10 Things the Dutch do Different from the Rest of Europe

There are many strange Dutch traditions and habits that you will discover when you move to The Netherlands.  Well, that is, strange to yourself, not to the Dutch.

10 “Weird” things the Dutch do:

  1. Birthday Celebrations; is done by sitting in a circle enjoying a piece of cake and drinking coffee. If you think a birthday celebration can only be considered a party when the music is loud, the police were called because of the noise, and someone passed out in the corner, then you will have to rethink.
  2. Dress up in Orange; to celebrate the Kings birthday, or for that matter, to celebrate everything else, too. Orange is the official colour of the royal family.
  3. Know your Queuing rules; or lack thereof. There are no rules regarding queuing in The Netherlands.  It comes down to everyone for oneself, man, woman and child.  No winners, only survivors.
  4. Wait for the waiter; can be a big mistake. They apparently have lots to do and will do it all before finding time to serve you.
  5. Eat Chocolate for Breakfast; any kind of chocolate on bread, chocolate paste, sprinkles or shavings, just as long as it is chocolate.
  6. And then, eat very salty liquorice; a very strange contrast, loving extreme sweet stuff, and extreme salty stuff.
  7. Eat Mayonnaise on Fries; and lots of mayonnaise. If you do not eat your fries drenched in mayonnaise, you will be seen as an oddity.  Mayonnaise is well-loved in The Netherlands and is considered to be its own food group.
  8. Rokjesdag; is the official sign that spring is in the air. The Dutch ladies will start wearing short skirts again.  It might also be the day a lot of guys have encounters with lamp posts.
  9. Cycling; you can cycle anywhere and everywhere. You do not need to wear a helmet; you might be taken for being a tad bit strange if you do wear a helmet.  The Dutch can even multitask while riding a bicycle, sending a text message or making a phone call. You can find out more about cycling in Netherlands here
  10. The Netherlands is not below sea level; the sea is above Dutch level, and they mastered the sea. Most people living in The Netherlands do not even think about the fact that certain parts of their country are surrounded by lots of water.

Every country has its own habits and cultural things they do that will always seem strange and even weird to people from another country and culture.  Being an expat in any country means that you are now part of that country and you should embrace all those funny little habits and weirdness.