Although traffic lights might not be the most thrilling attraction in a city, there are exceptions to it, and the city of Utrecht, in the very centre of mainland Netherlands, took this to a new high by featuring its most famous resident on a traffic light!
The cute character replaces both the red and green figures that can usually be seen on Dutch lights, adding a unique feature to the city’s center.
After all, Utrecht is the hometown to Miffy!
Locally know as Nijntje, she is a small white rabbit that originated in a series of picture books created by the Dutch artist Dick Bruna.
The first book was published in 1955 and dozens have followed, with more than 100 million copies total being sold around the world.
Miffy appeals to children all over the world, instilling a sense of safety, and many of them are able to identify with her and her adventures.
She is uncomplicated and innocent, has a positive attitude and is always open to new experiences.
Her name, “Nijntje”, derives from the Dutch word “konijntje”, meaning, not by chance, “little bunny”.
This is a very logical name for anyone who speaks Dutch, but not in any other language. Because “nijntje” is difficult to prounce for non-Dutch speakers and because there are so many different words for “bunny” in other languages, the character is simply known as Miffy.
The name doesn’t have any special meaning, but it is easy to pronounce in all languages.
In the past, she had a different name in every language. She was known, for example, as “le petit lapin” in French, and as “kleintjie” in Afrikaans, but since 1996 she is known as Miffy everywhere outside the Netherlands.
Be sure to check out Miffy in all the different parts of Utrecht, including the Miffy Square and the Miffy Museum!
Images from web – Google Research