Last week, medicine I reacted with shock and dismay when I saw that our friend and neighbour Joanne Chianello had done the unthinkable. She had written the following piece for her Ottawa Citizen column.
She was referring, of course, to the fact that Ottawa foodie idol Stephen Beckta was going to be opening a new Westboro restaurant under that (objectively speaking) glorious name. But she opined that:
It’s a bad name. Unless you’re Dutch, which we are not.
(Ahem.) Now apart from my day job as a branding guy, I’m also a proud Dutch-Canadian. Both my parents were born in the Netherlands, and so I grew up with the word, and with the philosophy embedded in, “gezellig”. That word that is to Dutch culture what furniture isn’t to the Swedes, or haggis to the Scots (and as a bonus, without any Allen Keys or sheep entrails masquerading as food).
So imagine my surprise and delight when I ran into His Excellency, the Dutch Ambassador to Ottawa Wim Geerts at an event this morning at Hub Ottawa. So here you are Joanne Chianello. Straight from the horse’s mouth (that’s “horse” with a glottal G).
Thank you very much to His Excellency for playing along!