Sunday 05 July 2020

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

Video: Dutch pranksters show Ikea art to art experts

Video: Dutch pranksters show Ikea art to art experts

The bright sparks at Dutch viral video company LifeHunters placed a painting from Swedish furniture chain Ikea in a museum in Arnhem and told art experts it was by the famous IKE Andrews. The reactions varied from ‘an artist who can put all his emotions in the painting’ til ‘I think it’s worth €2.5m.’ Most of those who had waxed lyrical about the art were good humoured when told about the painting’s real origins. But not all. More >


Video: House of Cards The Hague x 2

Video: House of Cards The Hague x 2

The start of the third season of popular US drama series House of Cards has inspired video makers in cities all over the world to make their own versions of the show’s introduction. The Hague has two House of Cards intros, so far. The first was made by the youth wing of the VVD Liberal party, with Mark Rutte as prime minister and co-staring a host of political names and commentators. The second is the real introduction for a new... More >



Why you should vote for your local water board? A dijkgraaf explains all

Why you should vote for your local water board? A dijkgraaf explains all

Voting in for your local water board on March 18 is a key part of Dutch democracy and gives everyone a say in the decision-making process, says Gerhard van den Top, the dijkgraaf or the head of the board of the regional water authority in Amstel, Gooi en Vecht. Since our earliest efforts, some 700 years ago, to defend our people and properties against sea and river water and to reclaim ‘polders’ from lakes and sea area, the Netherlands has separated... More >


A very brief guide to the 12 Dutch provinces

A very brief guide to the 12 Dutch provinces

The Dutch go to the polls next week to elect the members of the 12 provincial councils. In case your local geography is not up to scratch, here’s a list of all 12. Drenthe, capital Assen Drenthe is a mainly rural province, with some industry around Assen and Emmen. It is also home to 53 of the Netherlands 54 hunebedden, or dolmens – megalithic tombs. Flevoland, capital Lelystad The newest province, created largely on post WWII land reclaimed from the... More >


One week to go – the Netherlands goes to the polls again

One week to go – the Netherlands goes to the polls again

Post these days is usually made up of bills or the occasional postcard or birthday greeting. But in the past few days, you may well have received a card from your local council, inviting you to vote. Before you get too excited, unless you are Dutch, this will be an invitation to take part in elections for your local water board – the people who ensure the drinking water is clean and the dykes keep out the sea. The water... More >


Video: Purmerend eagle owl stars in horror film.

Video: Purmerend eagle owl stars in horror film.

The eagle owl which has been attacking people in the Noord Holland town of Purmerend has not only made headlines round the world, but has now become a film star. The province has now given permission for the owl to be caught but until that happens, locals are being advised to use umbrellas as a defence against its talons. Meanwhile,  latest attack took place on Friday morning on a paper girl who was delivering the morning newspapers. She is said... More >


11 things Dutch shopkeepers will say to you

11 things Dutch shopkeepers will say to you

You thought going shopping was a great way to practise your Dutch on the natives? Indeed it is. But here are a few key phrases you really do need to watch out for. Wil hij (of zij) misschien een plakje worst? If the butcher likes you, possibly because you have just paid a fortune for a piece of meat, and you have a child with you, he will ask ‘would he (or she) like a piece of sausage?’ They invariably... More >


Video: I have tinnitus and I want to die

Video: I have tinnitus and I want to die

Gaby Olthuis suffered from constant noise in her head, ‘like a train screeching or someone scratching their nails on a blackboard’. To end her suffering, she was given a lethal potion to drink by a doctor from a clinic set up to help people who want to die. This documentary with English subtitles was made by television programme De Monitor and was filmed a few weeks before her death. More on this story More >


Washington DC has nothing on Amsterdam

Washington DC has nothing on Amsterdam

The Dutch embassy in Washington has published this handy infographic, outlining all the ways Amsterdam and Washington are different. It’s a response to DC’s mayor’s assertion that decriminalising marijuana will not turn the city into, shock horror, something like the Dutch capital. The embassy even published a special website page highlighting the differences in drugs policy. The page concludes by pointing out that Americans are more likely to smoke weed than the Dutch. ‘The lifetime rate of marijuana consumption for... More >


