Want more? Want to join the conversation? Follow our tweets on Twitter or join our Facebook page!

Below is our list of Stuff Dutch People Like… so far. We’ve got plenty more to add but, as always, would love to hear your suggestions! (BTW: the list is currently in random order and is updated weekly).

Got something to say? Email us at stuffdutchpeoplelike @ gmail.com.

**{Copyright Regulations: All material on Stuff Dutch People Like is copyrighted and protected. }

617 Responses

      • Daan Groenberg

        En speculaas. mjam mjam

      • Jon

        What about the dutch love for all things potato?

      • Noel

        I am an American who lived in Arnhem for 3 years – never got accustomed to the advert papers pushed thru my front door on Sunday morning.

      • Gydo Hendriks

        What about ´´tentfeesten´´ (partytents).
        you’ll probably never seen one yet, but in summer you see them almost every where on the country side(mostly the east).
        These are huge tents, almost buildings, with a lot of hard music and even more alcoholic drinks.
        see link for an acsample (sorry for bad english)
        Maybe you don’t now such a thing yet but very populair with farmers, and very dutchie;)


      • Gydo Hendriks

        This is also one i haven’t seen in your list yet.
        A party celebrated over whole of the south and the east.
        For one week in the year all city’s and town’s are closed for traffic and there are big parades with lot’s of beer and ”gezelligheid”. A must see if you live for more than a year in holland.


      • Devon Peck

        And referring to things as “nice.” Most over-used adjective.

      • Jenny Tresidder

        Tattoos and piercings!!!

      • Maddie

        Waar is Koninginnenacht en Koninginnedag?? Oh en koffiepauzes, bier, voetbal, fietsen, ect… :P. Maar ik hou van de lijst tot nu toe!! Keep it up 🙂

      • Char

        Calve crunchy peanut butter the best or with cucumber

      • Char

        Don’t forget gouda cheese:)

    • Fons Tuinstra (@fonstuinstra)

      What you should include is this strange idea Dutch have when they arrive somewhere exotic and discover those poor people do not have stroopwafels, drop or hagelslag. They then spend the rest of their stay to discuss those business opportunities. They of course never work out.

      • over 50s in holland

        so true!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      • Karel

        I still think the McKroket should be available in all McDonalds around the world..

    • Connie

      my girlfriend is learning Dutch and she has repeatedly asked me (I’m Dutch) about the use of the word ‘hoor’ – another one of those words like ‘lekker’ and ‘gezellig’ that can be used anywhere, anytime, and can be tacked at the end of anything!

      • Daphne

        Dat is lekker gezellig hoor! Being a great example here lol.

      • Matthijs

        Hoe vind je het eten? Lekker hoor…
        I had exactly the same problem with my girlfriend learning Dutch! I couldn’t explain it properly..

    • Adriana

      You can get a pretty good (not perfect) stroopwafle at Trader Joes. They come in a nice blue and white tin, but are, regrettably, from Belgium. (Horrors). Better than nothing though.

  1. Judith

    this is brilliant! I am Dutch and all these things are so true.. But you should definitely add bikes. It’s a Dutch must-have 🙂

    • Jake

      Totally agree about bikes, there are lots and lots and lots of bikes everywhere!

      • Kuki

        Yes bikes! I also figured out why! Becouse it’s cheap and we love cheap! 😉

    • Greetje

      I do believe we have more bikes than people. I myself own 3 (a mountainbike, a good one (what people in Wales call a “push-bike”) and one I take to the station, in case it gets stolen)

      • Paulina

        “and one I take to the station, in case it gets stolen” this made me laugh 😀

      • Maddie

        I also have what I call a “drunk bike” 😛 That thing is like a tank though!! Seriously it can withstand anything my drunkenness has to throw at it

  2. Roos Schut

    This website is absolutely hilarious, my family is dutch and we all were laughing when I was reading it out to them 🙂 you can include other foods such as poffertjes? or the fact that we have pancakes for dinner? any who, keep posting, its great!

    • Ray

      Definitely Poffertjes! I lived in Leiden many years ago.
      What about Reistafel?

      • Piett

        I presume you mean “rijsttafel”. That (mostly) originates in indonesia. So it’s not really really dutch. It is nice though!

      • Walter Hughes

        rijsttafel- Indonesian style buffet

      • Jannelies

        Well, it’s spellend ‘rijsttafel’…

      • Edward

        Or how about rye bread, Santa Klaus cookies and pea soup?

  3. Stuff Dutch People Like

    Thanks for the feedback Roos, glad to hear you and your family are enjoying it! There is a lot more to cover – too many funny things the Dutch like 😉

  4. Dennis

    Haha brilliant! As a Dutchman myself I recognize allot of this and it is all true! I might have another suggestion for you, the dutch habit of ‘grinding/mashing up’ their food. Ever noticed it? I can’t recall that any other country does it. We grind the potatoes, the vegetables and the gravy all together!
    Looking forward to read more posts! 😀

    • Karen

      This is the one I would add as well! Remember to over cook the vegetable in order to mash them with the boiled potatoes!

      • Wouter

        Don’t forget to use the right spelling: “stamppot”. This also kind of explains what it actually is ;).

      • Carlijn van Bergen

        yes overcooking the veggies is certainly something that dutchies do… Unbelievable… Not only when they are mashed into a stampot…

  5. Malin

    After living in Amsterdam for six years, I’d humbly suggest you to include…

    Dutch lunch habits (you know what I mean).
    Dutch boat habits (100 drunk people in a 20 people boat, all standing up, blasting loud “gym remix” music while cruising city canals).
    Singing loud while biking.
    Rude humour, including racist jokes and pointing out awkward physical traits of others (from sweaty armpits to midget-like height – anything embarrassing can be made into a joke).
    Home solariums.
    House cats in bars, grocery stores, bakeries… (which also goes on my miss list). Not sure if this is an Amsterdam thing though..?
    No bike helmets – whatsoever (including kids).
    Also, creative ways of giving kids a ride on the bike (sometimes quite deadly-looking).

      • Jules Stoop

        We have very favorable traffic-accident statistics, compared to most of the developed world. Be sure to recognize the fact that which may seem reckless, might actually be perfectly safe.

    • acolade

      Only recently I’ve noticed that people keep pointing out our odd toiletbowls, with the platform instead of straight into water… thinking back and paying attention when abroad I have to say I’ve never seen them outside of the NL.

      • Jimmy

        Dutch toilets are great! You don’t get “splash-back”, if you know what i mean…

      • Joel

        I used to travel to the Netherlands frequently on business, and those came to be known to our group as “shit shelf toilets”. With some, you needed to be careful where you positioned yourself when flushing……

      • Ruud

        He, I’m Dutch my self and I really like your site, it’s fun to read and it features good examples of our culture.

        Most of the tips you provide are quite accurate, but not all of them. For example, the special toilets Acolade mentioned are not Dutch, but German (http://www.asecular.com/~scott/misc/toilet.htm). The reason that they are very common is because the Netherlands always had close relations with the Germans. Modern buildings don’t feature them any more most of the time, although they remain popular in hospitals.

      • Greetje

        We have a proper name for them: “prestatie toilet” (like “achievement toilet”, so you can see what you achieved when done using it)

      • Steve

        Every foreign comedian who comes to NL does a solid 5 minutes on Dutch toilets and never seems to understand why the crowd doesn’t laugh more. Nou, die hebben we al gehoord, joh!

      • Rona

        The Germans know this kind of toilet pots, too. They have both kinds.

      • wigra1

        This contradicts the Dutch saying :Doe wel en zie niet om: do the right thing and don’t look back

    • Sharon Huls

      The rudeness is much less in the south lol. Some things are typically for the (north-)west. 🙂

      • Cootje

        I wouldn’t put the rudeness just in the west, and I wouldn’t say that’s a typically Dutch thing either actually. Fortunately, most of the Dutch aren’t that rude and have some subtleness left 🙂

      • Elbert van Hoepen

        Rudeness ain’t less in the south;) ever bin to zeeland? I however like it. they are honest:p yup.. Dutchman speaking

    • Bernjan

      I don’t see having no bike helmet is silly!
      We Dutchies are born cyclists, we dont need one!
      And besides that, I think they look silly.
      Every time i see someone wearing a bike helmet i confirm to myself that i don’t want one.

      Only time i use one is while mountain biking.

      • Rik

        I actually think the helmets are for whimps! And I will point and laugh if people wear them when just cycling on the road.

      • hypermarin

        All that aside, they’ve recently discovered that bike helmets aren’t that safe after all…so why look like an idiot then?

      • Paulina

        Plus when you bike to work you don’t want to ruin your hairstyle with lots of gel 😛

    • Sergio

      only racist jokes in the face of someone of that race (if you’re good a friends enough) or when the people you’re telling it to, know your not a racist at all. ofcourse like every other country we do have racists who actually do it to hurt someones feelings. also should this list not contain something about a lot of us considering riverbanks and canals to be a “beach”? we do a lotta bridgediving into those filthy canals. and we don’t even mind:)

  6. Katja

    Hey, i’m dutch myself and I find your website really funny 😛 I told all my friends about it, and they all love it 😉

    btw: are you male or female?? i really wonder..

    • Anne

      Yes, meetings! Talking about doing something for hours on end instead of just getting to the point and then doing whatever the meeting was about!

      • Stijn

        When I hear foreigners that attend a Dutch meeting they always say something along the lines of: ‘Wow that went fast, you really get to the point immediately huh?’

  7. Patty

    I miss the bike in your list. It should be the #1! (Almost) everyone has a bike in holland.

      • cindy354

        haha and what about ‘fietsvakanties’.. going on holiday by cycling for a week from place to place in, most of the time at least, rain and wind…

        that could not be fun and relaxing!!

    • Eefje

      Most people even have more than one, I have tree. (especially for students – for met it’s one in the city I was born, one in the city I study and a folding bike in the town I live.)

      • niels

        in amsterdam there are over 2 million bikes and less than 800k inhabitants… we keep several of them in case one breaks down.

      • hypermarin

        Haha! That’s the reason I quit celebrating my b-day at home. I take it to the pub nowadays 😀

  8. Harrold

    Yet another totally enthousiastic post! Two things that could also be added are:
    – Dunglish (The very special way Dutch people tend to speak English)
    – Using sayings (I’ve heared quite often that Dutch people use sayings more often than others)

    How is your list ordered btw?

    • A Dutch Source

      I must say that I really like your ‘out-of-the-box’ suggestions.
      Yes, it is true, the Dutch use a lot of expressions and saying. We even have two categories for those (Spreekwoorden ‘sayings that are complete sentences and that are used as sentences on their own’ ; and gezegdes ‘sayings that are added to a sentence, so those are mere parts of a sentence’)
      Going on to his suggestion, what about Tegeltjes-wijsheden (Tile wisdoms)?

    • Stuff Dutch People Like

      Thanks Harrold! Dunglish is definitely one of our favourites! Sure to make an appearance…and soon! 😉

      The list is *randomly* ordered – no rhyme or reason at this point!
      Thanks for stopping in 🙂

      • Paulina

        Yes, it’s funny how they say “bus”, “lunch” or “assume” 😀

  9. Miriam

    I totally like your blog. I’m dutch myself and you’re right about most things. It’s really fun to read this and to think ‘ yes I do that to’.

  10. A Dutch Source

    I now live in the USA, but I have lived in Holland my first 18 years. And yes, it’s all true! I long to our ‘odd habits’ and snacks that sound ridiculous to eat (drop, borrelnoten).
    And, my American girlfriend says that she recognized everything and understands better why and what I do! We both love the website!

    • Stuff Dutch People Like

      Love love love this comment! This is what the blog is all about! 🙂

      Thanks for stopping by and I hope we can keep you amused (and better understood!) 🙂

    • Eefje

      Elfstedentoch! Surely non-dutch people wouldn’t understand men in suits measuring the ice all the time at the slightest hint of frost and the news being dominated by it…

    • Josh

      Or to put it slightly differently: When it freezes for more than half a day, many cities disallow boats in their canals and many pumps are stopped. All to make sure that ice can form. If that isn’t called craze…

    • Alie

      I do have to insert here that the Elfstedentocht is Frisian not Dutch.

      • Jules

        ‘Dutch’ is not just a noun meaning ‘a language spoken in the Netherlands’, but also an adjective standing for ‘of or relating to the Netherlands’. Many people in Friesland may have Frisian as their first language (instead of Dutch) but Friesland is a full province of the metropolitan part of the Netherlands, so something Frisian (as in of or relating to Friesland) means by definition that it’s Dutch too.

      • ablabius

        I think what Alie means here, is that the Eleven-cities tour is specifically Frisian and not universally Dutch. The eleven cities mentoned are the eleven cities of the Dutch province of Fryslan (which is very rural). The tour therefore encompasses the entire province and not the entire country.
        Saying that Frisian is Dutch by definition is a bit ignorant, seeing that most of Friesland lies abroad: East Frisia in Germany, and North Frisia in Danmark. In fact, Frisia is the entire Waddenzee coastline and assorted islands, plus Helgoland.
        So the tour should be considered Dutch-Frisian.

        The tour is in fact skated every year, but rarely in Frisia itself. There is an alternative parcour set out on Lake Peipsi,

        Though the Elfstedentocht claims to be the longest skating marathon on natural ice, there are many tours throughout the country. The famous clay pipes from Gouda were available in a version in which the 50cm long stem was curled-up , so tour-skaters who came to Gouda could pin it on their coats as a souvenir on the way back, as prove that they had made it that far.

      • Jules

        ‘Frisia’ is (or used to be) the entire Waddenzee coastline and assorted islands, plus Helgoland, as you say. I am talking about a province in the Netherlands called ‘Friesland’. Whenever the ‘real’ elfstedentocht is ran (the one between those eleven cities), it is on dutch soil in the province of Friesland. (In case you are reading this and are not aware of our geography: present Friesland is about 100 km’s from Amsterdam, as the fish swims. That’s really close.)

        Following your line of reasoning, one can construct similar arguments on (for instance) present day Rome and the former Roman Empire. 🙂

      • Paul

        A distinction without a difference. Unless you are Frisian of course and still long for the day you can make Friesland your own country. Much ado about the language issue as well and not much different. Fries is a dialect just like the dialects spoken in Limburg, the Achterhoek, Zeeland, etc. I am with Jules on this one.

      • Jules

        Thanks Paul, but I don’t necessarily agree with you that ‘Frysk’ can’t be considered a language. 🙂 There are quite a few grammatical constructs unique to the Frisian language, for example. O.t.o.h. some of the dialects spoken in the Netherlands could be considered ‘real’ languages too, but simply have never obtained that status. Let’s say that the distinction between a dialect and a language can be fuzzy.

      • Hieronymus

        Frisian is a language, but ‘Elfstedentocht’ is a Dutch word. Since the Dutch refer to it as the ‘Tocht der Tochten’ (Tour of all Tours), they regard it as the prime/most illustrious of several similar events. Note that most people that take a ‘Snipperdag’ (a day off from work) to participate in these tours (see also #20 and #38), are not Frisian.

      • Elbert van Hoepen

        In the province of Zeeland they speak a language, with own grammar rules. Although it is not officially recognised.

  11. Jolijn

    I agree with Mitrthe!! And also, what about “broodje kroket”, “frikandel speciaal” and probably the worst … “patatje kapsalon”. Oh, and speaking of worst… ” Runderworst” ! But honestly, I think al these things will be discussed right here, won’t they? Hahaha.
    Love your site and like Barry Stevens likes to say… Vooral zo doorgaan!!!

    Excuse my englisch by-the-way, I am dutch myself and not used to write in english (shame).

    • Sharon Huls

      I’m originally from Eindhoven, and the first time I heard about “Kapsalon” I was like: WTF is that!?…when they explained I felt nauseous. Also, the ‘hate’ between southern Netherlands and northern Netherlands…and the difference in speech lol

      • Sander Bruining

        There’s basically a different dialect in every province!
        Don’t know what you mean about the “hate” between south and north.. I’d put more “hatred” between Holland (north and south) and the rest of the Netherlands! 😛

  12. John VanOudheusden

    Also, the fanatical role that football (soccer) plays in Dutch society. In international championship games, even non-fans get crazily involved.

  13. tonnie de goeij van hoof

    Love your website!! Hope my sister in Colorado will pick it up (put it FB). And what about “Poeliepek” on your list? Or is that not typical dutch? Maybe just something from Brabant? Laurierdrop, sugar and water in a bottle, shake it well, then drink, hmmmm… childhood memories.

    • Jolijn

      Oh, yummie. We used to call it Dropwater and I really loved it. Allthough we didn’t ad sugar, just laurierdrop. Good one!! 🙂

    • lis

      Scotland also is a place where drop was added to a bottle of water – I guess it’s a lack of money thing (not a meanness thing – both Dutch nd Scots are supposed to be mean with money..)

      • Jeanine

        It’s a common thing to do in Gelderland as well

    • wigra1

      We called that :schuimke trekken. (In Breda, Noord Brabant) Laurierdrop was called:kliesiekoek.

  14. Yolanthe Smit

    What about that custom of having every one sit in a circle during birthday ‘celebrations’ talking about nothing in particular. This circle sitting originates from sitting on little chairs in a circle at Kindergarten I think. It is generally excruciatingly boring.

      • Marijn

        The Dutch birthday circle must be the least optimal social structure in existence, with your left neighbor talking to his left neighbor and your right neighbor talking to his right neighbor, leaving you talking awkwardly staring at your drink…

  15. Emma Versteegh

    Cheese! Especially the very old kind, or the kinds with cumin or cloves.
    And, as mentioned above: bitterballen, bicycles (preferentially carrying 2 children, an umbrella, a crate of beer and 2 shopping bags at the same time), and ice skating (madness when there’s natural ice, koek and zopie, going to the pub wearing skates)!

