Local traditions and culture in Netherlands

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    'Beschuit met muisjes'

    by Nathalie_B Written Mar 7, 2004

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    'Beschuit met muisjes' is served when a baby is born. It is actually round shaped toast with aniseeds.....blue for a boy, pink for a girl, obviously.
    The last time I had a chance to taste what literally translates as "cookie with mice" was in some cafe in The Hague. When the baby princess, Catharina Amalia, was born most cafes were serving 'Beschuit met muisjes', but usually you can't find it in cafes.
    Nothing special, just a toast, but it was nice to learn something new about Dutch traditions.

    'Beschuit met muisjes'

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    Queen's Day

    by Nathalie_B Updated May 2, 2004

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    Every 30th of April Dutch celebrate the Queen's Day. Originally this is the B-Day of former Queen Juliana, the current Queen, Beatrix, didn't change the date although she could, but she was born in January and decided that it's too cold to have massive celebrations on the streets of The Netherlands.
    The Dutch Royal Family name is Orange-Nassau so you can imagine why orange is the national color here. The whole country turns orange on this day and it's beautiful to see it. If you happen to be in the Netherlands on Queen's Day don't forget your orange outfit!

    Celebrations in Amsterdam

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    December 7th, 2003 Birth of a new princess

    by nighthawk Written Dec 9, 2003

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    Our crown prince Willem-Alexander and his wife Maxima had their baby : Catharina-Amalia Beatrix Carmen Victoria.
    Her name will be Amalia, after Amalia van Solms, a famous ancestor of Willem-Alexander.

    As with every birth, one is treated on a rusk with candy coated aniseed.
    Since this is a royal birth, concerning the whole of the nation, shopkeepers and tradespeople try to get something out of it and sell stuff like shown on the picture below.
    Haha, it tasted delicious!

    One can find the name Amalia a few times in the pedigree of the family of Oranje-Nassau. The most famous is the wife of Fredrik Hendrik (1584- 1647): Amalia van Solms (1602 - 1675).
    The most recent is Amalia van Sachsen-Weimar (1830-1872). She was the first wife of prince Hendrik (1820-1879). Prince Hendrik was the uncle of our late queen Wilhelmina.
    The other is Henriette Amalia van Anhalt-Dessau (1666-1726). She was the mother of Johan Willem Friso (1687-1711).

    If you dig in the family tree of the Orange family can find the name Catharina Amalia. The great great grandson of William of Orange, Philipp of Hesse-Philippsthal, married Catharina Amalia van Solms-Laubach. She was a relative of William of Orange.
    Which isn t that remarkable, for lots of members of the European royal house were related to one and other.

    Candy coated aniseed on rusk
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    by Nathalie_B Updated Nov 26, 2003

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    A typical Dutch! Clogs are known as Dutch shoes. Since I arrived here, I was trying to figure out what the main purpose of the wooden shoes is. So far I found two asnwers. First, is that your feet are always clean and dry. In such a "wet" country like the Netherlands it is a great solution. Another purpose is that the shoes are very strong and protect your feet in case that a horse accidently steps on them

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    All that.......BEER

    by Nathalie_B Updated Jan 17, 2005

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    Another product that Dutch are known for. Beer! Although most of the Dutch people I've meet prefer the Belgian brands, I still insist that Dutch beer is not bad at all. Breda, the city where I live, has its own brand called Oranjeboom (Orange tree), Enschede produces my favorite Dutch beer Grolsch, Amsterdam is known for Heineken (although the brewery in not in the city anymore). And by the way, it is not expensive either

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    by Nathalie_B Updated Jan 26, 2005

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    This is one of the typical Dutch dishes. Not my favorite though, but some people really enjoy it, with a lot of onions of course. In Holland, you can find herring all year round, but if you want to have a really good one then the season is in May. Once the ships come back from the sea and bring herring to the markets Dutch rush to buy it (as much as possible)

    Pavlik_NL enjoys the herring

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    Queen's Day market

    by Nathalie_B Written May 1, 2004

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    It's a tradition that on Queen's Day people can sell on the streets what ever they want to sell. On this day in every city you'll see people selling everything from beer glasses to ski equipment. Personally I never bought anything on these markets but it is always fun to take a look. Especially it is very interesting to see kids playing musical instruments on the steets, for money. So many of them, on almost every corner, unfortunately only for one day. I've never seen kids performing on the streets of Holland before.

