Vrij Links must remain free-thinking

Vrij Links must remain faithful to their free-thinking, secular roots Spinoza sowed the seeds of a free Europe in which secular thought could flourish so we should stop thinking that non-western immigrants need protecting from free debate, say writer Asis Aynan, actor Femke Lakerveld, film maker Eddy Terstall and former Labour MP Keklik Yücel.. Group thinking is dividing this country. Nationalist right-wing opinion is feeding on romantic nationalism and all the regressive left has to show for itself are equally divisive tales of identity politics. The group is elbowing out the concepts of nationhood as well as individuality. The progressive left, traditionally based on universal values and the elevation of the masses, has been left to languish on the side lines. We, a number of progressive Dutch people from different backgrounds, refuse to give up on the left-wing ideas that have stimulated freedom and modern thought in the Netherlands and the entire Western world. Polarisation We are worried about increasing polarisation and segregation...  More >


British citizens call for Dutch support

Dutch politicians have a key role in protecting the rights of British citizens This week, the Dutch courts will decide if a court case brought by British nationals in the Netherlands who want to keep their European citizenship should be referred to the EU courts. But, whatever happens, the Netherlands can play an important role in making sure the rights of British citizens in Europe are protected after Brexit, writes Sarah Parkes of the British in the Netherlands group. Some 85,000 British citizens currently live in the Netherlands. Our number has been growing since the early 1930s and we hope, post Brexit, that we will be able to maintain our good relationship with the Dutch, can continue to contribute to the Dutch economy and, of course, to Dutch society. Whilst the UK government has been paying attention to the details of how the three million EU citizens can continue their current lives in Britain, they have given little attention to the estimated 1.3 million British citizens resident in the other 27 EU countries. Indeed, some of us could not even...  More >


Podcast: The Balls, Bans and Bangs Edition

DutchNews podcast – The Balls, Bans and Bangs Edition – Week 24 The podcast team looks back at a week in which the government decided that burqas were a bigger threat to society than stray fireworks, a school in Drenthe shelved plans to stage a mock shooting and Delft's porcelain image was rattled by a series of blasts and bombings. Schiphol airport vowed to get tough on passengers who pre-load during pre-boarding and the women's football team almost blew their chances of World Cup qualification. In our discussion we ask if Mark Rutte's speech to the European Parliament signals a seismic shift for the prime minister and the European Union. Top story Dutch senate set to pass ban on burqas on public transport News School postpones 'active shooter' safety drill after parents complain Cabinet refuses to ban New Year fireworks despite safety warnings Police investigating series of shootings at businesses in Delft Schiphol to crack down on drunk and dangerous passengers Sport Late Martens strike keeps Lionesses on course...  More >


‘I’m grateful to this place for its peaceful and relaxed, but professional, mindset’

‘I’m grateful to this place for its peaceful and relaxed, but professional, mindset’ Hungarian-born, US and-Israeli-educated David Lusztig is a growth hacker for Codemotion—a 'geek connector' that unites developers and tech communities in cutting-edge conferences. He says he escaped a life in the tech world at the mercy of some money-hungry superiors—'sharks'—where many friends ended up burnt out or worse. He has since become 'stupid proud' of what he does, and he plans to stay in the Netherlands 'until forever'. How did you end up in the Netherlands? I was working in Israel, in the summer of 2014, and I was asked by a British headhunter company if I would like to be one the six founders of a new online gambling company in Amsterdam. And I said 'sure'. I mean in my career, with the experience I had at the time, nobody gets asked to set up an online casino with that kind of [financial] backing. Anyone would have said yes. We went bankrupt a month before the launch. I then got offered a job by a Dutch company in Amsterdam, but that was more of a rough ride—very...  More >


A sizzling summer of space in Delft

Delft is heating up this summer with the Sizzling Summer of Space A two month long international space university might not be your idea of a summer vacation, but for experts in the space industry, that’s exactly what they will be doing in Delft during the upcoming months. With them come a summer-long series of events with a space theme, open to every would-be astronaut or astronomer. Some 110 space professionals from 25 countries will pack into Delft later this month to learn about the latest in space technology, advancements in research and to boost cooperation between institutions and universities involved in exploring space - as part of the International Space University's space studies programme. The ISU was founded in the US in 1987 and is headquartered in Strasbourg but moves to a different location for its summer school every year. This year, Delft has the honours. ‘Space is increasingly important for society worldwide. I think the Netherlands is an excellent place for educating the next generation of space professionals,’ says...  More >