  16. Ingmar van Dijk

    Another very typical thing we do is cursing with diseases… Where in English and other languages it is usually based on sexual things (fuck, wanker, screw you, etc), the Dutch seem to have a lot of “Kanker*something*, Tiefus, Tering”. (its not exclusively but it might belong ont he list…)

    Many of my foreign friends found this to be very weird.

  17. Jorick Albers

    What about the use of hair gel like Dutch guys do? There are a lot of remarks from the expats in The Hague on that… Or the habbit of decorating rooms with fresh flowers and/or plants and that the Dutch do not queue in shops/at bus stops.

    Another topic could be on marijuana. A pragmatic approach is taken to preventing drug abuse; get soft drugs out in the open and away from the criminal dealers, is the Dutch belief. This approach is proving effective in reducing the use of both hard and soft drugs.

    • hypermarin

      Not to mention drug related crime and hindrance of steet dealers. Plus the fact that you always get at least reasonably good stuff! 🙂

  18. Emily

    I have a few more additions:

    1) Lots and lots of hair products! (I can’t believe no one has mentioned this)
    2) Wearing brown shoes with fancy suits, no matter the colour of the suit
    3) Trousers in the most imaginative of colours
    4) Saying congratulations to the friends and family of the person being congratulated for something
    5) Eating sandwiches with only one topping (good luck trying to find a ham & cheese sandwich in the NL!)

    They really are one of a kind these Dutchies!

    • Noorriejj

      Hej Emily..

      Being Dutch myself and moved to Sweden about 1,5yr ago I never realized how uncomon it is to congratulate friends and family of that person. The first time I did it here with my parents in law they looked at me wondering if I mixed up the birthday or something. My boyfriend then had to explain to the mom what the deal was…

      Does that really only happen in the Netherlands?

      • John VanOudheusden

        Yes, I believe it does. It appears to be just as strange here in the U.S.

      • Lientje

        No, this is also done in the Antillen/Aruba/St. Maarten/St. Martin. Always thought it was a Caribbean thing……..LOL And, yes, people do look at you as if you’re weird, so I’ve learned to only do it with folks I know will get it. Pretty neat gesture, vind ik.

    • Milou

      The fourth one is really good! Especially since I always hate doing that… but it’s kinda obligatory in the Netherlands, isn’t it?
      Don’t get the fifth one, though. Are you talking about sandwiches you buy in the shops or the ones we make ourselves? ‘Cause you can buy a lot of sandwiches with multiple toppings and when I make sandwiches myself, I often pile up on the different kinds of toppings! But that could just be me, of course.

      @SDPL: Great blog! Just heard about it today and read the whole thing right away! I especially liked the liquorice-thing… it really is an acquired taste, isn’t it? But it did make me wonder… you’ve lived here for quite some time now, have you come to like it (yet)?

    • ablabius

      A Ham & Cheese (and often lattice and tomato) sandwich is called Broodje Gezond, unless it is toasted, in which case it is called a tosti. These are the two most common sandwiches you can find in the Netherlands.

    • Tiny Tim

      Re 5: You’ve obviously not heard of ‘broodje gezond’, which not only has ham *and* cheese, but also egg, and various salady items (lettuce, pickles, tomatoes, etc.)

  19. Eva

    Hey! What a great website! I just wonder why it jumps from 3 to 7 to 14… Where are the left-out numbers? This list should be endless since I love to read your writing!! I am Dutch myself and can only confirm all these quirks. And yes, Stroopwafels should definitely be in there! And what about the Cheese Market! Wooden Shoes? Maybe even HEMA, with their famous rookworst 😉 Oh, and Stamppot!!

  20. Daan Groenberg

    Something to go with Directness: when I lived in the Netherlands, I was often faced with the argument-ending, “It’s just not done.” Why can’t you do X? It’s just not done. Why is it just not done? Because it’s just not done. You absolutely can’t beat that argument. You can’t even get some tiny fraction or version of X. You can’t because it’s just not done. It’s the Dutch version of “full stop.”

    • Expat

      Love this one… had many interesting business meetings along these lines!

  21. Daan Groenberg

    Oh, a few more:

    Beer. Not just beer, but 100 ways of ordering it. Ik wil een pilsje. Flesje? Nee, biertje.


    Indonesian food. Most Dutch like Indonesian food because traditional Dutch food is… um… hearty. (The exception, of course, is erwtensoep.)

    Sayings that are the reverse of English. The early bird gets the worm? The early worm gets eaten.

    “immer gerade aus” (I won’t explain this if you don’t know the joke.)

  22. Harris Ncneal

    Keep up the excellent piece of work, I read few articles on this site and I think that your weblog is very interesting and contains lots of great info .

  23. pascalle

    I really like this website! I am a Dutch person. I have a suggestion: ‘Kassen’ I really don’t know the word in English, but they are buildings from glass, where crops will grow.. And ofcourse the Tullips! I didn’t see them yet… And the bikes/cycles, cause there are more cycles in the Netherlands then people!

      • Jules Stoop

        Correct. Holland – small as it is – has many square miles covered in greenhouses (or is it greenhice 😉 ) The result being that the country is one of the worlds largest exporters of stuff like sweet peppers (paprika) and cucumber. One area – South of the Hague, and just about as big as the city itself – is often referred to as the ‘glass city’. Agricultural industry is really very big in this country. Besides veggies and flowers, the export figures for of dairy products and consumption meat are also huge.

  24. franziska

    I’ve been living in the Netherlands for almost 10 years and I can agree with all of these things. I would like to add:

    1) Congratulating friends and family because it’s someone elses birthday –> I still freak out when I have to go to a birthday party of my family in law as I don’t know what to respond when people I never met congratulate me for my boyfriend’s aunt’s birthday
    2) 3 kisses everywhere you go…no matter whether you meet people or say goodbye. Strange!
    3) Getting on the train/bus before people get out. Very annoying!
    4) Cassis. Why would you drink that?
    5) Kaas-broodjes. Soggy white bread with a slice of cheece. No butter, lettuce or other condiment. Just a dry sandwitch.
    6) Febo. Food out of the wall from a machine. No further explanation needed.

    • Jules Stoop

      Cassis is really nice! Think cherry-coke (but why would you drink that, you have a point here)… 3. Annoys the hell out of me as well. But there is a reason, I suppose. I often embark trains on Schiphol. Stops over there are very short and many tourists are extremely slow in getting off the train (not expecting the subterranian stop, I presume and maybe thinking the train will wait there for at leas 5 minutes, whilst it won’t). On the other hand: I’ve once picked up someone from the steps of a train and but her back on the platform whom was trying to get on the train in Leiden before anyone could step out.

      • Sharon Huls

        I don’t think three is typical Dutch. It’s just that people get harsh. I was taught to let people out, before I get in. But somehow, people here (at least in the west) never even think of others. I usually push them back and tell them to wait for others to get out.

    • ablabius

      1) Maybe it`s just semantics, but the Dutch don`t congratulate so much as offer felicitations (though if they speak English – which they don`t speak as well as they like to think – they will use the word congratulations as the nearest translation). The custom of celebrating birthdays (Du: verjaardag, literally means ‘the day one year has passed’) harks back to times in which over 50% of newborn children died before one year had passed. If the child survived its first year, family, friends and neighbours would come by and offer their felicitations to the parents (and close family) rather than to the one year old infant. In later (more prosperous) times each consecutive birthday was celebrated as well, although it remains mostly a party for children and young people (who will use any excuse for a party).

      • Steve

        Very interesting. I suppose it could also be “Congratulations, you managed to put up with that one for another year” 😉

    • ablabius

      2) The three kisses are obnoxious and certainly not everywhere-you-go. They are mostly a Randstad (the urbanized West) phenomena, and typically a women`s habit. People in the North and East may shake your hand, or just as well not. When they do kiss – non romantically – it`ll be on the cheek, and not some soft smacking noise in the air near your ear, which would be considered faking it. (The kisses are made in the air not out of prudence or hygiene, but to avoid messing up each other`s make up. Which will tell you something about the type of people who will offer this as a greeting.)

      • hypermarin

        @ablabius, may I ask why you’re using the “accent grave” where there should be an apostrophe in your text? It looks slightly odd and is of course not correct…;)

    • Chris Winter

      3) Is not typically Dutch. The Dutch will typically wait their turn. Not as politely and patiently as the Swedes, but still we don’t do badly in this regard. Try Italy, Turkey or even worse…. Israel. You will not find a ruder, more pushy bunch of self-centered idiots than in any given “queue” in Israel. I didn’t make this viewpoint up, my wife (an Israeli) was struck by the difference on our last visit to Israel. She will vouch for the politeness of the Dutch.

      Jules already defended Cassis, which is a great drink. I love it. But I have to say something for Febo… It’s a so called “Volksinstituut” that really doesn’t have bad fries and snacks. I really don’t feel that McDonalds is ahead of the curve here. The only difference is that at the Febo you pull the snack out of the heater, while places like McDonalds, Burger King, Taco Bell and KFC have some underpaid poor schmuck take the snack out of the heater for you. All Febo does is cut out that part of the experience.

      Now if you want a good fast-food joint, you are talking Max. Max is a chain of fast food restaurants in Sweden that originated in Piteå or Gällivare, I don’t remember which. Anyhow, their Skrovmål med Smältost is just to die for, and every order is per definition freshly grilled, so there’s a 5-10 minute wait for your food.

      But complaining about Febo while leaving McDonalds out of it is just unjustified.

    • Steve

      Is it more in the south people don’t wait perhaps? In Belgium the courteous thing is to act quickly and get out of others’ way, not stand around waiting.

    • thammy24

      I like cassis. I guess you could ask, why drink it. but why drink coke or fanta or 7-up or anything else that’s not healthy for you?

  25. Jen

    I love you site! already been living here for a while and with a dutch boyfriend I can totally relate to all these things you have posted and the ones other people have mentioned already… so you have a lot of material to keep going… and I like also they way you are writing it….
    dont forget about the toilets and their different type of flushing devices, spaarzegels, the way of telling the time… this is what I can think of now that has not been mentioned before, but I´ll come back to you!

  26. Zoe

    I’d like to suggest an addition of Foreigners learning Dutch – I’ve never been anywhere where people are so excited about someone else learning their language, in fact some countries are very snobbish about it. I managed to get free food, drinks and photos where photos aren’t allowed by asking nicely in Dutch.

    • Amaranta

      Zoe, that’s so great to hear! We do love it if foreigners try to learn our language, I think it has to do that we feel important ;-). But really, learning the language shows that you’re interested enough in the country and people to make choking sounds (the notorious “g”) and learning all those ridiculous rules in our language.

      At the other hand, I do know that quite a few English people find it hard to learn Dutch because the Dutch tend to speak back in English – showing off our ‘language skills’..!

      • Scorpionessence

        I totally agree that Dutch is not an easy language to learn.I have been learning to speak it as much as possible.It’s not everyday you meet Dutch customers where I worked in Singapore.So whenever I notice the customer’s reaction to my stereo blasting some Volumia/Jeroen van de boom or other Dutch songs.I took the oppurtunity to chat them up in Dutch 🙂 to their amazement and suprise.Oh and yes it is so nice to get honest remarks if I spoke good or down right lousy Dutch.Most of them told me they never expect to hear asians IN ASIA speaking it let alone listening to Dutch songs.lol only when in NL it’s all too common…..my common dutch phonic blunder has to be the ‘ui’ sound…..sight how do you make it anyway?

      • ablabius

        @Scorpionessence, that is very hard to explain, but it may help to know that the addition of an i to a vowel was once used to denote an elongation of pronunciation, just like the doubling of the vowel is today. When the different dialects merged into a single language, they became sounds of their own.
        So to pronounce ‘ui’, you start with the English ‘uh’ sound, then deepen the throath and open the mouth a little wider and pronounce it a little longer than you would pronounce ‘uh’.

      • Pete

        That’s soooooo true…!

        Once, the British boyfriend of a colleague of mine was accepted as a volunteer. Tim his name was, I think. He never got a proper chance to learn Dutch though: almost the whole team constantly showing off their English.

        For safety and security, “guests” and visitors always had to report in over the intercom first. One day, I was on “watch duty”. The front door buzzer sounded and a voice came from the speakers: vaguely male, but weirdly inarticulate and thoroughly incomprehensible – ramblings of someone either massively sozzled; or else one sandwich short of a picnic.

        After strenuous efforts, I decided one or the other surely must be the case and didn’t bother any longer. I can’t remember how, presently, but very much later it transpired that this had been Tim, trying to gain entry in Dutch. He was supposed to be on duty as well (something I was honestly unaware of, since I hadn’t been briefed on this).

  27. Eltjo

    Loving this website! Almost all of it is so true about us dutchies.

    I’d also add Boerenkool met Worst and Hutspot as foodthingies 😉

    Keep it up!!

  28. 9a

    As an expat living in the NL, this site is informative And entertaining – thank you! Re: Birthdays..I was confused when strangers/friends of the celebrant came up to me and vigourously shook my hand with, “Gefeliciteerd!“- I thought they were congratulating me on my move here! Also found it odd when people congratulated Me for and on my Boyfriend´s birthday and vice versa..Huh?? I mean, um, ´thank you?´ 🙂

    • liz

      I agree, congratulating everybody at a birthday party always gets weird looks of others. I’m guessing maybe it’s re-enforcing social relations because usually the relation between the one having a birthday and the visitor is added: congratualations with your niece, with your friend, with your dad, etcetera. It’s a good time to ask ‘ehm how do you know that person again?’. Because afterwards it’s assumed that you know who everybody at the party is.

  29. Tessa

    As a Dutch person myself, I love your website. It’s so much fun to read how foreigners think of all those Dutch traditions and all 😀 . I’d like to add a few additions, some of which might be added already:

    1. Bikes
    2. Giving three kisses whether you come of go
    3. Food – Boerenkool met worst
    4. How the Dutch celebrate the final evening of the old year, going into the New Year (oliebollen, appelflappen, oudejaarsconference on TV etc . (I remember being in England one time during that period and I must admit, I missed the Dutch way of celebrating the New Year LOL)

    • Jules Stoop

      New years eve is definitely one you should cover. It’s closest comparison might be the Chinese way (and the Chinese living on Java are probably whom we took it from back when we were still occupying present day Indonesia).

  30. Arjen

    Being a Dutchman who travelled a bit, I’d say:

    – the standard 3 kisses for hello/goodbye and congratulations is one thing every foreigner should be prepared for coming to holland. because embarressing airkisses do occur.

    – “gezelligheid” could be #1 on your list really, for it is probably one of the most commonly used words in Dutch and a 100% Dutch concept. As you will know by now, it represents a feeling of coherence and cosiness, but there is no other language in the world that has a word with a similair meaning really. “Gezellig” might be appliccable to festivals, houseparties and borrels as well as to romantic dinners and a honeymoon to Paris. Every dutchman knows exactly what it means! But it’s hard to explain.

    – cycling, obviously. It’s our preferred way to go from A to B and every Dutchman owns at least 2 bikes.

    This will be nothing new to you, but might confirm some ideas you had. I love, love, love the website! Keep it up!


    • Maria

      Arjan,Is the German word “Gemutlich” pretty close to our Dutch word Gezellig? I live in Texas whre Birthdays are very ONGEZELLIG ! ha Ha

      • laurens

        Hey Maria,
        Gemutlich means ‘Gemoedelijk’ in dutch.. The meaning is simulair but its not the same. Can;t really explain the difference very well.
        Greets Laurens

    • lis

      thre Scottish “coothie” is the Dutch “gezellig”

  31. sjoerd

    – Gelled hair: there’s no place else in the world where people do as much gel in their hair like in Holland

    • Bernjan

      I’ve seen the hair comment a few times now and i’m really curious what’s so different about it. Would love to see a page about that 🙂

  32. Mo

    I’m a Morrocan born and bred in Holland and I had my share of ‘Duh!’ moments growing up here.
    Like ‘Where have all the kids gone? Oh, it must be six o’clock sharp.’ Oh yeah.

  33. Nescio

    I think another thing which is missing is the “Snackbar”. With all the deep fried specially conceived food. I can’t think of another place in the world where you could buy a “broodje kapsalon”, a “berehap”, a “patatje oorlog” and a “frikadel”.

    Locking your bicycle-lock to a pole to mark that parking spot as your own, is also a strange thing to do I suppose.

    And in the food section: extremely processed food. Sort of ready-meals gone haywire.

    Answering the telephone with their own name.

    • thammy24

      lol, ofcourse you answer with your own name. how else do you know who’s on the other line? My mom had a hard time with that. someone phone her. ‘hello, how are you?’ Mom: ‘uhm, good, who are you?’

  34. Hanne

    Haha, almost embarrassing when you’re Dutch and have kids named Freek, Huub and Toon and live abroad! Does directness also means the many unasked-for advices people give you? Because that’s something we excel in too!

  35. Thijs

    LOL (and I only use this acronym when I am, in fact, Laughing Out Loud. If I was not, I would tell you. Directly to your face.)

    I’d have to say: funny and spot on (or maybe “because”) . You made me feel a little bit home sick.

    Greetings from Wellington, NZ


  36. Esther

    What about three kisses on the cheek as a greeting or congratulation. In other countries it’s one or two, but in Holland it’s always three kisses on the cheek.

    • Eltjo

      I remember doing that to a Brazilian lady when we met and she was like….awkwaaaaard. Especially since my girlfriend was standing next to me. Kinda funny seeing her expression 🙂

    • John VanOudheusden

      I don’t know when that custom developed, but I don’t remember that from my youth which was almost 60 years ago. We did one kiss on each cheek at that time, when we left the Netherlands 57 years ago. Maybe the Dutch wanted to be better than the French, who also do one kiss on each cheek. Kind of like, “you do two? We’ll do three!” Not a bad custom though. Where else can an older guy get to kiss a young girl who is not his daughter or daughter-in-law three times, and it’s considered a warm greeting and not something inappropriate. I do want to add a disclaimer, I only do that kissing thing with girls I know (family, friends etc.) and not strangers on the street.

