Children bear the brunt of the Het Roer Om movement: ‘It’s often sad’
Richard and Vanessa are ready for a new adventure and want to live in the mountains for years. That is why they drag their three children, 15-year-old son Luka, 13-year-old daughter Mayra and 8-year-old Noah, into the pristine nature of Austria. In the village of Wald im Pinzgau, the couple bought a hotel with fourteen rooms for €630,000. All rooms need to be updated, just like the rest of the place. So they served one and a half tons. They hope to have their first guests in six months.
Vanessa hopes immigration will bring them peace and balance, but once they reach Austria, peace seems elusive. Sure enough, this move is very difficult for 15-year-old Luka. He already passed his exams in Katwijk, so they want to enroll him in a middle school because he’s still a bit too young for his apprenticeship. So they went with him to look into polytechnic school, but he turned out to be too old for that.
He must therefore begin an apprenticeship, but for this he must first go to a boarding school in Salzburg for six to eight weeks. Although Father Richard thinks it is a “kick”, Luca thinks otherwise. He tells his story: “It’s no fun. If I only lived here in the country, I’d have to go right away for six weeks…”. In the end, he chose a tourism school that he could simply stay near.
Other children also have to get used to the fact that they no longer live in the familiar Holland. For example, thirteen-year-old Mira faces the language barrier as the biggest stumbling block. So making new friends is not so easy. “It’s very difficult right now,” she said on camera. “Everything is so new and it’s hard to make a connection if you don’t speak the language.” Therefore, she is often sad and in those moments she goes out with her mother. “Sometimes I walk by myself and play music. But I usually go with my mom in the car, and we go for a drive and put on old loud bands and play music.”
Luke also has difficulties with language. “Most of my friends often don’t do things with me because I don’t speak the language. It’s a shame,” he says. Although he has good hopes: according to his Dutch colleague, everything will work out in the end.
uproar It can be seen on SBS6 on Thursdays at 8.30pm. Watch the episode with Vanessa and Richard here behind.
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