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  Category: Articles » Travel & Leisure » Article

Wearing Clogs in Amsterdam

By Rahul viz

One of the most unique items to take back home from Amsterdam are clogs, Holland's traditional wooden shoes. Clogs originated as far back as 1367, or probably are even older, and have been worn as daily footwear ever since. In Holland's wet and cold climate, only clogs will keep feet dry and warm at all times. And contrary to appearances they're more comfortable than one would imagine. One can find a large variety in clogs and see clog making and clog painting at De Klompenboer.

Clogs are prepared of balsa-white poplar wood. For this purpose the trees are especially grown. Though while making clogs a perfect pair of clogs one needs fresh, wet wood, cut in square blocks. After chopping the wood it is smoothed bring the right shape. For the clogs to be durable finished clogs are painted. The traditional clogs are painted yellow with a red pattern. It is said that each village used to have its own pattern. At present clogs used for daily wear are still yellow and red and souvenir clogs are painted in a large variety of patterns and colors, varying from flowers to entire street scenes.
The pattern for making clogs for the purpose of souvenirs is dependent on the fashion of the day. The fashion changes with time and sometime back summer tourists seem to prefer black and white clogs in a 'cow pattern'.

At the 'Klompenboer' lots of types of clogs are exhibited and stored as well as exhibiting a large variety of antique clogs. The owner Mrs. Jonker, shows clog painting on Tuesdays and Thursdays. If one wants one can always request the traditional craftsman Bruno Jonker to show how to make the perfect clog. All the history of clogs is known to him and he will also tell the story of bridal Clogs.

The significance of wooden clogs is very important. As it has been known these wooden "shoes" are not just for decoration; they are very much a part of everyday life in Holland. Many citizens wear wooden clogs, and they wear them all the time. The different colors of the clogs correspond to their purpose of wearing clogs - yellow shoes for working, red shoes for dancing, and blue shoes for church.

The tourist attraction of any place will not be complete without an oversized something. Outside the Clog Factory there are two separate pairs of oversized bright yellow clogs and an enormous Yellow Clog which two people can comfortably fit in. These clogs were very photogenic as well as being very attractive.

Traditional clogs are associated with the Netherlands or Amsterdam as part of the touristic ""Holland" image, where they are seen as a form of national dress. For the reason that they wear clogs Dutch people are sometimes called cloggies, that is, clog-wearers. In Dutch, clogs are known as klompen. The traditional, all wooden, Dutch clogs have been officially labeled as safety shoes. Today, Dutch clogs are available in many tourist shops. Wearing clogs is considered to be healthy for the feet.
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