Gineke in Lights

Personal Pages of Gineke ten Holt.
For background information on my research, please go to Research.
Some pages of this site are still under construction.

Helping out at Noorderzon

At the Noorderzon GCI stand

Last week I helped out et the Groningen Confucius Institute stand in the Noorderplantsoen in Groningen. This was part of the Cultural Sunday of Noorderzon, a yearly festival in Groningen. To get in the right frame of mind, I had donned the qipao I bought from Taobao back in China. Pretty nice, although I do not really have the willowy figure I think you need to wear this king of clothing :-D

Playing the Tang Dynasty Poetry board game

The Tang Dynasty Poetry board game

I recently had a little reunion with my fellow Confucius Institute Scholarship winners from last year. We met up in Utrecht, at the office of one of us, Danny. Everyone was there except one girl, who was still travelling in South-East Asia. We had a lot of fun catching up and exchanging experiences. The conversation was not in Mandarin, though; because two of us had only been in China for the first semester, for them the experience was already a bitfurther in the past. Read more »

Passed HKS 5

Last month, I took the HSK 5 exam here in China. Those who have followed my adventures know that I found it pretty hard, especially the reading section - not the comprehension, but the speed at which you apparently must read to be able to do all the assignments in the allotted time. Read more »

Studying in Dalian

Me at Tiger Beach

It is amazing how fast time goes by when you are enjoying yourself as much as I am at the moment :-) Pretty soon, my last month in Dalian, China, will begin, and in a mere six weeks or so, I will be back home in Groningen. A strange feeling, to be sure; on the one hand, I wish I could stay here longer and improve my Chinese more - I feel like it is only now that things are really starting to come together there. Read more »

Last day at work


Today is my last day at work. I have used my remaining holidays to take the rest of the month off, and then my contract officially ends at September 1st. By that time, I will already be in Dalian, China, to start my year as a language student in Liaoning Normal University. Read more »

Hotpot and Mahjong


Last week, we had a nice evening of hotpot with some Chinese and Dutch colleagues. Following a previous evening in which our Chinese colleagues cooked some wonderful dishes for us, now it was our turn to provide some food. Lazy as we are ;-) we decided on the typically Chinese and very 'gezellig' hotpot (huoguo). Herman and I love hotpot, did even before we went to China, so we have a hotpot set. A second one was borrowed, to give enough cooking room for all six people. Read more »

Bonus Tournament

Bonus 2014

Great fun last night at the yearly Groningen Go Bonus Tournament!

It became a go-day in Groningen: because Groningen has two teams in the top poule of the national team competition this season, at least one match could be played in Groningen, namely Groningen 1 vs. Groningen 2. The planning of the yearly Bonus tournament gave the opportunity to invite the players from Utrecht and Arnhem to play their rounds against both Groningen teams on the same day. This saves a trip to Zwolle (where Groningen usually meets its opponents from far away) and gives the players the opportunity to stay for the Bonus Tournament. Read more »

A second nephew

Friday 28 Feb he was born: my sister's third child, our second nephew. His name is Roelof, after an uncle of his father's (also an uncle of Herman's, coincidentally :-) He was born at home, everything going fine, and he is healthy and happy. He is a bit sleepy during the day and active at night, but that's just jet-lag from his trip from utero-land to the real world. His mother suffered a small infection the day after the birth and had to go to hospital, but the antibiotics cure seems to be working; hopefully she'll be better soon and back home with little Roelof.

Businesses all around

Lately, it seems like everyone around me is starting their own business or working for a startup. So if anyone needs someone for their translating, editing, bookkeeping or debt collection, here are some nice addresses:

Chinese Evening on celebrities

Mo Yan
The second Chinese Evening of the year had as topic: Chinese celebrities. Li Yunxuan and Ding Xiyuan of the Groningen Confucius Institute organized the activities this time, and it was a great evening. We got the (very short) bios for a selection of famous Chinese characters, both from ancient and modern culture. Some examples: Confucius (of course!), the Qin emperor, but also Mo Yan (Nobel-prize winning author) and Zhang Yimou (the famous director). Read more »