    • Maria

      I left The Netherlands in 1967 and don’t remember any kissing (three kisses) going on back than,just a peck on the cheek,and to my surprise yrs. later the whole countyr has gone nuts with these mandatory 3 airkisses,I think they must have picked it up from the French?
      In my mind 2 is doable,3 is annoying !

  37. Carolien Geurtsen

    I used to live in Turkey and with my wedding my Dutch family made this great act, on the melody of Onder moeders paraplu and they kept on hanging all those things they had to bring over every time from Holland, like hagelslag, drop, muisjes etc, untill the umbrella we were sitting under, finely gave in with the weight of the Dutch Cheese.

    I will read you!

  38. Sasha

    1. Talking about poop in an open manner. (I.e., standing up from a table of people and loudly announcing you’re going to go poop; complaining that on holiday in Spain, one cannot poop; having a multitude of different words to describe different kinds of poop; fondly referring to one’s friends as “little poops/sh*ts”; etc.)

    2. Mayonnaise, or better yet, fritesuis… or even better yet, frites, for that matter.

    3. Fried foods that would be unacceptable as culinary offerings anywhere else in the world. (Kroket, frikandel, kaassouffle, etc.)

    • Wesley

      The pooping in a foreign country can be tricky. Eat more fiber, it will help get things in motion. Best of luck 😛

    • ablabius

      Croquettes are universal. You can order them in a fancy French restaurant, or ‘pull them from the wall’. Quality may differ, but many snack-corners don`t make them themselves anyway. Instead, they order them from snack factories, including such brands as Kwekkeboom and VanDobben, which are considered luxury snacks. Depending on how well you prepare the roux, and what ingredients you use, they can be considered haute cuisine. Before the rise of snack-shops, they were sold at pastry bakers`. They are certainly not ‘unacceptable’. (Although the sateh-croquette, shoarma-croquette and the goulash-croquette are pushing it.)

  39. Sabai

    I absolutely love the list and your comments. They are soooooo true. I’m Dutch and work with International Students. So, I’ve send them the link to your website to get to know Dutch behaviour. They find it hilarious and very useful. Keep up the good work. And don’t forget to add:
    1. The fact that we wrap open our presents directly after we’ve received them
    2. One cookie with the tea/coffee
    3. The word ‘Gezellig’!


    • Tessa

      I took a look, wondering what you meant by it. It had me laughing out loud because at least I do it from time to time. It’s called sarcasm 😉 😀

    • liz

      I wish this wasn’t true. It’s so annoying. “Could you pass me the salt please?” – “I could yes.” And then nothing happens. Is this really something only Dutch do all the time?

      • Hoedje

        I can’t understand that someone doesn’t see the humor in that.
        Mind you, after a awhile it gets boring I must admit.

      • hypermarin

        Whahaha! “Do you know what time it is?” “Yes, I do…………………… Oh, you’d like to know too?” Or: “May I ask what time it is?” “Of course you may!” Quite annoying, I agree, but I do this too, because sometimes the looks on people’s faces are absolutely priceless!!! 😀

  40. John R

    A nice sum-up of things often encountered in my opinion.
    I personally don’t recognise all subjects however, and some others are dated or are local occurrences.

    I think there is still one thing missing in the list. The Dutch often seem to happily acknowledge even the most harsh criticism on their country or culture, even if it’s not or not completely true. I’m not sure why they let themselves be so eagerly insulted, but it is something that strikes me over and over again. Perhaps they think it’s cool?
    Either way very strange. Much unlike the cultural patriotism found in most countries.

    • julems

      Maybe it’s related to the sarcasm, the down to earth attitude of the Dutch. ‘Doe maar normal dan doe je al gek genoeg’. And we do like to laugh at ourselves. Patriotism is not our thing.

    • Bernjan

      I wonder what criticism you mean.
      Any example?

  41. Anke

    Whaaaahaha!!! Oh my! What a hilarious blogs you write!
    Being a Dutch girl myself, every subject you describe itself sounds normal to me,but the way you put it (and off course also the way all foreign people will interpretend it), sounds ridiculous! I had a colleague from Hong Kong who also wondered the tradition ‘bring-your-own-cake-on-your-own-birthday’. When she explained the tradition on your birthday in HK, I understood that it must be strange, our way of ‘trakteren’.
    Keep up the good work!

  42. Nindi

    Being a former student in the NL, one I can add to the list is: They like to make their sandwiches in class!!!! Seriously, they would bring like a loaf of bread, open a container with cucumbers/ham/lettuce, a container of cheese, and sometimes A JAR OF MAYO (yes, they bring bread knives too), and start building a tower of sandwiches!!!! This has happened way too many times to become a coincidence!

    • Eefje

      Have you ever taken a cheese sandwhich to school? If it doesn’t get squashed in your bag at least the cheese gets all soggy or ‘sweaty'(is cheese being sweaty a dutch expression?)
      And don’t even start about how all your hagelslag will fall off if you don’t use enough butter and press on the bread…

      • thammy24

        LOL I’m from Holland and I have lived here in Canada for 12 years now and I have done that when I started living on my own and in a rush to get to school. I don’t think it was a taught behaviour because my parents never do it. But it’s funny that some Dutch do this too. I probably started the behaviour because I did grow up on a LOT of bread, which is definitely Dutch, so taking the entire loaf to school just made sense. lol

  43. Michael

    I have noticed that, while Dutch girls under 30 wear their hair long, once they get to be older they generally prefer to have it cut very short. I observe that most Dutch women over 50 have very short hair. I don’t know if this is common in other European countries, but it is rare in the Americas and Asian countries. Do older Dutch men find this attractive? Or do older Dutch women lose interest in being attractive? Because most men I know, old or young, like a woman’s hair to be long.

    Also, pannenkoeken should be on this list.

    • Maria

      We are always told that Long hair on older women “staat niet” (doesn’t look good)

      • Michael

        Thanks for explaining this to me. So it really is a cultural belief that older woman should chop off their hair. Jammer.

      • twansparant

        No it is NOT a cultural belief! I hate those short hair cuts of older woman. I think they believe it themselves that it looks better shorter after a certain age…

    • Emiliano

      The hair trend is something that came into being over the last decade or two, together with dying your hair at the most earliest sign of greyness. The general notion among the ‘older’ women is that the short hairdo looks younger, fresh and not boring, because it has a hint of radical change/wildness, something daring, thus not old while the long hairdo has gained a negative connotation as something for the dull married (house)wife who is afraid to reinvent herself or to try something new.
      It also has to do with emancipation and female independence and empowerment. A moving away from traditional gender roles and stereotypes.
      The view was and probably still is endorsed by popular glossy’s aimed at the demographic: Margriet, Libelle and so on.
      As a male under 30 who likes long hair in general I can’t speak for older Dutch men and am not sure whether or not this view pertains to women only.

      Note that this is my own analysis and probably you’ll just hear people talking about that short hair is ‘vlot’ (fresh/modern) and that the long hair is ‘saai’ (boring) or just doesn’t look good on older women.
      (Good point and interesting topic Michael!)

      • hypermarin

        Being almost 55 yrs. old and having long hair myself, I could’nt agree more! I don’t really have a voluptuous head of hair, but I aim to keep it long anyway. Besides that, you can never say “Gooi je haar los; maak me gek!” to a woman or girl with short hair, hahaha!

    • Roza

      Although I agree with Emiliano (‘vlot’, yikes) for the most part, I think there is another explanation for women who are over 50 (over 35 even maybe) and have short hair. They think it’s practical. You get up in the morning and you don’t have to spend any time fixing (or worrying about) your hair, it’s quick and easy and it will dry right after you come out of the shower. Also during the day you won’t have to check a mirror to see if your hair still looks good, of course it does, what can go wrong with short hair!
      I hope I will never become one of them and I also hope I will never use the word vlot in that context.

  44. Roz

    Love this blog!
    Definitely think this list should cover:
    – ‘Gezellig’
    – Bitterballen
    – Sinterklaas!!
    – Etentijd (dinner time)
    – 3 kisses
    – and everything else everyone has mentioned above.

    One word – brilliant have passed it on to all my fellow dutch and non-dutch friends 🙂

  45. ben

    1. hand-made cigarettes
    2. orange, red, yellow pants
    3. not just the bikes – but the practice of giving your friends a lift on the back

  46. Andrew D.

    Love love love this blog!!!! made me laugh so much!! hhahahaha… I have a few suggestions: a very typical dutch game called “spijkerpoep” (shitting nail game); all the different type of fries and their names ( for example “patatje oorlog” (war fries) ); biking ofcourse; the new years tradition to go for a dip in the sea (” nieuwjaarduik”); 50ct to use the toilet; pay for ketchup or mayo; all tpes of cheese (old cheese, young cheese, “belegen” cheese, a very funny one: “komijnen” cheese), and so the list goessss one hahahha. keep writing, great job!

  47. Jolanda

    Me being a Dutchy like your blog alot. Although it is very steriotype, some things are indeed typical Dutch. There is only one thing that I must say. You did translate the Wilhelmus-song, but made a mistake there, that many Dutch people also make. The second sentence, ‘Ben ik van Duitsen bloed’ is translated to ‘Am I, of German descent’. It is not common knowledge, but the word ‘Duitsen’ does not refer to modern Germany. When this was written, the word ‘Duits’ was a more neutral word. Al the nations in Western-Europe were ‘Duits’, not only the modern Germans, but also the Dutch people and many others. I know that many translations on the internet use the word ‘German’, but this isn’t right.

    For the rest, keep up the good work! You should definitly write something about:
    1) Frikadellen and Kroketten (Only the Dutch Mcdonalds sell the McKroket!)
    2) Soccer supporters (They say the Dutch soccerteam has 16 million coaches)

    • Pete

      A small correction on the “Wilhelmus” (Dutch national anthem) remark, if I may: it’s “ben ick van DIETSCHEN bloet”, actually (roughly: ‘I’m from DIETS descent) – in the original archaic spelling. Otherwise, the background information previously provided on this subject seems right, by and large.

  48. D.

    I really like this blog ..

    I have some ideas too, like Carnaval .. the days where people are dressed up.
    And ofcourse our sarcasm. Im currently in America and they keep on commenting on my sarcasm, I really can’t help it !
    Also maybe the 4&5 May remebering the people who died in world war 2 and celebrating the end of the German occupation

    I really like this blog you’re doing great 🙂 !

  49. Kyra

    the Sunday afternoon sitting in a circle bday party!

  50. Karsseboom

    Carnaval is very comon in Brabant and more so Limburg, but even in the North pubs will put on carnaval celebration, It is how ever not the barfing in the streets one will encounter in Limburg.

  51. Thijzzz

    Yup, carnaval is more common in the South then in the North. I’ve lived in the far North and am now living in Brabant – the South. The differences with carnaval are huge. Parades, showbands, dressing up, people taking a week off from work including the boss, etc. One of my neighbours is a teacher, down to earth kinda guy, relaxed, “neat”. Turns out is he is is one of the biggest carnaval-fans in town, even wrote a book about it!! You’d never suspect!!

    Funny thing is that all kinds of small towns above the rivers (dividing NL roughly in North and South) claim “they have the biggest carnaval-celebration North of the rivers!” Go to the next town, they say the exact same thing ;-)))

    Carnaval is believed to be the last days of good eating and featsing before lent (vastentijd) starts for the Catholics. More Catholics in the South, so that might explain some things.

    • julems

      Yes! Very true. They have ‘carnavalsverenigingen’ (club) and spend pretty much the entire year building their ‘carnavalswagen’ (parade car), usually pulled by a tractor. 11-11 ball (November 11) to drink in the carnival season. And it goes on for 4 days!

      • Pete

        What you erroneously brand a “parade car” is usually known as a FLOAT, in English. But you probably weren’t aware of this, I take it….

  52. Adriaan

    Love this site!

    How about the tendency to correct everyone. At the moment you’ve got 106 comments as proof!

    Another one is looking for other Dutch fokes when abroad.

    • Bertine Centen

      That would be folkes… not fokes. 😉

      • Bertine Centen

        Oops making my own mistake, would be folks….

      • Pete

        You’re both wrong: it’s ‘folks’, actually, folks!
        If you have to use English, at least put some effort in doing it properly…

  53. Enrique Semeco

    Dutch people love to think that things are ‘typically Dutch’, like they own it.
    Take the ‘bike’ thing, ever been to Vietnam, China or even Scandinavia?

    • ablabius

      It`s not just the bikes themselves. The Netherlands have a network of ‘fietspaden’ that rivals the network of roads for cars. Also, because the country is flat, biking is easy for everyone who isn`t 80% or more disabled.

  54. julems

    And what about splitting the bill at a restaurant? When you eat with a group of people, everyone wants to look at the bill and calculates exactly what they spend and pay for it. And we are not big on giving tips!

    • ablabius

      We are quite good at paying wages for table servants though. Ever wonder why the prizes at Dutch restaurants are high? One of the reasons is that service is included in the prize.
      That is also the reason why snack vendor walls are so popular. A paid hand makes the snacks more expensive.
      And it`s the reason why service isn`t universally good. They get paid anyway.

    • Laurette

      I hear this one so often, yet I have never actually seen it happen. Yes, the bill is generally split, but by dividing the sum by the amount of people present (unless someone came late or left early). Also, the Dutch will generally pay one amount (including tip); not force the waiter to have each person pay their own little part. What you describe is more of a German tradition, not a Dutch one.

  55. Johanna

    My family is half Dutch, now living in the U.S. No one has mentioned
    eating pickled herring or smoked eel or going to the grocery store
    3-4 times a week because the frig is so small.

  56. Linda

    I have maybe a few topics:
    Oliebollen =D it’s typical Dutch, I think, and it is almost December so it would be nice to read it somewhere.
    Also ofcourse the bikes, Rookworst and Pepernoten ( and other ‘Sinterklaas’-food)

    I hope there is coming a new story soon, I love to read them!

  57. Audrey

    No.67: The ham and cheese combo! It’s everywhere: croissants, uitsmiters, tosti, and even the Hamkaas junk food. Heaven forbid we go with salami!

  58. Diantha

    Great site! I sure recognize a lot of things 🙂 Can’t really add anything that hasn’t already been mentioned in the comments, except…

    I’ve noticed that people in the Netherlands are really not that friendly towards strangers. I’ve been in several other countries where strangers greet each other on the street. I must say that in small Dutch villages, it still happens, but as a city girl I am used to moody faces and/or people looking at you curiously! This is probably not a typical Dutch thing though, but it is one of the things I don’t like a lot about the Netherlands.

  59. Cat

    How about the Friezen (Frisians)?
    Friesland is a province of The Netherlands, but with their own acknowledged language, which is only spoken in that part of The Netherlands and nowhere else… I think that is quite unusual for a small province (seen the size of The Netherlands…? imagine the size of the province) to have a different language that’s spoken nowhere else in the world, not even in the rest of the country it lies in…

    • Cat

      Oh and Sinterklaas en de Kerstman, the last one being santa claus, Sinterklaas being the guy, with a beard and red outfit that comes on the 5th of december in a steamboat with zwarte pieten and brings gifts as well…..
      (The Dutch movie “sint” is an horror-parody on Sinterklaas)

  60. Barbara Backer-Gray

    Love this blog. Wish I had discovered it earlier.
    How about not talking about how much you make or how much things cost? Being Dutch, I think that’s proper of course, and I was shocked when my then American boyfriend would ask people how much they made, or how much they paid for their house. Americans are always comparing, jut for their own reference. They don’t mean to be rude, but in the Netherlands that’s a BIG no-no.

    • Renee

      What? Dutch people always how much things cost!

      • Renee

        always ask how much things cost…

      • Steve

        Tja, things for sale, not things other people already own! That’s too personal.

  61. Jeroen Nas


    Being Dutch, but having a non-Dutch wife and a company full of non-dutchies, this blog will save me while I’m laughing my ass off at the same time (sorry, rude expression; proving that I am in fact truly Dutch). Instead of talking for ages to my people about all these things, I just made reading your blog in full an obligatory part of our company introduction program for non-dutchies.

    Do you hand out certificates and evaluation programs? 😉

    • Steve

      Effie ‘n HAVO Nederlandse Kultuur halen? 😉 LOL

  62. Marijn van Vliet

    Let me take a shot at defining this elusive feeling we call ‘gezellig’. It is enjoying yourself in a group regardless of the activity the group is performing, due the presence of pleasant company.

    An example:
    Say you are a parent attending a reception at the school of your kid. Lots of teachers and other parents around, most of which you ordinarily never talk to. Good drinks and snacks are provided. So called ‘pleasant’ small-talk.

    Contrast this with celebrating Christmas with your family (or your friends if you happen to hate your family). The activity is the same: drink, eat, talk. The feeling however is completely different: you genuinely feel at ease and are having a good time. Sort of a warm feeling I imagine stems from basic herding instincts. This feeling is the ever sought after ‘gezelligheid’.

    Things that ruin this feeling should be avoided if at all possible: pointing out something embarrassing, bringing up a disagreement, socially excluding someone. Any of these things will trigger someone to point out: “laten we het wel gezellig houden!”, which will only make things worse.

    • Steve

      It seems to me that to be gezellig an activity has to be able to be shared by family and casual acquaintances. For example, “gezellig wat televisie kijken”. You can do that on your own. You can do it with family. You can do it with friends. You can do it with people you just met. “Gezelligheid” definitely involves enjoyment, but nothing intimate.

