De Nederlandse Club brings the Dutch together in Jakarta - The Jakarta Post

Jakarta, posted: Sat, April 29 2017 | 01:36 am

De Nederlandse Club (DNC) is an active community in Jakarta that aims to bring Dutch people together to make them feel at home in a new city. Chairman Aston Goad said the club, which was incorporated in 2002, consisted of 450 to 500 members, with a rough division of members to cater to everyone in the club.“The rough division of members include single individuals, young professionals and families with children, and usually these families are those that have lived in Jakarta for at least about 10 years,” said Goad, who has been the head of the DNC for three years.DNC hosts three to four events a month, for which usually about 100 people attend, with their largest event being the Orange Gala held annually at either the end of April or beginning of May. “The set up for Orange Gala is basically dinner followed by some dancing and last year we had it at Café Batavia. Around 200 to 250 people attended,” he said. Lian Kaat, who is the club’s secretary and also manages the club’s social media accounts, said membership fees stood at Rp 1 million (US$75) per family and Rp 600,000 for individuals per year.Besides membership fees and entrance fees for some events, loyal sponsors of the club also contribute to 75 percent of funding.According to Goad, newcomers usually take about half a year to find their way around Jakarta and at least a year to finally call it home.
The club works to settle them in a lot easier despite being in a completely new setting.“This is my first posting outside of Holland and I believe that in general, it is difficult to adapt to a new environment, getting to know people and to form groups of friends,” he told The Jakarta Post recently.“To have such an active and huge club like the DNC really helps make people feel at home very fast. It is an opportunity to meet people and of course you do not only need to have Dutch friends here but it sure does helps to jump start your stay here.”
As for Kaat, she receives emails from families before they arrive in Jakarta. “I do not get a lot of questions but usually if there is a family coming to Jakarta they will ask if there are other families they can contact and I will provide them with emails of some families we have in DNC. “It is good to know that these families can interact better with that common foundation and it definitely helps them to associate better in a new country,” added Kaat, who has lived in Jakarta for four years. However, Goad and Kaat believe that the shared cultural history between Indonesia and the Netherlands provides some familiar insight for the Dutch people. “We can still get a lot of Indonesian food in the Netherlands such as nasi goreng, satay, peanut sauce and many others. They are an evolved form of Indonesian food but they were all brought from Indonesia so we are familiar with the food here.“More than that, the connection between Indonesian and Dutch citizens involves a lot of emotion,” said Goad.
As for the club’s future prospects, both Goad and Kaat aim to host more diverse activities as a way to be relevant to the whole community so that everyone in the club could enjoy the activities prepared.“The increasing number of members over the past two years is something that we are really proud of. Lian and I have been working together for two years and our goal is to increase the number even more by having various activities catered to everyone,” said Goad.“When we plan for the year, we focus on the member categories and I can safely say that this has definitely resulted in higher numbers of people attending events,” explained Goad. Non-members who speak little Dutch are also welcome to attend events. “The events we host are open to non-members as well. If someone is only here for a few months, it is too short of a time period to be an official member of the DNC, but he or she is always welcome to attend our events,” said Kaat.______________________________
The writer is an intern at The Jakarta Post.