Tuesday 21 September 2021

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

Interactive map reveals inequality of opportunity in the Netherlands

Interactive map reveals inequality of opportunity in the Netherlands

Researchers at Erasmus University in Rotterdam are uncovering what they describe as ‘striking’ levels of inequality in the Netherlands, after pooling massive amounts of data on millions of Dutch residents. The findings have been loaded into an interactive map – the Kansenkaart – which the study authors are hoping will influence government policy. The map highlights some significant disparities in later life outcomes for children throughout the country. Gender, location, ethnic background, family income and birth weight all forecast the... More >


Eurovision! A DutchNews.nl guide to the Rotterdam extravaganza

Eurovision! A DutchNews.nl guide to the Rotterdam extravaganza

Although nobody could be as rude as British television commentator Terry Wogan used to be, the Dutch are going to take a stab this year as they present the Eurovision Song Contest from Rotterdam. For those who don’t remember the epic moment when Duncan Laurence sang a haunting ballad called ‘Arcade’, back in 2019, the Netherlands won last time. This means the country has the joy, cost and (as it turns out) zero-tourism benefit of hosting the battle of tonsil-wobbling... More >


Lockdown Love – What’s it like to date during a pandemic?

Lockdown Love – What’s it like to date during a pandemic?

Across the Netherlands, nervous first daters can finally blend in with the crowd as bar terraces reopen and licences are extended to 8pm. But how easy has it been to find love during lockdown, and what lessons have daters learnt along the way? ‘You can tell who are the dating people,’ says Anna Maria (26), a PR executive from Amsterdam who’s been using dating apps Bumble, Tinder and Hinge during the lockdown. ‘It’s the ones who are holding a drink... More >


Housing update: got a mortgage but still got questions?

Housing update: got a mortgage but still got questions?

A round-up of the latest housing news, brought to you by Expat Mortgages. Will house price rises ever stop? Five months into 2021, and the Dutch housing market is showing no sign of slowing down and economists have already raised their initial forecast of a 5% rise in prices this year to 7.5%. However, says Expat Mortgages’ Henk Jansen, given that interest rates are still dropping, and the shortage of properties on the market, the increase in the average price... More >


Blogwatching: Delft MaMa on the transition to Dutch secondary school

Blogwatching: Delft MaMa on the transition to Dutch secondary school

The Delft Maternity And Motherhood Assistance (Delft MaMa) is a non-profit organisation promoting the well-being and integration of international mothers-to-be and mothers of young children in and around Delft, The Netherlands. On their blog, they share articles and news on parenting in Delft. The transition from Dutch basisschool (primary school) to middelbare school (secondary school) is a big milestone for kids. It’s good for parents to be aware of what to expect during this process. Andrea, whose daughter is now... More >


PlusPlus: helping small food firms to grow via crowdfunding

PlusPlus: helping small food firms to grow via crowdfunding

In a small chocolate production facility in Bali, the pandemic wasn’t just a health crisis. For Pod Chocolate, which works with local farmers to produce all-vegetable, artisanal chocolate, production almost ground to a halt. ‘It was a time of huge uncertainty as the government rationed essential foods which included sugar, our second largest raw material,’ recalls chief executive Toby Garritt. ‘Suddenly we could not get sugar to produce chocolate! This threatened to stop our production, which would also impact our... More >


The Flower Bike Man bringing smiles to a city in crisis

The Flower Bike Man bringing smiles to a city in crisis

Spring is bringing welcome cheer to the Netherlands, but Amsterdam now blooms whatever the season thanks to the public art created by its sunniest resident, the Flower Bike Man. The pandemic has infected over 1 in 10 Amsterdam residents, driven up unemployment to almost three times the national average, and driven out the tourists. But weaving through the capital’s muted streets and creating a welcome distraction from the gloom, is a bearded figure on a bike bedecked bumper-to-basket in synthetic... More >


Childcare news: BSOs reopen, May holiday plans and bilingual care

Childcare news: BSOs reopen, May holiday plans and bilingual care

A round up of the latest Dutch childcare news, brought to you by Zein International Childcare. After school care (BSO) is open again The government announced last week it would reopen after school childcare and holiday care facilities (BSO) from Monday for primary school pupils, as long as strict hygiene and other protocols are observed. The move is the next step in the slow return to normality in the Netherlands, and one which has been widely welcomed by parents and... More >


Three things to consider when taking out a credit card in the Netherlands

Three things to consider when taking out a credit card in the Netherlands

The demand for new credit cards has plunged during the coronavirus pandemic. The same goes for card spending, which went down considerably in the first wave as people played safe with their finances and postponed big purchases. Nevertheless, demand for credit cards are set to rise again soon, as more and more people get vaccinated and countries open up their borders for tourists once again. If you have been thinking about getting a new Dutch credit card, perhaps as part... More >


