The Netherlands is a small country in Western Europe with a unique culture and many interesting habits. From their love of cycling to their direct communication style, the Dutch have a reputation for being both friendly and efficient. In this blog post, we’ll explore some of the most notable Dutch habits and customs.
The Dutch love to cycle! With over 22,000 miles of cycling paths in the country, it’s easy to see why. Cycling is not only a great way to get around, but it’s also a popular form of exercise and a way to enjoy the beautiful Dutch countryside. Many people cycle to work, school, and even on their daily errands. You’ll often see entire families riding together, with young children safely seated in special children’s seats or cargo bikes.
The Dutch are also known for their love of celebrations, and King’s Day is one of the biggest celebrations in the country. Held on April 27th, King’s Day is a national holiday that celebrates the birthday of King Willem-Alexander. On this day, the Dutch dress in orange, which is the national color, and take to the streets for parades, music, and street parties.
The Dutch are known for being direct in their communication style. They value honesty and straightforwardness and tend to say what they mean, rather than beating around the bush. This can sometimes be mistaken for rudeness, especially by people from cultures that value more indirect communication. However, the Dutch see it as a way of being efficient and avoiding misunderstandings.
In the Netherlands, being on time is important. Whether it’s for a meeting, a party, or just meeting friends, the Dutch take punctuality seriously. Being late is seen as a sign of disrespect, and it’s always better to arrive a few minutes early than to keep people waiting.
The Dutch love their bread, and it’s a staple of their lunchtime diet. A typical Dutch lunch consists of bread with toppings such as Dutch cheese, ham, or peanut butter. You’ll often see people carrying bread rolls or sandwiches wrapped in paper for their midday meal.
The Netherlands is a coffee-loving country, and it’s not unusual for people to drink several cups of coffee a day. Coffee is often served with a small cookie or a piece of chocolate, and it’s a social ritual that’s enjoyed throughout the day.
Birthdays are a big deal in the Netherlands, and they’re celebrated in a unique way. Instead of the birthday person bringing cake or treats to share with others, it’s the other way around. The birthday person receives congratulations and gifts from their friends and family, and they’re expected to provide snacks and drinks for everyone who comes to visit them.
Stroopwafels are a type of Dutch cookie that is made from two thin waffle-like layers with a caramel syrup filling in the middle. They are a popular snack in the Netherlands and are often served with a cup of coffee or tea. Dutch people love their stroopwafels so much that they even have a national stroopwafel day, which is celebrated on January 31st.
The character of Zwarte Piet, or Black Pete, has been a subject of controversy in the Netherlands for many years. Black Pete is a traditional figure in Dutch holiday celebrations, particularly during the celebration of Sinterklaas, which takes place in early December.
The character of Black Pete is traditionally portrayed as a helper of Sinterklaas who has a black face, bright red lips, curly black hair, and wears colorful clothing. Many people see this portrayal as a racist caricature that perpetuates negative stereotypes about black people.
In recent years, there have been widespread protests against the character of Black Pete, with many calling for the tradition to be abolished or for the character to be portrayed in a different way that is not offensive to people of color. Some Dutch people defend the tradition, arguing that it is a harmless part of Dutch culture and that the character of Black Pete is not meant to be offensive.
The debate around Black Pete is ongoing, and the Dutch government has been working to find a solution that respects both the traditions of Sinterklaas and the concerns of those who see Black Pete as a racist caricature. Some municipalities have already made changes to the way Black Pete is portrayed, including using different makeup or costumes to avoid blackface. Now they use colors and name them Regenboog Piet (Rainbow Pete).
The Dutch are known for being independent and self-sufficient, and this extends to their homes. It’s common for people to clean their own homes, rather than hiring a cleaning service. This is seen as a way of taking responsibility for their own space and keeping it tidy and organized.
The Dutch have many interesting habits and customs that make their culture unique. From their love of cycling to their direct communication style, the Dutch are a friendly and efficient people who value honesty, punctuality, and independence. If you’re planning a trip to the Netherlands, be sure to take some time to observe and appreciate their customs and way of life.