Home in Leiden

Croatian, Za vise informacija na hrvatskom jeziku, molimo kontaktirajte Tamaru,

German, Wenn Du weitere Informationen auf Deutsch brauchst, wende Dich bitte an Dorothea,

Danish, For mere information paa Dansk kan De kontakte Heidi.



Czech, Pro více informací v ceském jazyce kontaktujte prosím


French, Pour plus d'informations en français, vous pouvez contacter Claire Caron sur

Polish, Po dodatkowe informacje w jezyku polskim kontakt or

Spanish, Si quieres más información en castellano, no dudes en ponerte en contacto conmigo, Laura

Indian, Please contact Rippy at if you'd like help in Hindi or Punjabi.

Diana Jekina,


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The library


Well, it feels like that anyway! There's lots of stuff going on. so get stuck in and:

Listen! Storytime in the Library

Did you know that every Wednesday, 14.00-14.30, children aged 3-6 (or younger in fact if they are motivated) can come to the library be read to? In the central location this happens in a special room upstairs: the children sit on multicoloured cushions and the lovely lady reads in just the way that I never seem to do any more because I'm too busy doing something else. It's really excellent for the children's Dutch, especially for children who don't get it from either parent, as she reads in a really interactive way and asks lots of questions. We'll certainly be there every week - just hang around in the children's area downstairs and she'll come and collect you!

Dance! More great dancing opportunities!

Ok, so maybe I'm becoming a bit obsessive about this, but the children are loving it so much, and it's so great to find ways of getting children exercising enough in this cold weather! Check out the adorable pictures of the Bollywood dancing above and in the Photo Gallery - especially Phoenix looking the epitome of cool in his vest, and Evelyn looking the epitome of bunny in her little white ballet outfit! We've got some more Indian dancing coming up on the 2 nd March with Sangbreeta, and then some Arabian belly dancing on the 9 th March! It's becoming clear that there are lots of enthusiastic people ready to teach the children, so if you'd like your children to join then your contribution can be suggesting someone, giving some money towards it, or bringing the snack that day, rather than actually standing up and shaking your booty in front of a group of children. Email me on or come to the Pancrat Buurthuis at 3.15 on a Tuesday afternoon!

The other great thing is the Zumbatonic group that lovely Daphne is now teaching at Vrouwfit, the women's gym on the Herengracht (which incidentally is a really nice affordable relaxed gym, see This is a lovely relaxed and fun dance class from 3.30- 4.15 on Mondays for children in Groups 1-3 of basisschool. It costs € 45 euro for a strippenkaart of 10 lessons if you are a member, and € 65 if you are not. There is also another class for older children, see website for more details.

It isn't fair that the children should have all the fun, though! We are also in the process of setting up Bollywood Dancing classes in the evening led by Swati: it promises to be enormous fun, I can't wait. Email me on if you like the sound of it.

Chill out! Yoga/Ceramic day workshop

Dersingham Pottery

Dounia Bouzoubaa, who teaches Yoga and meditation and is generally lovely (she runs Aurora Yoga and has classes of various yoga types throughout the week in her beautiful private studio on the Vestestraat, email her on for more details) has teamed up with Leiden potter Odette Frijters (see to create Yoga and Ceramic workshop days on various Saturdays (at present 20 th February, 27 th March and 24 th April, although they may be able to accommodate other days, if there is the demand. The cost is € 60 and includes lunch and all materials etc. Now all you need is to persuade someone else to look after the children.

VOTE! Local Elections, 3 March

If you have an EU passport, you are able to vote in the local elections on the 3 rd March. You should already have received your 'Stempas' voting card: you take this and your passport/ID card to your nearest polling station (mine is in the Salvation Army hall on Groenesteeg, for instance). The polling stations are open from 7.30 to 21.00. Obviously, it is very important to be aware of local issues and to have a say in the democracy of the country you live in: unfortunately only an estimated 50% of people will vote in the local elections. Be one of the ones who does! It is irritatingly hard to find information on the parties in any language other than Dutch, but if your Dutch is up to it, please do have a go. explains how it works and the whole process, and you can be guided through questions determining which party your opinions mostly closely tally with on , although this sometimes comes out with some weird conclusions. If you want to look at the individual sites of the various parties:

  • CDA (Christian Democrats)
  • CU (Christian Union)
  • VVD (People's party for freedom and democracy)
  • PvdA (Workers Party)
  • SP (Socialist Party)
  • Stads Partij Leiden Ontzet
(the only one that has any information in English)
  • Leefbaar Leiden
  • Groen Links (Green Left)
  • Partij van de Dieren (Animals Party [yes,honestly])



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