I am Dutch. And when you consider Dutch culture, you just can’t help thinking about wooden shoes, windmills and tulips. But, there’s a lot more to the small nation than that… although there are still a lot of windmills.
The Netherlands is problably one of the most unique countries in Europe. It’s flat, it’s windy, the weather is very unpredictable and it’s full of people with a weird love for the colour orange. But, there is also a lot to like about this country. Here are, in random order, 5 things that make life in the Netherlands so good. I bet you fellow Dutchies can relate!
1. Stunning landscapes
The Netherlands is a very “picturesque” country. Whether you are visiting the country side or a city like Amsterdam, or you are walking along the canals, there is always something nice to look at.
2. Delicious treats
Stroopwafels, bitterballen, poffertjes, pepernoten… just a few of those tasty typical Dutch treats. You will just have to taste it for yourself!
3. The Dutch are bicycle crazy
Cycling is definitely popular all throughout Europe, but in the Netherlands, it indeed is a huge part of the Dutch lifestyle. The lack of hills, the easy distances and the incredible cycling infrastructure make riding a bike in the Netherlands a pretty amazing experience.
Going by bike means no traffic jams, no hunting for a parking spot and no guilt about CO2 emissions. Need to say more?
4. Orange madness
Despite the Dutch flag being red, white, and blue, orange is actually the national color. This is because the monarchy is from the House of Orange, and until becoming king, Willem-Alexander was the Prince of Orange. To honor the country’s heritage, the Dutch wear orange on days of national pride, and their sports teams wear bright orange uniforms, too. On Koningsdag (King’s Day), on 27 April, Dutch people also dress in orange and celebrate their country with outdoor parties, picnics, and parades.
5. Dutch directness (not rudeness)
The Dutch are famed for their direct way of communicating. They (in general) say things as they are, they don’t mince words or beat around the bush. Many cultures would probably add that they are often blunt to the point of being rude. Of course I don’t advocate being rude or insensitive to others. But one aspect of Dutch directness is that we also don’t take offence easily.
Dutch straight talking takes a lot of getting used to, but it does have its advantages. At least you know where you stand!
Being a true Dutchy, I will never stop complaining about our country (it’s what we do!). But, it is also good to take notice of the good things this little country by the North Sea has to offer. And the five things above I really do love about my country. I am proud to be Dutch!