Sunday 18 August 2019

Longer articles about living in the Netherlands, Dutch society, culture and travel plus third party content from our partners

Decoding the history and mysteries of the Dutch national anthem

Decoding the history and mysteries of the Dutch national anthem

Suggestions that the next government might make lessons about the Wilhelmus part of the Dutch school curriculum led to raised eyebrows and considerable criticism earlier this month. But then, as Ryan Walmsley reports, the world’s oldest national anthem is steeped in heritage, myths and misunderstandings. It’s the 1570s. Spain is in the midst of a golden age after conquering the mighty Incan and Aztec empires. Silver, gold and other treasures from the New World are flowing into the Spanish Hapsburg’s coffers... More >


Dutch food which has officially protected status within the EU

Dutch food which has officially protected status within the EU

You thought the Netherlands was all mashed potato dishes, cheese and herring when it comes to traditional food? But there are a fair few Dutch items on the EU’s official lists – even if rather a lot are cheese. And just so you know what we are talking about,the EU logos PDO (Protected Designation of Origin) and PGI (Protected Geographical Indication) indicate region while TSG (Traditional Speciality Guaranteed) means the production process is as old as the hills. Hanneke Sannou... More >


Ash trees may disappear from Dutch landscape because of fungus

Ash trees may disappear from Dutch landscape because of fungus

A fungus called Hymenoscyphus fraxineus, also known as Chalara ash dieback, is wreaking havoc among ash trees in the Netherlands and foresters fear that in the worst case scenario 98% of all ash trees could die, the Volkskrant reports. The Chalara fungus, which is thought to have come into the country from Asia via Poland and the Baltic states around 2007, causes leaf loss, crown dieback and bark lesions. Once a tree is infected it will die, either from the... More >


Eleven things you need to know about Dutch women’s football

Eleven things you need to know about Dutch women’s football

With the Dutch women’s team having won the European title for the first time in their history, here’s a few key facts about female football in the Netherlands. 1 The first female team The first female team, the Oostzaanse Vrouwenvoetbal Vereeniging, emerged in 1924 but was soon side-lined by the Nederlandse Voetbalbond, the precursor of the KNVB, which was of the opinion that the role of women should be restricted to  that of ‘wife, mother or fiancée of football players’.... More >


From pride to paper miracles: 11 great things to do in August

From pride to paper miracles: 11 great things to do in August

Spending your summer at home and looking for some tips for great days out? Here’s some suggestions. Be proud The main event in August is Gay Pride or Pride Amsterdam, as it now inclusively styles itself. There are activities galore, such as the Drag queen Olympics and Bear Necessity (for extremely hairy men) with the Canal Parade on August 5 as an exuberant highlight. Until August 6, Amsterdam. Website Find love in Sloterpark On August 12 Amsterdam’s Sloterpark becomes Loveland.... More >


Top blogs: From cartoon Englishmen to the best food in Amsterdam

Top blogs: From cartoon Englishmen to the best food in Amsterdam

When you move to a new country, there’s nothing like getting some good information from people who have done it before. In the past, you’d have to venture out of your house and actually meet people to get that sort of knowledge. But now, anyone can share their insider tips on the internet for all to read. Molly Quell compiled a list of her favourite Netherlands-based bloggers Invader Stu Invader Stu is one of the most famous of all of... More >


Eight Dutch scientists who changed the world

Eight Dutch scientists who changed the world

We’d suggest calling the following Dutch scientists ‘clever clogs’ if it wasn’t so disrespectful. So we won’t. But these eight theorists and inventors from the Netherlands made breakthroughs that shaped our modern world. Christiaan Huygens Christiaan Huygens (1629 -1695) was a mathematician, astronomer and physicist. Huygens formulated the wave theory of light, determined the shape of the rings of Saturn and contributed to the science of dynamics. Late in life he speculated about life on other planets, niftily sailing around the... More >



Mother of Eurovision trio OG3NE dies of cancer at 47

Mother of Eurovision trio OG3NE dies of cancer at 47

The mother of the three sisters who performed the Dutch entry in this year’s Eurovision Song Contest has died of cancer. Isolde Vol-Melee, 47, was the inspiration for the song Light and Shadows, performed by her daughters Lisa, Amy and Shelley. Despite being terminally ill with bone cancer she travelled to Kiev in May to watch the trio perform in the competition. In a statement, the family said: ‘We are confident that her fighting spirit and eternal smile will give us the... More >


