Last Christmas , my husband & I with our daughter are watching a Walt Disney ‘s animated cartoon movie. I forgot the title but it was all about children from all over the world trying to help Santa Claus in his chores . The children are dressed in their traditional costumes.One of them is Dutch . We recognized him eventually because He is wearing Clogs! He makes so much noise while walking . The other children tried to put anything under his clogs to lessen the noise so Santa Claus will not be waken up. We were laughing out loud of how funny it is .
Clogs or locally known as Klompen are important part of Dutch cultural Heritage . This traditional footwear becomes a national identity of Dutch people . Clogs has been a popular protective footwear for people who work the land , mostly farmers. Because of its durability and ability to withstand sharp & heavy objects and harsh concentrated chemicals. It was even certified by the European Union as Safety shoes with CE mark. The oldest wooden clogs were found in The Netherlands in Nieuwendijk . It was believed to be dated since 1230 and is made of Alder wood . In the old days , it takes a skilled worker to carve & make an identical pair of clogs . Nowadays , clogs which become a popular tourist souvenir and are machine made.
While in Holland , we were lucky to visit a community workshop in Enter in Twente in Eastern Netherlands , about making wooden clogs . It has a charming Museum , named Klompenmuseum Sköpke and a shop gallery of the Artisan Workers who made these beautifully hand-made Clogs. Most of the clogs were made out of Willow and Poplar trees.
It is quite an experience to see a local Artisan demonstrates how to make clogs out of willow clumps. In so many shops in Amsterdam you can see hundreds of displayed Clogs but seeing the manual way of carving it makes you appreciate it even more. One pair of clogs is worth hours of hardwork & genuine skill. We ordered for a size of my daughter who was 1 year old that time . Its amazing how they carefully carved it with perfection to suit her tiny feet.
They can make personalized designs as you wanted just like the way they did to my daughter’s clogs. She loves to walk with it , play with it , even eat it.
Travel Tip !
If you visit The Netherlands ,make it as part of your trip to visit Traditional clog making villages and Tours such as the one in Zaanse Schans .You can bring home a souvenir clogs with design of your choice or even buy a custom-made for yourself. Knowledge about your travels are the best souvenir.
Thank you for reading!