I have just completed the first five interviews in the Netherlands and considering the majority of the population self-identify as being nonreligious it was to no surprise that I was told by a Dutch Facebook group that ‘we all believe in Stroopwafel’. Speaking of which, I had my first fresh stroopwafel and given the taste sensation, warrants some kind of belief in… I’m sure.
I spent time with nonreligious participants in The Hague, Rotterdam, Groningen and more rural areas in the North – without stepping foot in Amsterdam. We shared a drink, had wonderfully deep conversations about their beliefs and values, and I thank them for their hospitality – including the B&B owner I stayed with, making sure I had my cheese sandwich he made – packed away for my travels each day.
Already, small nuances (for example, reincarnation, déjà vu, global consciousness, life being predetermined and someone who does not believe in God(s) but believes there must be ‘something’ – referred to as ietsism in Dutch) are materializing from the interviews, and I am very excited to tentatively piece together the jigsaw of beliefs that form ‘unbelief’ once the fieldwork is complete.
Next point of call is Leipzig 23-27 March. We are still seeking participants in Warsaw and Timisoara in April, please do get in touch here.
And while this photo could be Rotterdam or anywhere, Liverpool or Rome, it is, in fact, Haarlem.