Our first post! Yay!! We decided to start this all with a blog post about the nation where we life: the Netherlands.
After reading this post you will know a bit more about the Netherlands. We hope you’ll enjoy it!
Let’s just start with this: the Netherlands is not just about alcohol, drugs and the red light district. Really?! I didn’t know that! (I hope you can read sarcasm)
Geography and Language
- First of all. A lot of people don’t know the difference between ‘The Netherlands’ and ‘Holland’ and when to use which one. Well, let me tell you this.
The real name for this nation is the Netherlands. Where people get confused is this: The Netherlands is divided into 12 different provinces. We have Groningen, Drenthe, Overijsel, Limburg, Noord Brabant, Zeeland, Utrecht, Flevoland, North Holland and South Holland.
The two Holland s are the most populated and have the most attractions like Amsterdam and Keukenhof. If there is anything Dutch you’ve heard of, chances are that it is in one of the Holland s.
Where it is also confusing is the people who live in one of the Holland s are called Hollanders but all citizens of the Netherlands are called Dutch.
- Dutch is also what you call the language. But in Dutch they say “Nederlands sprekende Nederlanders in Nederland.”(Dutch speak Dutch in the Netherlands) Where if you would look at the neighbours it would be “Deutche sprechen Deutsch in Deutschland” (Germans speak German in Germany)
- The Netherlands is part of the kingdom with the same name, the Kingdom of the Netherlands, which is headed by the Dutch royal family. The Kingdom of the Netherlands contains three more country s: Aruba, Curaçao and Sint Maarten. These are self government country s within the Kingdom of the Netherlands with their own governments and currencies.
You also have the Cities Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba who don’t belong to the Kingdom of the Netherlands but to the Netherlands.
These parts are know as the Dutch Caribbean and so their citizens are Dutch citizens.
- The Kingdom of the Netherlands is also a member of the European union which means those Caribbean s are also Europeans.
Famous Dutch foods:
- Hagelslag. I would say these are chocolate sprinkles. Most would eat them on a slice of bread with maybe some butter or peanut butter. In the morning. How nice would it be to start a day with chocolate…
- Some real Dutch treats would be for example the stroopwafels, bitterkoekjes and gevulde koeken. Who hasn’t heard of the first one: the Syrup Waffle Thing.
- For diner a lot of Dutch people would eat a combination of potatoes, vegetables and meat.
- Traditional Dutch Appeltaart has a sweet cakey dough on the bottom and edges, with a lattice on the top. The apple slices in the filling are flavoured with cinnamon and sugar.
- Bitterballen. These savoury balls are battered in a crunchy breadcrumb coating and filled with a gooey mixture of chopped beef, beef broth, flour, butter, herbs and spices. They are typically served with mustard for dipping. Don’t bite in them too fast because the insides are hot.
- Zoute haring. Just salt haring that you eat kinda odd.
- Dutch is not just famous for the Red Light District but also for it’s cheese. Gouda for example.
- Also they have pannenkoeken and poffertjes. The first one are just pancakes but the second one is harder to explain. Small and fluffy kind of pancakes.
- Drop is the Dutch word for licorice. There is a flavour or type of drop for every taste from sweet to salty, hard to soft.
Famous Dutch things
- Windmills – windmolens
- Sinterklaas, also know as Sint Nikolaas or Siant Nicholas.
- Clogs – wooden shoes – klompen, the wooden shoes that are good souvenirs but not a lot of Dutch people actually wear them.
- Tulips – Tulpen, many tourists visit the country just to see the bright coloured flowers and the astonishing view over the bulb fields.
- Gezellig, it’s not really possible to translate this word but I would say it stands for a nice atmosphere or having a great time while being around people. It’s more about the feeling.
- Coffee shops. A coffee shop is a place where the sale of soft drugs for personal consumption by the public is tolerated by the local authorities. Coffee shops are not allowed to sell alcohol or hard drugs. In the Netherlands, the selling of cannabis is “illegal, but not punishable”
- Complaining- klagen, we do complain A LOT.
I’ve heard that British people complain a lot too but we are also pretty good at it. Complaining about the weather, foreigners, public transport and a hole lot more.
- Teaching people how to speak our language. Someone ones asked me if I could teach them some Dutch, sure why not, sounds fun. So after a couple of words he told me he had heard that Dutch people like to teach other people Dutch. I don’t know why but I agree with it.
- Too bad for some but the legal drinking age went up to 18. (instead of 16) You are actually still allowed to drink at home as long as your parents are fine with this. Also if you’re in a restaurant, as long as your parents say it’s fine, you can have a drink. But buying it on consuming it (in public) is not allowed any more. (Doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen) But you are not allowed to drive a car (by yourself) until you 18.
I kept writing Kingdom instead of Kingdom…. I don’t know why.
Hopefully you learned something from this and maybe I made it a bit clearer. If there are any things you would like to know about something (and you don’t want to do the research yourself because we are all lazy sometimes) just tell me in the comments bellow and I’ll see what I can do for you.