The little stubborn country Netherlands has a lot of things, habits and things that you can label with the right to 'typically Dutch'. Some topics are unique to the Netherlands, others are elsewhere also but are typical to the Netherlands, the Dutch culture and Dutch people themselves. On this page we have written some of what we believe, but also may be particularly mentioned in the eyes of foreigners as recognizable Netherlands and Dutch society.
As with other countries and people you should really not generalize here. Most published topics below are applicable to a part of the Netherlands or the Dutch population, but do not apply to everyone and everything.
The Dutch Are Not Stingy????
Stingy does not appear on these pages. That's simply because Dutch are not stingy. Dutch are known as people who give good tips outside the country. Dutch also give generously to charity. A Dutchman is also not afraid to give a round in the pub. But Dutch indeed like to save money. If at all possible the Dutch like to have a good financial backdoor. In difficult times people intend to save more money rather than allow to use money from savings. Dutch also like to save in other ways than in the bank. Small money in jars, supermarket stamps at the gasstation, coupons on coffee packs, air miles etc. Almost in every average Dutch family these kind of savings are being done.
If something is truly Dutch then it is Sinterklaas. Although this children's party can be found in Belgium and several former Dutch colonies, it really is regarded as Dutch. The feast is celebrated annually on 5 and 6 December and involves many traditions. However, the party actually starts two to three weeks in advance as Sinterklaas arrives by boat in the Netherlands during this time. This entry is crowdedly visited. Sinterklaas rides his white horse through the Dutch streets and will be accompanied by Zwarte Piet handing out goodies and candy to the children. On pakjesavond (presentsevening) many Dutch children get gifts. With every Sinterklaas there belong sweet treats such as gingerbread, marzipan, ginger nuts, candies, fondant, gingerbread men and pastry letters.
Recently, there is a discussion about the role of Zwarte Piet. Both in the Netherlands and internationally there are people who believe that Zwarte Piet plays a subservient role that is a direct reference to the colonial era and slavery.
Dutch Wooden Clogs
Abroad, there is a general perception that many Dutch people walk in clogs. Funny, because the number of times we see someone walking on wooden shoes in the Netherlands is so small that it immediately stands out when it happens again. Clogs are not really something typical Dutch. Wooden footwear was used centuries ago in many parts of Europe. In the Netherlands, it is now primarily a folklore product and a very popular souvenir. Foreign tourists love to buy some 'wooden shoes'
Windmills can be found in many places in the world. The wind is after all an excellent and free source of energy. There are countries where more windmills are than in the Netherlands. Nevertheless, the Netherlands is seen as a real " Molenland" . This is mainly due to the presence of the polder mills. These mills are used to convey water with the aid of wind power from a lower to a higher level. Although the function of polder mills is now replaced mostly by ground, you still have quite a lot of windmills in the Dutch countryside. This is primarily because they realize that the buildings represent a cultural and historical role. Windmills are a major tourist attraction among foreign tourists.
Always a comment
A Dutch person likes to give his or her opinion. It does not matter whether sought or unsolicited and whether they have amassed enough knowledge to give a good sized business. Dutch are certainly seen as people who like to meddle with others and mingle in other people's business. This has both negative and positive aspects. Thus, "the wagging finger 'is recognized in many people immediately among many Dutch. A positive aspect of the meddling of Dutch is that when necessary, they generally stand up for eachother. But you will notice that the current "Me,me,me" era causes the helpfulness to decreases.
The color orange is a symbol of the Netherlands, the Dutch royal family and Dutch sports teams like the Dutch soccer team. Orange can be seen as a symbol of nationalism, but especially also as a color that binds. At the time the Dutch team or achieve other successes Dutch athletes are refered to as 'our boys and girls. " During major sporting events such as European Championship and World Cup, the Olympics and Dutch skating, fans will often decked out in orange color to the games.
During major football tournaments one looks at home often in orange clothes and orange attributes. Even living rooms and entire houses and streets are decorated in orange. During King's day (and formerly on Queen's Day) the color orange is also fully visible on the streets. Some manufacturers jump on days with special orange varieties of their products, such as mayonnaise and orange oranjevla.