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Allez:NL makes practising Dutch in the capital fun

19:13 01/12/2019
From Flanders Today

More than 1,000 people took part in a day of sporting and cultural events to practise Dutch in Brussels this week.

The second edition of Allez:NL featured dozens of activities around the city, including rapping, learning to play the djembe, making radio and visiting exhibitions. The event was organised by Huis van Het Nederlands, which supports people learning Dutch by directing them to language classes, providing study advice and hosting conversation tables and other activities.

“It’s great to see such a high level of enthusiasm among the participants,” said Griet Rigole of Huis van Het Nederlands Brussel. “Some activities were fully booked in no time. People sometimes feel like practising their Dutch skills in a less formal setting, and at the same time they get to know the Dutch-speaking part of the city. Before today, some of them didn’t even know that you can also play sports, make music or engage in cultural activities in Dutch in Brussels.”

The event on 28 November was supported by 50 organisations in the city, with advice from Huis van het Nederlands on how to make the activities as accessible as possible to non-Dutch-speakers. Each organisation hosted at least one activity, including singing sessions at Ancienne Belgique, soup making, macramé workshops, indoor climbing, poetry slam and board games. In total, 1,150 people registered to take part.

“Dutch is very much alive in Brussels: a real success story,” said Flemish minister Benjamin Dalle, responsible for Brussels. “For many Brussels residents, a good command of Dutch is often a direct ticket to a suitable job. In recent years, Dutch has obtained a very central place in the capital. The Flemish government wants to further strengthen and promote it over the coming years.”

The Huis van Het Nederlands was established in 2004 to encourage inhabitants of Brussels to learn, practise and use Dutch and to support services, organisations and companies with questions about using Dutch in their operations. Every year, thousands of people living in Brussels use its services.

Written by Flanders Today