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Scheepstra Hindericus
Ot and Sien
Ot en Sien

Scheepstra Hindericus1859-1913Ot and SienOt en Sien

Hindericus Scheepstra (17 March 1859 – 8 May 1913) was a Dutch writer best known for his children's book series Ot en Sien (1902).

Hindericus Scheepstra was born in Roden, the last of nine children. His parents were Hindrik Scheepstra en Janna Roeters.

Ot and Sien are the main characters in a series of Dutch children's tales that were very popular in the first half of the twentieth century. The first series titled Dicht bij Huis ("Close to home"), appeared in 1902. The second series Nog bij Moeder ("Still with mother"), followed in 1904. The author of the stories was Hindericus Scheepstra. However, he acted on the inspiration of Jan Ligthart, who had the intention to expose young people to what he considered a healthy daily family life. The illustrations were made by Cornelis Jetses.

After WWII the stories of Ot and Sien gradually went out of fashion and they were often ridiculed for the unrealistic picture they gave of life in the province. A century after their appearance there is a revival in the interest for the publications and in 2004 an exposition was held, focusing mostly on the artwork by Jetses.

Ot (short for Otto) and Sien (short for e.g. Francine) are two next door neighbors, a boy and a girl. Their illustrations were based on two children that actually lived in Jetses' neighborhood. The stories are situated in Drenthe that was at the time the most impoverished province of the Netherlands where quite a few people were still living in dwellings constructed of peat and sods. The surrounding poverty is nowhere to be seen in the stories that depict a very idealized version of reality.

Netherlands, 2005, Ot en Sien

Netherlands, 2005, Ot en Sien

Netherlands, 2005.04.05, Haag. Boy with kite


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