Created Heritage: Dutch-Canadian culture explored through food

Annette Wierstra's Created Heritage website started with a question: "What makes me a Dutch-Canadian when I have never lived in Holland?"

Like many people, she grew up with stories from two cultures: the culture of her birth and the culture of her parents. Through her research project, she explored how first-generation Canadians with parents born in the Netherlands, find a connection to their heritage.

Were there foods and cultural items that they use to understand and experience a connection to Holland? How do they create their heritage?

The research sessions were sensory ethnographic interviews that included cooking and hearing stories about items in the home that the participants associated with their Dutch heritage. Annette has shared the stories and recipes through the internet

Annette says, "when I began this project, I thought I had my cultural identity sorted: I am a Canadian with roots in Holland. Now I believe that those Dutch roots have played a more prominent role in my identity than I realized. My Canada is a lived experience; the memories of my parents and the community create my Holland."

She has also published an article about her research in the Dutch Magazine's July/August 2013 issue.

See the recipes and stories on the Created Heritage website.