Monday 13 July 2020

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

Help with your mortgage: the charitable initiative to help cut payments with no strings attached

Help with your mortgage: the charitable initiative to help cut payments with no strings attached

According to a recent survey by the AFM Dutch financial services authority, one in seven people have worries about whether they can pay their mortgage because of the corona crisis. Meanwhile, mortgage providers such as Woonfonds have reported that a lot of clients are phoning them with questions about these concerns. So Expat Mortgages has joined an initiative to give advice and practical help to anyone who wants to investigate whether there is something they can do to reduce or... More >


More room to view: 10 great things to do in June (and one in May)

More room to view: 10 great things to do in June (and one in May)

Theatres and museums will open for business again from June 1, subject to coronavirus restrictions. Who will and who won’t be welcoming visitors is not clear yet so here are a couple of certs and a few maybes. You will need to buy tickets in advance for all exhibitions, but you will have a lot more room to view popular shows. Listen to the trees The world’s first international quarantine concert performed by trees is not in June but we... More >


Leiden 400 commemorates the journey of the Pilgrim Fathers

Leiden 400 commemorates the journey of the Pilgrim Fathers

In 1620, a group of pilgrims departed from Leiden to sail across the Atlantic and changed the world forever in the process. This year the city is marking the 400th anniversary of their voyage with Leiden 400, a series of events, museum exhibitions, and more.  Unfortunately, many of the plans to celebrate Leiden 400 had to be delayed or cancelled due to the Coronavirus crisis. On 16 May, a virtual kick-off event for Leiden 400 was held online to get... More >


Dutch destinations: get away from it all on the island of Schiermonnikoog

Dutch destinations: get away from it all on the island of Schiermonnikoog

If you are looking for a last-minute getaway for the Whitsun weekend, the Wadden Sea island of Schiermonnikoog is the perfect place – as long as you like the great outdoors. Earlier in May, broadcaster NOS reported that the island of Schiermonnikoog was crying out for visitors. The island is largely dependent on tourism and has been hit hard by the coronavirus lockdown. Having last been many years ago, we decided to take the plunge and head north. The weather... More >


Inburgering with Dutchnews.nl: 10 key facts about herring

Inburgering with Dutchnews.nl: 10 key facts about herring

So while we are all largely confined to base, what better time to brush up your knowledge of all things Dutch? DutchNews.nl is pleased to present its very own ‘inburgering’ course in, well, however many lessons it takes. Lesson 11: The herring The new herring season starts on June 12 and every year the fish is described by experts as being ‘lekker vet’ (nicely fat) and ‘of good quality’. Here are some key facts about this Dutch delicacy. The humble... More >


Dutch counterculture? It’s like a really long time since Provo, man

Dutch counterculture? It’s like a really long time since Provo, man

May 25 marks 55 years ago to the day when a couple of students got together to shake a nodding Dutch society out of its complacency. During its short existence – it only lasted two years – Provo, as the movement was dubbed, paved the way for the sexual revolution, the emancipation of women and gays, the peace movement, and brought about a greater awareness of the threats to the environment. Plus a couple of completely mad things. Here are... More >


Food glorious food! Foodwiki gives the lowdown on take-out dishes

Food glorious food! Foodwiki gives the lowdown on take-out dishes

We can’t go to restaurants at the moment – but we still have to eat. With the Dutch population home-based at mealtimes, first supermarkets and now takeaway restaurants are seeing a boom in orders. But what to do when you’ve had your favourite Indonesian meal six times in the past fortnight? Fortunately, Dutch meal delivery company Takeaway.com has the answer: it has created a Foodwiki to give hungry customers inspiration and information about 194 dishes from 10 international cuisines. The... More >


How one English potter went digging for some very old Dutch clay

How one English potter went digging for some very old Dutch clay

A mention in the Guardian of ‘one potter called John’ who spent a muddy hour digging for ‘2.5 million-year-old clay in an old Dutch quarry’ piqued one DutchNews.nl writer’s curiosity. How did a bucketful of antediluvian Dutch clay end up in the studio of an English potter? It did not take long to find both the clay and the potter and uncover a history of craftsmanship that continues to this day. John Higgins, as his name turned out to be,... More >


A tribute to the Scheveningen surfers: And you are up. Dancing on top of the sea

A tribute to the Scheveningen surfers: And you are up. Dancing on top of the sea

In 2016, occasional columnist Joe Weeg was taught to surf by one of the five surfers killed in the sea on Monday. At the time, he wrote about Joost in a piece entitled Old Surfers on his blog, and we reproduce it here, as a tribute to the young men who died. Update 2020: Joe writes: ‘I am always troubled by young death — which I saw a lot of in my former life as a prosecutor either as murder... More >


Inburgering with Dutchnews.nl: 11 things to know about the Girl with a Pearl Earring

Inburgering with Dutchnews.nl: 11 things to know about the Girl with a Pearl Earring

So while we are all largely confined to base, what better time to brush up your knowledge of all things Dutch? DutchNews.nl is pleased to present its very own ‘inburgering’ course in, well, however many lessons it takes. Lesson 11: Girl with a Pearl Earring Johannes Vermeer’s Girl with a Pearl Earring (1665) has been voted ‘the most beautiful Dutch painting’ and described as ‘timeless, like Mona Lisa’. She’s also a massive money-spinner and features on everything from bikes to... More >


