Friday 13 December 2019

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

A Thanksgiving story: How the Netherlands played a part in the American holiday

A Thanksgiving story: How the Netherlands played a part in the American holiday

Before they set sail for the New World and inspired the holiday of Thanksgiving, the Pilgrims spent several years in Leiden. Brandon Hartley takes a look at a fascinating but often overlooked chapter in the histories of both the Netherlands and the United States and traces the footsteps of these pioneering Americans.    Anyone who spent time in a stateside grammar school is no doubt familiar with the simplified history of Thanksgiving; of the brave Pilgrims that sailed on a... More >


Six classic Dutch winter warmers – all involving mashed potatoes and bacon

Six classic Dutch winter warmers – all involving mashed potatoes and bacon

Now winter has muscled in, it is time to eat real Dutch comfort food – and that means lots of mashed potato with either a bacon chop, a sausage or a meat ball. Robin Pascoe recommends six classic stamppot recipes. Despite all my years of living in the Netherlands, there is one classic Dutch dish that I still cannot bring myself to eat – the dreaded spinazie a la creme. Deep-frozen spinach with some sort of cream added in, served... More >


Dutch health insurance in 2018: what you need to know now

Dutch health insurance in 2018: what you need to know now

All the Dutch health insurance companies have now published their premiums for 2018. So now is your chance to change your health plan or shop around for a more suitable or better deal. Here’s some key things to think about. Like everyone who lives in the Netherlands, you have between now and January 1 to decide whether or not to switch to a new Dutch health insurance company. So what should you be taking into account? Health insurance premiums Firstly,... More >


To buy or not to buy? Is buying a home in the Netherlands worth the risk?

To buy or not to buy? Is buying a home in the Netherlands worth the risk?

Does it sometimes seem as if all your mates are jumping on the bandwagon and buying a home and you are still stuck in your rented flat with the creaky floors? Sometimes buying a home makes more sense, but not always. Here are a few key things to think about. The housing market, particularly in the big Dutch cities, is rarely out of the news at the moment – soaring prices, lack of choice, changes to the mortgage rules –... More >


New film brings Van Gogh’s brush strokes to life with vivid animation

New film brings Van Gogh’s brush strokes to life with vivid animation

Vincent van Gogh’s fluid brush strokes already seem to move across the canvas but now a film has brought them to life, animating physical paintings to tell the Dutch artist’s story, writes Senay Boztas. Loving Vincent is the title of the first fully-painted feature film, currently in cinemas, and a making-of exhibition at Het Noordbrabants Museum in ’s-Hertogenbosch until January 28 2018. Both the film and exhibition were beset with challenges, from erasing a Greek fly that got stuck in... More >



New play about Anne Frank faces legal action over fictitious story line

New play about Anne Frank faces legal action over fictitious story line

The Switzerland-based Anne Frank Fund is threatening to take legal action against a Dutch theatre production company to stop a play based on Anne’s Second World War diaries, the Volkskrant said on Wednesday. Producer Arjen Stuurman and writer Ilja Leonard Pfeijffer want to put on a new version of the play Achter het Huis (behind the house) which removes the persecution of the Jews by the nazis to tell a ‘more universal story’, the paper said. In addition, Pfeijffer has... More >



Death and the Dutch – Amsterdam has a museum devoted to funerals

Death and the Dutch – Amsterdam has a museum devoted to funerals

With Halloween in full swing, it’s that time of year when people focus on the morbid. But, reports Deborah Nicholls-Lee, even a museum devoted to death can be a cheery affair. ‘We are very happy people here,’ says Guus Sluiter, director of Tot Zover (So Far!), the Netherlands’ only funeral museum, although he has just warned me that we may need to continue the interview elsewhere as our room is often used by the cemetery to plan ceremonies with the... More >


From Sinterklaas in Dokkum to documentary film: 12 great things in November

From Sinterklaas in Dokkum to documentary film: 12 great things in November

From the arrival of Sinterklaas in Friesland to a look at Van Gogh’s Paris, there are lots of great things to do in the Netherlands in November, as Hanneke Sanou has been finding out. Pay a visit to the palace There is just time to check out this year’s crop of promising young artists who have won the annual Koninklijke prijs voor vrije schilderkunst at the Palace on Dam square in Amsterdam. Until November 5. Website Catch a con at... More >


Live near the beach: here are three unique opportunities in The Hague

Live near the beach: here are three unique opportunities in The Hague

Living in The Hague means living in the only large Dutch city by the sea. It takes just 15 minutes on the tram from the city centre to breathe in the fresh seaside air or a quick post work swim. With 10 kilometres of sandy beach nearby it is no wonder The Hague is such a popular place to live. Tempted? Here are three unique property developments currently being realised by leading national developer and builder, VORM, in various parts... More >


Should international parents consider a Dutch education for their children?

