Saturday 11 July 2020

Dutch is like shouting in a storm

The work of award-winning translator Sam Garrett has been pivotal in bringing Dutch literature to a new, English-speaking audience. Deborah Nicholls-Lee discusses the quirks and merits of the Dutch language and Sam’s recommended reads for internationals new to Dutch fiction. When you’re in a country on a visa that forbids you to work, you can have a lot of free time. Having swapped a straight-jacketed, Christian fundamentalist existence in the USA for open-minded Amsterdam, Sam Garrett (1956) spent most of... More >

Podcast: Ceta Handbags and Bawbags Edition

As Dutch citizens are declared free from coronavirus, it seems the spirit of Brexit has infected the IND as it blunders not once, but twice on UK citizens’ privacy. Dutch skaters dominate the world championships, but all the talk is of what was inside Kjeld Nuis’s speedsuit. The debate on how to keep tourists and prostitutes apart in Amsterdam’s red light district flared up once again. And find out why some off-colour parrots could land their breeder in jail. Our... More >

Blue envelopes mean it is tax time

February might be the cruelest month, according to poet T S Elliot, and it is also the month that most of us get at least one blue envelope from the tax office. Yes, it is time to think about filing that annual tax return. Here are nine key issues that you need to take into account. 1 Do you have to file an income tax return? Probably yes. If you received notification from the Dutch tax office to file your... More >

'Learning Dutch is a seen as a compliment'

David Raleigh loves herring, has lots of hints for learning Dutch and thinks the  royals are pretty cool. Originally from Britain, he came to the Netherlands via Paris and Milan, and now operates the website International Locals. How did you end up here? For years, I happily lived in Paris. I always said it was a city I would never leave. I really loved France. I studied the French language and French cinema, history, and music. Then I met an... More >

Utrecht's erotic Dutch surrealist

A new exhibition at the Utrecht Centraal Museum explores themes of gender, misogyny and sexuality in the work of Dutch artist Jaap Moesman and puts a spotlight on the contribution of female surrealists. From mystifying, mirage-like landscapes to bondage and necrophiliac mice – a host of subliminal fantasies and fears come together in one extraordinary art exhibition, ‘The Tears of Eros: Moesman, Surrealism and the Sexes’, which opened on Saturday 15th February at Utrecht Centraal Museum. Spanning four huge rooms,... More >

Podcast: The Stormy Chihuahuas Edition

Ciara blew into the Netherlands this week and left a trail of fallen trees, insurance claims and cancelled bicycle races. Police stepped up their search for a blackmailer who sent four letter bombs to Dutch companies and Chinese migrants spoke out against a surge in racist behaviour linked to the coronavirus. In politics, the Ceta treaty was the subject of a long and emotionally charged debate that stretched into the early hours. And 24 chihuahuas score a victory for the... More >

We need more migrants, not fewer

Immigration might be a hot topic at the moment but the Netherlands should limit labour migration at its peril, warns economist Mathijs Bouman. Do you sometimes get the feeling there’s not enough elbow room in the Netherlands? If the national statistics office CBS is right, it will only get more crowded in the next 30 years. There are currently some 17.4 million people living in this country. By 2050 that number will have gone up to 19.3 million. It’s a... More >

Eindhoven debut for Pastafari film

It might sound outlandish, but Pastafarianism has become a worldwide phenomenon. Filmmaker Mike Arthur spent three years studying the unusual religion for I, Pastafari: A Flying Spaghetti Monster Story while living in the Netherlands. This weekend, the documentary will have its European debut at the 2020 DocFeed Film Festival in Eindhoven. They worship a flying monster made of spaghetti, often wear colanders on their heads, and believe that climate change is being caused by the planet’s dwindling pirate population. Pastafarians... More >

A clean house is just five clicks away

From Groningen to Maastricht, it’s now easy to find a reliable cleaner online with the global platform Helpling. We find out more about the service and what launching in the Netherlands has revealed about the Dutch attitude to cleaning. ‘There are many nicer things to do than spend your time cleaning,’ says Michelle van Os, Managing Director of Helpling, an online marketplace which has been connecting clients in the Netherlands with reputable cleaners for six years now. The user-friendly platform... More >

