Being Dutch has always been something that I am incredibly
proud of. My Dutch heritage is something I flaunt, and even though I have an
English AND a Dutch passport, when someone asks my nationality, my reply is
always “Dutch, but I was born in England”.
I feel that living in England my whole life has made me miss
out on a lot of Dutch traditions, but my mum does her best to teach me them, so
today, on King’s Day (or “Koningsdag”), I’m wearing pretty much all Orange. The
rest of Holland will be doing it too, and no matter how many people complain
that my jeans are too bright, I am NOT taking them off.
King’s Day in Holland is the celebration of our King’s
birthday. It tends to involve everyone getting horrifically drunk and partying
on the streets… I’m planning on being in Amsterdam next year to join the party!
Over the few days before Easter, I was lucky enough to make
a quick trip over to Holland to visit some of my family. When you think of
Holland, what do you think of? Amsterdam’s Red Light District? Or the soft
drugs available on every street corner? I tend to think of tulips and cheese
and bicycles, but that’s just me!
While I was in Holland, I visited the famous Keukenhof – it’s
a beautiful garden filled with rows upon rows of flowers. I have NEVER seen
that amount of flowers in one place, but it was truly beautiful!
I also had a very scrumptious waffle at lunch, like that
fatty that I am ;)
I really would suggest that everyone has to visit Holland at
some point in their lives, so here are a few hints and tips if you do!
1.Don’t attempt to speak Dutch. We WILL laugh at
you and reply in English!
2.Don’t eat ‘drop’. It’s the Dutch version of liquorice.
It can be recognized by its colour: black. The taste is a blend between earwax
and black paint. The Dutch absolutely adore it and eat many, many kilos of it.
There is a nationwide conspiracy to look at the faces of foreigners that were
made to believe the stuff is actually edible.
3.The Dutch do NOT like spending money (they would
rather cut off an ear). They will love you forever if you give them something
4.If you ever want to have a cheese sandwich, do
NOT cut the cheese with a knife. You will be forever hated, looked-down upon
and ridiculed. We have an incredible invention known as a ‘kaasschaaf’, which
slices the cheese in thin slices.
5.A typical meal in Holland includes ‘een patatje
met’ (chips with mayo) and ‘kroketten’. These don’t exist anywhere but Holland,
and are the most delicious food in the world. They’re basically breaded food,
stuck in a deep-fryer and eaten hot… there’s nothing better!
This is 'Kroket met patat'
6.There is a fast and fool-proof way of
embarrassing yourself in Holland. Enter a coffeeshop and ask for a cappuccino.
Coffeeshops – remember this – DON’T sell coffee! (They do however have a large
variety of stimulating products… If you know what I mean.)
7.And, most importantly – the Dutch are the most
kind and hospitable people. The Dutch may talk your head off, but they are
truly kind-hearted. If you ever meet a Dutch person in or outside Holland,
there is no shadow of a doubt that they will have a smile to share.