…!!!!!!!!!!!

16. Accounting is not related to Love. - by Peter van Oosten
Every so often I go to church with my family and in last week’s service one of the lectures was taken from Paul’s first Letter to the Corinthians. Chapter 13, to be more precise. In Christian religious environment this is quite a famous part of the New Testament (新约, 신약, 新約聖書) and items from this almost 2000 years old address to the sinful population of Corinth (a cosmopolitan Greek city, south of Athens) are quite often used in nowadays wedding services. Why? Because Paul was telling about (true) Love, as the opposite of the very lustful behavior the Corinthians exposed those days, and he used quite illustrative examples and comparisons, to make his words come over the way he meant. Another reason for the fact, that this Corinthian letter in particular is so well-known, is that the content resembles the famous Song of Songs, from the Old Testament (written before Christ, BC). It is assumed that the wise King Solomon was the poet of those beautiful verses, describing love at a very high level. It’s not my intention, though, to sermon about religion, but what particularly struck me in Paul’s quoted words was this: “Love is patient and is kind; love doesn't envy. Love doesn't brag, is not proud, doesn't behave itself inappropriately, doesn't seek its own way, is not provoked, takes no account of evil; doesn't rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.” In another translation / explanation it says: “I will not want to be like other people so much that I get angry with them. I will not tell people how good I am. I will not think that I am better than other people. If I love, I will always be polite. I will think about what other people want. I will not think only about what I myself want. I will not get angry quickly. And I will not always be remembering the wrong things that other people have done to me. If I love, I will not be happy about bad things. But instead, I will be happy about things that are right and true.” Or (from another, more old-fashioned, translation): “Love knows neither envy nor jealousy. Love is not forward and self-assertive, nor boastful and conceited. She does not behave unbecomingly, nor seek to aggrandize herself, nor blaze out in passionate anger, nor brood over wrongs. She finds no pleasure in injustice done to others, but joyfully sides with the truth.” The modern Dutch version (which I translated back into English for this newsletter’s purpose) I heard in church was: “True love is not the bookkeeper of mistakes and faults”. I think I nodded with my head, when I heard the lecturer speak out these words. Yes! I not only recognized the “truth”, but I certainly realized how often and how easily I - and we all! - fall into this common trap…

17. Cultural notes
Do you like art??? Are you in The Netherlands? If so … … there are a few exhibitions you will enjoy this fall (the temporary ones last till January 7). “A friend is a treasure, more precious than gold. For love shared is priceless, and never grows old.”


‘The Temptation of Flora’ is now showing in Museum Het Prinsenhof, in Delft. The promo says: “(the exhibition is) dedicated to the theme of flowers, plants, and fruit. Allow yourself to be tempted by the lavish still lives depicting flowers by the 18th century painter Jan van Huysum.” Check www.prinsenhof-delft.nl. Or if you organize a small group, count me in and let’s go to see Flora’s Temptation in this nice historic town between The Hague and Rotterdam. The Rijksmuseum is in the middle of a thorough renovation and restoration. The building will be more amazing than ever. It will go on for a few more years. Meanwhile, parts of the Rijksmuseum collection are on display in museums around The Netherlands (and also, in Belgium and Germany). You may have seen the exhibition at Amsterdam Airport. Other cities that currently host Rijksmuseum treasures are Antwerpen (B), Apeldoorn, Assen, Den Haag, Dordrecht, Enschede, Kleef (G), Maastricht, Uden and Weesp. Check www.rijksmuseum.nl. In Rotterdam a remarkable museum opened its doors some years ago. It is entirely devoted to world cultures: the ‘Wereldmuseum’. This fall and winter there are several exhibitions. One is about the Dalai Lama, the religious leader of the Tibetans. It shows how a Dalai Lama is chosen, and his role in Tibetan society. Another is called ‘Urban Arts’, and shows a development in graffiti art. One of the main attractions of this museum is ‘De Schatkamers’: treasures from all over the world, and all cultures. Check www.wereldmuseum.nl. I saved the best for last: the Singer Museum in Laren (close to Amsterdam) exhibits a selection of paintings from the collection of the Mr. and Mrs. Singer. The title of this exhibition couldn’t be more appropriate: ‘Loving Art’. Check www.singerlaren.nl. When I return from Deventer to Amsterdam, I may give you a ride there. And join you.

Amstelveen, September 25: f.l.t.r.: Louis van Dijk, Frits Landesbergen, Nous’che, Stochelo and Nonnie Rosenberg Do you like guitar music??? And you are in the Netherlands? If so … … check http://www.rosenberg-trio.com for their current tour schedule. They perform with jazz pianist Louis van Dijk and vibraharp player Frits Landesbergen. I attended a ‘try out’ concert, and was impressed. To me Stochelo Rosenberg is the no. 1 gypsy guitarist in the world. His two family members Nonnie (bass) and Nous’che (rhythm guitar) are the best rhythm section I know. So if you like to be drowned in exciting acoustic guitar, piano and vibraharp music, go and see these guys.

My 1968 copy of ‘We’re Only In It For The Money’ – Frank Zappa & The Mothers of Invention

Eccentricity Early 1967 I was 15 and my girlfriend told everyone I was 16, I was getting a bit bored by yet another hit record by The Beatles or The Rolling Stones. When there was something unusual on the radio, I would turn up the volume and see if I’d like it or not. One afternoon I heard a few minutes from a band called “A friend is a treasure, more precious than gold. For love shared is priceless, and never grows old.”


