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Becoming two

Sam Heeremans explores the transformative journey of birth in the Netherlands through the lens of doulas. Doulas provide non-medical support to birthing women, emphasizing the spiritual aspects of childbirth within the cultural context. The role is deeply rooted in accompanying women through intense bodily and possibly spiritual shifts, distancing from romanticized notions. Heeremans’ fieldwork reveals a cultural appreciation, augmenting a woman’s experience with communal and ritualistic dimensions inherent in becoming a mother.

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Motorcycling on Ambon

Fridus Steijlen, motorcycling in Ambon, has observed a vibrant culture where riders navigate with unwritten rules, offering a social and fun experience beyond transport, incorporating family, work, and technology (e.g., ojek apps). Despite varied riding styles and decorator support for Dutch soccer, following non-verbal cues ensures safety and enjoyment, transforming night rides into a colorful, musical ‘disco’ adventure.

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Hoop doet geven

Sam Heeremans deelt een introspectieve ervaring van ontmoeting met Marlies, een doula met diepe wortels in haar stad. Na een inspirerende tocht langs de vestingwallen, ontdekt Sam de kracht van verhalen en de steun van een gemeenschap. Deze ontdekking helpt hem herinneren aan de essentie van authenticiteit, en leidt tot een doorbraak in zijn schrijversblok.

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Easter gardens and Christmas trees

By Fridus Steijlen – In Ambon, Fridus Steijlen observed Taman Paskah, public religious displays commemorating Easter, with symbolic crosses and caves. These were contrasted with secular Christmas decorations, subtly blending Christian and local traditions. As Easter approaches, religious symbols replace Christmas ones, reflecting the community’s deep Christian faith and the social significance of these holidays.

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Religion has left the hospital: the uneasy silence of professionalization

By Peter Versteeg – Have you ever wondered why something happened to you? I hope you haven’t because this question often arises when people are faced with something really serious, such as a severe illness or a traumatic event. But what is the nature of this “why” question? Does it seek a philosophical answer or is it an emotional outburst that cannot be answered?