Dutch destinations: Scheveningen

The time has come for to cover Scheveningen, the famous, and some might say infamous, seaside community that sits on the edges of The Hague. Brandon Hartley took the plunge to find out what else the resort has to offer apart from sunburn and crowds.  All right, first things first. Scheveningen is not everybody’s cup of tea. Those searching for some good old fashioned peace and quiet should head to one of the more laid-back towns in the Wadden... More >

Podcast: The Viral Racism Edition

It’s been a turbulent week of naming, blaming and shaming. KLM suspended all flights to China because of fears about the coronavirus, the government cracked down on New Year firework sales and the football authorities announced plans to tackle racist behaviour. Health minister Bruno Bruins condemned people who ostracised Asian tourists on public transport, while Thierry Baudet refused to apologise for his discredited tale of harassment by train staff. And we discuss the implications of the recent court ruling that... More >

Wynia's Week: Politics is not fragmenting

It’s not that long ago that we had political parties on the right and political parties on the left. In 2020 we seem have a consolidation of parties in the middle and the rest are kept on the fringes, says columnist Syp Wynia.   It’s become common among politicians in the last few years to characterise all parties which have governed at one time or another, or which are considered eligible to take up that responsibility, as occupying ‘the middle... More >

'I can switch on being Dutch'

Most internationals come to the Netherlands to work, to study or to follow their love. Not Emi Collier. The Japanese native wanted to move to the Netherlands because she loves the culture’s directness.  How did you end up in the Netherlands?  I moved here with my family in July 2019. I am from Japan and the Dutch and the Japanese have a friendship treaty that allows Japanese people to get a residency permit if they have a small business. I... More >

Blogwatching: Where are the meesters?

Amanda van Mulligen is British born but calls the Netherlands home. On Turning Dutch, she writes about all aspects of life in the Netherlands on Turning Dutch. My son would like a meester, a male teacher. However, they are in short supply. And it’s not just in the Netherlands that this is an issue. Hoping for a meester My then eight-year-old’s teacher retired earlier in the year. He was disappointed with the news and I asked him if he already... More >

Podcast: The Coronavirus Bonnetjes Edition

As January stumbles, coughing and spluttering, into its last hours, we look back on a week bursting with apologies. Mark Rutte said sorry for the Dutch government’s involvement in the Holocaust, while Arie Slob said ‘sorry, there’s no more money’ to striking teachers. Two ministers were appointed to shake up the tax office, which is still apologising to parents over the child benefit scandal. National train operator NS, meanwhile, made no apology for its approval ratings, while the government thought... More >

12 great things to do in February

There is something for everyone in February’s round-up of great things to do – from high art to pop culture – with a sprinkling of events to keep the kids busy as well. Move your art You will have to get a move on at this year’s Art Rotterdam. It is cramming an awful lot of activity in a few short days, with a long list of national and international galleries showing up and coming young artists, and lectures and... More >

Nord Anglia: upgrading Rotterdam education

As more companies make Rotterdam their centre of operations, the demand for a first-class international education in English is increasing in the city. World-renowned education provider Nord Anglia hopes to meet that need with its new Rotterdam school, the first of its kind in the Netherlands. With 64,000 students across the globe, Nord Anglia is the largest network of international schools in the world. Now expats and Dutch nationals in the Netherlands can experience Nord Anglia’s exceptional, world-class education at... More >

It's war on the self-employed

The government has declared war on the self-employed, says freelance writer and translator Natasha Cloutier. On Thursday, a long-awaited report commissioned by the Dutch government on the future of the labour market has basically stated that the Netherlands’ 1.3 million self-employed need to be eliminated from the workforce. Many freelance jobs such as the healthcare professional who provides elderly care based on a personalised budget or a musician playing alongside employee-colleagues in an orchestra would therefore no longer be able... More >