Xenophobe's® Guides: How the Dutch see others
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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