Monday 16 September 2019

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

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 >



Deep-lying, even violent, divisions are a recurring theme in Dutch history

Deep-lying, even violent, divisions are a recurring theme in Dutch history

Historian James Kennedy’s new history of the Netherlands shows that the Dutch tradition of tolerance was not driven by idealism, but a hard-headed need to hold together the patchwork of minority groups that made up the nation. By Gordon Darroch To many outside observers the recent Dutch election campaign, and particularly the dominance of Geert Wilders and the issues of migration and identity, came as a violent shock. A country that had long been viewed – and sometimes derided –... More >


The best of the Netherlands in the summer: our list of lists

The best of the Netherlands in the summer: our list of lists

Amusement parks, beaches, islands, pretty villages… Here’s a list of our lists of the best things to do in the Netherlands in the summer. One of the great thing about the Dutch coast is the sunsets, with the sun sinking into the sea. And they are not bad for swimming or sunbathing either. Here’s a list of the best Dutch beaches, from Lloret de Holland to Timboektoe. Fancy some sightseeing but want to avoid the massed hoards of tourists? The... More >


Small Wonders at the Rijksmuseum: a treasure trove for the soul

Small Wonders at the Rijksmuseum: a treasure trove for the soul

This summer the Rijksmuseum is featuring an extraordinary exhibition of Dutch micro-carvings from the late Middle Ages. Christine Medycky has been finding out about ‘Small Wonders: Gothic Boxwood Miniatures,’  – a testament to human creativity and ingenuity. The exhibition which brings together for the first time from private collections and museums around the world, is made up of more than 60 rare miniature boxwood devotional objects from the 16th century. These include rosaries, prayer beads, altarpieces, engraved plaques, prayer pods... More >


Fifty years on, Dutch fashion duo Puck & Hans are at Amsterdam Museum

Fifty years on, Dutch fashion duo Puck & Hans are at Amsterdam Museum

It is half a century since Dutch fashion duo Puck Kroon and Hans Kemmink opened their first clothing store in The Hague. Together with the Amsterdam Museum, they have curated a rich retrospective on these flamboyant years: ‘Puck &Hans – Local Couture’. Deborah Nicholls-Lee toured the new exhibition with the famous designers to find out more. On Amsterdam’s busy Rokin, flanked by a mobile phone outlet on one side, and a cosmetics chain on the other, is yet another cheese... More >


Say tjiis: Frisian language makes its debut in the European Parliament

Say tjiis: Frisian language makes its debut in the European Parliament

The Frisian language will be spoken in the European Parliament for the first time on Monday as part of a session dedicated to Europe’s minority languages. Jan Huitema, an MEP from Makkinga for the VVD party, will speak for one minute in his province’s native tongue to highlight its cultural and historic significance as the Netherlands’ second language, he told NOS. The evening has been organised by a group of around 60 MEPs representing minority languages and will also feature... More >


8 people who are bringing Syrian culture to the Netherlands

8 people who are bringing Syrian culture to the Netherlands

From Dabke dancing to Muwashshah music, the Netherlands has a lot to learn about  Syrians and vice versa. Deborah Nicholls-Lee meets eight people who are building bridges between the two communities and celebrating the very best of Syrian culture here. Samer al-Kadri Located in some of Amsterdam’s most expensive real estate on the Herengracht canal, is a place where almost everything is free. Pages Bookstore Café is not a business, says Syrian founder Samer al-Kadri: ‘It’s just a message in... More >


Solution or utopia? Can design really improve the lot of the refugee?

Solution or utopia? Can design really improve the lot of the refugee?

Can design really improve the experience of the 65,000 displaced people worldwide who have fled their country in search of safety? Deborah Nicholls-Lee visits the Stedelijk Museum’s newest exhibition, Solution or Utopia? Design for Refugees. In stark contrast to the magnificent oil paintings that hang in the adjacent gallery, a sheet, a tent and a urinal are among the prosaic artefacts that populate the Solution or Utopia? exhibition. Here the emphasis is on necessity and survival – and the beauty... More >


Hoard of Roman coins found at former burial site in Gelderland

Hoard of Roman coins found at former burial site in Gelderland

A hoard of coins dating from the final days of the Roman Empire has been found in an orchard in Gelderland. Experts believe the fortune was buried by a Frankish military leader in the second half of the fifth century, when the area was part of the Western Roman Empire, which collapsed in 476AD. Some of the 41 gold pieces unearthed in Lienden, near Veenendaal, bear the image of Majorian, one of the empire’s last rulers, who reigned for four... More >