Podcast: The Who Spilled My Coffee Edition

DutchNews podcast – The Did You Spill My Coffee Edition – Week 23 This week's podcast asks if Amsterdam can hold back the rampant spread of tourism in the age of Airbnb and stag weekends. We also look back at a week in which Mark Rutte's handiness with a mop broke the internet, universities once again asked if English is taking over on campus, AD's fishy judging panels kicked up a stink and two fallen giants of world football went through the motions in Turin. Ophef of the week Frosty reception for Leidschendam ice-cream salesman's 'healthy option' AD scraps 'taste tests' in row over alleged bias and vitriol Top story Rutte to meet Trump at White House in July – reports Prime minister goes viral after cleaning up own mess \   News Minister says English at Dutch universities 'must not compromise standards' Deal struck on teachers' pay but strikes will still go ahead Dogs and cars top list of neighbourhood nuisances Sport Netherlands and Italy play out 1-1 draw in battle of World Cup absentees (FourFourTwo) Dumoulin...  More >


DutchNews.nl destinations: Nijmegen

Dutchnews.nl destinations:  explore 2,000 years of history in Nijmegen Nijmegen, the oldest city in the Netherlands, started life as a Roman military encampment in the 1st century BC. Esther O'Toole spent a weekend exploring. Despite its location on the Waal river, Nijmegen is not the prettiest of Dutch cities - much of it was bombed in World War II and planners in the 1960s and 70s helped finish the job. So, although the charming main square retains a sense of history and the centre is welcoming to visitors, if you are after long strolls through medieval streets you will be largely disappointed. However history buffs, whether young or old or favouring ancient or modern periods, will have lots to explore. Politically Nijmegen is a progressive stronghold in the Netherlands, so much so that it’s sometimes referred to as Havana on the Waal. Its liberalism is tangible in the laid-back, terrace culture that has developed over time; a strong vibe of intellectual curiosity in the events scene, which has lots of ties to the student life of the Radboud...  More >


Blogwatching: Where to eat… Dutch food

Blogwatching: Where to eat… Dutch food in Amsterdam British by birth and Dutch by choice, Vicky Hampton is a writer, cook and avid foodie who has lived and worked in Amsterdam since 2006. Vicky launched her blog Amsterdam Foodie in 2007 and it is now an indispensable guide to the city’s eateries and beyond. In all honesty, I don’t eat a huge amount of Dutch food. Yes, I live in the Netherlands – but it seems that even the average Dutch person doesn’t eat that much of their national cuisine – especially those who live in Amsterdam. And yet, when I’m approached to write articles, it’s the topic I’m most likely to be asked to write on. A while ago, I wrote this post on Dutch food and drinks for Eating Amsterdam; they’ve commissioned a set of 'foodie maps' – illustrations of the national cuisines of the Netherlands, Czech Republic, United Kingdom and (soon) Italy, and where each dish comes from in the country. I thought the Dutch one was cute (it’s so orange!) and I was interested to teach myself about the origins...  More >


Podcast: The Crunching Councils Edition

DutchNews podcast – The Crunching Councils, Sleeping Lion Edition – Week 22 This week's podcast brings you up to date on the process of forming council administrations after this year's local elections. Elsewhere, torrential rain causes havoc around the country, the Dutch government gets tough on Russia over the MH17 inquiry, opposition grows to reforming the 30% tax ruling, and a court makes a groundbreaking ruling on gender neutrality. We also look at how Tom Dumoulin narrowly missed out on the Giro d'Italia title and what happened when a purloined lion-shaped pearl went under the hammer. If you live in the Eindhoven area, you can now listen to the DutchNews podcast on Radio 4 Brainport at radio4brainport.org or on AM radio at 747 mHz. Ophef of the week: sad trampolines protest against new flight path over Lelystad Wij zijn er klaar voor! Doe ook mee onder de laagvliegroutes met deze actie!@hoogoverijssel@novliegrouteede@airportnee@liegveld@stildrenthe@2019NEE@reddeveluwe@hoogoverwezep pic.twitter.com/EiSnWhhMRd — Stg Red de Veluwe (@st_RdV) May...  More >


14 great things to do in June

A bumper edition of entertainment: 14 great things to do in June From beer tasting to bunkers, from posh frocks to a rather spooky sounding Pillowman - here's a round-up of 14 great things to do in June. Try the other Dutch beers Dutch brewers are opening their doors to the public with brewing demonstrations, beer tastings and presentations on June 1,2 and 3. Go to the website to find a brewery at walking distance and discover there is more to Dutch beer than a certain very big lager-producing company would like you to believe. Visit a bunker June 9 is national bunker day, a unique opportunity to visit the bunkers that were part of the World War II Atlantic wall defense line and which are normally not open to visitors. Website Watch a film on the beach There's open air summer entertainment beachside at cultural centre De Pllek (NDSM-werf on the IJ) with Films with a View Sunscreenings every Tuesday from June 5. Go to the website to find out about the programme and tickets. Bring sandwiches The Holland Festival kicks off again in...  More >


