When I was living in Lithuania, I had never felt as if I am a part of the community in my neighborhood. I knew some of the people living nearby because I used to play with their children when I was little, but we have never really helped each other and made coffee for each other. It was even worse when I moved to the capital and my neighbors were spread across 6 or 7 floors. Some of them I have never met. The place where I live now is completely different – we are actually a community.
I know it’s not the best representation of the Dutch culture, but it’s a representation of loving and kind people. Today we had our gardening day – a set time when everyone comes out and takes care of the space that we all enjoy. No one forces them to do that, they could easily pay someone to come and clean everything up, but they want to be together, they want to spend some time together. That’s why we have our gardening days. Even though we have to clean up, but most of it is for bonding and getting to know each other a bit better. That’s such an interesting feeling which you can’t buy.
We are thinking about buying a house somewhere in the Netherlands, but to be honest, I’m not sure if I want to do it 100%. I’m afraid that if we move, we will never get that feeling back. Finding a community and becoming a part of a community is something special. I bet that not many neighborhoods have that. So, how do you create that? Or how do you preserve that? How do you create community between strangers?