Winter holiday in Paradiski

For our yearly ski vacation, we went to Paradiski in the French Alps this year. We had a great time, trying out a formula of staying 12 days rather than 8 or 15. This worked out very well, no traffic on the road when driving up to the ski area, and the chance to maximally enjoy our days on the mountain. Read more »

Weiqi in Atlantis

Weiqi (go, baduk) was the theme for the Chinese Evening of November 15. Groningen Confucius Institute and myself organised the evening together with the Go Club Groningen. I gave a very short introduction and background, and Siu related his adventures during his time at Yan An's go school in Wuhan. Afterwards, we chatted in Chinese, and various people tried their hand at go, capture-go, and go-moku. Read more »

Herman qualifies for Dutch Go Championships once more

Herman and friends during the break at the Indis

This weekend the final four rounds of the Duch qualifiers for the national championships were played. Herman was in form and won three out of four. Added to the three wins from the previous weekend, this resulted in an impressive third (shared second) place. So this January, Herman will once again compete with the fifteen strongest players of the Netherlands for the title of Dutch champion. No small task, but looking forward to it! Read more »

Calligraphy master at Chinese Evening

Cheers with jenever

This week, we had a great Chinese Evening. Prof Li Junming, a visiting professor from the Communications University of China in Beijing, joined our evening to show some of his work - and let us try it ourselves, too! The professor did not speak English, so all of us who wanted to chat with him had to pull out our best Chinese - though a teacher from the Confucius Institute, Haocui, translated where necessary during the professor's demonstration, so that everyone could follow the presentation, regardless of Chinese proficiency level. Some photos of the event can be found here. Read more »

Location of Cafe Atlantis


Cafe Hooghoudt Atlantis at the Gedempte Zuiderdiep 61 is the location for several events we organise. Because the location proves difficult to find, I here provide a map and some helpful pointers, so that no-one has to wander around the city any more wondering if Atlantis has perhaps already sunk :-) Read more »

Second Chinese Evening with lots of food


In May, the second Chinese Evening was organized. Attendance was once again great, with about 25 people, learners and native speakers. This time, my friend Siu held a short talk on some of his favourite Hong Kong foods - what they are, how they are made, and how you can make them yourself. And because tasting is believing, he also brought a selection of jiaozi - boiled and steamed dumplings with various kinds of fillings, all of which were delicious. Read more »

First Chinese Evening great success

Chinese evening edition 1

On Friday April 19, the first edition of the Chinese Evening took place. It was very well attended with more than 25 participants, enough to nicely fill Cafe Atlantis (where the evening took place) without overcrowding. The ratio Mandarin learners / Mandarin speakers was about 2 to 1, I think, which made for a nice mix. Jiaqi, one of the representatives of the Groningen Confucius Institute (GCI), gave a short presentation on Xiang Qi (Chinese Chess), which functioned as the cultural piece of the evening. Read more »

Knitting for Fenna

Fenna and me in matching skirts

Nowadays, I am knitting and crocheting a lot for my little niece Fenna, who is now about twenty months old. Recently she and her mother came to visit us in Groningen, and before that we met them in Buitenpost at her grandparents' house. On that occasion, I gave Paulina the small skirt that was a mini-version of one I made for myself - well, what better to do with the leftover wool? :-) Read more »

Starting Chinese Evening


Chinese evening - an opportunity to practice speaking Chinese
Every third or fourth Friday of the month - starting April 19
From 20.00, Cafe Atlantis (Ged. Zuiderdiep 61, Groningen)
Free admission, drop by any time

Being an enthusiastic learner of Mandarin, I am always looking for extra opportunities to practice. Especially practice in conversing - reading, writing and listening can all be done alone and offline, but holding a conversation is at the same time the most difficult thing to practice, and the most useful skill to actually have. For that reason, I decided to set up a regular 'Chinese evening', an opportunity for Chinese learners to meet each other and some native speakers and practice Mandarin. Read more »

Winter holiday

Me on a snowboard!

