Monday 22 July 2019

Podcast: The Ginger & Lime Brexit Edition

The past looms large in this week’s podcast as rail operator NS agrees to compensate Holocaust victims who were transported on its trains. Amsterdam’s mayor comes under pressure to enforce the so-called burka ban, there’s a run on contraceptive pills, Mark Rutte delivers a ‘deal or no deal’ message on Brexit and health insurers sound the death knell for reincarnation therapy. In our discussion we look at the contenders for the annual Word of the Year competition. Ophef of the... More >

Dutch under threat in higher education

In the garden of higher education, Dutch is being weeded out. It’s alarming that the education minister seems oblivious to the demise of Dutch in higher education, say Annette de Groot, Erik Jurgens, Jean Pierre Rawie and Ad Verbrugge. The language policy of education minister Ingrid van Engelshoven is like a garden where English is allowed to bloom unhindered while Dutch is withering on the vine. In a recent radio-interview with journalist Frits Spits the increasing influence of English in... More >

11 great things to do in December

Classic films, Christmas events and Chanel – here are some December delights. But if you are more of a bah humbug person who can’t wait for ‘the season to be jolly’ to be over, there is something for you too. Meet Sinterklaas The Catharijneconvent in Utrecht is Sinterklaas’ home away from home and right up until the busiest day in his calender he is inviting all good children up to 8 and their parents for lots of Sinterklaas-related activities... More >

Coding for kids: boosting digital literacy

Digital literacy is increasingly recognised as a vital component of future education. As the Dutch government seeks to update both the primary and secondary curricula, teaching coding to children is set to become compulsory. Esther O´Toole took a closer look at the current state of coding for kids. Bo Boekelman and Hilde Verschuren, two primary school pupils at De Harlekijn school in Cuijk, Noord Brabant are exploring coding at Expedition Robot, one of the extracurricular courses on offer as part... More >

Podcast: The Piets and Pensions Edition

Things fall apart in this week’s podcast as we update you on the increasingly bitter Zwarte Piet debate, plans to deal with a no-deal Brexit, the dispute over the 30% ruling and an electoral boycott triggered by a missing hyphen. Thankfully the football team salvaged some pride with their stunning comeback against Germany. In our discussion we ask if the breakdown of talks to reform the pension system is the beginning of the end for the Dutch polder model. Ophef... More >

'We are in love with the Netherlands'

British national Hannah Bayliss, husband Tim and dog live next to the Valkenburg airbase near Katwijk where they distill gin, enjoy beach life and have gotten to grips with the weather. How did you end up in the Netherlands? We ended up here in 2015 after Tim sent me a picture of the beach at Noordwijk. We both wanted to live in another country and were debating between New Zealand or the Netherlands. Tim had a temporary job in the... More >

Are you as bad at Sinterklaas as I am?

So, Sinterklaas is back in the Netherlands and the count-down to December 5 is well and truly underway. After numerous debacles, Deborah Nicholls-Lee thinks she’s got the hang of celebrating Sinterklaas with her kids. But has she? When the pepernoten appear in Dutch stores at the end of the summer, I usually chime in with the moaning. Not this year. Succeeding during Sinterklaas is all about preparation. I know this from experience: last year was a shambles. The intocht (Sint’s... More >

Podcast: The Brex'nkaas Breakdown Edition

In a week dominated by dodgy deals, Molly and Paul look at the implications of the Brexit breakthrough for UK nationals in the Netherlands, find out how a cinema chain lost €19 million in an internet scam and explain why Dutch language tests have been cancelled for the rest of the year. We also catch up with the ever petulant Max Verstappen, the triumphant women’s football team and the soft cheese manufacturers who learned the hard way that ‘over smaak... More >

Dutch school teacher takes on Dan Brown

It all started when Jeroen Windmeijer’s wife challenged him to work on a novel during his days off from teaching classes at a high school in Leiden. A few years later, he’s now the author of a bestselling trilogy of thrillers that have spawned their own smartphone app and an upcoming film. The series focuses on the adventures of Peter de Haan, an archaeologist at Leiden University, and a student-turned-historian named Judith Cherev. Together, they set out to solve mysteries... More >

Should you be moving health insurer?