  63. Scorpionessence

    I’ve been to The Netherlands twice and stayed for about 3months in a little area just outside of Deventer.Now…somethings I had come to notice are
    1-how much they can totally drink beer!!! I mean WHOA!! from as early as 10am till 3 sometimes 5 am!! and non-stop too during carnaval for about 4days continuously.
    2-the funny hand sign to say someone is crazy.
    3-you can always see what’s going on in the other person’s house (or rather they can see what goes on in yours) living room curtains are always open.
    4-the way they make the ‘ch’ sounds to show disapproval during conversations,occasionally heard but very distinct.
    groetjes!! hoi hoi

  64. Thijs

    For all of you who want to know more: every saturday night there’s a great show on RTL4, named “Ik hou van Holland” (I love Holland). It runs from 20.45 until 22.15. Excellent way to get to know our culture in depth. It’s pretty hilarious !

    • Duncan

      Now that’s a show thats just too stupid. Sorry, but they should not remember us as like that (or atleast dont think im ANYTHING like that show).

    • Steve

      Running TV shows at odd times like 20.45 until 22.15 should be one as well!

  65. Miriam

    My foreign friends always laugh about the hand sign we make when food tastes really good (shaking your hand next to your ear). I always thought it was a universal sign, but I found out people from outside The Netherlands look really weird at you when you do this, haha.

    Oh, and you can always recognize Dutch people when they speak English. Because of the very present Dutch accent, and because they finish a lot of sentences with ‘hè?’, like ‘That’s very nice, hè?’

    One last thing I find really Dutch, is people actually bragging about getting things cheap. Over here you can tell everybody proudly you got something for free, you bargained on something small or you found a shirt at a sale and only paid €5,- for it…

    • thammy24

      lol I’m dutch but have lived in canada. they have eh? behind many sentences, so i easily adopted that. i don’t even say he anymore when I speak dutch lol. maybe the canadian eh? comes from dutch immigrants?

  66. rudhmellowen

    My Dutch partner found this blog and showed, I’ve lived here for about a year now and can totally see the funny side of this blog! I am in agreement with all the Comments and the things listed so far but two weird things stuck with me, my first taste of Zuurkohl (boy was that a weird taste) and the way my boyfriend uses the term Poffertjesporum or Pancake Face when loosely translated, as an insult! I just cant help laughing every time I hear it, definitely breaks any tension!!! Keep up with the blogging though, I cant wait for more!

  67. Marijn

    Great block! Being Dutch I have to admit almost everything is very recognizable.
    One more suggestion for the list the word lekker. In Dutch everything that can not be gezellig can be lekker. you can sleep lekker the food can be lekker the weather can be lekker you can sit lekker someone can look lekker and can have a lekker ass etc.

  68. Olavius

    I’m missing a few things (which probably will come later on). The passion the Dutch have for harddance music (hardcore, hardstyle), stroopwafels, gourmetten with Christmas, and of course the kroketten and frikandellen!

  69. Duncan

    You might want to add the “avond-vier-daagse” and the weird things we do with fruit (you’ll see everyone with sliced oranges with napkins over it, don’t know it’s dutch only but it stays odd) Very nice blog 🙂 liked reading it

  70. Joel

    Only in Holland have I heard of celebrated a 12.5 year anniversary. Could be of marriage, working at a company, age of the company. When I asked about this I was told, in very direct Dutch fashion, that it was half way to 25 years! Turns out is a very important occasion for them.

  71. Barry Wijnandts

    Absolutely love the site. Very reckognisable although a few things apply more to the Randstad than to the whole country. Difficult for a Dutch guy to identify his own idiosyncrasies, but pancakes for lunch or diner instead of breakfast is deffo a good one. Like french fries with mayonaise, and Unox or Hema Rookworst. Hema in general would be a good one, because their Tom Poezen are also of mythical proportions, as are the Jip en Janneke line of products.

    Too bad that the ‘strippenkaart’ has gone. I always was curious how you’d explain that system to a foreigner. But we still collect Douwe Egberts points. Get a teacup for only 4 euros and the number of points with the equivalent of 1200 litres of coffee. How about the Van der Valk with the apple sauce and the sugared cherrie on top? For the rest it’s up to the foreigner to see how weird the Dutch are. I was really surprised to read how typically Dutch some habits are (three kisses, congratulating, red pants and bright coloured clothes, inspection shelves in toilets).

    • Steve

      Say it ain’t so! The strippenkaart was such a better system then the stupid zone tickets we have in the USA – well, in Pennsylvania anyway.

      • Jolien

        Yep, they’re gone! We now have the “OV-chipcard”, and for the people who don’t want to purchase a card like that, they can now buy one way tickets that cost about three times as much as the amound that you would pay with that OV-chipcard.

        Only good thing about this card is that it’s a universal card for all the busses, trams and trains:)

    • Bernjan

      I, for one, have never visited the sauna.
      It’s definately not typicaly Dutch.

      • wichard

        Well, I do own curtains and lots of friends of me don’t like herring. Doesn’t mean it’s not typically Dutch. While Germany does have large, coed, naked sauna’s they tend to be coupled with swimming pools. The larger Wellness-centres are quite new, but the Dutch sauna tradition is very old indeed. And very nice I might add 🙂

      • Duncan

        Indeed, that’s for nudists. You wouldn’t see the avarage flying dutchman there..

      • Bernjan

        I know my fair share of Dutchmen, and none of them, as far as i know, visits the sauna very often. Maybe once a year.
        Can’t say about the whole of the Netherlands then, but as far as i know the majority of Dutchmen doesn’t visit the sauna often.
        But after all that’s just my conclusion, can’t say i’m 100% sure it’s the truth.

    • Emma

      I don’t know who the other responders know, but for dutch girls/women it is VERY common to go to the sauna (often as a group of friends or as a couple), mainly to have a nice day out. And of course this will be a mixed sex event.

      • Steve

        Being from the USA, the Dutch sauna is a very bizarre occasion for casual nudity. They even print pictures in the Neckermann catalogue of people being casually nude in saunas.

  72. Adrian

    Great website, I really recognize myself in it.
    Being Dutch, I live abroad for some years now. And first then I noticed that we Dutch have an awfull amount of potato chips. In most foreign countries I can be happy just finding several types of salt and paprika chips. But what about wokkels, ringlings, nibbits, etc…. Maybe some topic once too?

  73. Gertie

    How about the never forget attitude towards the final in worldcup 1974 against Germany?
    We should have won!

  74. Lutske

    A thing typically Dutch is our politics. We have a lot of different parties to choose from, weird parties but also parties that run in the family (if your grandparents voted for this party, you will too). We even have something we called poldermodel, made by Dutch politicians. I think that this is something only happening in The Netherlands.
    Also the fact that we make jokes about the Belgians and fear to be seen as German.

  75. Mirjam

    Where is cycling on the list? I can’t believe it’s not on it. So maybe I’ve overlooked. One of the things I miss most living abroad is getting on my bike for example to do some shopping. Or just for fun in the weekend. The wind in your hair, the smell of grass, the feeling of freedom. It’s so relaxing. After an hour you have forgotten everything that was on your mind before.

  76. Casper

    The new years dive is à typical dutch event. My international friends can not believe that it is true. Maybe an idea for the blog.

  77. Sybrand

    I miss out the Dutch hospitality. Quite intriguing, when somebody invites you over for dinner and expects you to do the dishes afterwards.

    • Siempre

      Maybe that is something you do but I have never in my life have someone expecting that of me and I have lived in NL for 36 years till 2008. That might be something in your circle because this is not typically dutch by a long shot.

    • thammy24

      i thought that was the americans lol and the people in paris that think they’re better than everyone else. lol. i think every country has those ppl 🙂

      • Siempre

        Yes Thammy I agree, this must be a personal pet peeve but it doesn’t become Typically Dutch just because it happened to you. I think I like to add that the Dutch hardly show any pride for their country. They are found everywhere around the globe avoiding other dutch people and complaining about The Netherlands. Even in the US I run into Susanne Vissers all the time.

    • ET


      Korfbal, hockey, dammen !!!

      Love this blog btw, I live in Ireland and wonder about things here as you wonder about things in .nl

      • Nienke

        Playing football yourself is very Dutch! If you take a look in Engeland for example, you’ll find that a lot of people only watch football or maybe play some football at the street. Boing in an organised sportsclub, but not getting paid and train/play a match every week is very Dutch indeed. That even seems to be one of the reasons why we’ve got a lot of good footbal players in such a small country.

        However, I guess it’s not a ‘typically Dutch’ thing.

      • Nienke

        Sorry, bit of a typo in the last sentence: I actually meant that it isn’t a very funny typically Dutch thing.

      • Steve

        To follow on Nienke, I find locally organized clubs for team sports to be a very Dutch thing. In the USA locally organized clubs are considered to be something for children and is something that is sort of looked down on for adults. But in NL, there’s voetbal and korfbal and hockey for every age group.

  78. Maria

    Misschien later een keer over Bloemen corsos?
    Ater reading the blog I forgot that I wasn’t writing in English,anyway,How about the famous Flower parades?

  79. Tosca van Duijnen

    Maybe you could post something about how difficult the Dutch language (read: verb conjugations and other conjugations) is for foreign people? I have a poem about that, but it’s dutch, so I don’t know if it will be useful?

  80. nussz01

    heey, I’ve just found your blog and already love it! I’m from Hungary but live in Holland for 2 years already and I also recognize a lot of things. These are just sooo trueee. But frankly, I am pretty much Dutch-like, so I could adapt quite easily but I can imagine how strange some things can be to the foreigners (like the directness, or talking about the weather etc). But just keep on writing your blog, I laugh-out-loud every time I read it 😀

  81. nussz01

    ps: The Frisians are indeed a MUST to mention. I live in Leeuwarden, Friesland and the real “frieze boeren” (meaning frisian farmers) are totally different from the Dutch!

  82. over 50s in holland

    the best dutch are those who have lived outside their country for at least 4 years in a row without ever having gone home in that time….

  83. hans

    Theres just a few things missing here:

    1) SNERT (!!!)
    2) koek en zopie (!!!) tijdens de elfstedentocht (!!!)

  84. student 24

    Sniffling constantly… I’m really curious why dutch people don’t bother to use a tissue.

    • Snotkop

      We don’t use tissues, we use handkerchiefs! Why throw away your snot when you can carry it in your trouser pocket, as a treasured possession?

      • Siempre

        You both live in an elderly home?

  85. JK

    cycling is definitely number 1. Or cycling with two bicycles (by one person) or three persons and one bycicle or you name it… 🙂

  86. Reinier


    LOVE your blog! As many peeps who have responded here I’m Dutch aswell and I recognise a lot of things you write about. Although I’ve never realised how strange they were untill I read this blog.

    You’ve described the ‘oranje gekte’ during queen’s day but can you also write an article about the ‘oranje gekte’ during a world- or europeanchampionship of soccer?
    Also, I’m really looking forward to your article about ‘Denglish’ because there are some weird things going on when Dutch start to speak English (that’s what you get when your own language has a completely incomprehensible way of place and time in sentences). Some funny stuff like ‘He’s my rock in the burning’ which is the Dutch saying ‘Hij is mijn rots in de branding’ literally and roughly translated. Ofcourse you can’t forget the ‘yes I fok horses’ (yes I BREED horses).

    Anyway, you totally made my week and I’ll keep following your blog!

  87. Al

    Please please please spend some time and watch the channel on cable called Sterren.nl . My wife and I watch it just to laugh. The whole, “here, take 1000 euros, go to a place with either beach or snow and film an incredibly cheap, cheesy video of you lipsynching your own songs poorly” thing blows my mind! And it’s not just the old stuff.

  88. Al

    One more: hair gel… for the MEN! I think Holland has to be top 3 in the world in hair gel use. 😉

  89. robert

    dutch love to hate 11 germans on a green pitch for an average of 90 minutes every 2 years or so

  90. Lea

    DD: GUYS! You are forgetting the polonaise! Oh, and hoofd-schouders-knie-en-teen. I had to explain it to the other trainee at my internship once (she’s from Singapore) when we were on a dutch party, and it suddenly struck me- all us dutchies in that room, doing those two things, must’ve looked like complete idiots to her.
    (she had the best time of her life though, walking the polonaise with me and a bunch of 60+ aged people)

  91. Tina

    Could you upgrade your blog and offor us the opportunity to like (and maybe even dislike) comments? It would probably lessen the number of comments and give me and others the opportunity to quickly agree or disagree with someone. Some comments are great, others offending, I would love to have the opportunity to express my oppinion without writing comments all the time : )

  92. Anne

    Loving reading this!

    One thing I haven’t seen yet (haven’t been all the way through yet though) is the habit of adopting English words and applying Dutch to them, especially verbs…example: ik outsource, jij outsourcet, wij outsourcen, past tense = ik outsourcete and ik heb geoutsourcet…

    • Sa

      I totally Agree !! LOL also some words that is really really english but sounds really funny when you pronouce in Dutch way (dont get me wrong its just funny) … example Signal. (this word is killing my abs all the time when i hear it LOL)

    • Chris Winter

      Well, it’s really really hard, you know? I work in IT, and I have such damn issues with updaten, outsourcen, meeten and all of those pesky words that snuck into the jargon of the business.

      Although if one thing irritates the shit out of me, it’s the unnecessary use of such words. I don’t mind “outsourcen” because there’s no readily available translation in my mind. But “Vergaderen”, “Op de hoogte houden” en “Bijhouden” would be examples of words people tend to ignore for no better reason than sounding “sophisticated” with some English hrown in. Yuck.

      But speaking of language, when I returned from 10 years abroad, did anyone notice the Rise Of The Gooise-R taking place? Try pronouncing “Vader, vader, ik heb een barbie met enorme borsten” with a Gooise R and see what I mean. Back in the day, our R was rolling and our G’s were hard. And I don’t mean that in a Gangsta kinda way, ayit?

  93. S

    What about the Sarah and Abraham traditions, the baby signs and the flags for passing. These all seem very bizarre for the otherwise private dutch.

    • Steve

      We send Abraham greeting cards to every man we know who turns 50.

  94. Angela

    I am Dutch and have been living in the UK for quite a number of years now and whenever I’m at the airport flying to Amsterdam or London and I see lots of Dutch people mixed with British and other nationalities, it always strikes me that they look different and you can often pick out the Dutch by their looks. For one thing ‘older’ women (and I don’t mean over 60 but a lot younger than that) often have much shorter hair cuts with inevitably some sort of dye or colouring in (as already mentioned here) compared to their UK counterparts and Dutch men/boys do like their hair gel very much (also mentioned before). A couple of years ago I was amused to see that even my older brother, who’s in his fifties now, has become a regular hair gel user… Also the size of Dutch people’s spectacles often gives it away as they tend to wear really small ones. The Brits are now catching up with that as over the last few years their frames for glasses have also been shrinking in size 🙂

  95. Dorsan

    I wonder if Holland is the only country where people’s cats aren’t kept in the garden or in the house, but they always walk on the street and in the neighbour’s gardens. They can come inside the house by the ‘kattenluikje’ (cat flap).
    If Holland is the only country, it could be something to put on this website 🙂

    • Siempre

      Nope it’s like that everywhere else in the world. Keeping cats indoors is only a thing in condos in Asia if allowed at all. You should get out more.

  96. Boris Konovalov

    Am I really the first one to say it (???): PINDAKAAS / PEANUTBUTTER !!!

    • Joyce

      Agree! Calve pindakaas! This blog is awesome, great job, I’m Dutch myself but have been living overseas for quite a few years now. Few more suggestions (some may have been mentioned already):
      – appeltaart met slagroom/ appelkruimeltaart (Bill Clinton found it so tasty, he took one home! http://www.telegraaf.nl/binnenland/9912197/__Clinton_eet_appeltaart_in_A_dam__.html)
      – zuurkool
      – paprika chips
      – kruidnoten, pepernoten, roomboter amandelstaaf
      – broodje gezond
      – leverworst
      – koninginnedag
      – Chocomel
      – ontbijtkoek

    • Siempre

      Well it’s originally American and it’s equally popular in every country. The US PB&J has been around for more than a century.

  97. Jessabella

    I love this blog!! How about the dutch having a Calendar in every toilet with important dates? I always gets upset my birthday isn’t on my boyfriend’s calendar until I realize he has no special dates mark on his calendar anyway although he has one hanging in there. 😀

  98. erica lucena

    what about curry? friends said to me that amsterdan smells curry!]

  99. Anouk

    I’ve been reading your blog for a while now and it’s obvious that you’re not from the Netherlands. But where are you from?

  100. Carlijn van Bergen

    Funny that Cheese is not on the list. I do not live in Holland anymore, but I am so willing to pay twice the price only to get a decent peace of cheese!! Funny thing to do: get a Dutch and a Swiss to discuss their cheeses!! lol

    • Siempre

      Finally something that is actually Dutch! The dutch cheese is unique and sought after around the world. The love the Dutch have for this cheese is typical. They will have it send to them if they can’t buy it locally.

  101. Tjerk van Dalen

    Being an Exchange Student in America from the Netherlands, this blog is really awesome and useful. It’s so funny how Dutch people consider certain habits and traditions very normal, but when you tell people from other countries/cultures, they give you a weird look. Sometimes when I don’t feel like explaining myself I just make people read this blog. Thanks for the laughs and time saved.


    P.S. I think my name will fall in the category “Names that sound ridiculous in English”

  102. Anissa

    Hi there!

    I was kinda depressed today but you just turned my frown upside down. LMAO!