Blogwatching: Amsterdive – The good old language struggle

Blogwatching: Amsterdive – The good old language struggle

Ana V. Martins is a Portuguese actress and a writer who lives in Amsterdam. Her blog, AmsterDive, is about her relationship with Amsterdam with a focus on arts and culture. In this post, she writes about a common problem among many internationals – losing her native language. Yesterday I was thinking of the downs of living ‘abroad’. I must say I very rarely ask myself this question, but I know that this is a very relatable topic to most expats.... More >


Museum buys ceremonial bronze age sword for €550,000

Museum buys ceremonial bronze age sword for €550,000

Leiden’s archaeological museum RMO had been trying to get its hands on it for almost a century: the 3,500-year-old Ommerschans sword. On Wednesday, the museum acquired the sword at auction for €550,000, bringing home to the Netherlands one of its most important bronze age artefacts. Most of the preliminary work was done by Luc Amkreutz, curator of the museum’s prehistory collection. He was the one who maintained contact with the sword’s owner in Germany. ‘This sword belongs to the top... More >



Escaped Madagascan lemur goes walkabout in Amsterdam

Escaped Madagascan lemur goes walkabout in Amsterdam

A red ruffed lemur made a bid for freedom from Artis zoo in Amsterdam early on Monday morning, NOS reports. The creature, which hails from Madagascar, wandered as far as busy Wibautstraat in the city centre. It is not known how long the animal roamed the streets. ‘I was called at six this morning when he was held up at the underground car park at Waterlooplein. I jumped in my car and caught him,’ zoo worker Dennis de Haan told the broadcaster.... More >


Hundreds of ‘pioneering birds’ flock to artificial island

Hundreds of ‘pioneering birds’ flock to artificial island

An artificial island created only a year ago has become an attractive breeding ground for a multitude of birds, the Volkskrant reports. Some 2,000 breeding pairs have already been counted on the 250-hectare island in the Markermeer, a lake between the provinces of Noord-Holland and Flevoland. It is the first of four artificial islands in the lake which will eventually form the Marker Wadden, a natural park of around 10,000 hectares. The new island is being colonised by so-called ‘pioneering’ birds, i.e.... More >




Family is the biggest reason for migration to the Netherlands

Family is the biggest reason for migration to the Netherlands

  People joining their families was the biggest reason for migration to the Netherlands in 2015, the Dutch statistics service announced on Monday. The CBS says that a third of the 159,000 people who migrated to the country in 2015 came to join family members already here. In 2003, half came for this reason, although since the number of migrants has increased, this figure was 36,655 compared with 51,920 in 2015. There was a dramatic rise in asylum-related migration in... More >


The art of thriving: how an Amsterdam chiropractor kept a dancer on his toes

The art of thriving: how an Amsterdam chiropractor kept a dancer on his toes

Early this spring, a Belgian dancer walked into an American chiropractor’s new office in Amsterdam—no, this isn’t the set-up to a joke. It’s the set-up to the dancer’s journey towards improved mind-body wellness, with the help of Kate Cox at Thrive Chiropractic on the Prinsengracht. ‘Dancing has always made sense’, says Birger van Severen, 41, of Amsterdam. ‘My earliest memories are of dancing to The Village People and Michael Jackson.’ These days, he dances and performs in Tineke Schouten’s touring... More >


Spreek Nederlands met mij: A week of eschewing English

Spreek Nederlands met mij: A week of eschewing English

The Netherlands’ enthusiasm for speaking English leaves many newcomers struggling to learn the language. Could wearing a badge insisting on Dutch shake things up? Deborah Nicholls-Lee tries it out. ‘Ah, it’s you, David!’ I sigh with relief as one of the two British hairdressers in the team of four picks up the phone at my local salon. No need to speak Dutch then. I have been in the Netherlands eight years and this wimpy attitude to speaking Dutch is hard... More >


Offering Brexit-affected citizens peace of mind is a priority, says UK minister

Offering Brexit-affected citizens peace of mind is a priority, says UK minister

The rights of British people in the Netherlands and Dutch nationals in Britain are central to the Brexit negotiations, says David Davis, Britain’s secretary of state for exiting the European Union. Last week Michel Barnier and I sat down for the first time last week, to begin negotiating the United Kingdom’s exit from the European Union. The UK has been clear that our first priority is to provide certainty to EU citizens living in Britain – indeed, we had hoped... More >