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3 Examples of Dutch Ingenuity Posted by on Jan 10, 2018 in News

One of the things that attracts many of us to the Netherlands is how incredibly modern the country can be in regards to projects and laws. It was the first country to grant same-sex couples the right to marry. It has an incredible dam structure that keeps the country above water. The Dutch landscape has changed from old fashioned windmills to wind turbines that produce electricity.

Photo by jinterwas found on Flick.com with license CC BY 2.0

This past few weeks, I have come across three projects of “Dutch Ingenuity” that have certainly made me realize how innovative this small country can be in the most peculiar ways!

Learning to fall

One of the most dangerous accidents elder people can have is falling. To counter this risk, many clinics in the Netherlands are offering obstacle classes where people can learn to move around in uneven terrain, and, in the case of a fall, know how to fall with minimal injury. The course is titled Zicht op Evenwicht and is meant for  ouderen die dagelijkse activiteiten niet meer uitvoeren omdat ze bang zijn om te vallen. Zij bewegen (move) minder, waardoor hun spierkracht en balans afnemen (decreases) en het risico op een val juist toeneemt (increases). Het doorbreken van deze negatieve spiraal vormt een belangrijk onderdeel van de cursus (source: Zicht op Evenwicht website).

The following video explains the importance of these classes and how they work.

Modern Families

There is a recent campaign to provide regenbooggezinnen or rainbow families with equal rights in a legal sense. Ouders van Nu (Parents of today) together with COC Nederland and Stichting Meer dan Gewenst is campaigning for the rights of rainbow families. According to the campaing, rainbow families is when een kind wordt opgevoed door 3 of meer ‘roze’ ouders. Maar de wet erkent maar 2 ouders per kind. Niet meer van deze tijd, vinden wij. Want of je nou hetero, homo, lesbisch of transgender bent: liefde is liefde (source: Ouders van Nu website). There have been serveral stories in the media of two fathers and one mother who share a child. Two of the three can be the legal parents, but the third person is left in the abyss in matters as practical as medical care and traveling, to more complicated things like custody in the event of a family separation.

The following video from The Economist explains more about this.

Off-Shore Wind Farms

The Dutch have a long history of working with the water to keep the coast safe and expand their territory. The latest water innovation comes in the shape of a stroomfabriek with a wind farm complete with its own artificial island. The island would provide energy at first for the Netherlands with plans to further expand supply for the rest of the North Sea countries (Belgium, Germany, and Denmark). Another interesting feature of the island is that it would turn the energy gathered from the turbines into electricity that existing grids can use reducing the cost of the cables that would connect to each of the countries.

You can read more about in this article from the nrc.nl or in the following video:

What do you think is the most interesting example of Dutch ingenuity?

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About the Author: Karoly Molina

Since I was a little girl, I was fascinated with languages and writing. I speak English, Spanish, Italian, Dutch and a little bit of French. I am a writer, reader, language teacher, traveler, and a food lover! I now live in The Netherlands with my husband Riccardo, our cat Mona, and our dog Lisa, and the experience has been phenomenal. The Dutch culture is an exciting sometimes topsy-turvy world that I am happily exploring!