‘The Mothers of Invention’. The leader was called Frank Zappa. Their music was, well, strange. ‘Who Are The Brain Police?’ is a title that appealed to this 15-year old boy discovering the world from his tiny room in this small provincial town. On a party one of the guests played a single by The Mothers. I must confess, I forgot all about my girlfriend, and from that moment on, I fell for Zappa’s music. It was both great music, exciting, eccentric, outrageous and brilliant. Irony and satire were all over the place, both in lyrics and music. In my home town, Haarlem, a place for the ‘new youth’ (many called them hippies) was opened: ‘The Electric Centre’. The attic was turned into a 1,001 Night kind of place, and here I would go to hear the latest trends in music. It had a great sound system, and the general rule was: shut your mouth, listen and enjoy (the music, and also, the nice food and drinks). Long before his albums were available, this was the place I heard Zappa many times. I saw the band perform twice, and this itself was an unforgettable experience. Zappa never had a set program. He decided on the spot what would be played, and used an elaborate set of hand and finger motions to communicate instructions to his musicians. This musical love affair lasted until 1971. By then Zappa turned from satire to sarcasm, from mild to bitter irony. The music became too serious as well. But these first years … it hasn’t stopped to amaze me. On http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frank_Zappa you can find more about this artist. In the picture he’s on the far left. The man on the far right, who apart from his dress looks quite normal, is Ian Underwood. He played alto-saxophone and piano, and was Zappa’s co-arranger. After a concert, my friends and I spent an hour talking with him in his dressing room. To find out that this member of one of the most notorious bands of the time was a warm, well-educated, ever-so-nice person, who enjoyed spending some quality time with his fans. Actually, I’m still dreaming of a 1,001 Night kind of place, with a great sound system, with a comfortable couch, and some delicious food and drinks close at hand. Where the rule is … right!


Arnhem, July 17: Lai Ye Chiang (Caroline), Zeng Qian (Tracy), Luo Man (Romana) & Liu Tian Jian (Joe)

Amstelveen, August 1: Rachael & Zhang Jingjia (Cherry); Shanghai, August 12: Zhao Li (Kobe), Dai Jiaying (Wing), Zhai Baoling (Squall), Jingya Zhang (Sabrina), Zhou Lincheng (Apple), Yu Gerui (Sky) & Yu Xiangyi (Jack)

“A friend is a treasure, more precious than gold. For love shared is priceless, and never grows old.”


Amsterdam, August 10: with Vo Ngoc Lien Huong (Jane), and August 18: with Shi Lei (Shelly)


Tung Nhu Dang (Fire) & his wife, Thu Le Lan in Hoi An

Guan Rui (Phebe) enjoying her seafood …

… with Zhang Jingjing (Edison)

And Peter with his girls camping & cycling around Tilburg.

“A friend is a treasure, more precious than gold. For love shared is priceless, and never grows old.”


Nguyen Thuy Duong (Tracy) in Paris

Valiantsin & Wanne (Eew’s boyfriend) frying on a Malaga beach


1. Mid September 05: Yan guides 3 Dutch boys in China. Note the guy in the back … 4. September 1, 06: Yan and her fiancé Corné in front of their house in Roosendaal

2. Looks of love

3. August 12, 06: Meng Ying (Christina) says farewell to Yan on Beijing Airport

“A friend is a treasure, more precious than gold. For love shared is priceless, and never grows old.”



Sorry guys, we’re all too late … Rose got married, and so did Deniz. She married René Kooij, whom many know as ‘the guy who runs the copy shop’. Girls will envy Rose and Deniz, seeing them as shining princesses in their angelic dresses. So, congratulations! We wish you all the happiness, Rose & Deniz!


September 25: Ngoc Tuan Linh Chu (Joey), Thi Hai Ha Nguyen (Jenny), Thi Thuy Lan Nguyen (Lan) & Van Oosten (Peter) on a well-known terrace close to DDU “A friend is a treasure, more precious than gold. For love shared is priceless, and never grows old.”


Apple and her apples…

19. Birthday news BIRTHDAYS OCTOBER Xiao Xiao Meng Valiantsin (Valentin) Yao Yao (Jim) Nguyen Ngoc Linh Yu Bei (Kelly) Jules Plevier Zhou Lincheng (Apple) Dai Jiaying (Wing) Wang Dongni (Gracie) Rajendra Raj Regmi Saurav Aryal Zhang Yingjia (Cherry) Lu Yao (Lydia) Yuan Ping (Christina) Ling Jing (Kate) Nguyen Nhat Anh (Oliver) Chen Yan (Morgan) Nguyen Vinh Long (James) Lin Danqin (Mariah/Fiona) E Xiaoman (Mandy) Liu Fan (Sarah) Mitra Bandu Poudel Yagya Bahadur Khadka Ren Zhe (Kevin) Peter Waite Song Yi (Harry) Surendra Gurung Kate Pravasud Jos Linnemann Ritesh Kharel - DECEMBER October 8 October 10 October 10 October 18 October 19 October 22 October 24 October 25 November 3 November 4 November 5 November 12 November 14 November 15 November 16 November 19 November 20 November 22 November 26 November 29 November 29 November 30 November 30 December 1 December 15 December 17 December 18 December 21 December 24 December 25

“A friend is a treasure, more precious than gold. For love shared is priceless, and never grows old.”


20. This issue’s lyric: Nature Boy These are the lyrics of one of my favorite songs - written by Eden Ahbez, discovered, sung and turned into an ‘evergreen’ by the late and great Nat King Cole. If you can’t find it on the internet, I can send it to you as an MP3.
There was a boy A very strange enchanted boy They say he wandered very far, very far Over land and sea A little shy and sad of eye But very wise was he And then one day A magic day he passed my way And while we spoke of many things Fools and kings This he said to me “The greatest thing you’ll ever learn Is just to love and be loved in return”

“A friend is a treasure, more precious than gold. For love shared is priceless, and never grows old.”


Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful