My best friend Jackie is visiting from the Netherlands and she surprised me with a box of Dutch goodies.
One item that went straight to my Kitsch List is this little windmill figurine that she purchased from Xenos, a home improvement chain in the Netherlands. Whenever friends bring you “a little something” (or what Filipinos refer to as pasalubong) from another country, it’s usually a food item that’s native to the place or a souvenir that highlights the country’s history or cultural symbolism.
What jeepneys are to the Philippines or Buddhas are to Thailand, is what windmills are to the Netherlands. Remember when the country used to be referred to as Holland? I’ll bet scenes of windmills and milkmaids suddenly rushed to your head.
History will tell you that the Dutch built windmills centuries ago for corn milling, land drainage, and other industrial purposes. Some would even joke that the windmills built Netherlands, and not the other way around.
I’m saving up for a trip to the Netherlands soon, and I can’t wait to see my first real European windmill. In the meantime, this little ceramic one sits on my desk.