Monday 16 September 2019

11 great things to do in February

Gaze into a ball King of kitch Jeff Koons is supplying this year’s Meesterwerk, a work of art so dear to the public or fragile it almost never travels. The Nieuwe Kerk in Amsterdam has gone for Gazing Ball Perugino Madonna and Child with Four Saints, one of a series of iconic works of art copied by Koons and fitted with a blue reflecting sphere in which to gaze and ‘become part of the art work’, as one critic had... More >

Dutch not big on credit cards

The popularity of credit cards in the Netherlands has always lagged behind when compared to many other Western countries. But new figures out last week show that there has been a bit of a catch-up – thanks to paid-for online entertainment such as Spotify. Last year the Dutch bought goods or services 160 million times with a credit card – that’s a rise of over 10% on 2016. Nevertheless, credit card use still has some way to go to catch... More >

Deep divisions over Dutch colonial past

Prime minister Mark Rutte this week had to backtrack on his criticism of the Mauritshuis museum for removing a bust of its founder, Johan Maurits, from its foyer. But as Gordon Darroch explains, the ensuing debate has exposed deep divisions about how the Netherlands should view its colonial past. The Mauritshuis museum in The Hague stirred up a hornet’s nest this week with its decision to remove a plaster bust of its founder, Johan Maurits, from its foyer. Prime minister... More >

Why I helped bring the Dutch EU case

Next week, five British nationals living in the Netherlands will hear if their bid to keep European citizenship after Brexit will be referred to the European court. London barrister Jolyon Maugham QC, who is funding the legal action, says if they win, it will have profound consequences. The Conservative manifesto of 2015 promised to scrap the rules barring those who had lived abroad for more than 15 years from voting. Still, long-term British expats were denied the chance to vote... More >

Podcast: The Foreign Invaders Edition

In this week’s podcast: how the Dutch caught the Russians hacking the American election; why the Belgians swelled the numbers at a Dutch nationalist rally; how a German wolf roamed the Netherlands for two weeks but dined out in Belgium; what police did when a dinosaur showed up in Almelo; and why Limburg wants to be shot of its imported beavers. In our discussion we focus on the trials and tribulations of housebuying in the Netherlands. Top story Dutch security services... More >

Be a good sport: feel at home in The Hague

If you’ve always fancied finding out more about the traditional Dutch sport of korfball, had a secret wish to take up belly dancing or sail across the seas in the Volvo Ocean Race, this year’s Feel at Home in The Hague fair is the place to be. This year, the central theme of the annual Feel at Home in The Hague fair is sport, leisure and wellness, and some 70 sports and cultural organisations and community groups will be on... More >

'My favourite cheese is from Engwierum'

In the mid 1980s, Patrick Wiebe visited the Netherlands as a college student during a semester abroad. The former Californian now lives in the centre of Amsterdam with his longtime girlfriend and currently works as a citizen lobbyist and blogger. How did you end up in the Netherlands? My father was invited to be a visiting professor at Cambridge in 1985. I was still in school but decided to take a semester off and I came over here with him.... More >

The Mallon Crew: human stories of WWII

Two graves in Bergen op Zoom, a memorial at Soarremoarre and a handful of photographs are among the reminders of the pilots who risked their lives and dropped food parcels over the Netherlands during the Second World War. By Gordon Darroch As a boy Vic Jay wanted to know all about the Lancaster bombers his father flew during the Second World War, but like many veterans, Bob Jay was reluctant to talk about it. ‘He was a quite scientific sort... More >

Podcast: Everybody Speaks English Edition

In this week’s podcast we survey the debris from a winter storm that cost €90 million and the obstacles on the path to learning Dutch. Plus how the Belgians came to the rescue when the Russians came calling, why an Amsterdam court became the latest Brexit battleground and the fake news item that’s been exposed after 370 years. You can also hear how Molly’s favourite football manager fared as he tried to revive Sparta’s fortunes. Top story Damage bill for... More >

