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Are the Dutch really flexible and direct?
For those living in the Netherlands, we take a look at Dutch attitudes to etiquette, work, family life, and time management to ease integration.
How we look upon and judge the lifestyle and workplace of other cultures depends on how we view the world from our own cultural background. The Netherlands is a small country with a limited internal market, consequently the Dutch look across their borders for markets. They started out as worldwide maritime traders in the 16th century and today they are still significant players in the global economy. The Netherlands is often referred to as Holland, but Holland is actually only the northwestern part of the country.
Everyday life is structured down to the smallest detail.
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Private life and work are carefully planned and nothing is left to the unexpected. Ad hoc changes are not appreciated. The Netherlands is a democracy with a tolerant, open society.
Although up to 40 percent of the Dutch say they have no religion, Calvinism still strongly influences their values and beliefs. This Protestant Christian religion, introduced in the 16th century, dictates individual responsibility for moral salvage from the sinful world through introspection, total honesty, soberness, rejection of pleasure and the enjoyment of wealth.
Therefore, extremes are absent in society: political extremes, extreme emotions, extreme richness or extravagant lifestyles.
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Some money may be spent for pleasure, but frequent vacations abroad, comfortable houses and safe cars are preferred above luxury items. The Dutch are mistakenly called stingy. But in reality they simply hate to waste everything from food to money. Maybe it is this virtue that made this small country an economic world power. The Netherlands has an egalitarian society. Status and respect are obtained through study and work and not through family ties or old age.
Every person is equal and should be treated accordingly, which may be difficult for foreigners to understand. As top manager in Rio, I barely spoke to my lower personnel. I was used to giving orders and being served. I am now used to making my own photocopies and coffee. Once you know the rules here it is very pleasant and productive to work in such an open society.
Many Americans think the Dutch way of working is time-consuming as no one can be given a quick order without explaining why. In order to deliver good work, the Dutch like to consider the risks and consequences of everything they do, well in advance.
They want to have detailed information. In the case something does go wrong, the Dutch individual will take full responsibility for the consequences. In the case of success, of course, they will take the full credit. The Dutch work hard in their to hour week. This may seem so because in most countries, the client has a preferential position above the sales person and therefore in that particular situation, a higher status.
In the Netherlands, however, goods and services are exchanged on an equal basis. Sales persons feel free to openly disagree and criticise their clients. The Dutch are famous in the Western world for the many hours a week they spend in meetings. Decision-making processes are complex. Everyone involved needs to be heard.
In the end a compromise will be reached in which every one agrees. Once agreed upon the work can progress steadily. Therefore, changes are usually lengthy processes. The contrary takes place when Dutch businessmen and women travel. They usually have the individual authority to close deals on the spot without consulting the home office.
The Dutch directness in the communication with foreigners regularly causes misunderstandings. Unable to make things understood through context and unable to read context, the Dutch express themselves verbally. They speak in a friendly tone in rather short, clear, sober sentences lacking any form of politeness or courtesy.
The Dutch are distrustful of very polite conversations, afraid that an unpleasant message may be hidden which they are unable to detect.
Being very nice may awaken the suspicion that one is in need of a special favour. Politeness may also cause irritation as it is considered a waste of time. The Dutch expect others to be open and direct like them. They will tell you what they think of you and criticise your work indifferent of your status if you are a superior or a subordinate.
In some cases, they expect you to be honest and direct in return. If you detect mistakes in their work and you do not inform them about these mistakes, they might get disappointed with you. The Dutch do not necessarily feel ashamed when you inform them of a mistake, and can appreciate that you give them the opportunity to correct and thus improve themselves.
The Dutch feel that in the end, one learns from his mistakes.
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The Dutch love time off to spend with their partner, kids and friends, for vacation or to study. Therefore they will prefer to reduce working hours instead of having an increase in salary. Many wealthy merchants had a new house built along these canals. The architecture of the first republic in Northern Europe was marked by sobriety and restraint, and was meant to reflect democratic values by quoting extensively from classical antiquity.
In general, architecture in the Low Countriesboth in the Counter-Reformation -influenced south and Protestant -dominated north, remained strongly invested in northern Italian Renaissance and Mannerist forms that predated the Roman High Baroque style of Borromini and Bernini. Instead, the more austere form practiced in the Dutch Republic was well suited to major building patterns: palaces for the House of Orange and new civic buildings, uninfluenced by the Counter-Reformation style that made some headway in Antwerp.
At the end of the 19th century there was a remarkable neo-gothic stream or Gothic Revival both in church and in public architecture, notably by the Roman Catholic Pierre Cuyperswho was inspired by the Frenchman Viollet le Duc. The Amsterdam Rijksmuseum - and Amsterdam Centraal Station - belong to his main buildings. During the 20th century Dutch architects played a leading role in the development of modern architecture.