    Did you already write something about the Dutch lack of hospitality? As in not being amused if a friend passes by without telling you before or not wanting you to eat with because there is only cooked for four? Bring your own pie when it’s your birthday but also if someone is trowing a party he asks his guests to bring their own alcohol? Or ‘paying Dutch (splitting the bill, even it’s the first date)’ or fucking ‘double Dutch’ (using a condom and the pill) and the loose Dutch sexual moral? (Woman walks towards a unknown guy in a bar and asks him to go home with her for a fuck). And eating Kebab at 05.00 in the morning after going out? The Dutch that treat their dogs as if they are their children? The Dutch that say that it’s childabuse if you let your infant be awake after 7 o’clock?

    Thanks for this site!

    • Jules

      Wow.. You must really not like us. I’m sorry!

    • Chris Winter

      Eh, where to begin? Dutch children do stand out in international statistics in terms of happiness and this is attributed to regularity. Obviously it’s hard to determine causality for something as vague and esoteric as happiness, but I’m quite sure children benefit from the three Rs: Rust, reinheid, regelmaat. My son is getting raised by his Israeli mother, and indeed we don’t see eye to eye on this matter, but I have never heard any member of my family yell child abuse when the kid was still up at 8 or 9. Of course my mother mumbled it was getting a wee late, there is that too.

      The expression “Double Dutch” for using both a condom and the pill is not known to me. If I google it, it lands at the bottom of seven other definitions of the phrase, but I’m quite sure we didn’t come up with it. On a serious note, if I had a daughter that was sexually active at, say, 16 – 21, I would want her to be on the pill to avoid unnecessary pregnancies. Furthermore, using a condom is a very good idea to stop certain diseases from spreading, so it’s an eminently wise strategy that will drive down health-care costs, crime rates and possibly the amount of abortions in any given society. The fact that this practice pisses you off says more about you than about the Dutch. What is wrong with a straight forward attitude towards sex? Lord knows the Roman Catholic Church hasn’t been benefiting from its views recently, has it?

      I’ve never gone to a birthday in this country where I didn’t get coffee and a pie from the host. Having said that, I have gone to BYOB parties in Sweden, Australia, the US, the Netherlands, Austria and quite a few other countries. Yes, I know many people in many places, and some of them couldn’t afford booze for 20 people while studying. But most birthdays I’ve been to of adults had ample stocks of alcohol, so I have a hard time identifying with your complaint.

      You are right about the sharing dinner and calling before you drop by bits, but then this is a social convention that is quite easily dealt with. You *know* Dutch people eat between five thirty till seven, so drop by after dinner unannounced and you’ll likely get coffee if they’re at the house. If you want to be invited for dinner, simply plan the dinner.

      Having said all that: If you hate our customs so much, then what the hell are you doing here? No one is stopping you from leaving, I’m quite sure. I couldn’t stand the politics of Israel although I had a grand time there in other respects, so I put my money where my mouth is and left. I suggest you do the same if it doesn’t make you happy to live here. I don’t say this because I am in any way affected by your views, but it seems you are. If a country doesn’t do it for you, try not to live there. You’ll be happier in the long run.

    • moontje

      Shore……and we still walk on wooden shoes…..

  103. Kirsten

    How about the Dutch invention ‘Flitspalen’?

    I really love this blog! It puts everything into perspective!

  104. Quora

    What are some of the quirks of the Dutch?…

    Just a few random particularities I thought of when reading your question: One simple thing: we greet family members and friends with three kisses on the cheeks, never two. During wintertime we’re suckers for watching long track skating live or on TV….

  105. American in Den Haag

    Perhaps this is specific to Den Haag, but can anyone explain to me why Dutch people park the way that they do? Diagonally, in the handicap spaces, in the middle of an intersection, on the sidewalk, one wheel out in traffic, the whole car in traffic 2 feet from the curb…it never ceases to amaze me, and they never get ticketed!

    • Roza

      That’s a interesting question. I live in The Hague myself and I see this a lot and I think this happens everywhere in The Netherlands. I believe an explanation for many ways of parking you just described is because it’s not really parking (I think the English word ‘to park’ and the Dutch word ‘parkeren’ differ slightly in meaning, I will try to explain).
      When you see a car ‘parked’ at the side of the road, this doesn’t necessarily mean that the person who parked the car there, is leaving the car for more than 10 minutes. Maybe they’ve come to pick someone up, or to quickly hand in a package or letter at the post office. They want to leave fast, and so they park their car fast. This often results in sloppiness or even rudeness (parking the car at an intersection and blocking the view for others). We might call it ‘parkeren’, but for us ‘parkeren’ is really leaving your car for a longer amount of time while you go and do other stuff (at least, that’s how I see it). Maybe all this explaining is unnecessary and it happens in America too, I’m not sure! Also funny you note they never get ticketed, I think many people would – wrongly – disagree (“I always get ticketed!”).
      However, it’s also very much possible that the sloppy-parker isn’t in a hurry but just not a very talented parker. Or just plain rude, of course.

  106. Haps

    Hier een “Hint” na 15 jaar zijn de “Rajon” hoofden weer bij elkaar gekomen en we gaan hopenlijk volgende week weer eens 220 KM schaatsen juist ja de 11 steden tocht de totale gekte is weer losgebroken

  107. Paula

    We also have a unique broadcasting system. The more members (people who pay for a tv Guide) each of the 24 broadcast stations possess, the more time they get to air their tv and radio programmes on public tv (non-commercial). Very democratic. And the stations vary a lot: from muslim to christian to programmes for the elderly etc. etc. Just have a look at a tv and radio guide. There you can see the continuous changing of the stations all the time.

  108. Chris Winter

    Have you ever considered writing a blog post about “De Boterham”? Because if you are a former inhabitant of Scandinavia, you might miss your hot lunches at a reasonable price. All over the world, people have nice, civilized, hot meals for lunch, and what do we do in the Netherlands? Een broodje kaas. And by that I really mean two slices of bread, one slice of cheese and a bit of butter.

    For seven years I enjoyed Swedish lunches. And for three years I had nearly orgasmic food for lunch in Israel. Barbequed meats, poultry, asian food, husmanskost, hummus with fresh pita, good salads and loads of great food ruled my lunches for 10 years as I was living outside of Holland. And then I went back. Don’t get me wrong, The Netherlands is working out for me nicely, but those “vermaledijde” lunches are disgusting and uncivilized.

    Foreigners react to it too, on their first contact with a Dutch “broodjeslunch”.

    I think it could be a worthy post.

    Then there’s the Dutch proclivity towards hating credit cards, simple payment systems, our abnormal preoccupation with not putting children into daycare and therefore women not partaking in the labour market and such other details. Come to think of it, we kinda suck. 😉

    • Steve

      Oho, reverse culture shock! Next time you leave you leave, all the things you love about the Dutch will jump out at you.

  109. Jody Jarvis

    The link for discussing the weather takes you to the Birthday calendar instead.

  110. Girly

    No one likes Frisians! The rest of Holland would like Friesland to get cut off with their own ‘language’ (instead of dialect) and their stiff attitudes and stubbornness!

    • Jules

      Ahum.. No.. Strongly disagree. Holland and Friesland have age-old and fruitful economic and cultural bonds and there are hardly any families above the great rivers which don’t have some Frisian blood in their veins. If there is a cultural divide in The Netherlands (if any) it is where the great rivers run and certainly not between Friesland and Holland.

    • Chris Winter

      I have to agree with what Jules has said on this topic. Even though my father was a Groninger he would prefer a Frysian over a Limburger or Brabander any day of the week. Us northerners unite under such circumstances, and this includes Overijssel, Drenthe, Groningen and the top half of Noord-Holland.

      There certainly is a cultural divide along the rivers, but then there are pockets that provide exceptions to certain demographic rules. Most of Limburg and Brabant are Roman Catholic (78 respectively 69 percent of the population as per 2010), and while Zeeland may also be below the rivers it has a very different culture. They are staunchly Protestant (Gereformeerde Bonders) with a Puritan streak, and they regard the Brabanders and Limburgers as “fake”. This unites the Zeeuwen with quite a few Frysians and Groningers I’ve known in my time.

      Funnily enough, there are some pockets of RC Church-goers in the North, predominantly in Fryslan and East-Overijssel. These are not, however, statistically significant in the sense that Limburg and Brabant together screw up the “Religion in Netherlands” statistic. If L and B were “Normal” in any sense of the word, the PVV would have fewer votes, there’d be a larger proportion of people with a high education in the country and there would be over 50% atheists in the Netherlands. As it stands, there’s only 48% atheists in this country, so I’m quite sad the borders were drawn the way they were drawn after the Belgian skirmishes of 1831.

      In contrast, the most atheist country on the planet is, per 2009, Sweden. Over 80% of the population simply does not believe in a god or gods. Having said that, we’re not the US quite yet in spite of the Southerners.

      • paul

        ” there’d be a larger proportion of people with a high education in the country”

        Strange how regio eindhoven (which lays in the very south of the netherlands) might surpass silicon valley in the future for innovation according to quite a few studies. And zuid oost brabant is considered the “cleverest” part of the netherlands. Ow and it’s about the only part of the netherlands not in economic crisis yet.

        I’m also sad the borders are as they are now: would be much more easy if money didn’t have to go to north-east gronningen to completely set up new industry there.

    • Pete

      I’m not from Fryslan myself. But for your information: ‘Frysk’ is a universally recognized LANGUAGE; not a DIALECT (you might want to look up the difference between the two, since you obviously failed to pay attention in school).

      It’s of incredibly ancient stock besides – and the couple of hundred thousand native speakers left are justly proud and, accordingly, fiercely protective of it – just because of ages and ages of the kind of attitude you displayed, in case you’d like to know. So what you call ‘stiff’ and ‘stubborn’ is much more likely to be collective memory kicking in.

      Frysian is also closely related to all Scandinavian languages (except Finnish, since this is akin to Hungarian, rather) and even to Gaelic, I believe. And not many people – least of all in the UK – are aware of the fact that it had huge influence on the development of English.

      So next time you decide to treat the rest of us to more misplaced condescension, please do try and make at least SOME effort to get your facts right before opening your gob.

  111. Lynn

    @A Dutch Source

    I saw a pic of a tegeltje with the saying:
    “Niets zo irritant
    als een tegeltje aan de wand!”

  112. lucy

    I haven’t had the opportunity to read all the replies, but how about the Dutch and their obsession with cleanliness? One of my closest friends is 100% Dutch and her house is so clean you could eat off the floors….including her garage!

    • Harm (Dutch)

      Ahum… enter most student houses (student communal housing) and the situation is almost the exact opposite… and there is not too much difference between all male or all female houses…

      • Lynn

        So Harm, what you are effectively saying about the student houses is :
        “Je kunt hier van de vloer eten! Het ligt er vol van!”

  113. Angela

    I agree with the simple broodjes kaas lunch culture. Go anywhere else in the world and you can choose from a plethora of things to have for lunch. Also that you can’t use a credit card apart from at the airport, which is a REAL pain for foreigners who don’t have a Dutch bankpas, having to pay cash where ever you go and that in the 21st century. I heard of 2 different stories of Dutch people who got into trouble with using their Dutch credit card abroad as it still relied on using a signature for verification instead of a PIN so it was refused as payment method, LOL. Another thing worth mentioning is the limited maternity leave time you get in the Netherlands (assuming it is still 16 weeks). Though it is on full pay, it is ruthless to expect from women to return to work so soon after having a baby. I’m very glad I had my babies in the UK where I could have up to a year’s leave. Though a large part of it was unpaid, I could at least fully enjoy being at home with them while they were still so small.

    • Chris Winter

      I hate to say this, but four months of maternity leave is quite OK. Sure, in Germany you can stay away for 1.5 years albeit largely without pay, and in Sweden there’s 18 months to be divvied up between the couple. They promote gender equality by forcing the husband to take at least a month, also to bond with the children. While I think those systems are somewhat superior, they do probably have an adverse effect on the labour market for women.

      In Holland the four months wouldn’t sound so staggeringly short if we didn’t have a completely backwards culture with regards to day care. Both in Sweden and Israel, it’s perfectly normal to put your children in day care four or five days a week, and run a double income household. However in Holland there seems to be a cultural bias against having a kid in day care for more than two days. Together with the income gap between the genders, you could easily see how this means that women are forced into low-wage temp jobs, which explains the completely backwards statistics on income and labour participation for women in this country.

      If you read the Wiki you’ll find that our 18 weeks with 100% payment, expandable to 26 weeks unpaid with tax breaks is quite civilized. Would you rather live in the United States, where you get a whopping 0-6 weeks depending on the state? In the rest of the Americas, Asia and Africa, the going rate seems to be 90 days or 8-12 weeks if you have the kind of job that warrants maternity leave.

      So I wouldn’t complain about the Dutch system too much. It’s on par with Europe, and that means it’s above par for most other countries. I’d complain about the USA, if I were a US citizen. That much is clear.

  114. Ashiie

    Oh my!! I laughed my butt of. This is such a lovely and funny site! I am persian, and i when i was 1 year old i came to Holland. Now I live with my dutch fiance in Zwolle. I have read about everything here, and i can tell you i am so very very happy about not being super dutch! The only thing i do love, are potatoes. i just love them, mashed, whole, steamed, baked, fried, in salades ;).
    Just wanted to tell you, keep up the good work! Have you ever read The Undutchables?!

  115. Harm (Dutch)

    Not sure how typical Dutch it is, but being ‘on time’ and complaining if not there… To many Dutch, being somewhere at say 15:00 means you are there at 15:00 (or 15:05 at the latest), and preferrably early (although to some extent it fits the ‘agenda’ point).

  116. lis

    Maybe I haven’t looked far enough, but I couldn’t see mention of the fact that many, many Dutch women dye their hair red…all shades of red can be seen. Mostly a shocking shade.

    • Steve

      In NL I saw a bit of dyed red hair, but nothing compared to when I lived in Serbia. There the women henna their hair constantly.

  117. Sia Zylstra

    I missed brommers. I took all three kids to the pregnancy check up, one up front in een stoeltje aan het stuur. One op het bagage rack en een in my belly. Now forty years later I think HOW STUPID . Sia Zylstra.

  118. Helga

    Great blog. I live in New Zealand and shared the blog with quite a few people here. They suddenly understood…. 😉

    Have you already blogged about the HEMA where you can buy hot dogs, underwear and paint?

  119. Linda

    dear SDPL
    this blog is awesome!!! i’m dutch and seriously… a lot of blogs or internet pages about dutch people are not accurate or prejudice. (like Amsterdam being all about the whores and drugs) but this is just simple truth! 🙂
    Missing some things though:
    -Kroketten, frikadellen, bitterballen and other ‘snackbar’ stuff.
    – Soccer world cup
    – afraid of anything ‘strange’ or ‘foreign’ and still scared as hell to be called racists
    – the 10.000000000000 of turks/maroccans living here. (is this arabiqstan or holland, peeps?)
    – being sober people but still like to act crazy from time to time (when its nationally allowed)
    – bikes… you should NEVER buy a granny bike and leave it on utrecht central station. Thankgod i pimped my own granny bike and the symbol i sprayed on it matches my tattoo… so i can always prove its my bike XD)
    – NS (trains) freaking out when one snowflake hits the tracks, and how they promise every winter for better preparations… yeah sure
    – city development projects. ‘hey lets put a traffic-bump in this road! costs are high but what the hell, lets do it! *1 year later* ‘neh, it didn’t work. lets remove it.’ there goes our tax-money….
    – spaghetti, kebab, sushi and a whole lot more worldly cuisine is now considered typically dutch (Wiebe the Farmer from the Knor commercials, anyone?)

    There probably be more but that’s all i can conjure up at the moment.
    Keep up the good blogging about this fantastic (ehum) nation!!! (i wanna immigrate to Finland)


    • Ronald

      Yeah go for it, we can miss your racist view easily.

    • Ella

      10.000000000000 moroccans? Yeah, I do not know we’re you live, but I’m guessing Limburg, close to Geertje, or the Afrikaanderwijk. The reason people think there are lots of Moroccans and Turks, is because they actually go OUTSIDE, instead of lying on the couch playing “social” at Facebook.

  120. Ludo

    Wow, I love this blog. I just got this from a friend in the Netherlands while I’m in Australia for vacation (sadly I had to throw away my ‘drop’ :(. After 2 weeks in Australia I desperately started to look for ‘borrelnootjes’ (never knew it was a dutch thing), but there wasn’t any! Poor me 🙁
    And about carying children on the bike. My dad’s favourite was one on the handlebar, one on the mid-bar (bad english, sorry) and one on the rear of the bike. Very safe, no need to carry helmets like the aussies do 😉
    Looking forward for more!

  121. pipodebeuker

    Coffeeshops ?

    This site is awesome btw :v


  122. Susanne

    I am dutch person living in Australia. And the number one thing I miss is: HEMA!
    Other typically dutch things that my friends are weirded out about:
    – bikes
    – sweet things on bread (hagelslag probably covers that)
    – kroketten/frikandellen ‘uit de muur’
    – oliebollen (oil balls, haha)
    – pancakes for dinner (the dutch even have dedicated pancake restaurants)
    – fashion wise: ‘koorballen’ and ‘hockey trutjes’. Where 20 year law / medicine students dress like their grandfathers and drink vintage whiskey while boasting about the wealth of their fathers and the number of girls they slept with in the last week. They also engage in ridiculous initiation procedures to be able to join a community with even more 20 something year old dudes that dress like their grandfather (yes, the red pants, cashmere sweater loosely hung over the shoulders, boat shoes….). Nowhere else do people dress like this, it is quite easy to spot them while abroad.

    • Steve

      When in NL I never learned the word “koorballen”, but I suddenly realize that I knew a lot of them!

  123. Anna

    What about people saying ‘Holland’ when they actually mean ‘The Netherlands’..

  124. Sig

    Funny list.
    Where are for example No. 1 and No. 12?

