Dutch culture, everything you need to know before visiting HollandBy guest blogger Yuli...
For most of the people out there, Holland means Amsterdam, cheese, coffee shops and the red light district. These elements indeed relate to Holland but they are just a tiny part of what this beautiful country is. Dutch people love to have tourists and they welcome them happily all year long, however, they donít necessarily appreciate the fact that most of the people who travel there, come to visit Amsterdam only. If you ask a typical Dutch person what he feels is the thing that represents Holland the most, he will probably mention the windmills, canals, croquettes and more. Before visiting a foreign country, it is always wise to learn about the culture and the localís traditions. If you are about to travel to the country of orange, here are some thing you need to know:
1. The weather is everything in Holland- Dutch people love to talk about the weather. Almost every conversation in Holland starts about how cold it is, how sunny it is or how someone heard on the news that the weather will get better next week. When the winter time is over the first sun light is starting to shine everybody is out in the streets to celebrate the beginning of spring. The atmosphere changes completely and itís almost like Holland is a wake again and ready to party.
2. Gezellig!- if you would get the chance to hang around Dutch people during your stay, there is no chance you will not hear them say gezellig at least once! The word is similar to cozy in English and it describes everything that is fun, pleasant and nice to do. The Dutch can say it when they enter a nice restaurant, meet friends for a drink, have a glass of wine or just chilling at home. It is important in Holland to appreciate the joys of life and that is why they make sure to create together a lot of gezellig moments.
3. Dutch food - even though the Dutch food is not considered to be that good, (no offense J) there are some Dutch treats that when visiting Holland you simple must try:
Frikandel: the frikandel is kind of a minced- meat hot dog which is extremely delicious and unfortunately not that healthy. You can get it almost every but the most typical place to eat them is at the fast-food chain called: FEBO. The Febo sign is yellow with red letters and you will spot it on almost every street corner.
Herring- unlike the frikandel, herring is extremely healthy fish and some people even say that if you eat it at least once a week, you guarantee yourself a longer life time. You can eat herring in a few ways: just by hand, pick it up from the tail and take it all in few bites, eat it cut with onion on it and pickles on the side or you can eat it inside a bun. Either way, it is very tasty!
Bitterballen- this meat based snack is served with mustard and it goes perfectly together with a cold beer. The bitterballen is crispy on the outside, being wrapped in fried bread crams and in the inside there is a mixture of beef broth, flour and butter for thickening, parsley, salt and pepper. Highly recommended!
4. Cycling- if there is one thing that defines the Dutch people mostly is their cycling behavior. As some of you might know, Holland is an extremely flat country, a factor that explains well why it is so easy to cycle everywhere. Not only it is cheaper and much more environmental friendly, cycling enables the Dutch to eat as many bitterballen as they want without getting fat! All around the country there are cycling path and special traffic lights for bicycles only.
When coming to Amsterdam it is nice to rent a bike and just see the city while riding everywhere. Be careful when riding the bike in the city, there are so many bicycles that you might get into accident if you donít pay attention to the signs.
5. Partying- as mentioned before, the Dutch people love to enjoy life. That is why you can find in Holland some of the best parties and summer festivals in Europe. House music is extremely popular there and famous d.js like John Deegweed, Danny Howells, Sasha and more, come to Amsterdam to mix, at least once a year. Aside from house music you will also be able to find good Techno clubs, jazz cafes and more places where you will dance the night away.
To learn more about the Dutch culture visit the Netherland! And when you do so, make sure to book your hotel in The Netherlands in advance.