10 Fun Cultural Things that are Typically Dutch

Published on 13 November 2018 at 09:43

Great that you are planning on moving to The Netherlands!
The Netherlands is a great place to live and the people are wonderful once you get to know them.  
If you have ever been to the Netherlands you might have discovered that the Dutch can be very rational.  

They do not talk that and share much about their feelings or emotions.  
To give you a sneek peak about the Dutch people and being apart of their society, we created  this list.

1. You do not have to tip at a restaurant - In the Netherlands the waiter and waitresses get a good salary and are not dependent on tips.  After dining, if the service is really good it is usual to leave a bit of change for the one serving you, but this is usually just a small amount.

2. Greeting – If you meet someone for the first time, you can either greet them by shaking their hand. For those who You considers good or long term friends, you can greet them by 3-point kiss - that’s cheek-to-cheek-to-cheek.  Greeting your neighbor or a stranger walking by is also but normal here in The Netherlands. You can say,
Hoi (Hi), Hallo (Hello) or Goedemorgen (Goodmorning), Goeiemiddag (Good afternoon) or Goeienavond (Good evening) depends on the time. When leaving the home of the Dutch, you can say Doei (goodbye) or Tot ziens (see you later).

3. Agendas, Appointments and FlowersThe Dutch love their agenda.  If you want to plan a business or social meeting, it is normal that you plan this beforehand.  It is not usual  to just drop by for a friendly or business visit without an appointment - even if you are family.
Giving flowers is also a normal thing to do. 
You can give a 3euros flower bouquet from the supermarket to a birthday celebrant as a gift and that will be wholeheartedly appreciated - they really believe in the phrase "its the thought that counts". Giving flowers can also mean a lesser romantic notion compared to other cultures. Dutch people gives flowers in every occassion you can think of or even when there is no occasion at all.

4. Bicycles – The dutch love their bikes. They use their bikes to travel within the city. Almere  is specially very good and safe bicycle tracks.  Children will start to cycle at a young ages and adults will also continue using the bicycle even load them with seats for the children and grocery bags.

5. Happy Birthday – when the Dutch have their birthday they will share a cake or another goodie (traktatie) in their workplace. Usually they celebrate their birthday just with family and close friends. When you are invited, don’t be surprised if you see all the chairs in a circle.  Also they will say happy birthday or Gefeliciteerd not only to the one who is having the birthday but to everyone in the room.

6. Dress up in orange Whenever the Dutch celebrate a nationalistic celebration, everyone dresses in orange.  This happens on Kings Day (april 27th) but also when the Dutch are playing soccer at the European Cup or World Cup series.

7. Fries with mayonnaise – The dutch love fried food and especially fries. Don’t be surprised if you order fries that they will be a large blob of mayonnaise on it.  Most of the dutch people eat mayonnaise on their fries.

8. Queuing - When getting into a train or bus there are no rules at all. Don’t be surprised if you get pushed around.  The Dutch don’t have rules or polite ways to enter, they just all try to get in at the same time... this is the situation in public transportation use. In a case of waiting your turn for buying something in the market or waiting to be assisted in any customer assisting situations - the Dutch people has a good grip of discipline into waiting for their turn. They respect the people who comes there first - hence, being helped first and the ones who arrived after them has to wait for their turn too.

9. Candy - The dutch are proud of their national food.  One of the most popular candy is salty liquorice.  This is candy only for the brave.  It can be salty and could make you scream in horror.
It's a matter of, it's either You like it or You don't. 

10. Ignore emergency alarms – Every first Monday of the month at noon the national alarm will set off in the whole of Netherlands for a few minutes. The dutch are used to it, and just ignore this alarm.
Read our blog post about the Dutch Emergency alarm here.


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