Expat spouses: the untapped talent pool struggling to find work

Expat spouses: the untapped talent pool struggling to find work

When a spouse accepts a job in the Netherlands, their accompanying partner often has no intention of abandoning their own career aspirations. But as a newcomer, finding a job can be challenging. Deborah Nicholls-Lee reports on the frustrations of this overlooked talent pool. ‘The most common misconception about expat spouses is that they don’t want to work,’ says Kavitha Varathan (37), the founder and CEO of Expat Spouses Initiative (ESI), a social enterprise in Eindhoven, supported by the municipality, that... More >


War stories: a look back at our coverage of the Dutch and WWII

War stories: a look back at our coverage of the Dutch and WWII

As the Netherlands celebrates 75 years since the end of World War II, here is a recap of some of our stories. They focus both on the specific Dutch experience, and on the experiences of those from elsewhere who were touched by it, however briefly. ‘They were proud of what they were doing’: A Dutch Holocaust survivor’s story Henry Fenichel’s happy childhood in The Hague was destroyed by the Nazi occupation in 1940 and his subsequent deportation, as a Jew,... More >


The Netherlands is still scarred by the traces of World War II

The Netherlands is still scarred by the traces of World War II

The Netherlands celebrates 75 years since the end of World War II in May, although this year’s celebrations have been virtually cancelled, due to coronavirus. The war may have ended in 1945, but there are many traces of the conflict still visible in towns, villages and the countryside. Here are just a few of them: Stumbling stones The Stolpersteine or stumbling stones project was launched by German artist Gunter Deming in 1992 and aims to commemorate individuals at the place... More >


Make an exhibition of yourself: 12 Great virtual things to do in May

Make an exhibition of yourself: 12 Great virtual things to do in May

Museums and theatres remain closed and although they are busy trying to fit the 1.5 metre social distancing rule into their daily new normal practice, there is no way of telling if they will actually open their doors on May 21. So here is some more virtual fun. Make an exhibition of yourself As if you haven’t been corona-ed enough the Amsterdam Museum is preparing a virtual exhibition about Amsterdammers’ everyday experiences during the lockdown. Your written stories, photographs, videos... More >


Inburgering with DutchNews.nl: The tallest things in the Netherlands

Inburgering with DutchNews.nl: The tallest things in the Netherlands

So while we are all largely confined to base, what better time to brush up your knowledge of all things Dutch? DutchNews.nl is pleased to present its very own ‘inburgering’ course in, well, however many lessons it takes. Lesson 9: The tallest things in the Netherlands Coming to the Netherlands can make the average person feel vertically challenged. Yet, the Netherlands is not a country of soaring skyscrapers and mountain peaks. Our list shows the good old Dutch trait of... More >


King’s Day from your couch – our step by step guide

King’s Day from your couch – our step by step guide

Not sure how to celebrate Koningsdag from home? Never fear, DutchNews.nl has your whole day planned out for you. In 2020, the focus is less on drunken street parties and more on donating to support those in need. Here’s a morale-boosting programme of home-based entertainment to give Willem-Alexander a big shout-out for his birthday, while helping to keep Covid-19 at bay. 09:45 Across the Netherlands, bells ring out to mark the official start to King’s Day. If you are not... More >


King’s Day from your couch – our guide to Woningsdag

King’s Day from your couch – our guide to Woningsdag

Not sure how to celebrate Koningsdag from home? Never fear, DutchNews.nl has your whole day planned out for you. The organisers are calling it Woningsdag; social media is calling it Coroningsdag – one thing is for sure, King’s Day will be a little different this year, given we’re all celebrating it from home to minimise the spread of the coronavirus. In 2020, the focus is less on drunken street parties and more on donating to support those in need. Here’s... More >


Meeting old friends again: How I spent my virtual Dutch vacation

Meeting old friends again: How I spent my virtual Dutch vacation

What do you do if you spent some time living in the Netherlands as a trailing husband, while your wife worked in a high powered job? Now back in the US, columnist Joe Weeg takes a virtual visit to his favourite haunts. Lockdown. It used to be a term that I’d hear back when I was a criminal prosecutor and trying to talk to a witness. ‘Sorry, sir, you can’t see the prisoner because he’s in lockdown.’ Of course, he’s... More >


Speaking in code: Dutch school replaces classics with computer languages

Speaking in code: Dutch school replaces classics with computer languages

You’re unlikely to be asked whether you speak fluent Latin or Ancient Greek in a job interview –  but a working knowledge of Python and C++ computer languages will probably be a plus. This is the view of Hakan Akkas, the school teacher and IT whizz behind what may be the Netherlands’ first secondary school focusing on teaching code. ‘If you look at the needs of companies, they don’t need people who speak Latin or Greek; even if you want... More >


Inburgering with DutchNews.nl: 11 local delicacies from all over the country

Inburgering with DutchNews.nl: 11 local delicacies from all over the country

So while we are all largely confined to base, what better time to brush up your knowledge of all things Dutch? DutchNews.nl is pleased to present its very own ‘inburgering’ course in, well, however many lessons it takes. Lesson 10: 11 Dutch local delicacies There are lots of places in the Netherlands that have their own culinary speciality. And so as not to allow any misunderstanding as to their provenance, they tacked the name to the product. Here’s 11 local... More >