Out of the early 20th century rationalist architecture of Berlagearchitect of the Beurs van Berlagethree separate groups developed during the s, each with their own view on which direction modern architecture should take.
Expressionist architects like M. Kramer in Amsterdam See Amsterdam School.
A third group came out of the De Stijl movement, among them J. P Oud and Gerrit Rietveld. Both architects later built in a functionalist style. During the '50s and '60s a new generation of architects like Aldo van EyckJ. With him, formed a new generation of Dutch architects working in a modernist tradition. The Dutch have a distinct comic book tradition as well. Although there is an abundance of Flemish, Franco-Belgianand American comics, they also created their own.
Bumble created by Marten Toonder. The nations love of football also translated into comics, like Roel Dijkstra and F. Children's comic book series Miffy Dutch: Nijntje by Dick Bruna has been published in over 50 languages,  and predates the similarly drawn Hello Kitty by over ten years.
The Netherlands has multiple musical traditions, ranging from folk and dance to classical music and ballet. Traditional Dutch music is a genre known as " Levenslied ", meaning Song of lifeto an extent comparable to a French Chanson or a German Schlager. These songs typically have a simple melody and rhythm, and a straightforward structure of couplets and refrains. Themes can be light, but are often sentimental and include lovedeath and loneliness.
Traditional musical instruments such as the accordion and the barrel organ are a staple of levenslied music, though in recent years many artists also use synthesizers and guitars. More than most other non-English speaking European countries, the Netherlands has remained closely in tune with American and British trends since the s. Contemporary Dutch rock and pop music Nederpop originated in the s, heavily influenced by popular music from the U.
In the s and s, the lyrics were mostly in English, and some tracks were instrumental. As of the s, more and more pop musicians started working in the Dutch language, partly inspired by the huge success of the band Doe Maar.
Today Dutch rock and pop music thrives in both languages, with some artists recording in both. Early s Dutch and Belgian house music came together in Eurodance project 2 Unlimited.
Selling 18 million records,  the two singers in the band are the most successful Dutch music artists to this day. Tracks like " Get Ready for This " are still popular themes of U. In the mid s Dutch language rap and hip hop Nederhop also came to fruition and has become popular in the Netherlands and Belgium. In the 21st century, artists with North African, Caribbean and Middle Eastern origins have profoundly influenced this genre.
Since the s Dutch electronic dance music EDM conquered the world in many forms, from trancetechno and gabber to hardstyle.
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The Amsterdam dance event ADE is the world's leading electronic music conference and the biggest club festival for the many electronic subgenres on the planet. In classical music Jan Sweelinck ranks as the Netherlands' most famous composer, with Louis Andriessen amongst the best known living Dutch classical composers. The latter, together with his Johann Strauss Orchestra, has taken classical and waltz music on worldwide concert tours, the size and revenue of which are otherwise only seen from the world's biggest rock and pop music acts.
Aruba and the five main islands of the Netherlands Antilles are part of the Lesser Antilles island chain. Their music is a mixture of nativeAfrican and Dutch elements, and is closely connected with trends from neighboring islands like BarbadosMartiniqueTrinidad and Tobago and Guadeloupeas well as the mainland former Dutch possession of Surinamewhich has exported kaseko music to great success on the islands.
The Dutch also have their own distinct version of cabaretwith overarching themes and aimed at provoking thought, and sometimes sentiment, as well as laughs.
Film director Theo van Gogh achieved international notoriety in when he was murdered in the streets of Amsterdam. The Netherlands has a well developed radio and television market, with both multiple commercial and non-commercial broadcasters.
Imported TV programmes, as well as interviews with responses in a foreign language, are virtually always shown with the original sound, and subtitled.
The only exception are shows for children. TV exports from the Netherlands mostly take the form of specific formats and franchises, most notably through internationally active TV production conglomerate Endemolfounded by Dutch media tycoons John de Mol and Joop van den Ende. Headquartered in AmsterdamEndemol has around 90 companies in over 30 countries. Endemol and its subsidiaries create and run reality, talent, and game show franchises worldwide, including Big BrotherDeal or No Deal1 vs.
Two of the biggest annual Dutch radio events are 3FM Serious Request and the Top - both multi-day round-the-clock national broadcasting events in the month of December, supported by other media. They both have over half of the population of the Netherlands listening to the broadcasts each year.
Serious Request is a Red Cross fundraiser, held the week before Christmas on pop music station 3FMand has grown to become an international franchise adopted by eight other countries. The Top is an integral broadcast of the 2, most popular songs of all time on station Radio 2  from noon December 25 Christmas Day through midnight of New Year's Eve. The Netherlands is densely populated and just under one-third of its territory lies below sea level and has to be defended from nature.