Should international parents consider a Dutch education for their children?

With international schools in short supply and long waiting lists becoming the norm, more expatriate parents are considering a Dutch education for their children. Deborah Nicholls-Lee examines its pros and cons. ‘Within both of the kids’ classes, we’ve got Mexican families, Italian, Portuguese, Japanese, Canadian, – we have a really big mix there,’ says British expatriate Claire Mingay, who has lived in Amsterdam for 12 years. But the multi-cultural school that her children attend is not international: it is a... More >


Get to grips with living in the Netherlands at the IamExpat Fair in The Hague

Get to grips with living in the Netherlands at the IamExpat Fair in The Hague

Need help with finding the perfect place to live, a good place to work out or even mates to hang around with? You’ll find all the answers at the second edition of the IamExpat Fair in The Hague, which takes place on Saturday November 4, 2017, at the Grote Kerk in the city centre. The IamExpat Fair was set up support internationals in the Netherlands and connect them with local businesses and service providers and the organisers are delighted to... More >


Multilingual recruitment comes of age: from CVs by post to video presentations

Multilingual recruitment comes of age: from CVs by post to video presentations

Twenty years ago Maureen Adam launched her own recruitment company from her home in Edam. Since then the company has blossomed, but the recruitment industry has changed enormously as well, as Robin Pascoe found out. ‘I came to Holland in 1991 and I really struggled to find a job. The Netherlands was in the middle of a recession and it was at a time when you went to an agency and there were notices on the door stating “if you... More >


Mata Hari and Margaretha Zelle return to Friesland in new show

Mata Hari and Margaretha Zelle return to Friesland in new show

Who could blame the Dutch for focusing on the glamour and intrigue that surrounds their most unlikely heroine? It is not often, after all, that one of their own becomes an international by-word for sex and scandal. But now Mata Hari is back in the spotlights. The Friesland Museum has mounted an exhibition which highlights not only Mata Hari the dancer, mistress, and – alleged – spy but Margaretha Zelle the wife and mother. It is a 100 years since... More >


Stedelijk Museum director quits over private business interests

Stedelijk Museum director quits over private business interests

The director of the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam has resigned with immediate effect following the publication of news articles about her private commercial interests. Beatrix Ruf is standing down ‘in the interests of the museum, given the recent media speculation, which could have an impact on the museum’s reputation,’ the museum said in a statement. Earlier this month, the NRC reported that Rus is owner of an art consultancy in addition to her job as director of the city’s modern... More >


Stedelijk show ‘I am a Native Foreigner’ uses film, photos, textiles and more

Stedelijk show ‘I am a Native Foreigner’ uses film, photos, textiles and more

The Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam continues its exploration of the theme of migration with a new exhibition, I am a Native Foreigner. Deborah Nicholls-Lee  went along to check it out. ‘We’re all foreigners,’ says Beatrix Ruf, director of the Stedelijk Museum. ‘It’s an experience we all share, in a way. Even if you travel for a holiday, you experience displacement in relation to other contexts.’ The Stedelijk’s latest exhibition I am a Native Foreigner offers a 13-gallery exploration of the... More >


Grab your agenda: 52 tell-tale signs you’ve gone Dutch

Grab your agenda: 52 tell-tale signs you’ve gone Dutch

So there you are, sitting chomping on your French fries with mayonnaise and cheering on Oranje on the telly, or lingering in the bathroom to check which birthdays are coming up, and it suddenly hits you: you’re turning Dutch. At what point does integration become assimilation? Here’s a list of some tell-tale signs; feel free to add your own in the comments. You complain about the number of tourists in Amsterdam You complain about the way tourists ride their bikes You’ve learned to cycle while... More >


Orange and black: the forgotten history of black servants at the court of Willem V

Orange and black: the forgotten history of black servants at the court of Willem V

Child slaves, renamed Cupido and Sideron, ended up in the Dutch court as boys and spent the rest of their lives serving the royal family. Gordon Darroch visited a fascinating new exhibition about their lives in The Hague. You can see them in a painting from 1781 by Hendrik Pothoven, titled ‘the Buitenhof during The Hague circus’: two tiny, finely drawn figures that stand out among the entourage of Stadhouder Willem V for their striking outfits and prominent turbans, but... More >


Today it is ‘animal day’ – but in some places, every day is Dierendag

Today it is ‘animal day’ – but in some places, every day is Dierendag

On the the feast day of Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of animals, the world celebrates World Animal Day – Dierendag. Around the country, on October 4th, business will host special events, children bring their pets to school and more. But, as Molly Quell reports, in some places, every day is animal day. The Dutch have nearly as many pets as bikes, almost two for every man, woman and child. According to Dibevo, the Dutch organisation for animal-related companies,... More >