Netherlands

Top 10 Things

  • What NOT to do
  • What to do
  • In NL it's illegal to pass other cars on the right (this is fine in the USofA). You've got to pass others on the left lane, then make space for others to do so. You can get a fine for driving on the left lane unnecessarily. --Casey
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  • Don't expect to be invited over for dinner if you are still at their house around dinner time. Mostly people buy and cook exactly what they can eat, so there aren't any extras for unexpected guests. --Koos83
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  • Don't be surprised if you hear people using (English) swear words like sh*t or f*ck. They're quite ok to use if something frustrates you, people won't be offended. --Koos83
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  • Always make an appointment before visiting people, don't drop by unannounced. --Koos83
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  • When you meet someone, always be on time. Don't be late and don't be too early. --Koos83
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  • If someone invites you to their house for dinner or a visit, good gifts are a bottle of wine, a box of chocolates or a small bouquet of flowers. --Koos83
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  • If you're invited to a birthday party, it's custom to say 'Gefeliciteerd' (meaning 'happy birthday' or more generally, 'congratulations') to not just the birthday boy or girl, but also at least their close family (shake hands too) and sometimes even everyone at the party. --Koos83
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  • Finish everything on your plate. In some countries it's considered rude to eat everything, but in The Netherlands it's rude to leave food, as we don't like wasting food. --Koos83
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  • Be clear on what you think and what your ideas are. Don't be vague. It's fine to say no. Just be straightforward. --Koos83
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  • Birthdays are usually celebrated at the person's house. All the guests sit on chairs in a circle. Good gifts are food or drinks you know the person likes, or a gift card to a shop so they can get something themselves. Even cash money is fine. Give the gift with a card in an envelope. --Koos83
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  • Dutch people generally know multiple languages, like English and German. They might respond in English when you practice your Dutch skills. When you come to NL and really like to learn Dutch, tell people not to do that. They won't be offended. --Casey
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  • The Dutch like their snacks: 'bitterballen', 'kroketten', 'frikandellen' and 'patatjes mayo & pinda'. Raw haring is also eaten in season, but by a lot less Dutch people. Go try some! --Casey
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  • If you need to blow your nose, use a paper tissue, not a fabric handkerchief. --Koos83
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Top contributor: Koos83 (10 entries)

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