  125. Noor

    It’s all so true! I’m Dutch and I reconise almost everything. Only one thing I do not reconise at all! The ‘rude’ part. Okay, I sometimes say a bit rude things but everyone I know actually doesn’t say things like: ‘I don’t like your new hair’ or anything.
    And some things don’t go for all of us. I know many people that first got married and after that got their children.

    • Steve

      You’ve never had a Dutch lady say out of the blue “Die trui staat je helemaal niet?” Dutch forthrightness comes across as rude to cultures that take a lighter touch.

      • paul

        I find it rude when people lie to me. It’s one of the things if I notice it I know I won’t be friends anymore. Be open & honest to others.

  126. Bert

    And what about kroketten and bitterballen ? And broodje kaas? Great blog! Keep up the good work!

  127. xenaclone

    One good piece of Dutch cuisine = bitterballen. YUM!
    They also enjoy beer pretty regularly and of course those ‘herbal’ [cough] brownies and smokes.
    Legalised prostitution.
    Making new land [Het hotel op der bodem van der zee]
    Tulips and just [bulb] flowers in general

  128. Lieke

    I totally agree that Hema needs to be included in the list. A great store! You can buy anything at this store, clothes, make-up, underwear, kitchen stuff, things you need for your bike (light, bell, tires), everything you need to paint the walls of a room, agenda’s, toys for children, officesupplies, food, and most important, Rookworst!

    • Maria Hayati Kruyt

      My [Danish] boyfriend *loves* HEMA rookworst, it’s his favourite. Especially the kind served with hot dog sauce, not the HEMA mustard sauce.

  129. batracillo

    Paracetamol! It seems to be the cure for any symptom in this country. You have to be extremely ill to get any kind of real medicine…

    • Jules

      Which is a very smart thing… We realise you can’t cure – just suppress – a common cold and you shouldn’t want to cure a mild bacterial infection. This is more healthy for you and helps prevent resistant strains of bacteria.

    • Mijke

      Ditto to paracetamol. I’ve just spent 15 minutes staring at a wall full of cold remedies, cough remedies, sore throat and fever remedies, only to realize that the only active ingredient in any of them is paracetamol, plus occasionally Vitamin C and/or caffeine. Are nasal decongestants considered bad for character building??

  130. Safie

    Is this the whole list? Where is no. 1? Or no. 5? Or no. 41, 44? :I Maybe it’s my pc but I don’t see them on the list.

    Also, I want too suguest something: The Dutch LOVE FREE stuff!
    It’s already known fact/stereotype that the Dutch spend their money carefully and will not go around and throw their money randomly on things they don’t need. BUT if they can get the same product for free they will drop anything and go straight for the free stuff just because its FREE!!! 😀

  131. Lee

    This is SOOOOOOOOOO funny!!!!!! You forgot ‘leverworst’ haha. LOVE IT!!!!!

  132. Brit

    What about these:
    •Chocomel (met slagroom, of course!)
    •Appeltaart (again met slagroom)
    •Koffie verkeerd
    •Saying “lekker” while waving one hand close to their ear (usually – I think – referring to food)
    •Dogs (and happily allowing them in basically everywhere – especially restaurants!)
    •Cold houses (turning the heat WAY down at night)
    •orchids, tulips, and flowers in general (especially on their bike baskets!)
    •Potatoes and Mayonaise

    And I’m sure I’ll think of many more immediately after posting. Haha
    Keep up the good work! This site is hilarious!

  133. Alicia

    Didn’t see it on the list but can’t not include the infamous circle at parties/ gatherings.

  134. Elsabee Lyon

    Gratis- anything free! There is a reason why they say ‘going Dutch’ because we like things cheap and free!

    • Ella

      I thought Going dutch means splitting the check?
      Which is very Dutch, while my mothers side of the family uses the most sneaky ways to pay it (saying you’re going to the loo, while actually going to the owner/waiter to pay is a classic), my dads side will always look at eachother and say: Well, you costed around this, we chose these… You 35, we 25 and the tip?

  135. Alicia

    Don’t forget the circle at gatherings/parties

  136. Jas

    what about the mentality of making things small? In the sense of speaking… for such tall and big people they call things little my friend is 6’5 and his nickname is little.

  137. Ana

    What about putting deodorant in the office? After having a couple of colleagues that would just empty half a spray deodorant in the office, making me leave because I couldn’t stand the deodorant cloud, once I say the netherlands next top model, and there trey were, deodorizing in public as well. Why go to the toilet? just have a spray at your desk.

    Also: taking off their shoes at the office because “I have swetty feet”…

    • o_O

      This is sooo true..i have the same problem…I tried to open the window as soon as he was putting deodorant but it seems he didnt understand how annoying is to have deodorant smell around.

  138. Johnny

    I can’t believe no one has said techno yet, the Dutch are mad for their techno.

    Paying for everything with debit cards, never credit cards, and making it progressively harder to use cash. Like i’ve been here for 9 months now and I’ve not seen a vending machine what uses cash, chipcard only.

    Also they never buy rounds, i’ve learned to never ever buy a round of drinks for a group of dutch people.

  139. Filipa

    Eating sandwiches with fork and knife.
    Toilets with platform (I really don’t need to look at what I just left there).
    Restaurants being closed at lunch time (because they only eat bread and soup).
    Bringing their dinning room tables to the street so they can eat outside and enjoy the good weather.

    These are just a few I remembered now.

    • an

      why not eating youre sandwich like that, its clean
      those toilets can save youre live(see what you produce , its with blood you need to see a doctor)
      and yes finaly , we like to stand and sit when we are at an bbq AND enjoy the wheater

  140. Bert

    Quite an impressive list! What happened to all the missing numbers? Were these expelled because they were too funny?

  141. Grouchy

    yes!!! bikes!!! you should include their bikes. those parking thing for bikes, bike paths. everything bike! i’m excited to read the next article.

  142. Maria Hayati Kruyt

    What about ‘swaffelen’? Try explaining that to a non-Dutchie. Personally, I feel it has to do with the Dutch love of talking about genitals in public.

    This is what I came across this morning when I looked outside my window. The ‘Euro’ season (as I call it) hasn’t even started yet. http://on.fb.me/xci3Uu

  143. Jodie

    You know what’s really, really, réally Dutch? To go on a holiday, preferably with the caravan on a campside, find some other Dutch tourists, invite them to sit with you next to your voortent and say, all day long, to no one in particular or just in every conversation: “wow, we really deserved this holiday”, “oh yes, I’ve worked so hard this year, we really needed this”, “this is so deserved, lekker genieten this is”. I’m Dutch myself and I truely enjoy it. Especially when they come home again after the holiday and complain about it. But how can the holiday be perfect, when everybody puts so much pressure on it because they deserved it?! I love being Dutch.

  144. German-in-the-Lowlands

    What about announcing newborn babies and their names in their enormous un-curtained front windows? Or is that just a Brabants thing?

  145. German-in-the-Lowlands

    Oh, and shit coffee and tea. We haven’t been able to get a decent cup of coffee or tea in this country in 8 months. You really wouldn’t think that Australia would beat the Netherlands on barrista culture. But it does!
    Most of the time here it’s those yucky press-a-button-instant-coffee, otherwise filter coffee from a thermos. And what’s with drinking liters of milk for lunch but only providing creamer, milk powder or UHT coffee cream instead of fresh milk to put into your coffee or tea? Couldn’t everyone drink a sip or two less for lunch? Then there’d be enough left for my tea later…

    • Jules

      Well, that’s strange. My town, Leiden, is peppered with decent and even some very good coffee bars. I must agree with you though that in non specialized places, like hotels and restaurants the coffee is often non particularly good. I haven’t seen filtered coffee in a commercial venue (with the possible exception of road side restaurants) in years though.

      • Steve

        Leiden is great for cafés. Don’t know if the busier cities or country are quite the same.

    • Ella

      You shouldn’t drink coffee at work then, try walking around the corner of the street, there are more and more coffee shops (as in COFFEE shops, not the other one) in holland every day. I go to the other side of the street for example, Doppio is a great one!

  146. smurp

    How about our collective hate for pigeons. Also, leuk. Leuk leuk leuk

  147. Kim

    I never fully realised i did all those things… well.. most of them
    I’d love to meet up with the writer (or the writers?)

    enjoyed reading!

    • Steve

      Dressing the window with the latest knickknacks of the season on sale at HEMA is key to the Dutch picture window experience.

  148. Tup

    Some more:
    -The Dutch like to admire their turds before they flush. For this purpose a typical Dutch toilet bowl is fitted with a plateau which prevents the feces from falling into the water.
    -One that always makes my American guests very nervous; the Dutch love to talk about sex. All the time. Everywhere.
    -The Dutch like to dress their kids in colorful clothes. In outfits with as many retina-blistering colors as possible.
    -They like to pretend it’s summer the first day of the year the sun appears. They will immediately undress and go to a ‘terrasje’, even if it’s only 50°F.

    I should be able to come up with more. I’ll be back.

    • Paulina

      The last one is so true! I can never understand why they all running around with shorts when the first sun comes out…

    • Steve

      The Dutch talk about sex in a quotidian way from time to time, but nothing like Swedes.

    • Pete

      How about this?

      Several years ago, I spotted a young man, from the top of a bus, on a London green. He was in t-shirt, shorts and the skimmiest of open footware I ever saw (like you wear on beach holidays). Or he might even have been completely barefoot, on second thoughts.

      Nothing out of the ordinary, you’d probably say. But in some 3 inches of snow? And the temperature being -10C at least?

  149. Ella

    There’s one mayor thing I think your forgotten:
    “spaaracties”, you know what I mean, every ten euros you spend you get a bonuspoint, and if you have a card full of them, you get a stuffed animal (I really hate that term in English, “knuffel” is so much easier and the two meanings are great to joke about) or maybe a discount on a musical.
    According to a friend who lives in Vienna (his daddie works for Shell, so they’ve lived all over the world) in no other country you do this.

    Or of course, the national way of transport: the bike! Especially with someone on the back, bags on either side, completely ignoring the traffic lights and being a hindrance for cars as well as walking people.

    I must say, I love your blog, some things I’ve never thought about, because for me they’re totally normal, like the hair gel.
    At school I’ve counted with my friends, out of the fourteen guys who walked by, 10 certainly did use gel and two probably did as well. The other two were Chinese twins.
    Or the red-pant-phenomenon. I read that and thought about it, then I realised: my dad owns one pair of jeans, all the others are mustard yellow to faded red!

    Keep it up!

  150. Roos

    It will be queensday in less than a month, please don’t forget to write something about that! this site is hilarious by the way 🙂

  151. Moos (yeah, strange name in Dutch imagine here in the UK....)

    This made me laugh soo much!!! Have been living in the UK for a while and sometimes try to explain the Dutch culture… this sums it up really. Petje af!

  152. Frits Fiets

    there are three kinds of people: people that are good with numbers and people that are not good with numbers but what happend to #1, #5, #9…..?

  153. Theresa

    Such a true and funny page. Add ‘komt wel goed’. In the Netherlands everybody is sure about thing are going to be fine, but only at moments where you can’t be sure if anything will be fine. 😉

  154. Jasper

    Maybe something about the crazy habbit of American movies having a ‘Dutch’ thing in it. There is always at least one person with a ‘van’ in his or her last name. Or a quick reference to Amsterdam or Holland (remember the Famous ‘Royale with Cheese’ scene in Pulp Fiction) Even in South Park episodes Dutch things come around almost every season.

  155. Jango Wagner

    No Brabant Toppers? not a very comprehensive list

  156. Ron

    Loving your website! It’s hilarious. Sent it to all my non-Dutch friends (I’m Dutch) as well and they all recognise a lot of it.’

    Just wanted to say I’m really missing articles on the subjects of
    – Bikes (bare essential #1)
    – Cheapness (particularly tipping, being suckers for “aanbiedingen” etc.)

    Oh, I also found this one through another article, but it’s missing in the complete SDPL list:

    Doing a great job, can’t wait to read more!

  157. Corie Leifer

    How about crazy staircases? I have plenty of pictures to prove that the Dutch are a little too creative when it comes to designing staircases. I think they were a little to inspired by the amazing art of M.C. Escher….

    • ablabius

      Having worked for a company that manufactured stairlifts and exported them throughout Europe: Most Dutch staircases are simple prefab affairs with one end (either upper or lower) turned sideways, with the noteable exception of Amsterdam’s ‘portiekwoningen’, that have a communal flight of stairs running from the low front of the house to the high back. Belgians and Germans are a little more creative, and the French must live in treehouses for all the turns their stairlifts need to make.

  158. Michael

    I love all of these, as I recognize all of them, even in me.

    Try and talk about sex, as Dutch people love to, but also in the fact that they completely regard it as the most normal thing in the world.
    Same goes for legal weed and legal prostitution.

  159. Snewrigard Starpants

    Please, please, pleeease add the Efteling to this list. As an expat, I was throughly amazed by all the dutchies telling me I had to go to what I assumed was a childrens park, but in the end I went and loved every minute of it. ^-^

  160. Paulina

    Please write about these marshmellow like-chocolate coated balls so called Negerzoenen and why they call it Negro kisses?!?!

    • Paulina

      One more thing: please have a topic about how Dutch people make fun of Beglian people and how they always say they don’t understand them speaking

      • Greetje

        1. Wikipedia is not done by professors or researchers, anyone can make a page on wikipedia, anyone who get their info where ever they can get it. So the fact it is on wikipedia doesnt mean it is true.
        2. The word “negerzoen” is typical Dutch. In no other language this kind of sweet has a name like ours, therefor it is unique to/in our country.

      • tim

        @Greetje, while I agree that not all information on Wikipedia should be taken for granted, I am curious what part of this particular Wikipedia article is not true according to you?
        You are right that “negerzoen” is a Dutch world. In other languages that sweet however had a similar name. Neekerinsuukot, Negerkys, Negerkuss have exactly the same meaning as “negerzoen”. So no, that name is not unique to the Netherlands.

      • Greetje

        Hmm, apparently I was misinformed about the negerzoen and how dutch the word is. And I did not find the sweet in spain, germany, italy or south korea (did find like “brand” names, like the Milka ones in Germany). However I did find them in America and the UK, but there was no similarity to our word. So therefor I was under the impression it was just something dutch.
        And two of the 3 examples you gave are from the same country, and if I can say it is actually in this article, they got the name from Germany, so they did not invent their own name, they just simply translated the german one. So there is no origine in their used word. I tried to find when the negerkuss was introduced in Germany, but I can’t find it, so the argument whether or not Holland was the first, I don’t know.

  161. Jerzy

    If anything: the madness that is ‘koninginnedag’!

  162. jelle1975

    Fantastic, there is no ‘No 1’, that is really Dutch, to have no No1.

  163. katstravelblog

    what about the dutch habbit of moving all your furniture to the sidewalk in front of your house as soon as there is the tiniest bit of sun? 🙂

  164. Todd

    Chocolate for breakfast… yum… and rusk – stale bread

  165. Momo

    I bet someone have said it here before… List is too long for me to make sure so here it goes… Dutch people and “Lekker”. Everything is lekker! I am latina and in a way I feel related… We use “rico” for a lot of things where I come from 🙂

  166. Luc

    Being in a Dutch family I found this hilarious and quite true! There’s a lot of things I do in that list. Milk, skating, keeping it real, and like other comments I use hè a lot when speaking in English, and it sounds kind of funny. Names part is so true too, my biology teacher’s last name is Niemantsverdriet too, also funny that my family adopted our surname from an English surname and had originally spelled it ‘Van Sturgiss’.

  167. des

    Selling themselves at every opportunity.
    The first Dutch person I met was whilst travelling in Indonesia. The poor guy spent the whole evening trying to prove that he was better educated, better this, better that, then everyone else, to anyone who would listen! I just assumed he was a rather sad, self obsessed individual. If he wasn’t such an incredible bore I might have felt sorry for him, try to move his thoughts away from the pointless competitive stream he was caught in. Later the same year I arrived in Amsterdam for the first time. He wasn’t just a lone ass-hole! Every one of them was at it, look at me, look at us, I’m/we’re cleverer than you attitude which seems like arrogance, why! Just one thought process further and they would realise that everyone non-Dutch, is thinking ‘what a pathetic, insecure individual! Putting us all through this crap?. Occasionally you meet a ‘normal, well adjusted Dutch person, it’s a joy, they seem to have clicked on to the fact that banging on about yourself continually is a tad boring for people from the other lands!

  168. Kate

    Not sure if it’s already mentioned, but what about men in Dutch bars just standing, looking at girls, never dancing? My boyfriend was wondering why men in the Netherlands believe this behaviour is ‘cool’, while – in his eyes – they just look stupid. I explained to him that those men actually do make a chance of taking a girl home at the end of the night, but that it’s only happening if the woman fancies a one night stand (so it does not have anything to do with the guy being cool or not, really). The Dutch women don’t seem to be too interested in being wooed. In my experience, my Dutch girlfriends in relationships start to be suspicious of their boyfriends if they are too nice. And my Dutch single girlfriends would rather pay for themselves on a date. It keeps things clear, meaning: the man cannot expect anything in return. My non-Dutch boyfriend thinks this is strange, as he did not expect anything in return for little gestures of respect and romance, such as paying for a date, holding a door open, bringing a present etc.

    • Steve

      White boys everywhere stand on the side of the dance floor.

  169. Hugo

    I see it was mentioned before. And i totaly agree. I miss the fried stuff on the list. Im dutch living in the czech republic and we have a small base of dutch people living here. The one thing everybody does when they go home and visit friend and family in holland, and it is always the first thing (even when your plane lands at 9 in the morning) aswell, find a ‘snackbar’ preferably a ‘muur’ to get a frikandel speciaal, kroket or kaassoufle. My personal favourite is the frikandel speciaal. You could wake me up for that!

