About the Koteras

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A Dutchie (Louana), her Japanese husband (Yasu), and their little ones. Living abroad. Making memories. Louana was born on the ‘Eleventh’ of August in the year of the ‘Monkey’ (1980). She met Yasu in 2004, when they were foreign exchange students at Emory University in the United States. After a three-year-long-distance-relationship between Europe (Belgium & the Netherlands) and Japan, Louana moved to Japan to teach English and to be near Yasu. Three years later, they got secretly married in Osaka, before moving to San Francisco for the next three years. They now live in the United Kingdom, where they have been for way more than the intended three years, with Babel, their England-born Dutch-Japanese little one and three babies on the way.


23 thoughts on “About the Koteras

  1. First of all, I love, love, love your header – it is so cute and appropriate!! And what a whirlwind of a romance. Plus, you guys have been here and there and everywhere – it definitely shakes things up and keeps life interesting. Look forward to reading more about your adventures! :)

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Leuke blog heb je, en leuk dat je mij gevonden hebt. Jij bent de tweede Nederlandse vrouw in de AMWF ‘community’ die ik tegenkom. En we hebben meer gemeen: ik ben ook in augustus jarig en ga binnenkort een Etsy shop openen. :-) Ik ga je blog volgen!

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    1. Heeft die andere Nederlandse AMWF vrouw ook een blog? Ah ja, Etsy. Ik hoop daar binnenkort weer meer tijd voor te hebben, op zwangerschapsverlof net voordat de baby geboren is. Wat ga je verkopen op Etsy?


      1. Ja, maar die houdt ze niet regelmatig bij: http://www.mingbai.nl/weblog. Ik wil samen met een Chinese vriendin zelfgemaakte sieraden van Chinese porseleinen kralen gaan verkopen. Maar door een verblijf in Nederland van ruim een maand en een opkomende verhuizing denk ik dat het nog wel even duurt voordat we dat op hebben gezet… En ik denk dat dat voor jou ook geldt, want tijdens zwangerschapsverlof heb je het volgens mij druk met andere dingen, ook al is de baby er dan nog niet! :-)

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Dag Louana, omdat ik je blog leuk vind, geef ik je de Liebster Award door. Hopelijk vind je dat leuk! Wellicht heb je er al eens een gehad, maar dat kon ik nergens terugvinden. In mijn laatste blog (die gisteren is geplaatst) draag ik o.a. jou voor. Ik dacht: je hebt het nu vast te druk met überzwanger zijn om al mijn posts bij te houden, dus laat ik het je via deze weg even weten. :-)

    Als je de award aan wilt nemen stuur ik je elf nieuwe vragen toe. Ik hoor het wel!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey Judith. Ik heb je post gisteren gezien en weet nog dat ik had gelezen tot aan je zei dat je wel wakker gemaakt zou willen worden als je huis in brand staat of er ingebroken werd. Ik dacht nog, goed antwoord. En toen werd ik gestoord door de boodschappen delivery en heb ik het nooit meer afgelezen en dus niet gezien dat je mij hebt genomineerd! Als ik wel had doorgelezen dan was ik vast superverrast geweest! Ben blij dat je me dat hier nog even laat weten, anders had ik het gemist. Kom maar op met die vragen en bedankt ;)!


    1. I’ve recently done the Liebster Award thing on my blog, and these days I don’t have much time to blog. It’s a struggle to post the weekly Babel updates on time, that little cutie sure is keeping me busy. So thanks for nominating me again, though. I really appreciate it.


  4. Lovely blog and beautiful family!

    Dutchie, I was wondering, are you part Asian? (Apologies if that’s a rude question- I don’t think it is, just ask as a fellow Eurasian/mixed European-Asian).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Absolutely, not a rude question! Although many of my American white friends seem to have that opinion, ‘political correctness’ makes asking any questions very hard there. But as an European-Asian (yes you are correct!) I have no problem with it all. People ask me all the time because they can see something different in me. By blood, I’m half Indonesian, half Dutch. Now, I’m going to hop over to your blog and see what kind of mix you are. I love mixes!


      1. Hello!! The Netherlands is one of my favourite countries ever ;)

        Sit down with a cup of tea and biscuit – long comment alert! My background is complex but I’m essentially 50/50 Malaysian-Chinese/British. I’ve encountered quite a few Indonesian/Dutch mixes in my time, and always a pleasure to meet another.

        Americans tend to have a very funny approach to ‘political correctness’ (which I’ve discussed on my blog). For example, the USA is a massively politically correct country, yet at the same time highly racist and racially segmented country, and everyone tip-toes around race like it’s a taboo subject, which sometimes makes it difficult to have a conversation about anything interesting.

        Love your blog and it’s raised quite a few questions for me which I hope you don’t mind me asking:

        1. Which cultures/languages are you planning to pass on to your little angel? Dutch? British? Japanese? Indonesian? I’ve always thought that when you throw more than 3 nationalities/races/identities into a mix, it can be tricky to pass all of those down to the children.

        2. How do you identify in every day life? As Eurasian, or something else?

        3. Do 50/50 Dutch-Indonesians Eurasians mainly identify as white? This isn’t a criticism or anything; I’m genuinely curious about how Eurasians identify themselves in different ways in different places. In my experience 50/50 Eurasians tend to identify as both white and Asian. However, against this trend, I’ve noticed Eurasians with a white American or Dutch parent tend to identify solely as ‘European/white’.