How to deal with Dutch inheritance issues

The death of a relative is never an easy thing to deal with, but can be even more complicated and distressing when you live in a foreign country. What does Dutch law say about succession and inheritance? Say you are French, have an American partner and have lived in the Netherlands for the past three years. If one of you dies, what does that mean for the other’s inheritance? A relatively new European regulation has clarified the issue of succession... More >

English has a unique character in NL

Are the Dutch now native speakers of English, and is Dutch-English a distinctive thing? Deborah Nicholls-Lee meets linguistics expert Alison Edwards to find some answers. English is no longer a foreign language in the Netherlands, asserts Leiden University’s Alison Edwards, who has published widely on the subject. ‘If you can assume that you can walk down the street and that the hairdresser will be able to speak to you in English, and the bus driver, and the taxi driver, then... More >

Blog Watching: The word expat

Molly Quell is an American journalist living in the Netherlands. She blogs at Neamhspleachas about anything that strikes her fancy and you can also follow her on Twitter at @mollyquell. Note: Molly is’s social media editor. ‘How do you describe yourself – an expat, lovepat, immigrant, international etc ?’ It’s one of the questions on the Dutch News’ 10 Questions interview. It’s also a question I occasionally get asked. Expat, short for expatriate, has a long and sometimes problematic history. The word... More >

Podcast: The Men Can't Apologise Edition

The podcast team looks back at a week of shocks that began with another earthquake in Groningen, saw the PVV whip up a social media storm in Utrecht and ended with a baptism of fire for new US ambassador Peter Hoekstra. How did Camiel Eurlings’ apology backfire, why was nobody in the least perturbed when the rivers overflowed, and did Hoekstra backtrack on his denial that something he claimed never to have said was fake news? Plus we discuss the... More >

'The Dutch make the most of the sun'

Online marketing expert Veronica Guguian is a Romanian national who moved to Amsterdam nearly eight years ago in search of adventure. She is a big fan of the Dutch diary culture, would like to meet Anouk and says stamppot reminds her of home. How did you end up in the Netherlands? My story is quite boring really. I fit in the classic pattern: I followed my partner here. He came to the Netherlands to work in IT and we thought... More >

Don't fear the robots, they make us rich

Robots and foreigners have been taking over Dutch jobs for 50 years – but more people than ever are working, says economist Mathijs Bouman. And the bottom line is, we are all getting richer because of it. In 1969 Jan Wolkers wrote Turkish Delight, the Beatles recorded Abbey Road and Neil Armstrong walked on the moon. Piet de Jong was our prime minister, ruling a country with a flourishing manufacturing industry. Of a working population of around 5.3 million, 1.3... More >

Visit some of NL's stranger museums

Have you already checked out the latest exhibit at the Kunsthal in Rotterdam and explored every corner of the Rijksmuseum? If so, then you might want to visit one of the Netherlands’ smaller and much more unusual museums. Here’s Brandon Hartley’s look at some of the oddest ones scattered across the country. Pianola Museum – Amsterdam Over a century ago when phonographs were still in their infancy, pianolas were all the rage…among those that could afford them. These player pianos... More >

Podcast: The Arkmageddon Edition

The DutchNews podcast returns after an extended Christmas break with a feast of news from the old year and the new. We catch up on the Dutch winter storm that was too fierce for Noah’s Ark, the former minister who crashed his bus while texting behind the wheel and the whirlwind of fake news that engulfed the new US ambassador. Plus what happened when Rotterdam police unveiled plans to undress suspects in the street and an alpaca went walkabout in... More >

Key 2018 tax changes you need to know

The new Dutch government is planning to make quite a few changes to the current tax system. While most of them won’t come into effect until 2019, it is time to start planning for their impact now. The centre-right Dutch coalition government sees giving people more cash to spend as key to ensuring future economic growth. Part of the strategy involves simplifying the income tax system and raising taxes from other sources. 1. Income tax The biggest shake-up in the... More >