Sunday 26 June 2022

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

Story of crops and gender fluidity wins €50,000 Libris book prize

Story of crops and gender fluidity wins €50,000 Libris book prize

Mariken Heitman has won the Netherlands’ most prestigious book prize, Libris Literatuur Prijs, for her novel Wormmaan. Heitman was a surprise winner from a shortlist that also included Dutch-Ukrainian writer Lisa Weeda, whose novel Aleksandra examines the postwar history of her grandmother’s homeland. Wormman (‘Worm Moon’) connects diverse themes including the development of agriculture and gender identity through the story of Elke, who wants to cultivate more diverse crops by reintroducing a wild species of pea. It is the second... More >


Amsterdam ombudsman fights red tape and purple crocodiles

Amsterdam ombudsman fights red tape and purple crocodiles

Amsterdam’s new ombudsman tells Senay Boztas that he wants to be there for all Amsterdammers suffering bureaucratic pain, and why no government should think it is boss of the people. When your city council moves your vehicle (without telling you), then fines you repeatedly for ‘parking’ in the wrong zone, then clamps your car and demands an eyewatering fine…who are you going to call? If Munish Ramlal succeeds in his mission, in six years, this bureaucratic nightmare will be easily fixed... More >


The Netherlands wants to lead Europe’s hydrogen strategy – but should it?

The Netherlands wants to lead Europe’s hydrogen strategy – but should it?

With the world hydrogen summit kicking off in Rotterdam on Monday, the Dutch are hoping to play a key role in Europe’s clean energy portfolio. In 1959, while prospecting for oil in a beetroot field in eastern Groningen, the Dutch Petroleum Company found gas instead. The sky-high flame could be seen for miles around. In time, neighbours would learn that they were living on top of the largest gas field in Europe. Within a few years, this hidden resource supplied... More >


Moving to NL for love? Sign up for a special event and get all the tips you need

Moving to NL for love? Sign up for a special event and get all the tips you need

When Florin asked Diana to live with him in the Netherlands there was a catch: Diana’s life, job and home country were in Romania, while Florin lived in Amsterdam. But, after meeting while skiing with a mutual friend and then cementing their bond on holiday in Bali, Diana decided to take the plunge. Like thousands of other expats each year, she moved to the Netherlands, and found herself sending out scores of job applications, building a life, and eventually having... More >


From mining to Moroccan art and majesty: 11 great things to do in May

From mining to Moroccan art and majesty: 11 great things to do in May

There is plenty for culture vultures in May, with a new museum devoted to mining history, Art Rotterdam and ground-breaking show in Amstelveen devoted to the modern artists of Morocco. Explore Dutch mining history As in other countries, Dutch mining history is one of pride, hard work, affluence, lung disease and, ultimately, unemployment. In Heerlen, in Limburg, a new mining museum opens its doors to the public on May 1 in former Kneepkens department store which dates from the days... More >


Sinking ‘culture palace’ strikes a bad note with councillors in The Hague

Sinking ‘culture palace’ strikes a bad note with councillors in The Hague

The Hague’s controversial new cultural centre has received a fresh setback after its architects confirmed parts of the complex are sinking into the ground. The five buildings of the Amare centre, which opened last September, were built on separate foundations to prevent vibrations from concerts dragging down the whole structure. However, the concert hall and the Royal Conservatoire music academy’s hall have sunk so far that some doors in the building no longer shut properly, Omroep West reported this week.... More >


On the clock: part-time work and being an entrepreneur

On the clock: part-time work and being an entrepreneur

In some countries, you don’t need to do much to start working freelance: you might just register for value added tax and get started. Being a freelancer or self employed is increasingly popular in the Netherlands. In fact,  the proportion of people who are classed as freelance workers has risen from 8% of the working population in 2003 to 13% in 2020, according to national statistics office CBS. At the same time, there has been a growing discussion about whether... More >


‘A pluffy pillow pleasure island’ – Dutch Venice Biennale focus is touch and consent

‘A pluffy pillow pleasure island’ – Dutch Venice Biennale focus is touch and consent

The Venice Biennale, the art world’s most anticipated event, opens on 23 April. The Dutch entry, melanie bonajo’s whimsical When the body says Yes, is sure to stand out. We meet the artist to find out more. ‘I’d just finished somatic sex coaching training and then I got the phone call,’ the multidisciplinary artist melanie bonajo (lowercase, they/their) told DutchNews.nl. Being selected by the Mondriaan Fund to represent the Netherlands at the Venice Art Biennale, the world’s most prestigious international... More >


‘To say Holland Festival is highbrow or lowbrow is to misunderstand it’

‘To say Holland Festival is highbrow or lowbrow is to misunderstand it’

Emma Moloney will always remember the moment a man whispered quietly in her ear as she was sitting in the theatre. She was at an award-winning play called The Encounter during the 2016 Holland Festival and, like the rest of the audience, wearing a set of headphones. Director and writer Simon McBurney was the one blowing, whispering, then shouting in her ear, through those headphones. ‘The whole audience went: oooh!’ she recalls. ‘It still gives me the creeps. It was... More >


