Old and Young share stories to keep history alive!

November 21, 2017 |
old and young heritage holders

On Wednesday, 8 November the new ‘Heritage Holders’ 2017 were honored in the Amsterdam Museum. The elderly (‘Heritage Givers’), officially gave their stories to the youngsters. Several Dutch officials joined the ceremony. The young Heritage Holders will retell the personal stories of the Dutch colonial past, the Second World War and the immigration in the ’60’s/70’s.

Both the children as the elderly enjoyed this impressive and authentic morning in the museum. 

What is ‘In My Neighbourhood’?

The intergenerational education project ‘In my Neighborhood’, believes in keeping the history of a neighborhood alive by bringing different generations of local residents together, share stories and create new, young ‘Heritage Holders’.









Almost 3000 students have been interviewing the older residents. During these interviews empathy is born, prejudices are broken and the past becomes a shared history of the neighborhood where they all live. What happened during the war in the house next to the super market where you do your shopping every day? And how felt the migrant in the 60s celebrating his first Christmas together with typical Dutch neighbor Henk?

Yearly a selection of young official ‘Heritage Holders of Amsterdam’ (10-14 years old) are honored, and the youngsters pledge to retell the personal, historical stories they heard from elderly from their own neighborhood. The new Heritage Holders retell the stories during official moments in media, at commemorations and big events.

The honoring in the Amsterdam Museum this November was an impressive, touching and authentic moment, in which the elderly officially gave their story to the youngster and gave their own heritage holder a medal.

The pledge of 13 year old Oumaima:

‘I, Oumaima, pledge to retell the World War two story of Tiny Aarssen’









The children followed a masterclass program and were trained to tell the stories as new Heritage Holders. The young Heritage Carriers are the official speakers at commemorations and in the media. They share personal stories about migration in my neighborhood, the Second World War and the colonial past. Yasmine (14) from the Diamantbuurt is Heritage Carrier of Hennie (89) and Ibbe (12) from Amsterdam Noord is Heritage Carrier of Suze (86). They promised to take the old story into their lives and continue to tell them.

The link with TOY

The project ‘In my neighborhood’ is familiar to the TOY-programme. Both were highlighted in an interview by the Dutch magazine ‘De Correspondent’

Photos credits: Shirley Brandeis and Caro Bonink