    Den Bosch

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    Food from the wall

    by Nathalie_B Written Jan 16, 2005

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    It seems like Dutch eat only one warm meal a day, usually dinner, everything else is sandwiches. One of the popular foods is the ones you can get "from the wall" it's fast, it's warm, and it's relatively cheap. Usually you'll find it at the places that specialize in French fries, which also a very popular fast food among Dutch.

    Food from the wall
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    by Nathalie_B Updated Dec 23, 2004

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    There are many villages, throughout the Netherlands, that show typical Dutch costumes and traditions. They're all different, don't think if you've seen one you've seen them all! Volendam is the famous fishermen village that shows the history of 6 centuries. If you'd like to have some nice memories besides the tons of pictures you'll take, go to the "Foto Zwarthoed". You'll have the opportunity to wear typical (for this area) Dutch costume and to take a picture. Great experience! Especially, try to walk while wearing these cloggs ;-)
    Don't laugh too hard, it is me on the picture ;-) I've been to Volendam in 1998, then I couldn't even imagine that one day I'll live in this country. I guess it's all because of the custom ;-)
    Open 7 days a week
    Address: Haven 12, Volendam

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    Famous stroopwafels

    by Nathalie_B Updated Jan 17, 2005

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    Maybe I should put this tip in warnings and dangers, because if you try stroopwafels once you'll become addicted. This is the real typical Dutch cookie, which is pretty simple: two tiny waffels "glued" together with caramel syrup. Some of my friends love them so much that they even suggested that stroopwafel should be used in marketing campaigns to attract tourists to the country! ;-)

    Unfortunately, stroopwafels can only be found in the Netherlands and some parts of Belgium, but if you want, you can try make them at home:

    Waffles (12 pieces):
    - 300g caster sugar
    - 450g butter
    - 3 eggs
    - 3 sp milk
    - 600g flour
    - cinnamon
    - salt
    Ingredients syrup:
    - 600g cane-sugar syrup
    - 300g butter

    Mix the sugar with the eggs, milk, flower, cinnamon, salt and the butter sliced in pieces. Make 12 small balls.
    Preheat the waffle iron. Squeeze a paste ball in the iron. Bake the waffle in about 30 seconds.
    Cut the waffle in two thin waffles and spread the waffle with the mix of syrup and butter.

    Recipe taken from: www.stroopwafelshop.com

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    Recipe: Broeder (Dutch version of Spotted Dick)

    by ATLC Updated Aug 7, 2008

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    I treated myself to a baking tin with lid to steam puddings. And finally made a traditional Dutch 'broeder' (brother), a steamed pudding with currants and raisins with a syrup sauce (butter, syrup and the cinnamon liqueur that I soaked the raisins in).

    It is similar to the English pudding 'Spotted Dick'.
    Come to think of it, with this new baking tin, I can now make SD too!

    I never made a ' broeder' before, nor have I ever heard any of my friends make it. I think it's too oldfashioned. I only remember it from when I grew up. So it's been well over 20 years since I'd eaten it.

    Thought it would make a nice breakfast for a Sunday morning. And it was...delicious!

    For recipe:

    - 500 gr. flour
    - a packet of powdered yeast (enough for the amount of flour)
    - milk
    - 1 egg
    - raisins and current, soaked in liqueur if desired
    - salt
    - cinnamon

    Use the food processor, it's easiest.
    Wash currants and raisins, soak in liqueur if desired for about 15-30 mins.
    Mix flour and yeast and salt (or do the usual with lukewarm milk and real yeast if you prefer).

    Add milk until a thick and just pourable consistency.
    Add egg.
    Add the fruit.

    Butter the baking tin and its lid thoroughly and sprinkle liberally with cinnamon.

    Put batter in tin, cover, put in a pan with boiling water and boil for 2 1/2 to 3 hours, top up water if necessary.

    Melt the butter gently, add syrup and the left over liqueur, mix into a smooth mixture.

    Check if the pudding is done (stick a knitting needle in, if it comes out clean, it's done).

    Turn pudding onto a plate, slice and pour sauce over. Eat hot!
    Be prepared to feel quite filled after two slices!
    If the pudding is cold, just heat up a slice or two in the microwave.

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    by ATLC Written Aug 14, 2003

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    How to translate this? Something like Farmer's Colours?
    It's a pattern on crockery and kitchen cloths. Made in The Netherlands but aso in Belgium but it is typical Dutch.
    I'm not quite sure about the history of this design but intend to find out. I do know that it has been in many households for decades.
    You can buy it in many shops (new) or on markets and antique shops even.
    I bought this batch on an antique market in Brielle (my hometown) for € 41 the lot.

