We were a busy bunch over here at Stuff Dutch People Like in 2016! It was another great year of celebrating the Dutch culture’s endless quirks: we questioned, we investigated, and we had an awful lot of fun!

We marvelled at loads of insanely funny Dutch expressions, we learnt how to kiss properly in the Dutch ‘left-right-left’ style, and we bowed down and admired the superiority of Dutch parenting (particularly those Dutch moms). We stood in awe of the legendary Dutch directness and we finally added hagelslag to our shopping list…because if some of the happiest people in the world think chocolate sprinkles on bread are a good thing, who are we to argue?!

Want to dip deeper into the depths of Dutch culture? Follow us on a magical mystery tour of our top articles of last year…..

1. Funny dutch expressions: 
While living in the Netherlands be prepared for utter confusion when cows, monkeys, windmills and weather barge into your everyday casual conversations. Next time you want to “get Dutch with it”, drop into the convo that it’s “raining pipe stems” and last night “an angel peed on your tongue”. Go on, we dare you!

2. Dutch moms don’t feel guilty – and that’s a good thing
Dutch mothers simply don’t feel as guilty as North Americans – and that’s a good thing. This healthy attitude allows them to achieve a much more balanced approach to motherhood and its demands.

3. Dutch directness
Dutch people are direct. Direct to the point of shocking at times. Direct to the point of, “What the f@#$ did he just say to me?!”. If you plan to spend any times in the lowlands you had better get used to it, and fast! In the Netherlands you are likely going to hear a lot of statements, that in other cultures politely fall into the category of “better left unsaid”…

4. 12 reasons why Dutch moms are the happiest
It’s no secret that Dutch women live a pretty charmed life. Find out the 12 reasons why Dutch moms are the happiest in the world!

Dutch parenting in a bakfiets

5. 10 English words that are actually Dutch
Guess who invented English? The Dutch of course! Hundreds of English words come directly from the Dutch language. Now go eat a cookie on your yacht like a boss (yep – all three words are you guessed it – Dutch!)

6. Papadag (aka the Dutch concept of “daddy day”)
Don’t go forgetting all those awesome Dutch dads! According to national statistics, over a third of men in the Netherlands work a reduced work week. In fact, a whopping 25% of Dutch men officially work part-time. What’s a “papadag” and what is the fuss all about?!

Photo: CC Bas Bogers

7. Three kisses – how to greet the Dutch way
You may well have noticed that Dutch people are a rather kissy bunch. Plop yourself down on any terrace in town and take in the sight of Dutch people all around you greeting & kissing & kissing & kissing, then leaving & kissing & kissing & kissing! Who exactly kisses who, and more importantly, when is the right moment for all this kissing?

8. Hagelslag
The most “unique” of all Dutch food quirks is…drumroll…. hagelslag!! Did I just see that correctly?!? Are grown-ups really eating chocolate sprinkles on their bread at lunch?! Yes? Oh goody, don’t mind if I do. Our porridge now gets a liberal dusting of chocolate sprinkles in the morning and our kids are utterly thrilled with themselves!

Dutch custom

And there you have it, our busy year at a glance….. Well, maybe a rather long glance and a cup of coffee….and maybe some stroopwafels... The Dutch are a pretty awesome bunch really and we will admit we might just be a little bit obsessed with all  their greatness. From their bonkers language, to how they parent and what they eat, we’ve been there, observing, marvelling and reporting back. Love you guys, never stop being your wonderfully weird selves.

p.s. We’ve just kicked off a fun new Facebook group for all-things-Dutch! A place to chat, share recipes, stories, meet others with Dutch ancestry living abroad, and celebrate everything Oranje! Join in the fun – we are just getting started!