DutchNews podcast – The There Are Too Many Ministers Edition – Week 42

DutchNews podcast – The There Are Too Many Ministers Edition – Week 42

In a change to our regular podcast format, this week we interview author Ben Coates about why the Dutch are different, how he became an accidental migrant and how, as a former British political hack, he struggled to make sense of a political system that relies on parties agreeing with each other. We also bring you the names to look out for as the new Dutch government takes shape, the latest news on the murder of student Anne Faber and the remarkable story of the tigers that fled the war in Syria. Top story New Dutch cabinet takes shape News Investigation into death of Anne Faber continues Director of Amsterdam's Stedelijk Museum resigns Dutch students triumph in solar car challenge Syrian tigers head for Friesland Read the National Geographic article on the refugee tigers here Interview Ben Coates's book, Why The Dutch Are Different, is on sale here    More >

Should expats go Dutch with schools?

Should international parents consider a Dutch education for their children? With international schools in short supply and long waiting lists becoming the norm, more expatriate parents are considering a Dutch education for their children. Deborah Nicholls-Lee examines its pros and cons. ‘Within both of the kids’ classes, we’ve got Mexican families, Italian, Portuguese, Japanese, Canadian, - we have a really big mix there,’ says British expatriate Claire Mingay, who has lived in Amsterdam for 12 years. But the multi-cultural school that her children attend is not international: it is a Dutch primary school full of expatriates who, like her and her British husband Mark, have made the decision to enroll their children in the Dutch system. ‘We feel we have the best of both worlds in a Dutch school in the city centre, where there’s a large number of international families,’ she says. ‘We have the international context, the teachers are happy to speak to us in English and understand that we don’t speak good Dutch, and that’s made it quite...  More >

Get to grips with living in Holland

Get to grips with living in the Netherlands at the IamExpat Fair in The Hague Need help with finding the perfect place to live, a good place to work out or even mates to hang around with? You'll find all the answers at the second edition of the IamExpat Fair in The Hague, which takes place on Saturday November 4, 2017, at the Grote Kerk in the city centre. The IamExpat Fair was set up support internationals in the Netherlands and connect them with local businesses and service providers and the organisers are delighted to be back in The Hague for a second edition. 'The IamExpat Fair is designed for both new arrivals and established expats who want to discover something new or find answers to questions that have been bugging them for some time!,' says co-organiser Nikos Nakos. 'For example, finding time to make an appointment with a mortgage or financial advisor, can seem daunting, but here we've got them all under one roof,' says his colleague Panos Sarlanis. Indeed, the event is a great opportunity to find everything you need in one location, on one day....  More >

Multilingual recruitment comes of age

Multilingual recruitment comes of age: from CVs by post to video presentations Twenty years ago Maureen Adam launched her own recruitment company from her home in Edam. Since then the company has blossomed, but the recruitment industry has changed enormously as well, as Robin Pascoe found out. ‘I came to Holland in 1991 and I really struggled to find a job. The Netherlands was in the middle of a recession and it was at a time when you went to an agency and there were notices on the door stating “if you can’t speak Dutch, don’t come in”,’ says Maureen Adam, sitting on a bench in the sun in Westerpark, close to the company’s Amsterdam offices. ‘Then I found a job working in customer services and everyone working there was an international. So I thought “hang on a minute, there is work for people who don’t speak Dutch”.’ It was not, however, until a few months and another job later, that Maureen decided to take the plunge. Adams Multilingual Recruitment was born. “I’d worked in recruitment in London and Hong Kong and I thought...  More >

Mata Hari returns to Friesland

Mata Hari and Margaretha Zelle return to Friesland in new show Who could blame the Dutch for focusing on the glamour and intrigue that surrounds their most unlikely heroine? It is not often, after all, that one of their own becomes an international by-word for sex and scandal. But now Mata Hari is back in the spotlights. The Friesland Museum has mounted an exhibition which highlights not only Mata Hari the dancer, mistress, and – alleged – spy but Margaretha Zelle the wife and mother. It is a 100 years since Margaretha Zelle, alias Mata Hari, was executed by the French for being a German spy. There was never any conclusive proof she was seducing high ranking officers into divulging military secrets but the Dutch beauty moved in military circles as the Great War was in progress and during that uncertain time rumours flew. According to Friesland Museum curator Hans Groeneweg the French arrested Mata Hari on a trumped-up charge. ‘Things were dire at the front in 1917, with one mutiny after another. Generals came and went in quick succession,...  More >

Stedelijk show explores native foreigners

Stedelijk show ‘I am a Native Foreigner’ uses film, photos, textiles and more The Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam continues its exploration of the theme of migration with a new exhibition, I am a Native Foreigner. Deborah Nicholls-Lee  went along to check it out. ‘We’re all foreigners,’ says Beatrix Ruf, director of the Stedelijk Museum. ‘It’s an experience we all share, in a way. Even if you travel for a holiday, you experience displacement in relation to other contexts.’ The Stedelijk’s latest exhibition I am a Native Foreigner offers a 13-gallery exploration of the theme of migration and showcases photographs, textiles, paintings, installations, recordings and films from multi-national artists. The oxymoronic title is taken from a quote by Mexican conceptual artist Ulises Carrión (1941-1989), whose work features in the exhibition. A migrant himself, he moved to the Netherlands in his thirties and experienced first hand this duality. Not at home ‘As an artist, you do not always feel at home,’ explains Leontine Coelewij, the...  More >

