Xenophobe's® Guides: How the Dutch see others

Xenophobe's® Guides: How the Dutch see others

Comments12 comments

Do you know what the Dutch think when you tell them where you come from? Here are some hints.

Xenophobe's® Guides: A book series that highlights the unique character and behaviour of different nations with insight and humour.
Despite the fact that they have for centuries been edging their country towards the British Isles, the Dutch feel ambivalent about the British. They are surprised that these rather puny islanders, who clam up when one talks to them about sex, somehow manage to write such good books.They also see the English as cottagey and a bit twee, but adore their Marks & Spencer’s underwear. In some circles, English style is viewed as the ultimate chic.

Like most of their European neighbours, the Dutch lap up the trappings of American culture, while dismissing its perpetrators as being empty-headed and loud. Road movies, especially, appeal to the Dutch sense of freedom and openness. The lost hitchhiker look is a popular Dutch fashion.

France and Italy may be suitable places to holiday, but the Dutch view their inhabitants with a twinge of disapproval. The French are too frivolous to win the lasting admiration of a nation that has Calvin in its bones, and besides, say the Dutch, they are obstructionists with no skill at negotiation. A nation that allows its farmers to pile turnips on the motorway must be viewed with some scepticism.

Forthrightness may be a virtue, but extravagantly flaunting your emotions smacks of lack of control and so the Italians (and most other Mediterraneans) join the ranks of the ‘tolerated-but-not-quite-as-goodas-us’. A notch below these come the nationalities whose religious or political customs are seen as intolerant. Such peoples are most emphatically not tolerated – intolerance of intolerance being quite permissible. Using this argument, an anti-Islamist party made massive gains in the 2010 general elections, to become the third largest in parliament, beating even the previous governing party.

Of all the European nations, the Dutch admire the Swiss. Their country is spotless, their banks unassailable and their personal bank accounts are secret.

For more, read The Xenophobe's Guide to the Dutch.

Reproduced from Xenophobe's Guide to the Dutch by kind permission of Xenophobe's® Guides.


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12 Comments To This Article

  • James posted:

    on 10th September 2013, 11:41:41 - Reply

    Headlines today: 'no country as Xenophobic as the Netherlands http://www.trouw.nl/tr/nl/4492/Nederland/article/detail/3506683/2013/09/10/Bijna-geen-land-in-Europa-zo-xenofoob-als-Nederland.dhtml A Dutch PM went to speak to Romanian and Bulgarian to tell them they are NOT welcome,..ehum...despite of course crossing the EU borders legally from 2014. The idea behind this if no immigrant comes to the Netherlands, then, the wages can go up due to lack of sourceable staff within the borders. [Edited by moderator]
  • Kaccie Li posted:

    on 21st June 2013, 00:11:06 - Reply

    Thanks for being honest Ron. As an Asian American with a PhD from Berkeley, I definitely experienced that at work. Even though I was given what I like to refer to as "honorary white" status among Dutch who knew me, that tinge of disapproval was definitely felt. So yeah I agree, use NL work experience as a spring board to better positions in the US. I moved back 8 months ago.
  • Ron posted:

    on 10th April 2013, 12:26:26 - Reply

    I am half French (half dutch) and all I can say is that no matter how well educated you are (say you enrolled in Harvard) you never pass the senior employee status in a Dutch company. This is also true for half natives.

    There is zero 'meritocracy' (being awarded a good position or pay based on your abilities), rather, the dutch tend to favour other dutch. Also, the whole government propaganda pushes expats to study the language - but what for? I hold a Phd, speak the language near to perfect and they will still not consider me (or any of my highly educated friends) for responsible position, they will even admit to it and say 'your are not born and bred here, therefore you can not head up the department or company in a way the 'dutch' staff/direct report will want you to'.
    And, I almost forgot mentioning, that according to several sources, you will see that the number of females (even native ones) allowed in higher position is extremely low in the Netherlands (less than 1% of working population) -even if you compare it to 3rd world country Thailand or to chauvinist France. Netherlands business likes to ideally have native males running their companies. All publications on this matter will reveal this is true. A word of advice: use the netherlands as a spring board, and after a few years, just go to another place (like the states) where you actually feel and ARE welcomed.
  • David posted:

    on 14th March 2013, 17:08:10 - Reply

    Where does the author get the Idea the Dutch admire the Swiss? The Swiss banks are known for black money. And the home of FIFA, which is also corrupt. The country the Dutch look up to is Sweden in terms of social system and Germany in terms of business. [Edited by moderator]
  • Rani posted:

    on 7th March 2013, 07:24:43 - Reply

    It seems this book has it all figured out, but it seerms to lack some objectivity. The dutch are considered rude - how about direct and HONEST in their answer. Niceties like the british avoiding answer techniques which are said to be niceties are considered dishonest and rude to the dutch - just come to the point. Be real, be fair [Edited by moderator].
  • Angelina posted:

    on 6th March 2013, 22:50:20 - Reply

    I'm used to live a Dutch life in every aspect (work, study, social life, etc) and I never heard [edited by moderator] this. Dutch people are really not like that. Some like more some countries, some less. They even have their own domestic disputes about frisians, noryh hollanders, rotterdammers and amsterdammers. Just like all of us have in our former country. I'm Brazilian - Brazilian people in general don't like Argentinians. And so what? I love Maxima, Argentinian barbecue and tango. This book is xemophobic, not the Dutch people. We are all the same, the cultures are different.
  • steve posted:

    on 6th March 2013, 13:00:28 - Reply

    What on earth is the lost hitchhiker look ?!
  • Linda posted:

    on 6th March 2013, 12:24:12 - Reply

    Whatever's comment is spot on. While the 'natives' enjoy the full benefits of being some of the most tactless people on the planet, they become extremely defensive when treated to the same.

    The Xenophobe's guide had a comment about the Dutch not appreciating physical contact with strangers. It depends, if you look Japanese for
    example, your physical space is respected, those with dark skins however can expect to come home covered in finger prints, for some reason the Dutch are then very touchy feelly and will become strangely offended when it is made clear that being groped by strangers is not appreciated, sense of entitlement?
  • Rule Britania posted:

    on 6th March 2013, 12:14:07 - Reply

    Let's face it; the Dutch [edited by moderator] have many good qualities, but observing niceities isnt one of them!
  • Leo Salazar posted:

    on 6th March 2013, 12:12:33 - Reply

    "The lost hitchhiker look is a popular Dutch fashion. "

    LOL - no truer words were ever written. Great article!
  • Whatever posted:

    on 5th March 2013, 16:59:20 - Reply

    What I find most interesting is how they can dish out criticism but they sure can't take it!
  • Farrah posted:

    on 1st March 2013, 10:33:13 - Reply

    ...'and their personal bank accounts are secret.'

    HAHAHHA! So true.