Tuesday 17 September 2019

The 'VOC mentality' needs a revision

The VOC is part of the Dutch heritage but its rise went hand in hand with structural violence against native populations, writes Leo Lucassen, a professor of global labour and migration history. Two, seemingly disparate, studies made headlines recently. One was a large-scale survey by the SCP on Dutch identity, the other a wide-ranging analysis of the role of slavery in the development of the Dutch economy by the IISG. Where many of the respondents in the SCP survey emphasised... More >

Dutch Destinations: Amersfoort

Home of monastic miracles and medieval architecture, but also birthplace of Mondrian, icon of Dutch Modernism, Amersfoort, in Utrecht province, is a rich blend of the new and the old with plenty to discover. An unexpected guide accompanies us on our 15-minute walk from the station to Amersfoort’s historic centre. ‘Sofie’ – as she is known – steers us through the city’s trafficky outskirts, her iconic swishing ponytail and stout mini-skirted form illuminated in red and green on the traffic... More >

The Netherlands is in for the cull

In the Netherlands, rabbits, hare, wild duck, wood pigeons and pheasants are the only types of wildlife which can be shot ‘for pleasure’. There is, however, a lot of hunting of other species going on.  For a little country, the Netherlands has a lot of animals that it wants rid of. Here’s a list. Doomed deer To eat or to be eaten, that is the question for the red deer in nature reserve the Oostvaardersplassen. There is not enough food... More >

Summer and smoke in the city

When you are a former smoker and a current insomniac there is nothing worse than being woken up by people on their balconies, smoking and having a laugh in the wee small hours. What is it with today’s young folk who smoke? If you are going to take up smoking in 2019, when everyone knows it will probably kill you, do it properly or not at all. Chain smoke during dinner, drop ash into your laptop keyboard, and couple it... More >

Eight Dutch places to host Eurovision

The celebratory cheers over Duncan Laurence’s win at Eurovision had barely died down before the entire country of the Netherlands started to wonder: Where will the next one be held? Eurovision, the annual sort-of-European song competition, is always held in the home country of the previous year’s winner. So the 2020 song festival will be here, in the Netherlands. The organisation has, of course, lots of rules and regulations about what sort of cities and venues are eligible. Five Dutch... More >

'The Dutch panick about the weather'

Danish national Lasse Schöne has played midfield for Ajax since 2012 but is now off to Genoa on a two-year contract. In a 10 Questions interview before the move had been finalised, he told DutchNews.nl that the Netherlands will always be his home. How did you end up in the Netherlands? The short and boring answer is that I got scouted when I was 16. There was a tournament in Denmark with all the best players of a certain age... More >

Blogwatching: Vakantiekaas

On Turning Dutch, Amanda van Mulligen writes about life as an expat mother, expat wife and an expat writer.   Holiday plans outside of the Netherlands this summer? How will you cope without Dutch cheese during your vacation? Luckily, you don’t have to because there’s vakantiekaas available just for you! Dutch are cheese mad One of the stereotypical icons for the Netherlands is undoubtedly, alongside clogs and windmills, cheese. And where there’s smoke there’s probably fire. The Dutch produce a... More >

The new tourist map of Amsterdam

It’s komkommertijd here in the Netherlands, but rather than making up Dutch cultural traditions, we’re encouraging tourists to see more of Amsterdam. Yes, journalist Jelmer Visser, fed up with the constant expansion that the city of Amsterdam seems to grant itself, created a tourist map of the Netherlands – from the perspective of the Amsterdam tourism board. You think it’s bad that Amsterdam has claimed a castle that will take nearly an hour to get to with public transport as... More >

Wynia's Week: ignoring the law this summer

Passing laws but failing to uphold them is counterproductive, writes Syp Wynia. The ban on a burqa in public buildings threatens to go the same way as the ban on street harrassment and other laws. Shortly before Christmas 2005, a motion devised by Geert Wilders, who was still a parliamentary one-man band at the time, was passed in parliament. Burqas were to be banned outside the home. Now, over 13 years later, the ban, which applies to all face covering... More >

