News Articles

Dutch adaption of Sesame Street celebrates 25th anniversary

Cookie Monster, Pino and Sien popular

Tags: Excerpts from the Windmill

HILVERSUM - Sesame Street, the children’s educational-fun institution on U.S. public television stations since 1969, in early 1976 spawned a Dutch-language version, aptly called ‘Sesamstraat.’ Adapted to its Dutch audience, Sesamstraat introduced its own crew of human actors, and a number of ‘Dutch’ puppets to interact. Recently, Sesamstraat celebrated its 25th anniversary.

With Pino as a kind of substitute for Big Bird, Tommie and the mouse Ieniemienie, Sesamstraat - of course - also has such original staples as Cookie Monster, Oscar the Grouch, and Bert & Ernie. The human inhabitants of the street have changed over the years, but Sien has been around for all of the 25 years. The latest guest-reader - a segment added later to the Dutch version - was Prime Minister Wim Kok.

Initially, Sesamstraat was different from the original Childrens Television Workshop production in the way it familiarized its audience with ethic minorities, emancipation and the plight of the handicapped. Child psychologists and behavioral specialists helped form Sesam-straat which tries to combine social issues with the basics of reading, writing and counting. Some community schools use the program to teach adult foreigners the Dutch language

Sesamstraat has fully become a Dutch institution. Watching the program has become a daily ritual for over 70 percent of all Dutch children between three and six years of age and for many parents.