A friend of mine, born and raised in Romania, asked me to blog about what makes the Dutch Dutch.
Doing some research on the net I discovered that there are many articles out there on the Dutch and their habits. Even courses are offered and books are written on how to handle the Dutch culture.
Dutch assertiveness and directness are notorious. Many internationals would probably say that the Dutch are often blunt to the point of being rude. It might take some all-out effort to get used to it without taking it personally. If you manage, it does have its advantages. At least you know where you stand.
It also striking that the Dutch are such a moaners. Their favorite subject to complain about is being too busy. An other great source of inspiration is the weather. Regardless of which season it is, there is always something to complain about.
The Dutch cuss a lot. A substantial number of cuss words they use are references to diseases, genitals or profanity. Furthermore several English cuss words are commonly in use. I do not mind a little cussing as long as you do not insult anybody. Unfortunately not everybody is aware of the impact of their cussing.
What else to know. Do not ever drop by unannounced as specially not at dinner time. They might consider your barging in as rude. Dutch like everything carefully planned out, such as the exact amount of food per person. There is a high probability that they will sent you away since there will not be enough food to share. On the other hand they are appreciated for being spontaneous, punctual and ‘cozy’.
Which brings me to the point that Dutch people are considered ‘cheap’. It is common that after they offer you a biscuit with your tea they will put the lit back on the cookie jar. I think Holland is probably the only country where they use a ‘bottle scraper’ to prevent wasting food. The Dutch have regularly been involved in wars. They learned how to survive by been budgetary and planning ahead.
Except when it comes to soccer the Dutch have no strong national pride. Holland is known for its progressive and tolerant attitude, regarding to the legislation and the freedom of religion.Sadly over the years Holland has become a lot less tolerant. I think it partly has to do with the national attitude. It’s all about modesty and being down to earth. Their motto is ‘doe maar normaal dan doe je al gek genoeg!’. Literally this means ‘ just behave normally, it’s crazy enough’. In away their modesty and down to earth attitude makes them a bit narrow minded and judgmental.
I suppose I have to dedicate another article on this topic, there is so much more to write about.
To what extent do I recognize myself in being typical Dutch? I have to admit, obviously apart from the bad habits, I am quite Dutch. -Bregje
photo credit: avlxyz Earl Grey. Hot. via photopin (license)