Allemaal Utrechters is a series of interviews with people who moved to Utrecht from another country. We ask them about their background and their impression of Utrecht, revealing the true diversity of our city. The ‘Allemaal Utrechters’ series is a collaboration between DUIC and Culturele Zondagen, and has been made possible with help from Stichting Dialoog and the Municipality of Utrecht. We hope to showcase every nationality in Utrecht.

See below for the interviews in English. Check out DUIC.nl for the interviews in Dutch.


Matija Lukić

I discover all kinds of new places biking to work

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John Kayongo

Lots of our problems would just disappear if we danced more

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Boubacar Sylla

I hope someone will help me to bring my sisters here

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Sudhan Balakrishnan

Home is anywhere we’re together

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Nikola Horvat

I never imagined that there was a country where I would fit in so well

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Esmir Mujkic

ll the cultures you encounter here make life richer

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Maja Nylén

Utrecht is quite conservative in terms of gender.

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Sanna Manneh

I worry about the cold winters

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Saron Tesfahuney

There’s so much more to me than being a refugee

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Tom Borg

Utrecht is the place where I feel most at home

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Sydney Sinkamba

Utrecht could learn a lot from Zambian football

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Nesrine Leene

Hummus comes in more flavours here than in Lebanon

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Theresia Kambale

I think I’ve seen everyone who lives in Utrecht walking past thanks to my job in the ‘chip strip’

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Munir Il Emam

In the Netherlands, I learned that everyone is equal

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Rana Bilal Siddique

“I’m not recognised as a Muslim in Pakistan”

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Vegard Sivertsen

“The Santa Lucia pizzeria is one of Utrecht’s hidden gems”

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Tanya Leeuwen – Skrypka

“Kanaleneiland is like my home town in Ukraine”

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Annabilla Rahmat

“It’s getting easier to discover new places in Utrecht”

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Najuan Daadleh

“Utrecht is paradise on earth in the summer”

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Tony Perez

A Dutch merchant navy officer rescued my mother and me from El Salvador

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Rashid Abdi Ibrahim

“Opening the Garoodi Supermarket in Lombok was the best decision I ever made”

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Julieta Talamoni

“Not standing out was the norm in Buenos Aires”

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Caicha Zhou

“When I was in China, I missed the Buddhist temple in Zuilen”

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Peter Kostov

“The start-up culture in Utrecht is so cool”

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Faris Alqubati

“Kanaalstraat is like being back in Yemen”

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Babah Tarawally

“My life was in jeopardy in Sierra Leone”

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Sarratuya Tiew

“Looking down at the busy crossroads from the Bijenkorf feels a bit like being at home”

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Darina Kalinova

“My move to Utrecht has made me a better person”

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 Imane Alhaddadi

It’s a privilege to combine two cultures into your life

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Helga Gardarsdottir

“My children cheer just as loudly for Iceland during the World Cup”

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Yosri El Ouni

“I have a bitter-sweet relationship with Utrecht”

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Martin Zemp

“Leidsche Rijn is a good place for my girls”

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Kanako Imai

“Leisure time is less important to the Japanese than to the Dutch”

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Ali Savari

“The people living in and around Twijnstraat are just great”

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Yassou Diouf

“I miss Holland, éven when I’m in Senegal”

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Junny Brejita

“My friends called me the night-time Mayor of Utrecht”

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Binna Choi

“Bringing the museum quarter to life”

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Robi van Geenhoven

“A big Utrecht party for people from within and outside the LGBTQ community”

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Miriam van Meijeren Karp

“We get flowers from the Christian community on nearly every Jewish holiday”

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Ruben Ramos

“It wasn’t all that warm, but the pavement cafés were packed”

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Manizha Koditri

“I removed my children from a school in Overvecht”

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Manizha Koditri

“Gezellig was one of the first words I learned and it certainly applies to Utrecht”

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Tiina Rootamm

“Overvecht reminds me of Estonia”

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Justina Damauskaitė

“Being homeless in Utrecht isn’t that bad”

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Andreas Kallipolitis

“My style as a graphic designer has changed since I moved here”

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Oscar Mendoza

“I want to make an effort, because the Dutch make an effort for me too”

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Claire Allen

“I discovered the nicest place ever biking through Leidsche Rijn”

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Ocimar Ferreira

“The hardest part of learning Dutch was the Utrecht dialect”

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Kathy Bassett

“On St. Patrick’s Day, you’ll find me dancing in O’Leary’s Irish pub”

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Carry-Ann Tjong-Ayong

“I’ve translated two Miffy books into Surinamese. I wanted a good future for any children I might have”

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Karine Berard

“I was doubly proud during the Tour: proud of France and Utrecht”

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Gopal Dey

“I wanted a good future for any children I might have”

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Ovidiu Opris

“My creative friends and I have thrived in Utrecht”

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Rohan D’Sa

“In India, only poor people bike to work”

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Alexandra Batallas

“I had my own hair salon in Ecuador, and I’ll start again here”

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Irene Ciampi

“Boot camps in Italy were competitive; in Utrecht they’re fun!”

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Francisco Urzua

“Wittevrouwen reminds me of Santiago when my father was young”

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Andrea Schouw Naphegyi

“No one has ever been married in the Wood Chapel in Máxima Park”

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Will Falkowski

“Somebody asked me out on my first night in Utrecht”

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Serdar Biyik

“After my first Meetup gathering, I’d already made a new friend”

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Laurel Cunningham

“Quite simply, I no longer want to be associated with the USA”

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Barbara Schröter

“Today I became an official Utrechter”

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Bright Richards

“I wore clogs the first three years I was in the Netherlands”

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Lindsey Reid

“You see more and more cultures on the streets”

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Melody Deldjou Fard

“The cultural sector is still too one-sided”

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Anna-Liisa Toivonen

“Utrecht is throwing off its cosy image”

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Sylvia Ortega Azurduy

“Pass on the Utrecht mentality to Bolivia”

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Jermain Bridgewater

“Utrecht’s always been really supportive”

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Nicole Immler

“Utrecht could use a bit of humanism itself”

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Ying-I Huang

“Leidsche Rijn is a cocktail of Friesland and my village in Taiwan”

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Mekdes Belachew

“I always thought I’d marry a Dutchman”

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Alba Fernandez Andreu

“It takes time to befriend a Dutchie”

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Chad Davies

“People make it too easy for me”

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Ana Trajanovska

“Utrecht locals aren’t that different from Macedonians”

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Martin Boisen

“Utrecht needs to get its house in order before developing any further”

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Vara Cantor

“In Jakarta, I had a secretary; here, I was a cleaner.”

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Monir Goran

“Intellectuals were a threat to the regime, me included.”

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Tamer Alalloush

“We’re no longer refugees; we’re new neighbours”

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Pablo Castellanos

“Student life is the shit; it’s all downhill after that”

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Tomek Szugzdzinis

“The mainstream can take a running jump”

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Asia Komarova

“Leidsche Rijn is the most exciting district in Utrecht”

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Jesús Portal Collao

“It was so cold the first time!”

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