Inburgering with Dutch News: Nine Dutch places which are not in the Netherlands

De Liefde windmill. Photo: Hisa Fujimoto via Wikimedia Commons

As our inburgering course gears up for the summer, here’s a look at some other “Dutch” places to visit.

Lesson 41: places which are not in the Netherlands

Those Dutch got, and continue to get, everywhere. New York, New Zealand, Tasmania, a whole bunch of places in South Africa… Here are some of the lesser-known places around the world with a touch of the Dutch.

Windmill De Liefde, Japan
This Dutch windmill is close to the Japanese city of Sakura and is named after the sailing ship which brought the first Dutch to Japan over 400 years ago. Even the tulips and the river running by are reminiscent of the Netherlands. It was apparently built in the Netherlands as a sort of Ikea kit and assembled in Japan.

Holland, Michigan
The town of Holland, in the west of the state, has some 35,000 residents. It is not only called Holland but organises an annual Tulip Time Festival – and yes, they even get out the clogs and national dress to celebrate.

More tulips in the US. Photo: BazookaJoe at en.wikipedia

Orange County Hotel, Kemer in Turkey
A pastiche including every Dutch cliche imaginable – built like a 17th century canal house, with little wooden houses, a windmill and even a mini red light district. Truly weird.

Photo: Orange County Hotel

Holländische Viertel, Potsdam in Germany
Potsdam has a Holländische Viertel, or Dutch Quarter  which was built in the 1730s when King Frederik Willem I tried to attract Dutch migrant workers to set up their own colony. The district is visited every year by Sinterklaas and has, of course, a tulip festival.

Photo: Angel Miklashevsky via Wikimedia Commons

Nederland, Colorado
According to the town’s website, Nederland (population 1,337) took its name in 1874 when the population of the Middle Boulder homestead voted to adopt the nickname of a mine instead. The mine had been bought by the Mining Company Nederland from the Netherlands and the miners took to calling it ‘the Nether lands’ or ‘low lands’ – probably ironically seeing as the mine is located at 10,000 feet above sea level.

Photo: Towle Neu via Wikimedia Commons

Amsterdam, Indian Ocean
This rocky and uninhabited island in the Indian Ocean which was discovered by the Spanish in 1522. Said by some to be the most remote place on earth, Amsterdam was named by Dutch sailor Anthonie van Diemen who was on his way to Java at the time. The only way to visit is via a cargo ship and the journey is said to take two months.

Three views of Amsterdam island. Photo: Antoine Lamielle via Wikimedia Commons

New Holland, St Petersburg
The island of New Holland (Но́вая Голла́ндия) in St Petersburg  was created in the 1720s, when two canals connected two rivers together. The triangular island took its name from the waterways and shipbuilding facilities that reminded people of Amsterdam. Not forgetting Peter the Great had learned shipbuilding in the Netherlands and brought a number of Dutch experts to Russia, of course.

A touch of the Netherlands in Russia? Photo: A.Savin via Wikimedia Commons

Holambra in Brazil
A relatively new piece of Dutch history, Holambra was founded in 1948 by Catholic Dutch immigrants. According to Wikipedia, the cows that were shipped in from the Netherlands by the first colonists did not survive the heat and tropical diseases so the settlers diversified to pig and chicken farming and the focus has now shifted to horticulture. More tulips perhaps? The name comes from Holland-America-Brazil – a good Dutch acronym as well.

Several views of Holambra. Photo: Allice Hunter via Wikimedia Commons

Indiansdorp, Balfron, Scotland
This unprepossessing couple of rows of houses outside the village of Balfron, north of Glasgow is called Indiansdorp – Indian village – and we have never been able to work out why.

Photo: Google Streetview

The locals claim the Indians bit is a corruption of the Gaelic for ‘fairy hill’ but we don’t think so. We think it probably something to do with the nearby Polder Farm and the Lake of Mentieth – so named by the Dutch who lived in the area because they did not know all Scottish lakes are lochs.  But if anyone knows the answer, we’d love to hear from them.

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