According to emeritus professor of historical literature Herman Pleij, the desire to have a unique identity is stronger in the province of Friesland than anywhere else in the Netherlands.
During a lecture to a crowd of roughly 80 people in Drachten on Tuesday evening, Pleij stated that the Frisian need for a distinctive identity is strengthened by the province having its own language and its desire for freedom.
Pleij asserted that the urge to maintain a unique identity has grown stronger as Dutch society has moved further away from its traditional pillar system, which used to effectively divide Dutch society based on religious and political beliefs.
“People want a sense of belonging”, said Pleij, but he quickly added that inclusion should not come at the expense of excluding others.
Pleij, who is a familiar TV personality in the Netherlands, was invited to give the lecture by Stichting Literaire Activiteiten Smallingerland.