Today we went to the Tropenmusem, and it was not what I expected. Going to the museum, I expected there to be decolonization efforts in the museum. However, I didn’t expect the entire part of Dutch colonization to be removed from the museum. Although we didn’t explore the entire museum yet, the museum made it seem like the Dutch were only going to the colonies to trade and that they were forced to fight wars and kill thousands of people to keep their own interests. The museum tries to make colonialism less severe than it was and make it seem like the Dutch were the innocent ones in this era. Considering what we learned about Dutch colonization and the canal tour today that very far from the truth. It’s true that the Dutch were in the colonies for trade, but it doesn’t mention how rich the Dutch got from controlling the spice market and how brutal they were to the indigenous people. Also, the realistic mannequins were kind of creepy.
In my opinion, the most interesting part of today’s activities was the interactive canal tour. It gave useful information about Dutch colonialization and slavery that wasn’t available at the museum. It told us the forgotten parts about colonialization that the Dutch don’t want us to know about. The canal tour talked about how the colonies made the Dutch very wealthy and how the slave market created an oppression of the black Dutch community. The interactive parts of the canal tour made the experience much better. At first, before we got on the boat I thought that the interactive part was interesting but weird. However, certain parts of the interactive parts made me feel like either a slave or one of the people buying slaves. The part where the actors kept yelling bid at us made me feel awkward and a little scared. It made me wonder if this was actually how they used to sell slaves back then and how the slaves would feel at that moment knowing that their entire lives are in the hands of the one who buys them. In all, I thought the canal tour was fascinating and informative and made me consider what I learned about Dutch colonization.