Utrecht’s Number One Citizen

Meet Miffy

Holland has produced some amazing characters, both real and imagined, but none more perfect then Miffy. This quiet unassuming gender bending cartoon character has captured the imagination of generations of Dutch children. I say gender bending because there seems to be a bit of a divide out there. Apparently, creator Dick Bruna didn’t dab a flower onto the rabbit’s smock until 1970 and folks born before that were free to assign any gender they chose to the little bunny.

Miffy is a worldwide phenomenon with more than 120 books that have sold over 85 million copies, a feature length film and three television series.

Why so popular? Miffy appeals to children all over the world, but especially here. She, like the Dutch that adore her, is unpretentious, uncomplicated, has a very positive attitude and, even though innocent, is always open to new experiences.

But she’s no push over. Miffy has been forced to duke it out with Miss Kitty over copyright and trademark infringement and has won.

The dismayed creator has simply said, “No, don’t do that. Try to make something that you think of yourself”

She is no more revered then here In Utrecht, Bruna’s hometown. Called Nijntje in Holland, there is a square named after her, the Nijntjepleintje (Little Nijntje Square), the Centraal Museum has opened a permanent exhibition called the dick bruna huis (Dick Bruna house), there is a Nijntje Museum and there are even street lamps shaped like the little bunny.





On February 16, 2017, Dick Bruna died at the age of 89. Miffy would be 62 today.






More Interesting but Useless Facts;

In the Netherlands, Miffy is known as “nijntje”, which derives from the Dutch word “konijntje”, meaning “little bunny”. This is a very logical name for anyone who speaks Dutch, but not in any other language. Because “nijntje” is difficult to pronounce for non-Dutch speakers and because there are so many different words for “bunny” in other languages, the rabbit is simply known as Miffy. The name has no special meaning, but is easy to pronounce in all languages.

See how practical the Dutch are?

7 thoughts on “Utrecht’s Number One Citizen

  1. Mariette

    Nice pictures! And true stories about my town!
    1 lived here a decade from my 18th and still love to walk around. do some shopping at the nice markets and take home 50 tulips for only €5!! Ofcourse we take our breaks at one of the nice restaurants hidden at small streets between the canals!
    Gr. Mariette ( holland)

  2. Larry Dale Ursich

    Wendi and Bruce
    Not sure but would appear you are again in Europe. Hope and trust you will have a good time.
    All is well in Ireland, we have moved permentaly from London and renovated a house in Dublin.
    The idea is summers in Mayo and winters in Dublin. Has not worked out that way for the past
    year but perhaps in the future. We will be in the US for next summer.
    Bye for now, Larry and Maureen

  3. Lee

    I think I want to move there! All the bikes, the health priority, the wholesome role model, the canals, the mix of old and new – looks good to me!

  4. Leslie

    Wendi, we are just returning from the Havana flea market! You and I could do some serious damage there! Todd made me stop after we ran out of Pesos and kept negotiating with dollars in a way he was not convinced was profitable:-) but some great art work! Hugs Todd and Leslie

  5. Connie

    I’m forwarding this on to my cousins in Utrecht and Driebergen – gorgeous photos! Look forward to the regular blog updates and give Jan & Anneke hugs from us. Tot zeins, Connie


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