'I don't speak Dutch but I bike like them'

American national Joe Fletcher has lived in the Netherlands for eight years. He works for design consultancy Argo and says Dutch history has made him a more rounded person, but he can’t cope with the three kisses thing. How did you end up in the Netherlands? I wanted to live outside the US for a long time and I tried for years to do it. I tried to go to Korea and my work visa got rejected. I’d worked for... More >

13 great things to do in August

Many of the locals may be away on holiday this month, but that does not mean there is nothing to do for those left behind. From a special tour of the Rijksmuseum for the Pride celebrations, to sending kids into space, there is a lot going on this August. Go an a gay tour The Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam hooked up with Pride and devised a Roze Rijks (pink Rijks) guided tour of the history of homosexuality seen through works of... More >

Wynia's Week: the green coup has started

Brussels is becoming ever more radical where climate is concerned, says journalist Syp Wynia. But is this what we want? he asks. The European elections in May made the German Green party the second biggest party after the Christian Democrats. In early June the polls put them ahead of Angela Merkel and her party: the Greens were virtually the biggest party in the most populous EU member state. That was quite a blow, not in the least because Angela Merkel... More >

Nix it: stop reaching and drop it

It’s that time of year. The sun is shining. Dutch people are complaining it’s too warm. Everyone in your office is on vacation so you’re sitting around, cleaning up your inbox and watching videos about #VanLife. What to do if you’re a journalist and there’s nothing to write about? Do some serious investigative work, digging through microfilm? Hit the streets with your notebook and talk to people? Convince your editor to let you make a trip to the Netherlands and... More >

Visit the 11 cities of Friesland

The 11 cities of Friesland very occasionally host a gruelling 200 kilometre skating race – if temperatures dip below zero for long enough, and just recently a swimming marathon. But you can also travel the famous route by bike, by boat, on horseback, on foot… however you like. Fansels! (That’s Friesian for ‘of course’). 1 Dokkum (the only one of the 11 without a different name in Friesian) In olden times Dutch school children were taught that ‘Bonifacius was killed... More >

A few of the Netherlands’ best brewpubs

Have you been searching for a place to enjoy a quality craft brew along with some tasty eats here in the Netherlands? While beer snobs might quibble over whether or not these operations technically qualify as brewpubs, tasting rooms, or something else entirely, here are a few spots that combine some of the country’s best suds with great food. Brouwerij de Prael – Amsterdam, The Hague and Groningen Brouwerij de Prael was originally called De Parel and began brewing in... More >

'The work life balance is my favourite'

Originally from Datong, Xiaolin Wang moved from China to the Netherlands to pursue a master’s degree. She now lives in Delft with her family, works in the oil and gas sector, and is co-founder of Stichting Chinese Mama’s in Nederland, a platform for Chinese families in the Netherlands and anyone who is interested in Chinese culture. How did you end up in the Netherlands? I came here in 2006 after I graduated with a bachelor’s degree in bio-engineering from a... More >

15 best budget restaurants in Amsterdam

Recent research shows that the ratio between Amsterdam house prices and Amsterdammers’ disposable incomes is the highest in Europe. So it’s no surprise that many of us are feeling strapped for cash. Add in the city’s steepening restaurant prices, and even going out for an evening meal is looking less and less affordable. But it’s not all doom and gloom. There are still several good eateries where you can have a simple meal for around €10, so you can stop... More >

Podcast: The Ban This Sick Fun Edition

There’s plenty to shout about in our last podcast before the summer break as five cities bid to host next year’s Eurovision, a children’s playground is forced to close because of complaints about noise, a proposed Holocaust memorial sparks local protests and the Dutch women’s football team are cheered all the way to the final. In our discussion we take the pulse of the coalition at the halfway point and ask if it will make it to the finish line.... More >