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Thursday, December 12, 2013

Eigen Kweek

Yeah, I know, for people not speaking Flemish this will be an expression they don't understand. 'Eigen kweek' means so much as home-made. We do have a flair for expressions...


The last six weeks, one program always topped the list of viewing figures in Flanders. It was the tv-drama 'Eigen Kweek', a tragi-comedy about a family of farmers in the west of Flanders (a typical area for farming - the West Flemings are know to be hardworking, wanting to make money and keeping to old traditions).

Jos and Ria are the parents. They have a large farm in Heuvelland, a village in the west of Flanders. Jos grows potatoes and has always made enough money from it. He looks for a way to invest some money and listens to the advice of his nephew Geoffrey, who works in a bank. He advises him to buy some stock. Jos does and also persuades his eldest son Frank to to the same.

Frank works in a garage and is single. He doesn't seem to find a girlfriend, and so he orders a postorder bride from the Phillipines. Julita arrives in Belgium the same day father Jos learns that Geoffrey has disappeared with his money and also that the potato crop is doomed. There will be no money this year...

Steven, the youngest son who helps out on the farm, suggests they grow weed. He can persuade Jos and they begin to grow a crop of weed in a deserted barn on their land.

The plot really works well, even when the makers got the idea from 'Saving Grace'. Translated to the West Flemish background it becomes believable and the whole of Flanders was laughing out loud whith Frank's 'steenkolen Engels' = English with a more than Flemish accent. For instance, he's ask Julita: 'Do you want muizenstrontjes on your stutje?' (translation: muizenstrontjes = flakes of chocolate and stutje= slice of bread).

But it's not all drama. Frank fall is love with Julita and she also truly loves him. The family grows tighter with all that happens and Jos has more understanding for his sons and for his wife.

If ever this series is broadcasted somewhere outside Flanders, be sure to watch for it. It's great!

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