HomeThe Journal of Historyvol. 10 no. 1 (1962)

Rizal and Oriental Studies in the Netherlands

Dr. Cornelis Christian Berg

Discipline: History



It is a bit hazardous for a foreigner to discuss aspects of Philippine civilization in Manila where so many people have an intimate knowledge and understanding of that civilization; it makes me think of a colleague who read a paper about Georgian languages in a meeting attended by some Georgians: after the meeting the Georgians appeared to be quite astonished that the paper dealt with their own language since they had failed to perceive it. This is why I shall try to remain at a certain distance, just as a cat with respect to hot porridge, as people say in my country. I have even an argument to justify that attitude. Netherlanders think of Rizal and the Philippines in terms of contrast since they have some traditional knowledge not very much either, at that of Indonesia and are naturally inclined to compare.