'The first thing I did was buy an OV card'

‘The first thing I did was buy an OV card and go to a different city every weekend’ Lithuanian Evelina Kvartŭnaitė is an events manager who moved to Amsterdam in 2008. She is averse to tourists on bikes, but loves herring as it reminds her of home. How did you end up in the Netherlands? By plane! I was just looking for another challenge, I think. I was looking for a change. I lived in Denmark for a while and I travelled here not knowing anybody. I had one suitcase and I came here for half a year’s internship after quitting a job where I was the lead in a company for logistics and marketing. How do you describe yourself- an expat, lovepat, immigrant, international etc? I think I’m a migrant. It sounds very cheesy when I say ‘a citizen of the world’ or ‘European’ or whatever. I travel a lot for my activities and for projects that I run and I work a lot with conflict areas. For me, Amsterdam is my home but it’s also like my ‘washing machine’, where I’m [constantly] repacking things. I do have a lot of the stigma which comes with an Eastern...  More >


DutchNews.nl destinations: Leeuwarden

DutchNews.nl destinations: go north to Leeuwarden It's the capital of Friesland, in which case its name is spelt Ljouwert . The elfstedentocht starts and finishes here. It’s home to Mata Hari and Escher and the 2018 European Capital of Culture. Molly Quell has been checking out Leeuwarden. Leeuwarden is north. Like any well-integrated person in the Netherlands, I consider any place more than 20 kilometres far. So the two hour train trip (from Amsterdam) seems like an eternity. But the trek was worth it to spend a weekend in this small city in Friesland with unexpectedly great cocktails and really interesting museums. Things to do People having been living in the region continously since the 10th century and Leeuwarden was granted city status in 1435. As such, it boasts a tremendous amount of history, as well as 617 national monuments. Walk Leeuwarden is a walkable city, so set out for a walking tour of the city centre. Visitors should start with the Blokhuispoort, a former prison. You can head inside to check out the...  More >


Podcast: The Goldilocks Communism Edition

DutchNews podcast: The 8% is the Goldilocks Zone of Communism Edition This week's podcast looks at the ramifications of the latest developments in the MH17 inquiry as the Dutch government and joint investigation team point the finger of blame squarely at Russia. We also find out about the Friesland community came up with an eye-catching additional member to the European Capital of Culture programme, why a soldier is being given a ceremonial burial four centuries after he died and who won the battle of the Dicks on the football field. In the discussion we ask if the Dutch system of holiday pay is a nice little seasonal sweetener or a paternalistic anachronism. Ophef of the week Nursery considers suing council over objection to 'striptease' birthday party Top story: MH17 Netherlands and Australia blame Russia for shooting down flight MH17 over Ukraine Rutte flies back early from India trade mission to chair MH17 talks News Illegal cannabis production boosts Dutch economy but could cause rift with EU Friesland locals crowdfund...  More >


10 ways Webster Leiden is different

10 ways Webster Leiden differs from Dutch universities Are you thinking about pursuing a degree here in the Netherlands? There are many things to think about while you decide which university to enrol in. From small class sizes to the ease of studying abroad, here are several reasons why you might want to consider studying at Webster Leiden instead of a more traditional Dutch university. 1 Smaller classes Many of the lecture halls you’ll find at Dutch universities can accommodate dozens of students, often more than a hundred at any one time. Attending a lecture can seem more like going to a TED Talk than a class. At Webster Leiden, the classes are much smaller, with an average of ten to fifteen students enrolled in any given course. ‘I’ve taught in both scenarios’, said Dr. Yang Fan, who teaches in the university’s Business & Management department. ‘A smaller class makes for a more interesting learning environment’. 2 More individual attention from professors Webster Leiden’s classrooms and curriculum allow for more...  More >


Follow young Rembrandt in Leiden

The adventures of young Rembrandt; follow in his footsteps in Leiden Centuries before The Night Watch would go on to become one of the most iconic tourist attractions in Amsterdam, Rembrandt was just another struggling artist living down in Leiden. Here is Brandon Hartley’s rundown on his time in the city and various local attractions you can visit if you’d like to learn more about his early days. A stroll through the centre of Leiden can lead you past the historic Beestenmarkt, several picturesque canals, and more than a few friendly ducks that will happily relieve you of any unwanted bread you’ve brought along. If you point yourself in the right direction, you may also find yourself in a small square dominated by a solitary, enigmatic figure. It’s a boy standing in front of a bronze portrait of Rembrandt, perhaps contemplating his own ambitions and potential future as an artist. A few steps from the statue is the spot where his childhood home once stood. These are just two of the landmarks and other attractions devoted to the Golden Age...  More >


