Uncle in Dutch culture, family is highly valued, and many words exist to describe different family members. One of these terms is “uncle,” which is commonly used to refer to a father’s brother, a mother’s brother, or their respective spouses. In this blog, we will explore the term “uncle” in Dutch culture, its different uses and variations, and how it is used in conversation and literature.
What is “Uncle” in Dutch Culture?
The Dutch term for “uncle” is “oom,” and it is used to describe both a father’s brother (oom) and a mother’s brother (oom) in Dutch culture. Similarly, the term “tante” is used to refer to a father’s sister (tante) and a mother’s sister (tante) and their respective spouses.
The Importance of Family in Dutch Culture
In Dutch culture, family plays an important role, and family members are highly valued. There is a strong sense of kinship, and family gatherings are common. Many Dutch people have close relationships with their extended family members, including their aunts and uncles.
Variations of “Uncle” in Dutch
In addition to the standard term “oom,” there are a number of variations that are used to describe different types of uncles in Dutch. These include:
- Oomzegger: This term is used to describe a man who is not related by blood but is still referred to as “uncle” out of respect or affection.
- Schoonoom: This term is used to describe an uncle who is married to one of your parent’s siblings.
- Oom in de tweede graad: This term is used to describe an uncle who is the brother of one of your grandparents.
- Oom oversee: This term is used to describe an uncle who lives abroad.
The Use of “Uncle” in Conversation
In Dutch culture, the term “oom” is commonly used in conversation, both as a term of respect and as a term of endearment. When addressing an uncle, it is common to use the term “oom” followed by the uncle’s first name, such as “oom Piet” or “oom Jan.” Similarly, when referring to an uncle in conversation, the term “oom” is often used instead of the uncle’s name.
In some cases, the term “oom” can also be used to describe a man who is not actually related to the speaker but is still referred to as “uncle” out of respect or affection. This is particularly common in close-knit communities, where individuals may refer to older male family friends as “oom” or “oomzegger.”
The Use of “Uncle” in Literature
In Dutch literature, the term “oom” is often used to describe characters who play an important role in the lives of the protagonists. For example, in the classic Dutch novel “De Kleine Johannes” by Frederik van Eeden, the protagonist’s uncle plays an important role in the development of the story. Similarly, in the children’s book “Pluk van de Petteflet” by Annie M.G. Schmidt, Pluk’s uncle plays an important role in helping Pluk navigate the challenges he faces in the story.
At the same time, the term “oom” can also highlight the man’s status as an outsider, as he may never fully be able to shed his original cultural identity. Nonetheless, it also reflects his efforts to bridge the gap between his old and new worlds and his willingness to accept a new identity as a member of Dutch society.
In Dutch culture, the term “oom” is commonly used to describe both a father’s brother and a mother’s brother, as well as their respective spouses. Family plays an important role in Dutch culture, and there is a strong sense of kinship and respect for family members. There are a number of variations of the term “oom” that are used to describe different types of uncles, and the term is often used as a term of endearment or respect in conversation. In Dutch