Saturday 26 November 2022

Low-watt crisis management

Been there, done that. The Dutch energy crisis brings with it a sense of deja vu, writes Gordon Darroch. Stop me if you’ve heard this one before. For weeks the government ignored the impending crisis and the experts imploring it to take preventive action. Other experts warned that we should wait and see rather than act in haste and disrupt the economy: the cure should not be worse than the disease. As the true scale of the problem became clear,... More >

Amsterdammers meet their new neighbours

Some 60 asylum seekers centres nationwide threw open their doors to the public on Saturday, as part of Open AZC Dag. The aim of the annual event is to give locals a glimpse of the daily lives of asylum seekers while meeting their newest neighbours. Lauren Comiteau went to Azc Willinklaan in Amsterdam to learn more. The festive scenes at the asylum seekers centre on Willinklaan in Amsterdam’s district of Nieuw West were about as far away from the images... More >

Thousands witness lights out in Leiden

Despite cloudy conditions, thousands of stargazers flooded into the streets of central Leiden on Sunday night to look toward the heavens. It was all part of Seeing Stars Leiden, an event organised by Unesco and artist Daan Roosegaarde which is part of the ongoing European City of Science series. Local businesses and residents were encouraged to turn off their lights between 22:00 and 23:30 so constellations including the Big Dipper and Orion would be more visible to the naked eye.... More >

Balenciaga in Black opens in The Hague

Cristóbal Balenciaga’s extraordinary dress designs resculpted the female body and made black a mainstay of international fashion. Balenciaga in Black at the Kunstmuseum Den Haag tells the story of his most iconic pieces. Couturier Cristóbal Balenciaga famously claimed that his designs could work magic. ‘A woman has no need to be perfect or even beautiful to wear my dresses,’ he said. ‘The dress will do that for her.’ A Balenciaga gown conferred confidence and elegance, and the most glamorous and... More >

Podcast: The Big 5 of the Veluwe Edition

Want to support the DutchNews podcast and keep our stocks of drop, gin and stroopwafels healthy? Click here to become a Patreon backer The inverted flags weren’t the only distress signal as the king opened Parliament for what looks set to be a gruelling year. The speech was rewritten at the last minute to include the government’s hastily agreed energy price cap, one of several measures designed to bring down the soaring inflation rate. The cabinet walked out of parliament... More >

Budget that will be tough on entrepreneurs

  Small businesses and entrepreneurs will pick up the tab for a 2023 budget that aims to help the poorest in society who are struggling to make ends meet. The Dutch government’s spending plans for 2023 were announced in The Hague on ‘Prinsjesdag’, the third Tuesday in the month of September, with a sober message from the Dutch king. Boosting purchasing power is the main aim of the plan, with hand-outs worth €17.2 billion to support ‘vulnerable groups and people... More >

I’m really sorry about all the sun

Want someone to blame for the unending waves of heat this summer, even though it has now turned cooler? Our regular columnist Molly Quell has a confession to make. I have to apologise. I cursed us. In May, I wrote that I had been so deeply assimilated by the Dutch that I had started enjoying the sun. Not just enjoying it, but basking in it. ‘Considering how little sunshine the Netherlands gets on average, it’s no surprise that every place... More >

Mondrian book paints new picture of artist

For six years, the most comprehensive biography ever written on the Dutch painter Piet Mondrian was only available in Dutch. Thanks to a new translation, English-speaking audiences can now learn more about one of modernism’s most important figures. Mondrian, it turns out, was not the man we thought he was. A century on, the influence of his iconic grid paintings is still everywhere to be seen, from architecture and interior design, to clothing on the catwalk. Yet, according to a... More >

Podcast: Last Call for Benschop Edition

Want to support the DutchNews podcast and keep our stocks of drop, gin and stroopwafels healthy? Click here to become a Patreon backer As a winter of bankruptcies and financial lockdown draws nearer, the government dips into its pockets to help households struggling with their energy bills. The train drivers’ strike is settled with a 9.25% pay rise, but Schiphol’s boss, Dick Benschop, pays the price for a summer of airport chaos. Another big earner, Sywert van Lienden, anxiously awaits... More >