This has led to a rational and collective approach to spatial planningand particularly to water management. The Dutch also minimise the ostentatious display of status and wealth differences, and have a low power distance.
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A prime traditional festivity in the Netherlands is Sint Nicolaas or Sinterklaas. It is celebrated on the evening before Sinterklaas' birthday on December 5, especially in families with little children. Sinterklaas has a companion known as Zwarte Pietwhich in recent years has come under scrutiny in light of accusations of racist caricatures.
In the Netherlands, gift-bringing at Christmas has in recent decades gained some popularity too, although Sinterklaas is much more popular. The national holiday is celebrated on 27 April with King's Day Koningsdag in honour of the King's birthday. The day is moved up to Saturday if it would otherwise happen on a Sunday. The day is known for its nationwide vrijmarkt "free market"at which many Dutch sell their secondhand items. It is also an opportunity for "orange madness" or oranjegektefor the national colour, when the normally strait-laced Dutch let down their hair,  often dyed orange for the occasion.
World Animal Day has been observed since primarily by the children of the Netherlands. It is as well known as Mother's and Father's Day. A widespread tradition is that of serving beschuit met muisjes when people come to visit a new-born baby and its mother. Beschuit is a typical Dutch type of biscuit, muisjes are sugared anise seeds. Blue muisjes are used for a baby boy, and pink muisjes are used for a baby girl.
More regional traditions include the huge Easter Fires or celebrating Sint Maarten on the evening of November 11 when children go door to door with paper lanterns and candles, and sing songs in return for a treat.
This holiday is celebrated in some parts of GroningenNorth Holland and the southern and middle part of Limburg and to a lesser extent in South Holland and Zeeland. This celebration marks the beginning of the dark period before Christmas and the long days of winter.
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In the past, home-made lanterns were used, made from a hollowed out sugar beet. Dutch cuisine is characterized by its somewhat limited diversity; however, it varies greatly from region to region. The southern regions of the Netherlands for example share dishes with Flanders and vice versa.
The Southern Dutch cuisine is the only Dutch culinary region which developed an haute cuisineas it is influenced by both German cuisine and French cuisineand it forms the base of most traditional Dutch restaurants. Dutch food is traditionally characterized by the high consumption of vegetables when compared to the consumption of meat.
Dairy products are also eaten to great extent, Dutch cheeses are world-renowned with famous cheeses such as GoudaEdam and Leiden.
Dutch pastry is extremely rich and is eaten in great quantities. When it comes to alcoholic beverages wine has long been absent in Dutch cuisine but this is changing during the last decades ; traditionally there are many brands of beer and strong alcoholic spirits such as jenever and brandewijn. The Dutch have all sorts of pastry and cookies the word " cookie " is in fact derived from Dutchmany of them filled with marzipan, almond and chocolate.
We all know how the Dutch love efficiency; their dating ways are no different. Both the men and women won't appreciate it if you're playing games with them. If you're not interested, that's fine but say so, don't lead someone on or disappear into thin air. It . If you, as an expat woman, turn up for your date, as is normal in most countries, in a nice outfit, stylishly cut shoes, makeup and styled hair, your Dutch date will have a minor heart attack. He is likely to ask you what that stuff is on your face, and if you .
A truly huge amount of different pies and cakes can be found, most notably in the southern provinces, especially the so-called Limburgish vlaai. Football is the most popular sport in the Netherlands. Another almost national sport is speedskating.
It is common for Northern Dutch children to learn how to skate at an early age. Long distance skating and all-round tournaments are the most popular and most successful areas for the Dutch. A typical Dutch sport is " korfball ", a mixed sport played by girls and boys. It's invented in the Netherlands, but now it's also played in countries such as Belgium, Germany and Japan.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Mythology and folklore. Mythology folklore. Music and performing arts. Television Cinema. World Heritage Sites.
Flag Coat of arms. Economy Recycling Taxation Transport. Main articles: Languages of the Netherlands and Dutch dialects. Roman Catholicism Protestant Church in the Netherlands 8. Other Christian denominations 4. Islam 5. Hinduism and Buddhism 2. Main article: Religion in the Netherlands. Main article: Dutch art. Main article: Architecture of the Netherlands.
See also: Dutch Baroque architecture. Main article: Dutch literature.
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Eduard Douwes Dekker, also known as Multatuli. Main article: Dutch comics. Main article: Cinema of the Netherlands. Main article: Dutch cuisine. Stroopwafels syrup waffles are a treat consisting of waffles with caramel-like syrup filling in the middle.
Poffertjes are made in a special, so-called, poffertjespan. The Gouda cheese market. Bitterballen are usually served with mustard. Main article: Sport in the Netherlands. Retrieved 2 August God in Nederland Ten Have. Retrieved 3 April