A beautiful country in the EuropeanUnion
, with friendly people. They understand German, but German-speakers don't understand them (their language seems to be German, with randomly added funny syllables.)
It's very flat, making it the perfect country to BikeToWork
. Especially since there are bike paths everywhere and fietsen
have right of way over cars.
Parts of the country are under the sea-level (my prayers are with them should the sea-level rise one foot.) There is a plaque at the entrance to Schipbol, the main airport in Amsterdam, showing you how far the sea level is above your head.
Amsterdam has a large collection of Russian constructivist and futurist art, among others.
Hard to tell where the land ends and the water begins. God made the world, but the Dutch made the Netherlands (and did a pretty neat job of it, too). They get extra credit for putting up with that rotten weather.
You're not much if you're not Dutch.
(Seen on a bumper sticker.)
"The Netherlands", which translates to "the Low Countries" (literally, "down lands"), describes the area's geography. It lies at the mouth of the Rhine.
Home to PhilipsElectronics?
, father of the CD player technology.
Holland is a place where nearly everything that the rest of us have been taught will lead to the breakdown of society is legal. They follow the simple ideal, "WhatYouResistPersists."
Therefore the country will probably have a huge crime wave soon and break down into anarchy...
It hasn't happened yet. Their violent crime rate is the lowest in the world...
This is probably just a fluke. Of course, with so many things legal, their society's obviously about to unravel into drive-by shootings, fathers killing hockey coaches, pampered sons running off to join Al Qaeda, etc...
The crime wave's coming - mark my words!...
Just any day now...
The execrable book The Undutchables
attempts to describe Dutch culture, but of course all it does is draw a clear sharp picture of North American Puritanism at its snarling drooling worst. For some reason, racial epithets are okay these days if the targets are European Nordics, and for some reason the low crime rate never gets mentioned.
As a Dutchman, I would like to add some comments most people don't know about the Netherlands:
- New York was discovered by a Dutch man (it used to be called New Amsterdam but was traded with the English for Surinam, a country in South America). Attested by numerous toponyms: Wall St., Bleecker St., The Bowery, Hell's Gate, Canal St., Brooklyn, Harlem, etc.("coleslaw" is dutch; original is "koolsla", so aren;t we sophisticated!)
- The huge cultural contrast between New York and the neighboring states known as 'New England' is an artifact of this
- When people mention the Netherlands and Holland they usually mean the same country. And my favorite province isn't either Holland. -- djbr
- In the eighties the Netherlands (14 million people) were the second largest investor in the USA. (The petroleum giant Shell is a Dutch company.)
- As for crime... You will not be arrested for smoking pot. But you will be surprised how few people actually use what is called 'soft-drugs' in The Netherlands since it _not_ considered 'cool' or 'bad'. Maybe Dutch society will break down soon (I hope not).
Go see for yourself. Visit Amsterdam! ;-)
I've been in the Netherlands at least 6 times and I usually avoided Amsterdam. Maybe it had too much of an "American" feel for me. I always liked Utrecht and the Achterhoek. -- DavidBrantley
Speaking as an American who has seen my friends commit violent crimes to raise money to pay off the fines imposed by asshole puritanical judges over victimless crimes, I certainly hope someday to visit the Netherlands. For a long, long time. ;-)
And don't worry about sea-level. Our 10,000 year interglacial is over and an ice age is starting.
Rising sea-level sounds a bit easier to deal with.
Why does the English language use the word "Dutch" in so many phrases:
Partly because German settlers pronounced their country of origin "Deutsch", and we slurred it.
- Going Dutch (splitting the bill on a date)
- Double Dutch (nonsense) means the girl pays for the date -- this was more current in the 1940s, my mom remembers it
- Double Dutch (a style of jumping rope, with two ropes spinning in opposite directions)
- Dutch Uncle (someone who severely reproves)
- If <unlikely event happens> then I'm a Dutchman.
- Dutch Gold (false treasure? - not sure) Maybe based on the LostDutchmanMine?
- Dutch Courage (false bravery/brevado through alcohol)
- Dutch Auction (An auction in which an item is initially offered at a high price that is progressively lowered until a bid is made and the item sold.) (A real auction but the rules are funny. In bond trading the bond is sold at the lowest price necessary to sell the entire issue. Don't know how it works in other venues, or whether the title is a reference to any perceived stinginess on the part of Netherlanders.)
- I believe the term actually originates from the markets where Dutch farmers sell tulips and the like. It was designed to get the selling done as quickly as possible (it can be a very fast way to auction things -- one bid and it's over)
- Pennsylvania Dutch this is certainly from Deutsch; same as the Dutch baby pancake (which is not to be confused with the Nederlandse thin pannekoek. Yummy, especially with savory ingredients. "Met spek!")
- Dutch Book - a situation where a bookmaker has allowed odds to flucuate so that it is possible to make bets with a guaranteed win for the bettor, and loss for the bookmaker.
And partly because the Dutch and the British were commercial rivals for a long, long time, and the British took every opportunity to slander their opponents.
There was an ongoing naval war between the British and Dutch during the 17th century, so a number of insulting epithets were coined. For example, Dutch courage - courage which only manifests because one is drunk, and is thus no courage at all. Some more ideas at http://www.guardian.co.uk/notesandqueries/query/0,5753,-2041,00.html
Right... that should be it... Yeah, sure. That must be the reason.... No really... ;-)
Funny, a page about Holland without one Dutch word... Groeten uit Naarden-Vesting everyone (Toine)
For those who read TerryPratchett
there is something endearing about a language that has the word "ook".
2004.08.17 A rather emotional message that was here had to be clipped out for violation of nearly every one of the GoodStyle
guidelines. In summary of it, there are at least a few dutch who are intensely unhappy with the current dutch government.
Mon. Feb 14 '04 'HAD to be clipped out for VIOLATION of ...' well well. To make sure my personal and quite informative, FACTUALLY based opinion can be read anyhow, see this page: http://www.theover.org//Wiki/dutch.html
, where I pasted it from the clipboard. Oh, and my name is TheoVerelst
, what's yours ? I mean I stand for my opinion and think it is relevant, and don't mind attaching my name to it. If you get my drift. That's normal democratical GoodStyle
. Let's use wiki's and the things lets say RichardStallman
has given us for free and Good use properly and decently, shall we. Even though the dutch didn't exactly invent the DeclarationOfIndependence
Well, they don't live up to it or so then? Isn't that what I'd mean, you think ?