Eindhoven has a lot to offer home owners

Eindhoven offers great opportunities for would-be home owners If you are looking to put down roots in Eindhoven, buying a house could be the perfect investment. The city is proving so popular with internationals that the experts behind the Expat Housing Seminars are holding an event in the city on May 29. Just last month, the Eindhoven region was revealed to have the sharpest increase in economic growth in the country, thanks to its numerous high tech industries, many of which have sprung up around Eindhoven University of Technology. The city is surrounded by rolling countryside, its football team PSV Eindhoven has just taken the league title for the 10th time this century, it has its own airport and you snap up a big new family home in a nice area for under €500,000. Hardly surprising then, that more and more international workers are opting to stay on and settle down in this Noord Brabant city of 230,000. Settling down Olivia van den Broek-Neri, the project coordinator for communications and events at the Holland Expat Center...  More >


A packet of baby killers please

Some chewing gum and a packet of baby killers please Cigarettes kill. But so do lots of things. What is a shareholder to do? asks economist Mathijs Bouman. I only had a couple of items in my shopping basket which entitled me to pay at the service desk. As my shopping was being scanned I gazed at the display of cigarettes against the wall. There was none of the brightly coloured packaging as in the days when I too thought smoking was cool. In its place had come grisly pictures of trench mouth, puss-oozing abscesses and murky pupils. I even spotted the occasional dead baby. If this stuff is so dangerous why is this shop selling it? I thought. Bankers who sell dodgy financial products are hounded unto the third generation by supervisors shouting ‘consumer interest’ but a supermarket can sell a packet of baby killers with impunity. Why? I admit I’m not the first person to ask the question. In 2016 the Dutch doctors’ organisation KNMG lobbied for a ban on the sale of cigarettes in supermarkets, as well as petrol stations, bookshops...  More >


Podcast: The Ophefgeddon Edition

DutchNews podcast – The Ophefgeddon Edition – Week 20 The podcast returns after a two-week break with a round-up of the minor outrages that have been swirling round social media, from the French family who cheated death at a safari park to Hema's protracted protractors and Thierry Baudet's unsettling ode to a baguette. Elsewhere, find out why Mark Rutte had some unlikely guests on his flight back from the Caribbean, how Amsterdam is planning to turn back the tourist tide and why universities are concerned about the growth of English-language classes. And in sport, we catch up with Tom Dumoulin's bid for a second Giro title and attempt to untangle the Byzantine permutations of the end-of-season Eredivisie play-offs.  Top story Rutte visits Sint-Maarten to discuss hurricane funding, comes back with iguanas News Blunder meant police ignored tip-off about man who stabbed three in The Hague Universities call for cap on English-language tuition First 'new' Rembrandt discovered for 44 years Amsterdam takes steps to...  More >


The Dutch are being converted to rugby

The Dutch are being converted to rugby, on the pitch, beach and in prison The season is winding down, but Dutch rugby is making great strides, winning both players and fans. So forget the hockey sticks and the ice-skates, it’s time to grab your boots and turn your focus towards the Dutch rugby pitches, says Rachel Kilbee. This weekend sees the last rugby matches played in the national championships just before the local players should be taking their foot off the gas for a short summer break. But in reality, the Dutch players don’t have too much time to rest with new rugby challenges lining up in the Netherlands. On the professional field it has been confirmed that Brazil will visit Amsterdam on 16th June in an exciting game against the Dutch, a result which if positive, will raise the Rugby NL team to 26th in the IRB ranking. ‘It’s been a long season for us, but since hearing the news last week, we’re making a game plan and we want to win. It will mean more funding and more sponsorship for us,’ says team captain, Dirk Danen. With...  More >


Eindhoven to host expat fair and festival

The ‘I am not a Tourist’ expat fair and festival return to Eindhoven Want to learn Dutch? Find a house? Experience Dutch culture, find a job, make connections, or solve immigration and tax issues? Or do you just want to have a fun day out? It’s all possible at the 'I am not a Tourist' Expat Fair & Festival which takes place on Sunday June 10 in Eindhoven. Check out an impression of the day here and get your free ticket now online! If you’re not yet familiar with it, Expatica’s 'I am not a Tourist' Expat Fair is the biggest expat-oriented event in the Netherlands. And this year, for the third time, it’s coming to Eindhoven! 'I am not a tourist' Expat Fair Eindhoven, organised with the Holland Expat Center South, is a prime opportunity for the international community in the south of the Netherlands to get the low-down on life in the ‘low countries’. On June 10 the historical VDMA area in Eindhoven’s city centre will see 50 specialist exhibitors and more than 1,500 internationals come together to exchange information, find opportunities,...  More >