Going Dutch

About the Dutch

Known world over for wearing orange from top to toe, and some startling headgear every time there is a national event, the Dutch are a very warm and welcoming folk.

On your visit to the Netherlands, you’ll also discover that the Dutch are an inquisitive, resourceful and forthright nation, while being friendly and fun-loving.

Going Dutch requires orange gear

Gezellig

Going Dutch -the birthday flag
The birthday flag is sure to be put up if people know it’s your birthday in the Netherlands.

If you learn one Dutch word then it should be this one: gezellig. It’s a hard word to translate into other languages, but conveys cosiness and conviviality. In social settings, the Dutch strive for the atmosphere to be gezellig, with everyone at ease and enjoying themselves. At informal gatherings people tend to talk about more personal topics. And although few topics are taboo, it is not very polite to show off.

Food

In Holland, peanut butter and milk are not only  consumed by children, but even by businessmen in suits! Hagelslag –chocolate sprinkles are eaten on bread by people of all ages. Lunch is usually a sandwich, washed down with buttermilk.  And dinner tends to be eaten early – get to Dutch restaurants around 19h30. Typical Dutch dishes include Hutspot – a dish of onions carrots and mashed potato, Erwtensoup  – pea soup and Andijviestamppot – mashed potato and chicory, often with sausage or bits of bacon. Pancakes are eaten either savoury or sweet – and are often a light weekend meal. Indonesian restaurants are very popular – and usually the fare is delicious!

Language matters

With  the Netherlands being such an open and internationally-orientated country, many Dutch people speak several languages. You’ll certainly be able to get by in English everywhere you go, but of course, people will be delighted if you try a few words of Dutch. This would be very gezellig indeed!