A good start to the year: on Jan 5, Herman and I left for two weeks of winter sports in the French Alps. Destination was the Trois Vallees, the world's largest skiing area. We have visited this area before, but we always enjoy skiing here, and the large area means that you won't get bored quickly - even during a two-week stay. Read more »

Great Quote

You know, the most amazing thing happened to me tonight. I was coming here, on the way to the lecture, and I came in through the parking lot. And you won't believe what happened. I saw a car with the license plate ARW 357. Can you imagine? Of all the millions of license plates in the state, what was the chance that I would see that particular one tonight? Amazing...

- Richard Feynman

Beginner's course Go

Students at play

In january 2012, I taught an introductory course in the game of Go for the Go Club Groningen. The course was a success with in total six participants (which is quite ok for a go course :-). Unfortunately, many of the participants could not make it to all lessons, so that I had to employ an interestingly flexible lesson plan; giving some students a quick cram-course on the side to get them up to date, and thinking up more challenging assignments for the advanced students. Read more »

New job at INCAS3


After all the travelling of the last year, it was time to get back to work. At the end of 2011, I found a job as a researcher at INCAS3, a research institute located in Assen. INCAS3 performs research into intelligent sensors and sensor systems. The institute was created in 2008, and has since been a very active and inspired organisation. So far, I enjoy working here very much. The atmosphere is one of smart, motivated people, and there is lots of room for ideas and creativity. Read more »

Herman qualifies for Dutch Go Championships

Herman and friends during the break at the Indis

Last weekend, Herman qualified to participate in the Dutch Go Championships in Jan 2012. This will be the third time in a row he is competing in this tournament, the highest-level national tournament. The qualifiers, called Indis, were played over eight matches, in two weekends in October. Herman scored a total of 5 points, which got him the sixth place and a ticket to the championships, so yay! More details and results can be found on the Indis website. Read more »

Reunion of former Cover board members

a - the five old folks

On 7 Oct, the current board of Cover, the student society of Artificial Intelligence at the University of Groningen, organised a reunion dinner for all former Cover board members. This was a very nice idea, and as a former board member (1998-1999) I of course attended. I was curious whether the rest of my board would turn up, I had not seen any of them in quite some time. In the end, only one fellow member from my year turned up, but it was still great fun meeting again. I was surprised (and a little shocked) at how few of the other attendees I actually knew. Only three (out of about thirty)! Read more »

A new niece

a - baby Fenna

On Monday, September 5, Herman became an uncle! His sister gave birth to a sweet, healthy daughter. She is named Fenna, which coincidentally is also my mother's name (this was not known to the parents at the time). Fenna arrived a little earlier than expected, the calculated date of arrival being September 14 or so. An extra reason for us to be glad about our early return from Greece: if we had stayed the entire period, we would not have been back until three weeks after the birth, and we would have missed a lot! Read more »

Back from sailing

my wounded laptop

For the past four months, we have been sailing around the Greek Islands, mostly in the Ionian. We had a wonderful time, enjoying the beautiful scenery. We've anchored in lots of tranquil coves and bays, and berthed in any number of picturesque little harbours. And we've sailed to our heart's content. Read more »

Refresher day in Harderwijk

The 'Karina'

Since our sailing adventure is starting soon, I decided to get some practice in beforehand. I booked a day course in Harderwijk, on the yacht 'Karina', owned by skipper Jan van Zadelhoff (www.jlcharters.nl). The yacht was a Jouet 37, a bit longer than our Jeanneau in Greece, and quite a nice boat. She was a bit heavy to handle, since the steering wheel was mechanical (rather than hydraulical) and her turning circle wasn't as small as that of modern yachts - she's from 1978. Read more »

Lecture for Sign Language Colloquia, Radboud University

The organizers of the Sign Language Colloquia lecture series of Radboud University, Nijmegen, had invited me to give a presentation about my PhD. research. On March 28, I undertook the long journey (2,5 hours) from Groningen to Nijmegen and presented my work to a mixed audience of students and professionals interested in sign languages. Radboud University has one of the largest centers of sign language research in the Netherlands, at which, among other things, interesting work is done on creating corpora of Dutch sign language. Read more »

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