Six Dutch words and one gesture which are impossible to translate

Six Dutch words and one gesture which are impossible to translate

Learning Dutch but bogged down in the grammar? Or are you a complete failure at the difference between de and het? Never fear, help is at hand. Here are six essential but untranslatable words and one gesture to help you sound like a native. Gezellig A gezel was an apprentice in medieval times and we still use the word levensgezel for someone who accompanies you on the journey of life, in other words your better half. Conviviality, the Dickensian kind,... More >



10 traditional Dutch recipes – not all of which involve potato

10 traditional Dutch recipes – not all of which involve potato

It would be very easy to be snotty about Dutch food and talk about snack bars, chicken with apple puree and the ubiquitous ‘ovenschotel’.  We could go on and on about boiled chicory with ham and cheese sauce and meatballs with green beans and potatoes – served at 6pm sharp. But we won’t be doing any of that. We have a sneaking appreciation for some traditional Dutch recipes – especially those guaranteed to get you through the cold winters. Here... More >



10 Dutch ideas we wish we had thought of first

10 Dutch ideas we wish we had thought of first

The Dutch are an inventive lot. Among their clever ideas in the past: the stock exchange, the submarine, the fire pump and the speed camera. Here’s a list of other nifty ideas we wish we had come up with. 2theloo A chain of public conveniences. Corny name but business is booming. 2theloo started out in an empty shop in Amsterdam’s Kalverstraat and now operates WCs in 13 different countries worldwide and has 14 million customers a year. The key to... More >


Let’s make things beta at TEDxDelft

Let’s make things beta at TEDxDelft

On February 27 2015, TEDxDelft returns with a new and bigger event, featuring an impressive line-up of speakers and inspiring stories.  The event will take place from 14.00 until 22.00 at the Aula Conference Centre in Delft. This year’s theme, ‘Let’s make things beta!’, is all about remembering that every great idea was once raw and imperfect, and had to be refined in order to make it what it is today. Technology, entertainment and design are what TED is all about. In... More >


Stedelijk museum receives substantial gift of artworks

Stedelijk museum receives substantial gift of artworks

The Stedelijk museum in Amsterdam is to receive a substantial gift of works by leading contemporary artists such as Carl Andre, Anselm Kiefer and Bruce Nauman. The gift comes from the artists Coosje van Bruggen, who died in 2009, and Claes Oldenburg with whom the Stedelijk has a lengthy relationship. Van Bruggen was a curator at the museum between 1967 and 1971, the period in which she met her American husband. The collection is very varied, consisting of installations, collages,... More >


Ten Dutch cheeses

Ten Dutch cheeses

There is more to Dutch cheese than the plastic versions of Gouda and Edam you tend to find in foreign or even some Dutch supermarkets. Here are some of our favourites, and hard cheese if we’ve missed yours out. Dutch hard cheese, by the way, is either jong (young, 4 weeks), jong-belegen (young-mature 8-10 weeks), belegen (mature, 16-18 weeks), extra belegen (extra mature, 7 -8 months), oud (old, 10-12 months) or overjarig (very old, more than 18 months). 1. Leidse... More >


10 myths about the Netherlands – debunked

10 myths about the Netherlands – debunked

If you believe the tourist industry and tabloid newspaper approach to the Netherlands, we all race around on our bikes in clogs, eating cheese, smoking weed and killing off our old folk. Yes, there are lot of myths about the Netherlands and the Dutch. Here’s 10 – debunked. Tulips come from Amsterdam It’s spring again, I’ll bring again, tulips from Amsterdam. But did tulips originate in Amsterdam, or even the Netherlands? No, they didn’t. The tulip (Tulipa) was originally a... More >


The Netherlands and fair trade – from coffee to bank notes and local councils

The Netherlands and fair trade – from coffee to bank notes and local councils

Most of us know how the Netherlands made its riches in the Dutch golden age – thanks to its strength as a trading nation – but hundreds of years later a new trading narrative seems to have grown out of the embers of that legacy – fair trade – writes Cathy Leung. Simply put, fair trade is a system of producing and selling goods that ensures the people selling them receive a fair price. During the 1940s to 1960s, mostly... More >