Isabelle, a cultural authority on all things Dutch, wrote this essay. She is a true Dutchwoman from the land of tulips, Heineken, and cheese. When she’s not busy with school, work, and pondering what it’s like to be Dutch, she’s up for any trips to the East.
The Dutch are constantly stoned.
This is possibly the most widespread cliché about Dutch people, or at the very least, something they are known for. However, the fact that soft drugs are more or less allowed in the Netherlands leads to a lesser number of addicts and users when compared to the high percentage of soft drug users in the United States, which is nearly twice as high.
All Dutch people are tall, with blond hair and blue eyes.
This stereotype is correct only if you consider persons of Dutch descent. The Dutch are the tallest people in the world, with an average height of 1.84m for males and 1.70m for women. In the Netherlands, dying your hair blond and wearing blue contact lenses will not make you feel exceptional. However, with the influx of immigrants from all over the world, this once-true statement may become just another cliché.
At least half of the population is homosexual.
The majority of Dutch people are quite accepting of the gay community. Amsterdam is the unofficial homosexual capital of Europe. In addition, the Netherlands was the first country in the world to legalize gay marriage in 2001. This has made it simpler for LGBT people to come out of the closet, as well as for society to accept them. However, this does not imply that the majority of the population is gay or that there would be no heterosexual children in 100 years.
The Dutch are avaricious.
There must be a reason why splitting the bill is referred to as ‘Going Dutch.’ True, many Dutch people keep a close eye on their money. Men are unlikely to foot the bill on their dates. (Ladies, take note. Going Dutch will not work if you like to be dined and wined while in Amsterdam.) I’m no sociologist, but this could explain why there aren’t as many beggars on the streets in Amsterdam as in other European megacities. Street artists in other European tourist areas complain about selfish Dutch who refuse to give them change for their acts.
However, as a whole, the Netherlands is a very charitable country, with a high percentage of GDP going to development aid, 0.82%, which is more than the UN objective of 0.7 and lower than only their richer neighbours from Luxembourg, Sweden, and the oil-rich Norway.
Dutch people wear wooden shoes.
Yes, but only if they include Oilily. They are very popular among small children and those living in rural areas. We produce them so that tourists like you can buy them. If you believe we are still wearing them, go ahead and buy a lot of them.
Every Dutch person understands English.
The Dutch learn English from a young age in a solid education system, and this, combined with the similarities between the two languages, means that you will never need to carry a language guide to the Netherlands. In the Netherlands, you may pretty much ask for anything. Waitresses in tourist squares are more likely to approach you in English than in Dutch, and even if you try to communicate in Dutch, the Dutch will nearly always switch to English to make things easy for you (or to gloat about their language skills).
Every shed in the Netherlands has at least a dozen bicycles.
In the Netherlands, there are more bicycles than people. People prefer riding to driving or walking for short distances. The Dutch take pride in decorating their bicycles as well. Every morning, thousands of Dutch schoolchildren will ride their bikes up to 20 kilometers to school. The Dutch are seen riding their bikes in any season, rain or shine, summer or winter. There are probably few places where you will see so many women riding their bikes in exquisite dresses or skirts.