Party of 4: an app that hopes to help couples make friends even during lockdown

Party of 4: an app that hopes to help couples make friends even during lockdown

When Megan Valverde, a nurse from Boston, arrived in Amsterdam with her husband and two young boys, she was delighted to explore a new city but faced with a challenge. ‘For years, my husband and I have talked about how as we’ve gotten older, it’s harder to make friends, especially when you have young children,’ she says. ‘You quickly realise you have to find friends with kids because your interests and ability to stay out late don’t really align any... More >


The secrets the Dutch language reveals about the Dutch

The secrets the Dutch language reveals about the Dutch

Can you really understand a culture without speaking the language? Students at Dutch language school Talencoach have been surprised how much fun it is to learn a language when you understand the culture that shapes it. Both Dutch and English use an insect idiom to communicate pedantic behaviour. The English have ‘nitpick’, taking tiny louse eggs from hair. The Dutch, however, have mierenneuken: ant-f*cking. Open, direct, blunt, pragmatic – it’s all there. Almost everything newcomers need to know about Dutch... More >


House buying heats up during the coronavirus pandemic

House buying heats up during the coronavirus pandemic

If there’s one lesson from the past year of the pandemic, it’s how important it is to have a good home. Working in the same space as home schooling children can be difficult while the lack of an outdoor space can make the lockdown feel even more oppressive. At the same time, however, shortages on the supply side are helping to push up prices, and, as the cities become more expensive, more rural areas are also in the spotlight. Mortgage... More >


Child’s play: The lowdown on nannies in the Netherlands

Child’s play: The lowdown on nannies in the Netherlands

If coping with children, home schooling and doing your job all at the same time is getting too much, you might have been thinking about bringing in the professionals. Here’s what you need to know! ‘I’ve been a nanny for most of my working life, and people are often curious and ask me questions about aspects of the job,’ says Darla Duggan, who has been a live-out nanny for 20 years. ‘Prospective nannies want to know what the job and... More >


From Easter to Eid al-Fitr: Nine significant events in two months

From Easter to Eid al-Fitr: Nine significant events in two months

This year April and May include no less than nine significant events on the Dutch calendar – and in normal years, a lot of excuses for a party.  Schools are also closed for a week or two around the end of April for their spring break but if you are crafty with the public holidays, you hardly need eat into your official holiday entitlement. Pasen This year, Easter (Goede vrijdag, 1e and 2e Paasdag) take place over the first weekend... More >


Dutch recycling strategy needs a rethink: ‘we don’t know what is going on’

Dutch recycling strategy needs a rethink: ‘we don’t know what is going on’

The Netherlands claims to be a leading light when it comes to recycling, but walk along any Amsterdam street, and you have to wonder who is recycling what. Piles of cardboard and old furniture stack up alongside the underground paper and glass containers, next to full plastic bags of household waste. Zuza Nazaruk spoke to Rob Buurman of Recycling Network Benelux to find out what is going wrong. ‘We have almost no idea what is going on with Dutch recycling,’... More >


Returning colonial-era artefacts is not as easy as it seems, say experts

Returning colonial-era artefacts is not as easy as it seems, say experts

This weekend Trouw revealed that Dutch museums have over 100 items in their collections which form part of the fabled Benin Bronzes collection, stolen by British soldiers from the king’s palace nearly 125 years ago. The report again focuses attention on how the Netherlands is dealing with returning stolen art. ‘It’s new, it’s groundbreaking and it’s progressive,’ says Jos van Beurden of the new guidelines introduced by the Dutch government to facilitate the return of colonial-era artefacts to their nations... More >


Four Dutch museums have 114 Benin City items in their collections

Four Dutch museums have 114 Benin City items in their collections

Dutch museums have at least 114 items stolen by British soldiers from the king’s palace in Benin City in 1897 in their collections, Trouw reported at the weekend. The objects, known as the Benin Bronzes and including reliefs, statues and ivory artefacts, are now scattered around the world. Some are at the British Museum in London and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, others are in private collections. In the Netherlands, they are found in the Museum Volkenkunde... More >


What do you do when your husband dies and leaves you hundreds of unseen masterpieces?

What do you do when your husband dies and leaves you hundreds of unseen masterpieces?

When Willem Barbieri died in 2019, he left his wife with an unusual legacy: over 1000 extraordinary paintings, collages and sketches, created during their life together. Poet Pauline Barbieri (78) has spent most of lockdown trying to catalogue and photograph the immense body of surrealist-inspired artwork left behind by her late husband Willem (1948-2019) which fills the UK home they once shared. ‘You couldn’t get into bed for the pictures,’ she says. ‘When one painting was finished, he just got... More >


How to cut the cost of your car insurance, and make sure it stays low

How to cut the cost of your car insurance, and make sure it stays low

Shopping around for car insurance can save you up to €200 a year, so it is well worth checking out the options. So, you’ve finally got a car of your own, or are thinking about buying a nifty little sports number for the summer? Buying a car can be one of the most expensive purchases you will make but the insurance need not cost an arm and a leg. For the first time in years, the cost of car insurance... More >