The ONLY list of Dutch quirks you’ll ever need! What are Dutch quirks? All the weird things we do, that are often typically Dutch, are our quirks. Here are the top 10 Dutch quirks. Enjoy!
1- Biking with an umbrella
In Amsterdam you see this everywhere. Also in Utrecht and other major Dutch cities: Dutchies on a bike, in the rain, with an umbrella, going literally EVERYWHERE. In all shapes and sizes. Because if there’s 1 thing that connects us, it’s cycling to everywhere we need or want to be!
2- Swear with (horrible) diseases
If you lived in Holland long enough, you must have heard this (especially in the big cities): K*NKERRR! Yes, it means what you think it means: cancer. Although not everyone approves of it, the word, like other diseases, is used to add more power to virtually anything or just to swear.
Decades back the Dutch government actually started a campaign against all the swearing here – that’s how bad it is.
This campaign used the slogan ‘schelden luchten niet op’ (swearing does not make you feel better).
Various billboards throughout the country were altered to, you guessed it, ‘schelden lucht op’ (swearing does make you feel better). The campaign stopped shortly after.
3- Eat cheese everyday
You ain’t Dutch if you don’t eat the yellow yellow. But, honestly, who doesn’t like a good slice of Old Amsterdam? Or ‘extra belegen’? (we’re a bit biased when it comes to cheese as you can see).
Dutch cheese comes in various tastes and forms. There is smoked cheese and cumin-cheese. Cheese at the farmers’ market is often the best, as it is fresh and comes directly from the farm. Our cheese is so popular, you can even find it in supermarkets in Africa!
4- Cycle. Cycle alot.
Cycling is healthy. Cheap. Fun. Meditative. Also, it’s a sport. And you can do it together. It can be romantic and even sexual. Everyday, countless of Dutch bike trips end in the bedroom. Ask us irl.
If you dare.
5- Send a Tikkie for everything, even after a bad date
We are known to be greedy. Because of our history, we had to learn to be greedy actually. There was not much food or money to go around. And it works, hence all the big Dutch bank accounts. Sometimes, our greed stands in the way of our kindness and good behaviour. Sorry!
The worst cases known to alot of internationals involve dating a Dutch guy (Dutch girls can be very rude too) that sends you a ‘Tikkie’ after a lousy date. You have been warned!
6- Living based on our AGENDAS
Organized and structured. And, therefore, sometimes very boring and dry. But it works for us. Way before all those apps helping you to schedule your whole life, we were already using our lovely agenda’s.
It starts at primary school already, where our little Power Ranger and Frozen calendars function as notebooks (for our first love interests), place to draw, wish lists and addresses of friends and family. Have kids at a Dutch school? Buy them an agenda. They will make friends alot faster!
7- ‘Lekker normaal’ fashion: leopard print outfits everywhere
The Amsterdam Shallow Man made legendary memes about it: Dutch fashion, and then particularly that of certain Dutch women.
What do you think of this outfit? Fact of the matter is, it’s quite comfy!
8- Hagelslag everyday, brah
OOOEH, hagelslag! Yes, we at LearnDutchOnline.nl are big fans of the chocolate sprinkles. Such a full, sweet experience, we can feel the little chunks of choco on the bread on our tongues already! Yummy! We eat it everywhere. Breakfast, lunch and sometimes even dinner. And as a snack, of course.
Hagelslag is so popular in our little country, we even have several big brands. Some of which exist for a few centuries, like De Ruijter.
Top 10 Dutch Quirks. Feel a quirk is missing? Let us know in the comments!
9- Pindakaas – Pannekoeken – Stroopwafels – also known as the Dutch Triangle of Death (joke).
But, really, some people do eat this – everyday. SuperDutch. Supertasty. But not so healthy. But very tasty. (translation: peanut butter, pancakes and stroopwafels)
10- Not being able to understand the word ‘woke’ (and denying racism and discrimination in the process)
The national tensions regarding ‘zwarte piet’ (Dutch version of Golliwog, Blackface) exposed alot of racism in Dutch society. One of the kickstarters of this realisation is Mitchell Esajas, who recently was made a knight by the Dutch government (!).
He is one of the few black Dutch men to have achieved this status. Only to receive more racist backlash: ‘But we are no racists, just accept our superiority or go back to your own country!’. (we really hope you never heard this, but it is still quite common)
Well, we at LearnDutchOnline.nl are also very much Dutch, but we are also very much really direct and honest. Therefore, we will state, once and for all: ‘wokeism’ is not a thing, it doesn’t mean anything. It is just a weak invention by and for people that do not want to see a change for the better – especially if it involves people different from themselves.
Racism is an unfortunate part of our culture, and we – and other real people – are busy battling this as best as we can.
BONUS- Gossiping. Always and everywhere.
Bad habit. Some of us are true addicts. At work. Family. Friends. Quite toxic, it can be, as this quirk can destroy whole relationships. Some expats have even called us ‘double-faced’.
What is your opinion?
Did we miss a Dutch quirk? Let us know in the comments!