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Archive for March, 2014

Grondwet Festival – 200 years Posted by on Mar 30, 2014

Yesterday, it was the Grondwet Festival (The (Dutch) Constitution Festival), because on March 29, it existed exactly 200 years. In 1814, 474 vooraanstaande Nederlanders (prominent Dutch citizens) were invited for the Vergadering der Notabelen (Congress of Notables) where they were to accept the draft for the Grondwet. After singing the Wilhelmus, the Dutch National Anthem, they voted in favor with an overwhelming majority of…

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Indispensible – treinen! Posted by on Mar 23, 2014

I think it is time for me to clear some things up about traveling in Dutch treinen (trains, singular trein). In everyday speech, the Dutch also introduced the verb treinen (literally ‘training’) to describe traveling by train. So just the word treinen can mean trains or ‘training’/traveling by train. To describe how treinen usually…

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The Dutch Book Surprisingly Few Dutch People Know About Posted by on Mar 21, 2014

Last month, Dutch Olympic speed skating coach Jillert Anema made waves in America when he suggested that the country’s poor performance at the Olympics has much more to do with America’s obsession with (American) football over all other sports than it did with their high-tech Under Armor skating suits. After Anema made the remarks in…

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An important day in the Netherlands – time to go vote! Posted by on Mar 19, 2014

Today, March 19, the gemeenteraadsverkiezingen (municipal, or local elections) are held in the Netherlands. They are more important than ever this year, because the gemeenten(municipalities) have more competencies than ever. For example, now they also take on the gezondheidszorg (health care), which is a big issue for the Dutch. However, the kiezersopkomst (voter turn-out) is likely to…

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There’s a Horse in Hall! or Carnival in the Netherlands Posted by on Mar 3, 2014

Campy Dutch music blaring from the speakers. Costumed freaks on the train. Streets littered with beer bottles and cans… It’s that time of year again: Carnival! A painting from 15th century artist Jheronimus Bosch depicting Carnival-like festivities has led scholars to guesstimate that Carnival has been celebrated in the Netherlands since 1385. As the Netherlands is…

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