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    Dutch hotel breakfast

    by ATLC Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    In The Netherlands. most hotels offer a buffet breakfast.
    You will find:
    - cereals and yoghurt(s)
    - fruit and fruit salad
    - a selection of bread and crackers
    - jam and other sweet spreads
    - a selection of cold cuts
    - a selection of cheese
    - fruit juice(s) and milk
    Sometimes there are chafing dishes with scrambled eggs and fried bacon. Often there is a dish with boiled eggs.

    In other hotels you'll find most of the above set out on your breakfast table.

    The so-called Continental breakfast (French bread and jam, a croissant and coffee) is never served in Dutch hotels.

    Breakfast is ONTBIJT in Dutch

    Photo: breakfast table in hotel Watermolle in Haaksbergen. Only the bread is still missing.

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    Supermarket etiquette

    by pieter_jan_v Updated Dec 30, 2008

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    Dutch Supermarkets have their own rules:

    Shopping carts: In most shopping markets it is forbidden to shop without a cart or a basket (mandje). Most carts are parked outside the shop, ofter near the car parking and need a deposit coin (50 Euro cents or a 1 Euro one) to be freed for used.

    Empty bottles: There is a refund on soda bottles and beer bottles. Often you get a ticket from a machine that takes your returned bottles. The machine may be located outside the shop. The ticket will be handeld at the register. Some supermarkets have a return policy for non-refundable plastic bottles. Non-refundable glass bottles normally are collected on a central point (glasbak).

    Fruit & vegatables: Most of that is prepacked, but for some items you can select what you need in an available plastic bag. Most of the times you have to weght your bags at the spot and select the proper contect to get a "BON" (a sticker with the total amount you stick onto the bag.

    Bread and Meat: Most is pre-packed, but in some supermarkets there are counters.

    Beer and alcoholics: There sold in every Supermarket; there is an age restriction of 16 years.

    Free stuff: In the bigger supermarkets often there's free samples of meat, cheese, cake or even a free cup of coffee.

    Registers: Don't expect an honest queue mentality. Sometimes one cart is handled by a couple and while one already is standing in line, nr. 2 does the last minute shopping. Also, don't be surprised some people drop goods in the racks around the register, as soon as they realise they shopped beyond their credit.

    Speed lanes: AH Supermarkets often have a speed lane for max. 10 items.

    Brown bags: There are NO brown bags at the register and there will be nobody to pack your goods. Bring your own shopping bags on forhand or try to get some carbon boxes; most markets have them available at the entry.

    Stamps and Actions: Many supermarkets have stamps to give you some savings. Other have cards (AH Bonus and Air Miles etc etc). These are no credit cards, but entitle you to this week selected discounts. At other supermarkets you can save action stamps for towels. free box of goods, etc.

    This register is closing!
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    Kingsday – lot of traditions

    by vtveen Updated Nov 25, 2014

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    Kingsday (the former Queensday) is one of our National Holidays and the whole country is colouring ORANGE. Street decorations and people wearing orange clothes. We are celebrating our King’s Birthday on April 27th (except when this is on a Sunday, then the celebrations we will be the Saturday before).

    Our present King Willem Alexander and Queen Maxima will visit a city in one of the provinces in the Netherlands and a lot of ‘royalists’ are glued to the TV watching the coverage of this event.

    But the main activities on this National Holiday take place in the streets of almost every town or village. These activities vary from singing school kids, playing brass bands, street musicians and people walking and sitting on one of the side walk café’s, perhaps drinking a special ‘orange bitter’. Shops do have special ‘orange’ offers.

    In the meantime it is tradition that most of the towns in the country do have their own jumble sale in the streets and squares. It seems if every Dutch household has something to sell on these street markets from second hand books and records, toys, clothing, furniture till paintings and art and crafts.

    Most of the bigger cities do have their King’s fair and finish this Kingsday with a huge firework. If you want to be part of the party wear a orange outfit !!

    Be aware not all tourist attractions and shops will be open at normal times.
    Public transport schedules may be different from normal.

    Kingsday - orange street decorations Kingsday - jumble sale Kingsday - fair Kingsday - special 'orange' offers Kingsday - trying to earn some 'orange' money

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Comments (1)

  • pieter_jan_v's Profile Photo
    Dec 28, 2012 at 8:13 AM

    Feb 9 Carnaval; Mar 31 Summertime; April 6 & 7 Musem wekend; April 30 Queensday; May 11 Windmill day; Sept 14 & 15 Open Monument weekend; Oct 27 Winetrtime; Nov 16 Arrival Sinterklaas

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