52 signs you might be going Dutch

Grab your agenda: 52 tell-tale signs you’ve gone Dutch So there you are, sitting chomping on your French fries with mayonnaise and cheering on Oranje on the telly, or lingering in the bathroom to check which birthdays are coming up, and it suddenly hits you: you're turning Dutch. At what point does integration become assimilation? Here's a list of some tell-tale signs; feel free to add your own in the comments. You complain about the number of tourists in Amsterdam You complain about the way tourists ride their bikes You've learned to cycle while carrying an umbrella You've learned to cycle in the snow You no longer wait at red lights on your bike, or wear a helmet You drop Dutch words like lekker, borrel and gemeente into English conversation You start calling your diary an agenda and keeping it meticulously Bar staff and shop assistants have stopped replying to you in English You correct visitors on the pronunciation of Utrecht, Breda and Maastricht You complain about expats not learning Dutch You...  More >

Podcast: Whistleblowing Chicken Edition

DutchNews podcast – The Whistleblowing Chicken Edition – Week 41 There's an early Christmas feel to this week's podcast as we unpack the eagerly awaited coalition agreement, wrap up the Abba penalty kicks saga and find out how a neglected pet chicken led police to a drug dealer's treasure trove. We also have news of some green eggs and a ham-fisted attempt to break out of jail. Top story Police find body of missing woman Anne Faber News Campaigners win referendum on online snooping law Helicopter prison break plan foiled Carbon neutral eggs laid in Limburg Sport Arjen Robben retires as Dutch miss out on World Cup Hoek emerge victorious in ABBA penalty saga Discussion: new coalition government deal Trust in the future: the main points in the coalition agreement Just who is the 'ordinary, normal' Dutchman? All you need to know about the coalition agreement (NOS, Dutch) Full text on the Dutch government's website rijksoverheid.nl  More >

A reader's letter to Eberhard van der Laan

Dear Mr Mayor, I am so grateful for what you did for me and my son Amsterdammer Somaye Dehban remembers Amsterdam's mayor Eberhard van der Laan and the impact he has had on her life and family. I am an Amsterdammer who was truly affected by the news of your illness like many others, even the ones who have met you for a brief moment. I am writing you this letter because I want you to know how grateful and appreciative I am for what you have done for me and my family - specifically my younger son. You probably don't remember shaking the little hand of my younger son (about 1.5 year old at the time) while he was in my arms. You, Mr Mayor, pronounced us both Dutch nationals in 2015. I couldn’t hold back my tears when you called up our names and when I testified on our behalf that we would be loyal citizens to the Netherlands: I cannot hold back my tears while writing you this letter either. You have had many of these ceremonies during your career as Amsterdam’s mayor so this handshake will have been like many others you have had. Yet our backstory...  More >

'You can’t bike on the roads in Italy'

‘You can’t bike on the roads in Italy. Here it’s a lot safer, and smoother’ Sofia and Elena are 11 years old, of British and Italian extraction, and have lived in the Netherlands for three years. Sofia is partial to the Dutch way of adding whipped cream to everything, while Elena thinks Dutch children are much more independent. How did you end up in the Netherlands? Sofia - We ended up here because of my mum’s job. She teaches Year 5 at the [British] school. Before that we were living in Italy. Elena - In Italy we also went to a British school and my mum taught there as well. How do you describe yourself - an expat, lovepat, immigrant, international? Sofia - I would describe myself as European because I’m half British and half Italian and I’m living in Holland. Elena - I’m going to copy my sister’s answer. How long do you plan to stay and why? Elena - We’ve been here for four years and we think we might stay for another three years. We’re going to decide as a family if we’re going to stay here or if we’re going to move back to Italy. Do...  More >

New cabinet should be 50% female

The new Dutch ministerial line-up should aim for 50% women   The coalition talks are nearing completion after a record-breaking period of negotiation. It is also about time the Netherlands had a cabinet made up of an equal number of men and women, says Marije Cornelissen, the director of UN Women Netherlands. Two years ago Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau presented his new government to the press. Asked by a journalist why half of his cabinet was made up of women Trudeau paused a few seconds and said: ‘Because it’s 2015’. A few months later Emmanuel Macron achieved gender parity when he appointed 11 women to the posts of minister or junior minister. We hope Mark Rutte will follow suit. UN Women has issued a petition as a way of calling on the negotiators to make sure Mark Rutte will be posing for the traditional photograph on the steps of Paleis Huis Ten Bosch flanked by as many women as men. Why? Because it’s 2017. Languishing In 1917 parliament granted Dutch women the right to stand for election. You would...  More >