Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

My first trip in 1989

October 10, 2019

More than 30 years ago I paid 30 guilders in an Amsterdam antiquarian bookshop for the little book: De Nederlanders in Voor-India, by H. Terpstra, published in the Patria series by P.N. van Kampen & Zoon N.V, Amsterdam in 1947, the year of my birth. This is a concise write up in Dutch about the importance of the Dutch role in India that started in the early 17thcentury and lasted until 1825.

Terpstra’s 1947 book helped my first trip in 1989

The colourful Jacob Haafner

October 4, 2019

From 1773 to 1786 Jacob Haafner was in India, where he had an adventure full and colourful life. First as klerk in Negapatnam, later as bookkeeper in the Sadras factory. From 1781 he worked some years in Calcutta as bookkeeper with the former British Governer and scholar in Bengal, Joseph Fowke.

Haafner was utterly indignant about the behaviour of the Europeans in India characterized in his view by greed, cruelty and indifference. Time and again he argued that the local Indians were victims from the European domination.

See The colourful Jacob Haafner


Dutch sundial Bharuch

March 26, 2019

In March it took a while to find the Dutch sundial wall of the former Dutch factory in Bharuch. The situation is worse than 30 years ago when I visited there for the first time.

See also Dutch loge in Bharuch, includes a short film clip.

Dutch cemetery Surat revisited in 2019

March 26, 2019

I revisited the cemetery in Surat in early March.

See Surat cemetery revisited 2019.

Filmclip Dutch cemetery Bharuch

March 26, 2019

Here is a short filmclip I made in March 2019 during a one-month heritage tour in India.

Bharuch: Dutch cemetery revisited in 2019

March 26, 2019

I revisited the Dutch cemetery in Bharuch in March 2019 after 30 years.

Bharuch revisited in 2019

Old Dutch cemetery Bimilipatan destroyed

March 4, 2019

We visited Bimilipatan , now Bheemunipatnam, on 2 March through the beautiful beach road 28 kilometres from Vizag (now Visakhapatnam). Very near the light house we saw the pyramid tombs rise at the Flagstaff cemetery.

Bimlipatnam: Old Dutch cemetery destroyed

Next Dutch heritage tour

January 7, 2019

In February and March Chris and I are going to do another heritage tour in India. We’ll be visiting Bheemunipatnam (Bimilipatnam in earlier days) on the Coromandel coast.

Later we’ll revisit the Dutch cemeteries in Surat and Bharuch that I visited once in 1989. We are curious to find out what is left of our shared heritage there.

Jan Albert Sichterman in Bengal

December 22, 2017

Not much personal information from Dutch life in Bengal or any other of Dutch settlements in India can be found in the VOC archives in the State Archives. The reason for that is that the VOC correspondence only covered official and business information, written by VOC employees and shared with the local head office and the central office in The Netherlands, The VOC also censored all letters. An exception can be made for Jan Albert Sichterman (1692-1764), who spent nearly 15 years in Bengal.

I translated this information from Dutch using selections mainly from a recent book written by a descendant and various other sources.

Jan Albert Sichterman (1692-1764)

My VOC in India bibliography

December 22, 2017

My annotated collection on VOC in India started in 1988 and comprises nearly 450 titles. I have grouped them on the various regions and on two interesting VOC employees. The last category gives interesting views from esteemed Indian historians about the Dutch presence. They include comparisons between the Portuguese, Dutch and British actions in India.

Chinsurah/ West Bengal
Coromandel (Sadras/Pulikat)
Indian views

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