Ried fan de Fryske Beweging

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The Ried fan de Fryske Beweging (RfdFB), or Council of the Frisian Movement, is an organisation of people who have a keen interest in, and want to support, Frisia, the Frisian languages, and Frisian culture. It is an independent not-profit foundation uniting several member organisations, and is supported by volunteers, and more than 500 donors.


The foundation Ried fan de Fryske Beweging was established in 1945 as an umbrella organisation for several smaller Frisian organisations ('It Selskip foar Fryske Tael en Skriftekennisse', 'It Kristlik Frysk Selskip', 'it Roomsk Frysk Boun' and 'it Frysk Boun om Utens'). The idea to have one organ to talk with governments, politicians and institutions came to life after World War II. One of the main objectives was legal recognition of the Frisian language within the Netherlands. The Dutch government had created very little legislation concerning the Frisian language up to then. The umbrella structure allowed people to contribute to the effort as a whole as donors, or by joining one of the member organisations. The board of the Council is made up of representatives from each of the member organisations, as well as some board members who are chosen by the donors. Since 2005, the Ried fan de Fryske Beweging has drawn in further member organisations.


The following organisations are members of the Ried fan de Fryske Beweging:


The main focus of the Council was the enactment of formal legal rights for the Frisian language. The Council's initiatives during its first fifty years were:

  • One hour of Frisian language instruction in primary schools (since 1980 arranged by law). In 1993 Frisian became a mandatory school subject in secondary schools.
  • Letters to governmental institutions can be written in Frisian and 'should be' answered in Frisian.
  • Politicians are allowed to speak Frisian, and will be recorded in the minutes of the official meeting.
  • In the province Friesland, it is allowed to speak Frisian in court at all times. The Frisian speaker has the right to get a translator if there is somebody who does not understand Frisian.
  • The right to use Frisian in official documents (since 2005).


During the 1990s, the Council started to promote the use of Frisian in an informal environment. Some of these informal projects are:

Current projects

  • Swingel – magazine of the Council, with articles about the Frisian language and culture and about the organisation.
  • De Fryske Reklamepriis – to promote Frisian commercials on radio and television.
  • Fear yn ’e Broek – annual award for an individual or organisation's efforts to promote the Frisian language.
  • Newsletter – the Council distributes a newsletter four times a year, with entertaining articles about the Frisian language and culture.
  • www.goedfrysk.nl – people who would like to write Frisian but have difficulties in doing so, can send their text to a group of volunteers who will correct the text free of cost.
  • Euregua – a board game for children and adults. Made in cooperation with representatives from other groups supporting their own minority languages.
  • Readings – the Council is often invited to present readings about the Frisian language.
  • www.itnijs.nl – a news website.

Past projects

  • Ragnarock – a small pop event for emerging Frisian bands and artists.
  • Mear Frysk on-line – an initiative to promote the use of Frisian on the internet.
  • Distributation of 'I like to talk Frisian' stickers


The Council promotes the use of Frisian in every domain. The Council maintains contacts with governments, institutions, companies, societies and individuals. The donors and members support the promotion of the Frisian language. The Council wants to make people aware of the value and richness of their language, and hopes the people are encouraged to use Frisian, not just in their daily environment. The use of Frisian by common people is one of the current main objectives. In case of discrimination, the Council cooperates with an anti-discrimination bureau called Tûmba. People can report language discrimination to the Ried fan de Fryske Beweging or directly to Tûmba.

The Council works with several committees. Each has its own tasks:

  • International Contacts Committee – to maintain contacts with other minorities and European minority organisations.
  • New media – promotes the Frisian language on the internet.
  • Political committee
  • Interfrisian committee – to promote East- and North-Frisia in West-Frisia.
  • Promotion – promotes the organisation


  • Sj. van der Schaaf, Skiednis fan de Fryske Beweging. Ljouwert 1977.


Grytsje Kingma, a singer-songwriter in the Frisian language

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