This is not a romantic love story post, Nope, On serious note , I found myself to be lucky to find & marry a wonderful Dutch guy, & here I share with you my impressions and things I found to be special and so typically Dutch .
When you are in an interracial marriage, habits and your partner’s interests are the top things you notice. Either it’s totally crazy, out of this world , weird, or annoying but then it shows a lot of their personality.
Tell you frankly, I haven’t got any clue about anything Dutch. We were completely from different cultures. I wouldn’t ever know that Hagelslag ( or Sprinkles) could taste so good on toast after I met my ex-boyfriend , now my husband who is Dutch. Hagelslag is chocolate sprinkles that Dutch spread on their toast.It’s quite a moment to watch how they do it. It’s like a magic routine every time we seat together during breakfast .They spread it on a plain bread with butter or margarine. Their love for Hagelslag can never be taken away from them wherever they are right now. We were living in Kuwait but we have Hagelslag during breakfast, And Yes, I gave my In-Laws a big Thank you for bringing it over here during their visits. It’s totally a Dutch thing. This is a staple on every household and kids form some sort of attachment to it because they love it until they become adults. So Yes, I became a convert on this one and I’m sure my daughter will love it too.
When we had our daughter , we had Beschuit met Muisjes. It’s a tradition in the Netherlands once a baby is born. It’s a crispy biscuit with sugar-coated Anise seeds shared with guests. They come in pink & white for girls & blue & white for boys .I love the uniqueness & everything about it. We never have something like this in Philippines or even in Kuwait.
Who loves potatoes the most?
Dutch people are top-notch on this one. They adore potatoes. It’s like rice for Filipinos. They mashed it, fry it, steam, boiled ,baked it but their favorite is the Patat Friet. Patat Friet is a well-known snack , they are usually served in a paper cone, topped with mayonnaise. Different types of toppings are usually available including knoflook (garlic) sauce, tomato ketchup , frietsaus (a less fattier version of mayo) or the peanut sauce. My husband enjoys this on all occasions.
Dutch people have a serious love affair with their bikes (Fietsen) before they were even engaged or got married. Sounds crazy right? but really, I was dumbfounded when i saw how many bicycles in The Netherlands , let alone Amsterdam itself. It’s HUMONGOUS!
The bicycle culture makes Dutch people stand out. I mean,they don’t just bike to kill time, their lives revolves through it. They have one of the best Public transport system and yet people opt to cycle as their #1 preference of transport.You see mothers with their 3 kids on it with their famous Bakfiets (or cargo bikes) plus bags of groceries, cycling to work, exploring the countryside riding their bikes , and many tourists discover Amsterdam and all through out Holland by bikes. The Netherlands is the most-Bicycle friendly country with about 17 million in population and 20 million bikes! Picture that !
An average Dutch rides his bike 2.5km per day. I have cycled with my husband for 25km in one day and it was great. Another thing that I find so interesting is that they have a very active lifestyle with it. I have seen even older people riding their bikes. A typical household owns 3 bikes and children learn to cycle at an early age. I find it really inspiring when I see my in-Laws (already in their 70’s) riding their bikes together for errands or so.
In Netherlands, multi-level parking areas for bicycles is normal sight. It is Huuuggeee. You can see tons of bikes parked in the train station and its amazing how people find their bikes with ease.
My husband loves to makes Lists , schedules and has the most organized Calendar. He really does it especially during grocery shopping. Dutch people are really living by the Diary. Birthdays and other important occasions are carefully noted in their calendars. They even have a Birthday calendar.
YES! you read that right, a calendar for Birthdays. They normally hung it in their guest bathroom. It’s totally Dutch thing. Imagine that you are a guest and while you do your business in the loo, you can be amused by the thoughts and sometimes it even comes with photos in it. Sure thing, they have no excuse to forget birthdays !
One important character of Dutch people is punctuality. This is as per my observation from them. They are also very straightforward and direct. They don’t beat around the bush.Some may even misinterpret this as rudeness,but actually, they are just so direct in speaking their opinions.
Have you heard about Papadag? Dutch men are very involved on parenting. I love the fact that my husband has high standards for family time. Dutch people have high priority on family and quality time spent with it is important more than any leisure activities. In Netherlands, fathers have a certain half-day off during the week to take care of the kids. Isn’t is amazing? In an interracial marriage, it’s very important to have compatible values, especially on family. I’m so happy that my daughter has the privilege of being raised with Dutch values to ensure overall well-being as a child. The Netherlands holds the spot of only country ranked among the top five countries in all dimensions of child well-being . You can see the full report Here. It is very heartwarming that Dutch kids stands as the happiest kids on the world. They have wonderful childhoods.
Prior to the negative implication of the term “Going Dutch “,which is economical,thrifty Dutch way of thinking, I don’t see my husband as cheap, being prudent is not bad, He spends money wisely. Dutch people are very helpful & charitable and this is regarded as great national value. The Netherlands ranked #14 in Top 23 Richest countries around the world based on GDP per capita and its amazing how Dutch people are so involved in helping others, either national and international, who lag behind economically. There is a general kind of sense that “everyone should have the same”; equality in the economic sense is almost a value. During the typhoon Haiyan tragedy in The Philippines, Netherlands donated EUR 36 million as aid to the victims.My parents-in laws are living example, they have been helping a poor Polish family .
Lastly , with Dutch , there is always a feeling of Gezelligheid . Don’t ask me to define this in literal meaning because I can’t. Just picture this : Lovely ,beautiful gardens on each houses, with curtain-less wide windows adorned with most simple ornaments that looks directly to sidewalks , people having picnics & strolls in the park, Saturday morning frenzy at the city centre ‘s wet market,gobbling on delicious Dutch treats such as Stroopwafels , those tiny houseboats along the canals in Amsterdam , people walking and talking about the weather , sitting in benches reading the news , and so on. There is total way of cozy conviviality around.
A fun, comfortable way of everything. For foreigners,it could be perceived as slacking off, but really, they just enjoy and take life in a normal way.
I was grabbed at first sight on the experience of all of these. There is this unfamiliar taste that surrounds everywhere. No wonder tourists come back after visits to the Netherlands. They are really more than the windmills,tulips & clogs. There is so much more to learn and to explore with their culture. I have come to embrace Dutch culture, not only because I married one, but because of Dutch’s unique approach in everything . But I excuse myself on liking the Drop & Haring!
At the end of my day, I still groaned and remind myself, “Oh God,my Husband is Dutch !”
Have you’ve had any encounter with Dutch people? or the Netherlands ?Do you have any fascinating impressions about them?
Please feel free to share your views . I would love to hear it.
Thank you for stopping by & reading this…and Doei!