  170. Bob van Leeuwen

    I have two things that still amaze me about my fellow countrymen:
    1) When going out to dinner with friends the time it takes to settle the bill takes as long as the dinner itself “yeah, but i didn’t have desert”. Dutch folk like to split the bill and on top of that want to pay exactly what they consumed. So instead of just splitting it they rather have it spiralling down to a mathematical exercise only professors can master.
    2) Our country is tiny, yet i cannot understand what people are saying when they are talking in dialect if they are from Zeeland, Limburg and Groningen (don’t get me started on Friezen). Dutch televison always put subtitles in when those are on tv. I am from the central south and no one seems to talk normal besides the people in this region 😉

    • tim

      Not in my experience. When we go out for dinner with a group, usually everyone pays the same amount, without any hassle or discussion.

    • Steve

      Being an American raised in Holland among other places, it was very odd to me the first time I went out for dinner with friends how long it took them to decide that everybody would just pay $20 each. I knew that I had eaten $28.50 plus tax long before the bill came, and when I offered to pay the difference everyone scowled at me!

    • Eveline

      We say it´s a dialect because it´s actually does sound differently. I´m from Utrecht but when I hear someone from Groningen talking about stuff on TV and he/she is talking in dialect, I can’t understand a word they’re saying. There really is a difference…..try putting a Limburger and a Fries together, they won’t understand a word of what the other one is saying.

      • Eveline

        oh and the central south, that’s brabant, where they talk brabants. that’s not normal, that’s a dialect 😉 ABN that’s normal (Algemeen Beschaafd Nederlands = general civilized dutch)

    • thammy24

      not in my experience. according to my mom, who is dutch, the one who invites you to dinner pays for the dinner. for example, if i tell my friend, would you like to meet up for dinner next week? I’ll be expected to pay.

  171. XRay

    Mayonaise on their fries ! Even made it into the movie ‘Pulp Fiction’.

    • tim

      Mayonaise on fries is a Belgian invention. And since they invented the fries, I guess they should know best what sauce taste best on it.

  172. NataliaPapadopoulou (@Aeternia)

    I’m not sure if it was mentioned somewhere in the above comments but there are too many to read! As a foreign student in the Netherlands one of the things I first encountered is how kind Dutch can be when they see you outside but how hopeless you can end up when you really have a problem but it is not “their job”. What I mean with that? They see you carrying a large bag and they offer to help you carrying it for you. But if you really have a problem and ask a service, then they won’t help you unless it is explicitly written in their job description. Is it only me that finds this weird?

    My personal story was that I received the rent allowance (huurtoeslag) but at some point they asked me for money back, as if I left already my rent house. When I tried to call the tax office, they told me that they wouldn’t help me in English and I should find a Dutch-speaking person. When I tried to find such a person in my university, everyone was replying to me:
    “Sorry, we usually don’t handle such issues”.
    “But I only need someone to speak Dutch for me, and I will explain what is wrong through him”.
    “I’m afraid we cannot do that”.

    “Of course you can’t, you don’t happen to speak Dutch (!!)” was the thought crossing my mind leaving. As colleagues told me later this incident may be one of the Dutch approaches “they don’t forbid anything, but they will make it too difficult to succeed”. This is how I feel as an international, it’s not that they won’t let you be here, but integrating won’t be easy at all.

    That could be a nice post.

    • Steve

      It can seem odd how the Dutch are Good Samaritans at times and completely unsympathetic at others. I think the key is whether they think you are working hard enough. When you are carrying a large bag, well, you are working as hard as you can, so they admire that and want to help you. When you need someone to speak Dutch for you, well, then you brought this problem on yourself by being to lazy to learn to speak Dutch, as tho learning a language is as easy as snapping your fingers!

      As an American raise in NL among other places, at times I also have trouble gathering sympathy for people who genuinely create their own problems and then expect help. That said, it happened to me many times in NL that a person offered me help, I said I was fine, and then the Dutchman *insisted* on helping me. Like making unhelpful adjustments to my bike because he believed it would work better. That annoyed the tar out of me.

      • Natalia

        But on the other hand, as a student, you never get rewarded for working hard! We are expected to magically adapt the first day we start our studies and work smart which is so hard since Dutch people are so full of contradictions that it’s way too hard to understand or predict reactions in order to do that!

  173. Anndrea

    My grandparents emigrated from the Netherlands to Canada just before my Mom was born. There are LOTS of these traditions and cultural idiosyncrasies that they carry on to this day. Like the birthday calendar in the bathroom!

  174. Angela

    Collecting coupons (zegels sparen) on all sorts of products can’t be left unmentioned, like on Douwe Egberts coffee and tea. I haven’t seen anything like it here in the UK, apart from the occasional product promotions, but certainly not on a permanant basis as a means of getting customers to keep on buying your products. I guess it’s all to do with our desire to save money, or at least thinking that we are. I remember from when I was growing up that my mum used to collect all zegels available under the sun, even those on products that we only bought sporadically, just in case they could come in useful at some point in the future… We used to have thousands and thousands of Douwe Egberts ‘punten’ and the real rip off is that after you have collected tons of them and you want to spend them in exchange of Douwe Egberts goods, you still have to contribute a fortune in money to get your coffee cups, tea glasses or coffee maker. Would be much cheaper to buy them in the HEMA or Blokker instead! :-).

  175. Angela

    Have you been to Dutch weddings and wedding anniversary celebrations? Only after I moved to the UK did I realise how special they are, with the numerous sketches performed by family and friends, adapted songs (often a special songbook is also given to the guests, using the music of existing songs with adjusted lyrics that are all about the couple) and of course the ‘levensloop’ at anniversaries (story written in rhyme about the couple’s life together highlighting important and funny events, being told by close relatives and/or friends). Also, only after moving abroad did I find out that 12 ½ years of marriage is not everywhere a special occasion to celebrate, whereas for Dutchies it is. Maybe we just use it as another excuse to get together for a party and say “gefeliciteerd” to everyone . I was also amazed that my British parents in law let their 40th wedding anniversary go by just like that and my sister in law and husband did the same to their 25th, ! Had they been Dutch, they would most likely have thrown a party (or at least celebrated in some way) and we would have been very busy preparing funny sketches and stories in rhyme, a lot of work but soooo much fun! It is these things that make some of our celebrations so special, like with Sinterklaas, we don’t just give presents to each other like they do here for Christmas, but there is the poem (‘rijm’) to go with it and of course the ‘surprise’ (fake Sinterklaas present that gets given before the real present) and then there’s the Abraham and Sarah of course when people turn 50… And celebrations go with flags of course, we certainly are a flag loving nation, people get their flags out when they have passed exams, on koninginnedag (queens day) and bevrijdingsdag (liberation day to commemorate the end of WWII), but also on more solemn occasions like nationale dodenherdenking (remembrance of the WWII dead).

  176. Ari

    What is about with this word lekker, you can hear it everywhere, in a store, when is talking about the weather or even when you want to buy some fire wood for your bbq. It seems that everything is lekker in the Low land.
    The people here like to laugh very loudly with their mouth wide open. Some of them like to whistle while they are working or just when they bike, they don’t care about disturbing others.
    It seams that children from all ages like to jump in the trampoline, even the grown up like it. While I was looking on google maps in my city (Bergen, nh) I realize that almost in every yard you can see a trampoline, or even 2.

  177. martijn

    i mis the soccer part because it is a typical dutch sport and a important thing in the live of a dutch person like when the national team play’s or the eredivisie and champions league and if you lived in Amsterdam you must have seen something about ajax become the champions of the Netherlands for the 31st time

  178. Michael

    Riding on the bike rack sideways!!! My wife (Dutch) always laughs at me that I can’t do this. Everyone does it effortlessly in the Netherlands. But if you aren’t from there I dare you to try it. The Dutch grow up doing this so have 0 idea that it’s a learned skill. I’ve almost died the few times I’ve tried to be the passenger. Now I just make sure I’m always the one pedaling.

    Football! The real one…the one we US folks call soccer. C’mon it’s like national religion. When the Dutch national team plays it’s an instant national holiday. If that isn’t something dutch people like I don’t know what is. Ask any Dutch person if they remember beating Germany in the Euros in 1992 3-2 …believe me, they will remember.

    Also you need the stuff dutch people hate list!!! For that list I humbly submit Root Beer. We love it in the US, but I have yet to meet a single Dutch person who can stand to drink it.

  179. Britt

    I’m confused… Names that sound ridiculous in English is no. 32, and Borrels is too? Am I missing out on part of the fun?
    I love the blog! Reminds me of a booklet (forgot the author) explaining Dutch culture to immigrants. One of the things in there was that if Dutch people say ‘We gaan zo eten’ (We are going to have dinner), they are not inviting you, they are asking you to leave. Having dinner (especially at home) is regarded quite intimate and not something you usually do on a first visit. That and ‘we hebben niet op je gerekend’ (we did not count on you), the Dutch planning obsession/allergy to spontaneous actions. I could imagine what this social rule must be like for someone coming from a culture where hospitality is very important. Ouch.

    • Jules

      Luckily we’re not all like this, Britt, not by far! People are almost always welcome at my place and I think it is perfectly normal to share a meal, also on a first visit. So: feel welcome to pop by for lunch or dinner (I usually don’t suggest breakfast on a first visit 😉 ) whenever you’re in the neighbourhood!

  180. M

    Small Beers: Why, in most of Europe is a 50cl beer normal, but in NL ask for a half-liter and you’re thought a real crazy boozer (don’t get me started on the tiny 25cl bottles in the Antillen!).
    And for ladies: Jeans tucked into tall leather boots!

  181. M

    Dutch people love: the Apostrophe (but can’t use it correctly)!

    • Roosje

      The Dutch have different rules on apostrophes, rather than using them incorrectly 😉

      • M Dwyer (@Mburked)

        No, the Dutch language doesn’t use apostrophes, but the Dutch love to sprinkle them in when they use English words in the plural. So, for example, you’ll see a sign on a brown cafe that says “Verse Brootjes & Hamburger’s”

  182. Eveline

    We´re the worst tourists in the world. We´re everywhere, wearing awful clothes we´d never wear at home, we get drunk all the time, take pictures of EVERYTHING and speak english with a terrible accent.

    And our beer. We love beer, just love it. But mostly Dutch beer and everyone gets crazy if you don´t love the beer they love.

    For the rest of it, love your list!

    • tim

      I guess you never saw typical British, German, Italian, Russian, American, etc, tourists.

  183. Erik

    Frankly it’s rather insulting to make fun out of a nation’s people and their habits and way of life, it’s all of rather bad taste. Also the backgrounds on the items are rather poorly researched to say the least. If you like to make fun out someone at least get your facts straight.

  184. Wesley

    The Dutch particularly dislike the number 15? (The list jumps from 14 to 16…)

    • Wesley

      Oh, and not only jokes about Germans (no. 23), but also about Belgians…

  185. Son of a Dutch

    How about the Dutch obsession with cleanliness? My mom and her sisters would always talk about cleaning the house with the ‘Dutch touch’.

  186. will

    I have lived with my dutch fiancee 4years now and after visiting this site i now realise why she is the way she is and have had a good laugh to.so well done.

  187. Maria Ho

    Oliebollen! And surely there must be room for the diminutives somewhere on the list as well.

  188. joost

    Dutch people love exclamations marks in conversations through email and internet, etc. !!!!!!
    I hear those comments over and over again, you should make a blog about it. It is rude, anoying and respectless to the person you are sending a message to.

    Do dutch people realize they are in some cases just plain rude?

    • tim

      Really? Exclamation marks are typical Dutch? On this page alone there are more then 100 exclamation marks. And most are written by non Dutch.

  189. Pranab

    How can we forget the typical Dutch style of doing their dishes and leaving soap in it 😉

  190. ex-bewoner

    Still missing: sandwiches for lunch, each and every single day everywhere at work. With buffet of toppings including anything from Hagelslag to mustard and mayo, Nutella to ham and cheese and filet americain. I actually had to start bringing my own lunch, when one day I just couldn’t stomach a sandwich more…

  191. Rutger

    What about the etiquette for having people over for dinner? In Spain, in example, it’s fine in every occasion to bring people along for dinner or to invite them for it. In The Netherlands, it’s appears as rude if you come over around dinner-time (‘Sorry you can’t stay as we’re having not enough food for everyone), but in most European countries (and North America though) it’s ok to join dinner without making a ‘dinner date’ two weeks in advance.

  192. thammy24

    I’m from Holland and I miss the haring, belgian fries, stroop wafels, biterballen, hageslag and their toilets. The toilets in Canada are disgusting, who wants that water to splash back up on their privates?! EEEWWWW. lol Dutch toilet don’t do that.

    • Jessie

      Haha! The toilets do that?!?
      That’s just disgusting!

  193. Mark

    A few suggestions:
    Difference between Dutch breakfast and Dutch lunch ? 3 hours. Both are ham & cheese & ‘Karnemelk’.
    “Karnemelk”. Where else do you get that?
    Eating raw herrings in the street.
    Olie Ballen for New Year
    Houses with VERY nice downstairs (where guests are hosted) and then VERY basic upstairs.
    Dutch toilets with that platform thing.
    Birthday calendars in the toilet.

  194. RubenTjen

    I really enjoy every topic of your blog. But the thing that really needs to get added is the oh so famous: HEMA-worst. There has even been a song made for this mash of garbage meat in a sausage. Thanks again for all the reading fun!

  195. valerie

    leaving the country (vacation, weekends etc..).

  196. A3aan

    Maybe ‘Jokes about Belgian people?’ Those are even more in common and more pleasant than those about them Germans!

  197. Marjolein

    As being an exchange student in Austria, it is hard for me to explain typical Dutch stuff. Maybe it is an idea to write about: oliebollen, VLA vs. VLAAI vs. taart, de Hema-worst and (appel) stroop?

  198. marie

    Congratulating each other for a third party’s birthday. I have no idea why, but you do. If it’s my cousins birthday, all my friends are like: Oh, congratulations on your cousin’s birthday!

    What’s that about?

  199. Nienke

    I have to agree with Mark. My Filippino friends tell me that only in Holland people hang pictures of their lovedones in the toilet (or birthday calendars)…

  200. Jesper

    What about weed, that’s one thing you can’t have missed (if you’ve been in Amsterdam).
    I really enjoyed reading all your stories and experiences and most of them are true!
    Other things you might consider posting are: soccer fanatism and alcohol.

  201. Andy

    Jenever: No self respecting Dutchman would be with a bottle in the fridge. Tastes like poison. Because it is.

    Confusing weird toilets: They have a shelf so you can inspect your work when your done. Also the variety in flushing mechanisms is endless.

  202. Tim

    So I’m a Dutch guy who moved to the United States just over a year ago and I have to say – I use this blog to explain a little bit why I am the way I am to my American friends and colleagues. Especially on the directness – sorry guys!

  203. Ana

    This blog is so amazig and so true!!! I had such a laugh when I found out that my Dutch guy is doing a lot of the things on the list 😀
    Keep up the nice work! 🙂

  204. Cara McInerney

    I would like to see Dutch toilets. Though it may not be a thing they like, it was the strangest and most memorable culture shock when I first arrived. You know the ones I mean – the old ones with a shelf so you can examine what you’ve just done before flushing it away… why?

  205. Dutchiee

    Could you write a blog about Queensday? Or for the future, Kingsday ?

    Andd does anybody know if there is something like this (amazing!) blog about Ireland?
    I’d love to read about Irish habits 🙂

  206. Dutchie

    What about De Efteling? Every dutch person loves De Efteling and it’s as dutch as something can be.

  207. Dutchie

    There should be a topic about “Wie is de mol”. I know it’s orginally belgian, but we have had 13 seasons and Belgium only 3! SoI guess you could say it’s one of those typical dutch things, as we talk and stress over who “de mol” (the mole) is.

  208. Briony

    Thank you for your list!!
    Being raised in Australia, and Oma and Opa no longer with us, this list helps me get a better grasp on certain aspects of my family’s culture. I’m proud of my heritage, and look forward to teaching my children what I can so they too can be proud!

  209. Hans Persoon

    Bicycle paths- dedicated roads just for bicycles and mopeds.

  210. trdlo

    “Shelf toilets” are quite common in my country, too… I didn’t understand what the fuss was about at the beginning.
    Also weather talk is not only Dutch thing. It goes on in many other countries. and… I found myself starting every conversation with the weather related topic recently 😀

    I miss markets (especially flea markets) in the list. I’m not sure about other places but in Amsterdam, there is a market at every other square. I love it! 🙂

  211. Anna

    I am living and working in Arnhem now for 4 months… Dutch people like “Markplaats” – a website devoted to secondhand goods… After any purchase they love to brag about how cheap it was, even if the product sucks. I know a married Dutch woman, 49 with two young children who works for KLM 2 times in a month (100% Dutch), that even bought a secondhand “poes” when the children wanted a pet.

    • tim

      A secondhand cat? How can a living being be second hand?
      And why do you make it sound as if a site like Marktplaats is so unique? Never heard of Ebay?

  212. cas

    je vergeet klagen over het gebrek aan hagelslag in frankrijk. Echtwaar wtf. ENG: you’re forgetting about our complains towards the French for not selling Hagelslag (its a Dutch thing) in their intermarches, seriously wtf

    • krullevaar

      Or complaining in general…Nothing is ever good enough; it’s either too hot or too cold, too dry or too wet, too busy or not busy enough, and so on (haha, look at me complaining about complaining). Also hagelslag is very lekker and should be globally obtainable, we always bring our own if we go abroad :D. Maybe that’s also a Dutch thing, to bring all our Dutchie foods with us because imagine being on vacation and not be able to eat drop or karnemelk. Horrifying.