Dutch destinations: Drift into Delfshaven

There’s plenty of history stuffed into this district in Rotterdam that’s seemingly locked in time. Journey back through the centuries while you attempt to get a hole-in-one or a high-score on a Stranger Things pinball machine. Delfshaven packs plenty of history into a few streets. Located in Rotterdam, this district was once its own municipality. It initially sprung to life as a port for nearby Delft in 1389 because the largely landlocked town to the north lacked a significant waterway.... More >

Inburgering with DN: normen en waarden

What better thing to do at the end of summer than brush up your knowledge of the Netherlands with our very own inburgering course. Lesson 33: Normen en waarden Normen en waarden – when the Dutch aren’t arguing or worrying about them, they’re telling everyone else to observe them. They are frequently mentioned during election campaigns but nobody seems to be quite sure what distinguishes the normen from the waarden. Here’s an incomplete list. 1 Speak your mind Yes, you can... More >

Children's bike scheme calls for donations

Myla Brouwer’s mother is single and lives on a disability allowance. Buying a bicycle for her daughter, she told Dutch travellers’ association ANWB, was out of her reach. All of Myla’s friends had bikes, as most children in the Netherlands do. Without one, Myla was excluded from much of the social life that is so common in this flat, bike-riding country. Enter ANWB’s Children’s Bicycle Plan, which collects used bikes, fixes them up and distributes them through a nationwide network... More >

DutchNews podcast – week 36

Want to support the DutchNews podcast and keep our stocks of drop, gin and stroopwafels healthy? Click here to become a Patreon backer The entire podcast team abandoned Paul by fleeing abroad, so no hour-long episode as usual but only a brief overview of this week’s headlines. Agriculture minister Henk Staghouwer resigned after concluding he wasn’t the man for the job, Dutch leaders offered their condolences to the British Royal Family following the death of Queen Elizabeth II, the NS... More >

New looted art claim for salt cellars by master silversmith Lutma

They are a glittering reminder of the wealth of the Dutch ‘golden age’, where the well-to-do held extravagant dinners in their marble-lined canal houses. But four 17th century silver salt cellars created by master craftsman – and friend of Rembrandt – Johannes Lutma have been claimed as looted art. At a restitutions committee hearing, descendants of a Jewish woman from Hamburg, Emma Budge, claimed the €3 million set now at Amsterdam Museum and the Rijksmuseum, were wrongly taken from the family... More >

The IamExpat Fair has something for all

An old hand in The Hague, or a newbie in the Netherlands? The 11th edition of the IamExpat Fair will take place at the Grote Kerk on October 1 and, the organisers say, there really is something for everyone.   Expats might be citizens of the world, but they still have local needs and that, says IamExpat founder Panos Sarlanis, is where the IamExpat Fair comes in. ‘We like to help people from the moment they arrive in the Netherlands,... More >

Rotterdam hosts first Solar Biennale

Rotterdam might not be known for its sunny skies, but for the next seven weeks it will host the world’s first Solar Biennale, celebrating the potential of solar power to provide clean energy, and positioning Rotterdam at the forefront of emerging technologies. The Solar Biennale is centred around the Design and Architecture museum Het Nieuwe Instituut in Rotterdam’s Museumpark and runs from 9 September to 30 October. The event is expected to attract 40,000 visitors, from members of the public... More >

Wapenveld: or a life without wifi

To mark the occasion of my wife’s retirement our daughters awarded us a two night stay in an off-grid eco hut in the Zwolse Bos where we could stare at trees and mentally flagellate ourselves over our combined 135 years worth of emissions. We do our bit for the planet – we’ve scaled down on steak, car use, travel programmes, and scaled up on Greta Thunberg – but to call us eco-warriors would be a gross ecozaggeration. In my 20s... More >

Podcast: The Remkes for Dictator Edition

Want to support the DutchNews podcast and keep our stocks of drop, gin and stroopwafels healthy? Click here to become a Patreon backer Exactly 350 years after the disaster year of 1672, the government faces an energy crisis, a refugee accommodation crisis and a nitrogen pollution crisis all at once. Wopke Hoekstra experiences an identity crisis as he oscillates between supporting the government’s nitrogen policy as a cabinet minister and attacking it as leader of the Christian Democrat party. The... More >