Posts Tagged ‘Dutch Culture’

Nine Reasons Why the Dutch Are Better Than You


1) They are better looking than you: Tall and blond, short and brunette…doesn’t matter. People here are presentable.

2) And yet they are humble about it: Gloating just isn’t a big part of the culture.

3) They are confident and assertive: The concept of I-can-do-anything-if-I-work-for-it is understood here from an early age. But as per #2, they aren’t cocky about it.

4) They ride their bikes everywhere: There are 10,000km of bike lanes here, in a country the size of a thumb tack on the map. This means that basically every single street in the country has bike lanes, on both sides!

5) So they are probably fitter than you: Cycling tends to have that effect.

6) They are more tolerant than you: Nobody cares if you’re gay. Or you smoke marijuana. Or you’re “ethnic”. Just do you.

7) They understand moderation more than you do: People love to drink here. They just don’t drink to the point that they are stumbling all over themselves.

8) They understand other cultures better than you do: You can drive to about five different countries, which speak different languages, in less time than it takes you to share this post with all of your friends.

9) They like flowers: Yes, ladies. Flowers are dirt cheap here. He has no excuse not to show up at your door with a colorful and fragrant bouquet of tulips.

Holland and its Fascination with Tulips


Intrinsically linked to the windmill as a peanut butter is to jelly, the tulip has long been a staple of the Dutch landscape, and subsequently, of Dutch culture. Farmers here produce approximately nine million of them each year, and given how many of the bright yellow and red bulbs you’ll see lining the window boxes of any stroll through the streets here, they sell most of them locally.

While this is the case today, it wasn’t always—a single bulb once sold for today’s equivalent of seven thousand dollars. Yes, that’s 10,000 florins, which was about the same as seven grand today.

See, tulips were once considered quite an exotic treasure, and one not native to the Netherlands. They first came from present-day Turkey in the 16th-century, when Ottoman merchants brought them. The struggled in the chilly, damp climate, until a Flemish botanist named Carolus Clusius discovered a few tricks to help the tulips prosper here.

They immediately became a status symbol, with only the wealthiest Dutch able to afford them. Businessmen began speculating on the prices of tulips, which altered greatly depending on the quality of a season’s crop, and this mania both made and broke people’s fortunes and livelihoods. The flower gambling bubble eventually burst, like real estate in many places today, and at the same time the Dutch discovered the beauty of other alternatives to the tulips. The market for daffodils, gladioli, hyacinths and irises was born, and the prices for tulips fell to reasonable levels.

The Dutch Flower Market has Diversified

The Dutch Flower Market has Diversified