Culture Shock in The Netherlands



The Dutch culture is very similar to its neighbouring countries, particularly Belgium and Germany. The Dutch love to watch football, eat potatoes, go to café's (pubs), eat ‘al fresco' during summer and talk all night over bottles of beer. 

Dutch is the official language of the Netherlands, and although most of the Dutch can speak English, a foreigner living and working in the Netherlands is obliged to have a basic knowledge of "Nederlands" or Dutch. All the street signs and the directions are all in Dutch, so knowledge of the language is very important. The Dutch, like any other Western European, are very patriotic and appreciates any foreigner who makes an effort to speak their language. 

Historically, the Netherlands is a Protestant country but the power of the Protestant Church has diminished through the years, although some of the Christian traditions remain. People still celebrate Good Friday, Easter, Pentecost, the Ascension of Jesus and Christmas. They also celebrate the Queens Day every April 30 when they stage a parade to honour the queen.  

It is dubbed as a ‘utopian' state because of its tolerance to prostitution and drugs.



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