Americans, accidental or otherwise, are fighting against FATCA

Americans, accidental or otherwise, are fighting against FATCA

Many Americans in the Netherlands have been feeling the effects of FATCA in recent years. The infamous law has caused plenty of headaches for both them and the financial institutions they rely on.   If you’re an American living in the Netherlands, you may have already felt the impact. Perhaps it was a stern letter from your bank or maybe you’ve had trouble trying to hire a financial adviser? There’s a reason for that and it’s the Foreign Account Tax... More >


From chasing thieves to celebrity shoppers – The American Book Center looks back on 50 years

From chasing thieves to celebrity shoppers – The American Book Center looks back on 50 years

The American Book Center, online and in-store, is a go-to for English language readers in the Netherlands. As the team celebrate their 50th anniversary, we look back at how it all began. In the course of 50 years, some things have stayed the same in the Netherlands. 1970s Amsterdam, for example, was full of Dutch people with fluent English and Internationals with limited Dutch. But the shortage of English-language reading material at this time was a business opportunity waiting to... More >


A home in Amsterdam? Look beyond the canals to the wider region

A home in Amsterdam? Look beyond the canals to the wider region

The late Amsterdam mayor’s favourite song was about living on the Amsterdam canals – or, more accurately, being priced out of them. But housing experts Expat Mortgages say that despite a challenging market, there are still investments to be made and beautiful homes in and around the Dutch capital. ‘I see something changing,’ says Henk Jansen, founder of Expat Mortgages, who was born and grew up in Amsterdam. ‘In the past, Amsterdam was divided in areas: you had the city... More >


Wooden eggs, hares and fires: How to celebrate Easter the Dutch way

Wooden eggs, hares and fires: How to celebrate Easter the Dutch way

Easter (Goede Vrijdag, 1e and 2e Paasdag) takes place this weekend (April 15-18). Easter Monday is a public holiday but Friday is a normal working day, apart from government workers, lucky things. Here is our list of Dutch Easter habits. Easter breakfast box If you have children at a Dutch primary school, they, rather you, will probably have to make an Easter breakfast box which they will give to another child in their class. This is a shoe box beautifully... More >


Inburgering with Dutch News: key facts about potatoes

Inburgering with Dutch News: key facts about potatoes

You cannot have failed to notice that the potato has a key role in the Dutch diet. But to be properly ingeburgerd, there is a lot to learn about the humble spud. Lesson 28: the potato The Netherlands produces some eight million tonnes of potatoes a year, of which around half will be eaten, 30% used to produce starch and 20% used to produce more potatoes. Here’s what you need to know. Varieties It’s very hard to pin down the... More >


Housing update: soaring interest rates and market moves

Housing update: soaring interest rates and market moves

Interest rates have doubled since January, and there are signs house prices might not be rising so quickly any more. So what does this mean for the housing market? And should you consider remortgaging? Here is a round-up of the latest housing market news. What to do about interest rates Interest rates have hardly been out of the news since the start of the year when they began to rise in earnest. Basic rates have actually gone up about 1%... More >


‘Zwarte Piet is not an exception’ – the long history of racism in NL at last on show

‘Zwarte Piet is not an exception’ – the long history of racism in NL at last on show

From grotesque caricatures in children’s books to artwork depicting Sinterklaas as a woman of colour, a new exhibition in Amsterdam explores the depiction of black people in Dutch society and the ongoing battle for self-definition. Mitchell Esajas is driving in his car from the Black Archives on Amsterdam’s Zeeburgerdijk, which he co-founded in 2015, to an appointment he has across town. The monumental building soon disappears from his rear-view mirror, but the whole city stretching ahead of him is a... More >


A bright and cheerful start to spring: 11 great things to do in April

A bright and cheerful start to spring: 11 great things to do in April

There are plenty of bright and cheerful events and exhibitions to attend this April. Here’s a round-up of some of the best Get your Fasset signed The American Book Center has a treat in store for lovers of the colourful work of textile designer Kaffe Fassett. Fassett, who has to be the only person in the world to have been taught how to knit by a fellow passenger on a train, will be in Amsterdam in person to sign any... More >


‘Street life here was a good lesson. I see people differently.’

‘Street life here was a good lesson. I see people differently.’

Greek-Australian Apostolos Dimas (52), a trained machine operator and forklift driver, moved to Helmond in 2000 for love, but his life took an unexpected turn and, until recently, he was living on the streets of Amsterdam. He loves any excuse for a party, but just don’t ask him to get dressed up. How did you end up in the Netherlands? It was a love story. I met a Dutch woman in Greece. I had a cafeteria near Corfu, and I... More >


Cyberstalking in the Netherlands: a victim speaks

Cyberstalking in the Netherlands: a victim speaks

Stalking and threats against public figures are on the rise in the Netherlands. But what happens when a victim isn’t a politician or a celebrity and is merely trying to do their job? Brandon Hartley talks to one woman who found herself the target of a cyberstalker. This article outlines a series of incidents that have led to ongoing criminal proceedings. Names and certain details have been altered to protect the identities of those involved. It’s tough to be an... More >


What you should know about performance plans, illness and employment disputes

What you should know about performance plans, illness and employment disputes

When an employee has performance issues or long-term illness, this can lead to disputes in the workplace, or even termination of employment. Both employee and employer have certain rights and obligations, and what each party can do depends on the exact details of the situation. Expat employment law expert Godelijn Boonman shares key considerations. When an employee is not performing well in their role, then an employer can take certain steps to address this. The employer may begin with an... More >