Dutch news in brief, Wednesday 20 August 2008

20th August 2008, Comments 0 comments

Find out what’s the latest news in the Netherlands in the roundup of today’s press from Radio Netherlands.

20 August 2008

Three consecutive gold medals for Anky
All the papers carry photos of gold medal winner Anky van Grunsven in the individual dressage in Hong Kong.

In de Volkskrant the picture shows a victorious Anky with the gold medal around her neck, arms outstretched with a bunch of flowers in one hand. Behind her is a huge screen showing the same picture. Van Grunsven profited from a fault by her German rival's horse in the exceptional heat; Van Grunsven's mount, Salinero, shining from sweat kept his cool.

"This was the most difficult of my three gold medals," she said.

Anky van Grunsven is the first Dutch sportsperson to win three gold medals in consecutive games. In total she has won eight Olympic medals, equalling the record of Dutch swimmer Inge de Bruin. If she decides to participate in the London Olympics, she could become the greatest Dutch Olympian of all time.

De Telegraaf also prints a photo of the women's water polo team after it beat Hungary and placed itself in Friday's final.
Queen bee syndrome tackled in school
More schools are buying a special programme to tackle bullying among girls, according to AD. Attitudes are changing and bitchiness is no longer being accepted as a normal girl thing. The programme makes pupils aware of the effect of their behaviour using green and red codes.

Pierre Pas who developed the programme explains, "Asking after someone who is sick is green, but gossiping about it is red." Seventy schools have ordered the programme, which shows the problem is being taken more seriously.

When boys fall out, they argue or fight, but girls spread false rumours, exclude others from the group and insult the victim. Even women in their 40s and 50s can suffer from this kind of treatment. The "queen bee" determines the pecking order, and her trusty group of buddies does her bidding.
Parenting vs  non-parenting parents
De Volkskrant reports that a survey by a Dutch parenting magazine shows that the gap between people who choose to have children and those that don't is widening.
"There is not a lot of understanding between parents and people who intentionally remain childless," says the magazine's editor.

There are a million people in the Netherlands that have opted not to have children. One in five of  young women is expected to remain childless. Childless women feel particularly undervalued. They are a silent group, but when asked they express a lot of frustration.

Their frustration is aggravated by recent government measures which benefit families.

Apparently 57 percent of childless adults between 29 and 55 years old think the government is giving parents preferential treatment.

Fifty-nine percent oppose financial incentives to boost birth rates. Three quarters think parents should carry the whole cost of raising their children. And only 30 percent believe the whole of society should bear responsibility for children.
Picturesque gift
The Singer museum in the picturesque Dutch village of Laren has received an exceptional present, according to Trouw. US collector Joseph J. Szymanski has given the museum 18 paintings by US impressionist William H Singer Junior. The paintings are among his best works.

The gift also includes five Parisian drawings showing his development as an artist, which were thought to have been lost, and a private archive with photos and letters.

The gift comes as the museum is preparing an exhibition entitled "American Impressionist - William H Singer Jr 1868-1943" which is due to open in September.

Singer and his wife Anna spent years travelling between the artist's two studios in Olden in Norway and Laren. He was passionate about nature and tried to catch its essence in his works. The paintings will be added to the museum's collection of 250 works.
Rotten summer in Netherlands
According to AD, 2008 has been a rotten summer here in the Netherlands.

Only eights days in July were sunny and up to now August has been wetter than average.

In fact, summers have become wetter in the last 10 years. For Dutch campsites and beach cafes, the poor weather has been a disaster as more holidaymakers have decided to go abroad. Temperatures, however, were normal.

And there is some good news: meteorologist Harry Geurts predicts drier spells after the weekend, "After the rain, comes the sunshine."
[Radio Netherlands / Nicola Chadwick / Expatica]

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