Dutch Mentality
Written on: Thu, 29 Apr 2010; 23:01
Of all the times to spot "real" Dutchness in the Netherlands, just now is probably one of the best. This is the time to confirm and also to revoke stereotypes. For all the Dutchies reading this: any complaints can be posted as long as they're civil and I do not take responsibility for any feeling of contempt. For all the non-Dutchies: do not take my word for granted, this weblog is only based on observations over the last few days!

Koninging BeatrixSo, what is Queen's Day? Seems pretty obvious: the day on which we celebrate our Queen. Supposedly, it is the Queen's birthday, but this bubble I'm afraid I'll have to burst. It is the birthday of Queen Juliana, our previous Queen. Our current Queen Beatrix (the one with the famous hair cut - what is it with Dutch famous people and hair cuts? Think about Geert Wilders!) has her birthday in January, which would not be the most pleasant time to go outside and have celebrations and a flea market. Because it is exactly that which we do on Queen's Day.

OranjeNow what is so typical about the Dutch and Queen's Day? We celebrate! And we celebrate in a way that cannot be done by any other people. The night before Queen's Day is - how surprising - Queen's Night. This is the time for anyone too old or too young for the flea market to PARTY! The music we dance to is inexplicable, the amount of beer that gets wasted because people throw it on each other is unimaginable, the trains which get people to and from their party locations are indescribable. Walking through Leiden over the past week more and more stages were thrown up and leaving Leiden today at around lunchtime the party had already started. Why wait until nightfall if we can party longer when we start earlier?

RommelmarktSo far it seems like we've pretty much lived up to our stereotypes! And quite disturbingly I am not quite so sure how to revoke stereotypes. Another stereotype that we have as the Dutch is of us being traders, no matter what. This can only be seen confirmed when you go out on the streets on Queen's Day. Children as young as 2 or 3 years old try out their skills as a trader, by selling their worthless junk to other children for a few cents. And painfully it isn't only the children who do so. No, polls show that this year 22% of the Dutch adult population is planning on selling junk on the one day of the year that you're allowed to sell without a permit. People "save" their spots by writing their name in chalk the day before. Some cities actually mark spots which you can then rent to be sure of a good spot. And then there are those who wake up at 4 or 5 in the morning to secure their spot. Isn't it a lovely day?

Well, all you Dutchies: enjoy it! No matter how stereotypical, it remains one of the most fun days of the year! All you non-Dutchies: be jealous!


hahaha, well yeah! of course it's a lovely day! Unless you're not allowed to celebrate it, because of, let's say, an exam-course. And you have to go to bed early on queen's night in, let's say, the centre of Leiden with your windows open and loads of drunken idiots screaming through the streets!....
I think it's superfluous to say that I seriously overslept this morning.... -_-

Anyways, very very nice blog! And I think the stereotypes you use are neither offensive, nor untrue!

ps. Zonde dat je niet het verhaaltje uit dat kladje op je bureau had gebruikt, dat klonk ook echt superleuk!
Written by Irene on Fri, 30 Apr 2010 at 21:01
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