Friday 31 March 2023

More Dutch go for drinks and bitterballen at a funeral

At a pavement cafe or funeral near you. Photo: depositphotos

The Dutch are increasingly opting for more ‘intimate and informal’ funerals, with the traditional coffee and cake making way for drinks and bitterballen, a survey by funeral insurers comparison site Uitvaartverzekeringswijzer has shown.

The traditional Dutch post funeral staple of coffee and a slice of usually indifferent cake is becoming a thing of the past with 73% of respondents saying they wanted an informal service, compared to 69% in 2019.

A toast to life is becoming a popular feature of funerals in most provinces, the survey showed, although Groningers still appreciate a cup of ‘troost’ (comfort). Groningers also showed the highest preference (48%) for the traditional open coffin.

Locations are also veering away from the traditional, with churches making way for bars, boats, the beach or even discotheques. Respondents from Zuid-Holland in particular were in favour of the festive funeral. Almost 90% of respondents wanted an informal funeral while in Friesland over half preferred a more formal setting.

The Dutch preference for cremation over burials because of cost and grave maintenance is still growing, the survey found, with 77% of people now opting for the crematorium.

Other trends in the funeral world include burials in the wild and sustainable mushroom coffins.

Find out more about the Dutch way of death here.

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