Dutch health insurance companies are putting up their rates by an average of €8 a month next year, according to research by insurance comparison website This well below the €10 per month the government had been expecting. In addition, the deductible excess (eigen risico) remains the same in 2019 as it was in 2018 – at €385 per person. Despite the small increase in insurance premiums, the difference between the cheapest and most expensive health insurance is over €300... More >

Suikerbrood and sailing in Sneek

Most famous for its Sneek Week, a week long sailing competition and festival, the Frisian city of Sneek (Snits in West Frisian) has plenty to offer during the other 51 weeks of the year. Molly Quell goes north (again) to check out to eat more suikerbrood and see what the city has to offer. The area around Sneek has been inhabited since Roman times and received its city right in 1456, joining the other 10 Frisian cities that make up... More >

Podcast: The Nuclear Mosquitos Edition

The regular podcast team returns to discuss whether nuclear power will kill us faster than global warming, why there’s been a rash of births among sports stars and whether filming at accident scenes should be banned. We also bring you up to date on the Pakistani lawyer fleeing religious persecution, Ajax’s revival in Europe and a forthcoming feast of Rembrandt. In the discussion we ask why several hospitals were allowed to go bankrupt last month and how the government can... More >

Getting to grips with Virtual Reality

No longer the terrain of developers and gamers alone, Virtual Reality has made its way into hospitals, architects offices, classrooms and the arts. Last month, hundreds of aficionados got together in Amsterdam and Esther O’Toole went along to find out what other realities are taking shape. It’s still unusual and we’re not quite used to it: watching people with strange contraptions on their heads, flailing their arms about, as if in the dark. But step into the seeming darkness and... More >

'I made bitterballen with liquid nitrogen'

Jordanian Moayad Abushokhedim is a trained food scientist who has embarked on new business adventure using recycled food waste to create chemical-free additives in the Netherlands. Based in Rotterdam, he has learned to ride a bike and has become Dutch enough to go for ‘buy two, get one free’ offers in supermarkets. How did you end up in the Netherlands? I moved in November 2015, from Jordan — well, I moved to Spain first, and from Barcelona I moved to... More >

Why written notice is indispensable

In a time when we accept VOIP calls, sound bites and instant messaging as standard work tools, it can be tempting to believe that a verbal discussion is sufficient – but this is not always true. In the case of ending a fixed term employment contract, written notice remains essential, writes lawyer Daniëlle van den Heuvel. As the end of an existing fixed-term employment contract approaches, employers have an obligation to notify their employee about how they wish to proceed.... More >

Blogwatching: Opening night

The writer of Amsterfam moved from London to Amsterdam nearly two years ago with three kids. She switched school systems, ditched the car and threw her children into the box on a cargo bike. She has also been known to swear. In my privileged capacity as Tulse Hill’s greatest export to Amsterdam, twice Mumsnet’s blog of the day, guardian of #stevethebakfiets, fair-weather Instagrammer, diarist, documenter of disaster, dealer in schadenfreude – ALL my stock is in schadenfreude, that’s my only horse in... More >

DN podcast - The Feminazi Takeover - w44

The Dutch News podcast this week moves to Amsterdam, ditches Gordon and Paul, and introduces a whole new host of characters behind your daily news site. Senay Boztas and Deborah Nicholls-Lee join Molly to talk about the latest in the story about an electric wagon maker filing for bankruptcy, what advice Mark Rutte is giving schoolchildren and a new turn in the case of a Dutch collector accused of owning a stolen mummy. Molly talks sports and the latest with... More >

14 great things to do in November

November may be a gloomy month but there is much going on to lighten the day, or night. Catch a play about Brexit, check out some Dutch masters which live in England and ask yourself why a hair that fell of the head of Maradona is in an exhibition in Utrecht. Say hello to old friends Matilda, the BFG, the Enormous Crocodile and many more are all waiting for young and old fans to come and say hello at the... More >