Podcast: Everything is Miserable Edition

DutchNews podcast – The Everything Is Miserable Edition – Week 26 Own goals, defensive stalemates and an unorthodox formation – no, not the World Cup, but Rotterdam's talks to find a coalition, which finally concluded this week. This week the podcast team discuss the last week's political developments, which also saw former GroenLinks leader Femke Halsema come out of retirement to become Amsterdam's first female mayor. In another first for women, sailing came home as Carolijn Brouwers celebrated victory in the Volvo Ocean Race, which finished in Scheveningen harbour. There was also a disturbing attack on the Telegraaf's newspaper offices, the ophef that erupted when when writer Tommy Wieringa joked about it, an oil spill in Rotterdam harbour and a victory for the PVV as the burqa ban becomes law a mere 13 years after they first proposed it. Top story Police find getaway car used in Telegraaf newspaper attack burned out News Major clean-up in Rotterdam after 220 tonnes of oil are spilled Fraudsters try to scam immigrants with fake...  More >

Castles to classical music in a greenhouse: 11 great things to do in July

Castles to classical music in a greenhouse: 11 great things to do in July If you are in the Netherlands over the summer, there is no shortage of fun or thought-provoking things to do. July's entertainment ranges from a visit to Hotel New York to classical music concerts in the Netherlands four botanical gardens. Work up an appetite The private museum Voorlinden in Wassenaar presents the first European retrospective of American painter Wayne Thiebaud (1920). His colourful paintings of cakes, ice creams and hotdogs are bound to make the enamel on your teeth crack by proxy. The show also includes new work especially made for the exhibition ( but not of a stroopwafel or Bossche bol unfortunately). Until September 16. Website Bring a torch A guided tour of the bat bunker in Wassenaar won't actually bring you face to face with any bats, but it will teach you about the role the bunker played in the defence of the Netherlands during World War II. Wear sturdy shoes and bring a torch. The tours are organised by Staatsbosbeheer and take place every Saturday in July...  More >

'Leaving Amsterdam improved my Dutch'

‘Moving out of Amsterdam really helped me improve my Dutch’ In 2005, nutrition educator Shay Klomp Bueters (43) left the mountains of Montana, USA for the Dutch lowlands, following a romance on a cruise ship with a Dutch co-worker whom she went on to marry. They live with their five-year-old son in Almere-Poort, where she been amazed at the Dutch ability to reclaim and settle new land. How did you end up in the Netherlands? I fell in love with a Dutchie while we were both working for the Holland America cruise lines, in Alaska. We travelled the world for a few more years working on cruise ships, and after seeing Antarctica decided to move to the Netherlands for one year. Thirteen years later, we are still here! How do you describe yourself - an expat, lovepat, immigrant, international etc?  Interesting, I haven’t ever heard of a lovepat before. I guess I would fit in that category, although I consider myself more an international, living in the Netherlands - albeit having my Dutch passport as well as an American one. How long do you plan...  More >

Heralding in the herring season

Fishy business – heralding in the herring season in The Hague The herring party is a very Dutch tradition, held every June to mark the start of the new herring season. Molly Quell takes the next step in her ongoing inburgering process. When the editor-in-chief of this esteemed publication sent me the press release for The Hague Herring Party and told me to go and write about it, I assumed I was being punished. Was it the typo I’d made on Facebook that week? My foul language on the podcast? The puns? Taking the bait I agreed to write this story for two reasons. One, I was permitted to address the fact that I loath herring. Two, I knew, afterwards, I could stop by my favorite burger place in the Hague and enjoy a juicy cheeseburger, fries and a coke and then go browse the used book selection at the ABC. I arrived at the Crowne Plaza hotel in the Hague on a gorgeous sunny Tuesday evening and quickly realised I was grossly under-dressed. In the group of around 300 people who turned up to this 20-something year tradition, there was only...  More >

Howzat! Cricket in the Netherlands

Cricket in the Netherlands: the agony and the ecstasy With an estimated 2.5 billion followers, cricket is one of the most popular sports in the world, second only to football. Not so in the Netherlands, where a little over 5,000 people play the game, and many of them are expats from the traditional cricket-playing countries.   There are all sorts of reasons why the Dutch have not particularly taken a shine to the ‘Gentleman’s Game', yet they have been playing cricket since 1883 and have made the most of the few opportunities they get to play. They often qualify for the marquee tournaments, where they have on many occasions knocked over top teams or have given them a tough fight. And last year, the Dutch qualified to be included in the One Day International league that will run between 2020 and 2022. Abraham Abhishek, who volunteers with the Dutch cricket board, has the lowdown on Dutch cricket in this 10 minute video.   More >

Podcast: The Name Goes Here Edition

DutchNews podcast – The Canna-Business as Usual Edition – Week 25 The podcast team looks back at a week of contrasts, as falling crime levels lead the government to consider closing more prisons while rising sea levels trigger a deal to set long-term climate change targets. As PSV's manager Phillip Cocu gets ready to fly out to Turkey, the Netherlands' Moroccan footballers are flying home after an early exit in Russia. And police arrest four people suspected of supplying illegal guns to terrorists in France, but terrorism is ruled out as a motive for the fatal accident at the Pinkpop music festival. In our discussion we ask if the attempt to create a legal cannabis supply chain will end the link between drugs and crime. Top story Four arrested in Netherlands suspected of supplying weapons to IS terrorists News Seven parties close to agreement on new climate law Four more prisons to close as crime rate falls to 1980s levels One dead and three injured after white van strikes pedestrians at Pinkpop festival Netherlands to build...  More >

13 Dutch 'streken' to put on a map

So you think you know the Netherlands? Here are 13 Dutch ‘streken’ The Netherlands has plenty of well defined provinces, towns, cities and regions. But there is also such a thing as a streek, an area whose borders are very often much more difficult to pinpoint. Here’s a list. Achterhoek Many people only have a vague idea about the Achterhoek (literally back corner) except that its main export was a band called Normaal whose performances usually ended in total mayhem. It lies at the eastern end of the province of Gelderland, with Germany to the south and east, but its borders are fluid and local spats are rife. So ‘that bit in the corner of Gelderland’ it remains. Refoband The Bijbelgordel, or Refoband, is the Dutch Bible belt. It roughly cuts a swathe across the centre of the Netherlands, beginning in Overijssel and ending in Zeeland. It is defined by the voters of the fundamentalist Protestant political party SGP, the party which believes women should not vote and the Netherlands should be governed by the word of God. Randstad The...  More >

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 >