  213. Kat

    snack bar!! bittergarnituur. stroopwafels. oude kaas. klompen

  214. Joy

    Where are the Sprinkle Sandwiches? They are very popular with all the Dutch I know, especially my husband.

    • Joy

      Oh, I see it’s #3. Didn’t know the Dutch name for it. Shame on me.

  215. Pete

    A Dutch trait not yet mentioned is Guideland Syndrome. Apparently, Americans, in particular, seem to see this as THE top irritant of all things Dutch: American senior government officials foremostly.

    Most Dutch (inside as well as outside of government) have the unshakable conviction that the rest of the world should do everything the way they do – and look exactly like their country does. Theirs, after all, is the model society to be emulated (in the sense of ‘must needs’, rather, than ‘ought to’) all over the face of the planet – the Dutch approach the norm, naturally. And this will usually be propagated with religious zeal.

    In other words: since the Dutch know best, of course, what the globe REALLY should look like, All others should simply just follow the earth’s flag bearers and their lightning examples – habitually marching way ahead of everybody else. Or so they like to think.

    Sometimes this goes horribly wrong. One name in connection with (Dutch) government and very much unfavourable foreign views (American predominantly): Jan Pronk.

    Enough said…

    • Karel

      I can see your point. But nothing bad is intended; the Dutch just really don’t understand why you would not want to fix things and make it right (read: do it the way the Dutch do it). I am living in a country that is Western, but it feels like a Third World Country, just because they are so unorganized. But hey… that’s what they like!

      The funny thing is, that the Dutch would have exactly this complaint about the Americans, Pete. For instance, why go into a country with an army, take over/befriend the (new) government and impose the American way on that country? Democracy and capitalism is nice … if that is really what you want. Some people however are very happy living in countries that take on a different model. Look at Eastern Germans longing back for the good old communist times, Russians who love having a ‘strong’ leader and the Swedes who just like paying tons of taxes to keep everyone equal and happy. Most people I know would not see America as a lighting example, while most Americans think they are (and that the rest of the world is just jealous, haha).

    • tim

      There is nothing wrong with Jan Pronk. The man dedicated his life to support refugees. Maybe he annoyed some Americans while doing that. But why should the opinion of Americans be of any importance? Especially when it comes to such a sensitive subject.
      Enough said…

  216. Yvonne

    Applestroop and salted licorice and Sambal Ulek and Gouda and “kickerbilije”

  217. Hans Persoon

    As an American born of Dutch immigrant parents, I’ve come to understand some of the cultural aspects of Dutch people mentioned so far in this blog. Some of the unusual food recipes that they have I believe were developed out of necessity during the Nazi occupation of WWII when food stuffs were severely rationed or unavailable. The Dutch had to be very conservative with what they had because the Nazis confiscated the good stuff for themselves. I have to give them credit for this enabling them to survive. This aspect of their culture still remains strong in their history today.

  218. Naomi Wallace

    Seems to be missing “alstublieft” and stroopwafels.

  219. Monique

    Waiting for the why Dutch women hack off their long blond hair into a short spiky do and dye it red after a certain age.

    • Charlotte

      I second this, though it appears to be a regional occurrence. You don’t see it much in the ‘Randstad’, but certainly when you travel more in-land. The more rural the area, the more you will spot middle-aged women sporting spiky, short hair dyed a god-awful shade of véry unnatural looking ‘copper’ red.
      Dying it bleach blonde seems to happen more in the cities.

  220. Ovi

    Hej! I love your blog, and today I did the crazy thing of reading it, through in it’s entirety, from the first, to last post, and at times there seemed to be something odd going on with the numbering, if I remember correctly, two different posts are both labelled as “9” (one on tulips, the other on queensday), same goes for “31” (one on keeping it real, the other on feeding licorice to strangers) and “32” (one on borrels, the other on names), and also, there is no “30”, not sure if anybody brought that up in the comments before, just wanted to let you know

    • Stuff Dutch People Like

      Thanks – that’s dedication!!! I totally forgot about the borrel post. Thanks for reminding me! (Oh and yes, I have to get around to fixing the wonky numbers).

  221. rufus steenbok

    don’t forget polo shirts! and candles and pillows from the latest interior design trends. 🙂 and of course being clean and cleaning windows and having everything tidy and organised – EXCEPT those precious years at university when the opposite applies in an all out competition to be the dirtiest.

  222. Jillian

    You should DEFINITELY add the Albert Hein, HEMA, pancakes and THICK dutch syrup.

  223. Sally

    What about karnemelk and kaas brootjes?

    Also goedkoop & korting should get an honorable mention. The Dutch love to save money!!!

  224. niemantsverdriet

    Don’t forget Oliebollen! (a version of which are sold as “Dutchies” at Tim Hortons etc). They’re a new years tradition!
    Also, when discussing Drops (Dropjes) you failed to mention that there is also a triple zoute, or triple salted drop, for the diehard fans! Probably contains a weeks worth of salt in one delicious little drop!

  225. Jan

    Traveled all over the world, never saw ‘Drop’, so its very famous. And when i offer someone a ‘dropje’ probably he/she spit it out because it don’t taste well, hard for me to see that, lol.

  226. Jack

    Coffee is missing on this list! 😉 In the Netherlands, coffee is everywhere and the dutch coffee is very tasty!

  227. Erik

    “broodje kroket”, oliebollen, satésaus, “gevulde koeken” and yes …. drop is a must on this list. LEKKER !!!

  228. loise

    Wow, dit is echt raar om te lezen, maar het is allemaal waar (translation, wow this is really strange to read, but almost all the things are true) I’m from the Netherlands, but I think one thing that you forgot to put on your list is, that we always, twice a day, eat bread, I search another list about us, and I was wondered that there was bread on it, so if people from other countries don’t eat bread twice a day I think you should put it in there. I hope you can understand my english (my english is better than my frensh and my german)

  229. Petrus Wognum

    Have lived away from the Netherlands for over 40 years and it was not until I read “The Undutchables” and came to this web site that I realised I was not socially inept, rude and had satanic tastebuds, but rather that I am merely Dutch and tell it like it is over a borrel!

    Can’t wait for updates – lots of stuff needs to be added, especially the fact that we filter our coffee… then pour the pot back into the filter a second time to ensure it’s strong enough (or is it because we are even tighter than the Scots and want to get every last drop of juice out of them beans?)

    Keep up the brilliant work!

  230. Barry

    What about that the government is like the master of finding tax on anything Dutch people can enjoy, and once they tax that . The Dutch are scr#wed.

    Barry who is Dutch but lives in North Carolina since 2012.

  231. Truus Blom

    Hollandse zuinigheid
    Bakkie doen
    Broodje kaas

  232. Rose

    Love this, oh boy am I dutch grinn grinn.
    Missed the pannekoeken in the list very dutch and we eat them for dinner.

  233. manish

    ‘korting’ en ‘aanbieding’ should be up there. how did u miss that?!

  234. Carla Wiersema (@wmobi)

    I am in love with this blog. Glad the Dutch culture was preserved by my dad, aunts, and uncles after they moved to Canada in the 50’s.

    Signed, A Canadian Dutch woman – to which everything posted on this blog is true.

  235. Imamovic M.

    Text massaging while biking :)) it should be a Olympic sport !!!!!
    Dinner at 18.00…..
    Driving on left side for miles, not letting anybody passed…..
    Oh yes, this one beat it all: camping (caravan)

  236. Jasper Mooren

    A Brilliant list!!! Sometimes I couldn’t stop laughing how for me (yep, I’m Dutch) totally normal things are written down as the most absurd possible thing. Only one add: some stuff is written down as Dutch while it’s in fact just Amsterdam, like the curtain-less windows, never saw one outside of Amsterdam. The most funny one was the cold sinks. I’ve got one with warm water, but I never use it, so I just think it’s just in our blood :).

  237. indra

    What about saying it’ll be good weather when someone sneezes thrice in a row?

  238. ferryswart

    When’s the next blog item coming? I’m keeping an eye out every day. Can’t wait for the next hilarious blog about us dutchies.

  239. enerjuice

    Ik mis appelstroop! Niet uit te leggen aan buitenlanders,zwart en zoet en dan op brood. Wel iets wat kinderen veel eten en alleen wordt gegeten in NL

  240. zanarhi

    Just found this blog today. A wonderful way to look at our culture through outside glasses, and realising how things you don’t even think about can be seen by someone else. I don’t even know why I would want to wash my hands with warm water, that just seems odd 😉

  241. Susan

    Hello I’ve been reading here loving reading about my Dutchness 🙂 I am Dutch by birth American citizen living in Canada 😀 Last time I visited Holland I was reminded of how people walking their dogs don’t clean the dog poops . Maybe you already mentioned it (I didn’t find it) . I love this site. My hubby is also Dutch so now we can understand ourselves and each other better 🙂

  242. Rona

    It’s fun, being Dutch, to read about yourself and suddenly understanding. I have a lot of German friends, but just how ‘different’ we are, we first found out on a German birthday party, when everybody was looking at us as if we were completely insane and we didn’t know what we were doing wrong… until someone asked us why on earth we were congratulating everybody in the room and not just the one who’s birthday it was 🙂 “Congrats with your neighbour” “Congrats with your colleague” “Congrats with your sister”… They just thought we had lost it completely.

  243. Alejandro

    as someone who’s recently moved here…

    a Dutchman here explained to me when i asked him how the extreme amount of tolerance in this country came to be:

    we’re actually quite intolerant. but we also really don’t care about what other people do. we go home after work and dont give a damn whats going on outside our home

  244. lexie

    Loved your insurance post. You should visit a southern city for carneval in february!
    How about: palm pasen, drie-koningen, de bijenkorf, hema, bloemencorso, keukenhof, scheveningen, zandvoort, efteling, melkunie etc.etc.

  245. Theodore Bon

    Dutch people also like Bier, being tolerant, rustig, de markt, voetbol, sailing (boating), anything oranje.

  246. Alejandro van der Waterpatat

    How about juices…they have like a myriad! Every possible combination

  247. Kecia Van Mechelen

    We have a room full of Dutch people that would like to add the following to the list:

    Rain-all of the time!
    Mayonaise on everything
    Meals from the “wall at train station”
    craziest soccer fans
    Shirts with American words that make no sense at all!
    no ice in drinks
    singing dirty songs

  248. Barb Meinema

    I am in the US, but cannot get this site to display all of the page. I am going to try to order using the other tab. Just thought you might like to know so you can look into it. In case this makes a difference, I use Google Chrome for my browser.

    Hup, hup, Holland

  249. john Fillmore

    They also like parking their rubbish bikes anywhere, preferably in the way. Yes, make your bike an obstacle!!

  250. Matthew

    poffertjes, must add poffertjes! And Kaas would be good as well

  251. Michel Poiccard

    Saving money…seems to be one of the national pass-times here

  252. Marion

    Where is the kroket (uit de muur), die moet er wel in. Neerlands meest gegeten hartige hap. 🙂

  253. James

    I’m a huge Dutch music fan and I’ve noticed there are tons of songs about ‘de zomer’. About 1 in every 3 Dutch songs has some reference to ‘de zomer’ or line with it in it. Is this a Dutch thing? Or a thing Dutch people like?? haha

  254. Sandra

    Pepernoten, tiny one hand sinks, 90 degree modern sofas, perpetually orange tan throughout the year…

  255. Ellert van der Velden

    I can be mistaken, but there is no cheese (kaas) on this list. If there is one thing we Dutch peeps like (besides Stroopwafels, Drop and Hagelslag), then it’s cheese.

  256. Jacqueline Creighton

    Duur! Iedere Hollander kan bijna geen gesprek ondergaan zonder de kwestie van hoeveel iets kost!

  257. Ik hou van Holland | Yamina Mens

    […] die tijd blijf ik lekker op deze blog lezen, Stuff Dutch People Like. Een vrouw uit Canada heeft een enorme lijst gemaakt met alle (vreemde) gewoontes van Nederland en […]

  258. Erik

    Number 60 is soso. But we`ve a party for animals in the parliament. Sure no country has that 🙂

  259. Henk S

    You have forgotten our jokes. About everything. No matters if it is racist, or about Belgiums, or sex, or black or white. All in the catagory “cabaret”.

  260. Piet de Neef

    Dear Colleen,

    Earlier today I did a web search to find out what the difference is between hagelslag and hagel and after hitting “enter” I was surprised to see your website at the top of the list.
    I have read a number of your articles on what the Dutch like (a lot of which is “recognisable”) and I will certainly pass on a few suggestions and comments, starting with no. 42: Swearing with diseases.
    It is a fact that more than any “tribe” in the world, the Dutch are quite adept at wishing each other all sorts of illnesses. However there are a few ”anomalies” in your narrative.
    To begin with, I can hardly imagine that the cyclist you encountered suggested that you had syphilis. Admittedly this happened in Amsterdam whereas I grew up in Rotterdam (as you have no doubt learnt in the meantime, Holland is probably the only country in the world where football fans refer to a major city by the call sign i.e. 020 and 010 respectively) so there may be subtle differences in the lingo but I assume the guy actually said “krijg de tyfus” meaning as much as “get or contract typhoid”.
    In the same vein he could have said: “krijg de tering, de kanker, de pleuris, de klere (slang for cholera), and so on. “Sterf aan de kanker” doesn’t sound right either for the simple reason that the dying is a consequence of the contraction the illness.
    Klootzak is more or less “akin” to “dickhead” (although not exactly the same part of the anatomy). I have never heard anyone use the word “pisvlek” but that could be typically Amsterdamish.
    I am surprise that you did not pick up on the exact meaning of “godverdomme”. At least English speaking people have the savvy to ask the good lord to damn you or it.
    The Dutch ask him to damn themselves: god damn me.
    One item you could use in future is the plethora of weird sayings the Dutch use such as:
    De kat uit de boom kijken / To look the cat out of the tree / to bide your time

    Iemand met een kluitje in het riet sturen / To send somebody into the reeds with a clump / to fob someone off

    Iemand van het kastje naar de muur sturen / To send someone from the cupboard to the wall / to send someone on a fool’s errand

    Dan komt de aap uit de mouw / Then comes the monkey out of the sleeve / ah, now we learn the truth

    Spijkers op laag water zoeken / Looking for nails on low water / being an old nag; always commenting on something

    And many, many more.
    Finally, are you aware that Dutch is not a language but a speech defect?
    For the record, I was born in England in 1943, my mother was English, my father Dutch. At the end of the war my mother and I moved to Rotterdam where we lived in with my Dutch grandmother for years as she still had a roof over her head in post war Rotterdam (my dad was in the merchant navy). At the time my mother did not speak Dutch and my grandmother didn’t speak English so as a 2½ year old toddler I learnt 2 languages at the same time.
    Kind regards
    Piet de Neef

  261. Mr Jingles

    What about, having no class at all; bad taste in clothing; no taste in food; overly house-proud; spend too much time with their families,; having shallow friendships (from highschool only); going to the supermarket every day; stating the obvious; expressing opinion as fact…..and on and on

  262. J.

    Bathing before showering is also very Dutch. Bathing in your own dirt. Haha. Im Dutch but my roots are not from the netherlands and most countries think bathing before showering is the most disgusting and uncivilized thing ever. Especially going in after someone else…

  263. des

    Jumping into the north sea at midday on 1st January

  264. john

    Some things are true, many others not.

    Absolutely not true:

    5, 8, 14, 17, 18, 22, 23, 24, 27, 38, 40, 44, 46, 50, 59 and 60. It’s pure BS! Who/what give you the idea that your list is somewhat right? Really a very stupid summary of things that are far from the truth! And many things are not on the list that should be there.

    I think the list of stuff that British like, is much longer and much more weird.

  265. Jeffrey de Wit

    Might be just me, but for some reason I can’t vieuw the last 3 numbers (60/61/62) Can some one verify that or hopefully even fix it. Thanks


  266. Shannon

    Albert Heijn should be here… it’s like the Dutch Disneyland.

  267. Maarten

    Number 21 is missing: Clicking it will result in a 404.

  268. Sandie

    Symmetrical window displays – we noticed on our holiday that you have to have plants or vases in the (curtain-less) windows in twos, never just one in the middle!

  269. Betty Davison

    You may have not participated yet or have not been invited to it yet….but how about that 12 1/2 year anniversary celebration??? what about Frikandel and Bitterballs in the vending machine…..just makes my mouth water thinking about it.

  270. Kim

    I am first gen Dutch and love your stories. You need to include Spek. Can’t find it anymore in the US. My niece’s husband was in Holland recently and we had him being back Spek. He only brought back two bags and we complained that he should have brought a case!

  271. Evelyn van der Harst

    Love, love, love…….1. croquetten and bitterbollen met Zaanse mosterd , 2. uitsmijters(fried eggs on top of shaved ham on top of a buttered fresh slice of bread, with a sliced gherkin on the side), 3. hagel…chocolate and fruchten, and 4. Zoute Bollen( cheesy baked round dome like biscuits to have with your borrelltje…..my Opa always had it with his borrelltje of sherry or vermouth!!!!…came in cylindrical gold canister……do they still exist?????????….they were yummy!)

  272. Evelyn van der Harst

    PS…. also..5. Bischuit met boter and kaas ???❤

  273. mattijs

    OMG!!! It’s nothing less then hilarious to read this, being Dutch. All the things we perceive as normal, all the things we do not give a second thought doing it. We simply don’t realize it’s such culturally bound behaviour, totally strange to foreigners. And yet we are all so proud of it. I can’t imagine living without “Borrels”, “Kings Day”, “stroopwafels” etc. And I’m sure a lot of those things are to be jealous of being non-Dutch.

    Explained beautifully, although sometimes a bit generalizing, but heck… That makes it even more funny!


Leave a Reply to Chris Winter Cancel Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.