        For example, I remember asking one friendly and chatty Dutch-Indonesian Eurasian at a conference if he was Dutch-Indonesian – he was, but he didn’t like me asking that question and he got very defensive and stopped talking to me. Of course he is an extreme example, but more generally I’ve noticed that Dutch and American Eurasians tend to identify more strongly with their white side than their Asian side. Again, no criticism at all, but I was wondering if there were any particular cultural reasons for that? It’s all very interesting.

        4. I noticed the ‘AMWF’ tag on your blog – again, this isn’t a criticism but I’m really just curious about, again as a fellow Eurasian. Do you use the tag to connect with AMWF couples?

        I just wonder as for me, the ‘AMWF’ and ‘WMAF’ label doesn’t apply to Eurasians, as when Eurasians date/marry Asians, whites, or other Eurasians, it isn’t ‘interracial dating’ or ‘dating out’ in the same way it is for monoracials. Again, this isn’t an attack and of course you identify how you want, it’s just a genuine question about something I am curious about.

        I’m sorry if any of these questions are offensive or anything: honestly not my intention. And my apologies for the super long comment!

        I’m just really excited to discuss being Eurasian with another Eurasian :)

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Thanks for the long comment and questions. It’s hard to offend a Dutchie in general. You can ask whatever you want, and I can decide whether I’ll answer or not. No offense taken. This attitude used to baffle my American friends. One even asked: “So, you just assume I can handle the responsibility of deciding whether I want to answer?” My answer: “You’re an adult, aren’t you?”

        Anyways, your questions are very interesting. I’ll answer out of order, I hope I don’t miss anything. If I do, just ask again.

        I can’t speak for other Dutch/Indos but I don’t identify myself by race, I identify myself by culture and nationality. They’re not the same, there are lots of different races in my country. As you know, I am a mix of two races: half Caucasian and half Asian. But that is just my blood or body. Who I am, is my mind. And that was formed by where and how I was raised and that was all Dutch. So for all intents and purposes I’m Dutch. I don’t feel a connection to Indonesia at all. My mom (by blood Indonesian) born and raised in the Netherlands is also super Dutch. We only speak Dutch. One of my brothers is the only one who identified a bit more with being half Indonesian, actually. And he’s currently in Indonesia to get married to an Indonesian girl (she’s half actually because her dad is Japanese) tomorrow! So my mother is currently in Indonesia for the first time in her life. She loves the food, but the culture is very much against her principles. If anything being there probably makes her feel more Dutch and less Indonesian. I’ve never been there and I feel no need to ever go there.

        Everyday life: I don’t feel white or Asian. I just feel Dutch. I have lived abroad for almost 20 years of my life. Everytime I visit the Netherlands I get a little culture shock because I have adopted new ways of doing things from the other cultures I’ve lived in. The longer I live away from my country, the more I feel Dutch. Yet, right now living in the Netherlands would probably be the hardest for me, culturally. Now, I’m more comfortable in the UK, Japan, or the States.

        Indeed, I use the AMWF tag to connect with other couples. My interest isn’t in interracial dating, mine is in international or cross-cultural dating. I have many interracial relationships (friendships) that are not international/cross-cultural. So yeah those are all Dutchies that look different from me. Those friendships are fairly easy because of our shared nationality and culture. My international/cross-cultural relationships (including my marriage) are the more interesting ones because of our differences in ways of life and understanding of the world. I am interested in blogs about West-East couples. The AMWF and WMAF tags help me find those and them me. My husband is the Asian Male and I am the (half) White or Western Female.

        We’re raising Babel trilingually. I speak to him in Dutch, Yasu speaks to him in Japanese, and when we’re together we speak (American) English. Yasu and I are not fluent in each other’s languages so we always speak English to each other. It’s important to us that Babel speaks both Japanese and Dutch so he can communicate with all his family members.

        Culture wise, that’s harder. Yasu and I are from very different cultures and we live in yet another completely different one. Traditions and festivities wise we’re doing anything we grew up doing, so Dutch and Japanese holidays and fun traditions. And anything fun that happens in our (previous) host cultures we enjoy celebrating that as well (e.g. American Halloween or British Bonfire Night). As for values and morals, our little family’s culture is an amalgamation of mainly Japanese and Dutch cultures. Communication is key in a cross-cultural relationship and we have decided for ourselves what’s important for our family. Sometimes that coincides with Japanese beliefs and principles, sometimes with the Dutch. Sometimes with neither. We do what works for us and feels right for our family.

        Babel’s ancestors are from 5 different countries: Japan, Netherlands, Indonesia, Belgium, and Spain. I don’t know how many races that is? Since Japan and Indonesia are both in Asia is that the same race? Who knows. It’s not important.

        Babel already has two nationalities (so two passports) and since he was born in England he can get a British passport after we’ve lived here for 5 years (so in 2 years). So he will have 3 nationalities, but he will only have 1 identity. He is Babel Kotera born into a very international family and citizen of the world.

        What do you like about the Netherlands? And which country do you currently live in?


      3. Wow, this is super interesting, Dutchie. Thanks for taking the time to answer my long-ass comment!

        What I like about the Netherlands: beautiful landscape, seems to have a lot of clear blue water everywhere (which might make you and your husband laugh but that reminds me a bit of Japan), extremely friendly and helpful people, clean and seemingly well-organised. I’m currently living in Switzerland but have also lived in the Belgium, Japan, UK (and other places) – I’m sure we could exchange plenty of stories on those places alone ;)

        Liked by 1 person

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