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Looking Back: The Best Dutch Posts of 2020 Posted by on Dec 28, 2020 in Culture, Dutch Language, Dutch Vocabulary

2020. This year has been quite a ride. And not necessarily in a good way – for most, the year has left quite a bitter taste, and it can’t end soon enough. But the year was also speckled with highlights,1I wanted to continue this sentence naming some positive events this year, but after googling for 20 minutes, I gave up like our blog posts. Today, I bestow upon thee the honor to revisit these nuggets of gold and look back at a pleasant exploration of Dutch language and culture.2None of these sentences would have been possible without extensive binging of The Crown Going month by month, here are the 15 most popular posts of 2020!

January

The Nieuwjaarsduik in Scheveningen in 2010. Notice all the orange Unoxmutsjes! (Image by Alexander Fritze at Commons.wikimedia.org under license CC BY 2.0)

This Is THE Dutch Tradition If You Like Cold!

January starts in the Netherlands with the nieuwjaarsduik. Is it your thing to jump into ice-cold water? Then you’d better read this post!

February

Comparison between Dutch eurocenten (Image by author).

Dutch Money: The Dutch Gulden

In February, we dedicated a short series to the Dutch and their money. A people of traders, it’s quite a relevant subject for the low-landers. This post explores the gulden, the Dutch currency before the Euro, and all its interesting quirks. If you’re a finance historian or simply enjoy a fun post, make sure to put this one on your shortlist.

March

Mark Rutte at his desk in the Torentje (Image by Minister-president Rutte at Flickr.com under license CC BY 2.0)

Why Dutch PM Rutte’s Address Was Historical

In March, the coronavirus started affecting Europe in a major way, with countries scrambling to enter hard lockdowns to prevent further spreading of the virus. This was such a big deal that Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte decided to address the nation from the Torentje.

Coronavirus: The Dutch Response

After Rutte’s address, rules were implemented to rein in the COVID crisis. Find out here how the Dutch overheid (government) responded.

April

Practicing Dutch from Home

In April, when it became clear that the Coronavirus was going to be with us for a while, we wrote about some things you can do from the comfort of your home to keep practicing Dutch. Of course, there’s our excellent online Dutch language courses, but also museums and the Keukenhof came up with virtual ways to enjoy them. Read this post to learn more!

Dutch King’s Day – In Quarantine?!

The verjaardag (birthday) of the koning (king) is usually a big event in our little country. With markets, festivals and lots of people in the street, it was the perfect event to be cancelled due to COVID. But the Dutch are inventive, and find a way around everything – also a quarantined King’s Day. So how exactly did they hold King’s Day in quarantine? Check out this post to find out.

May

Photo by Hernán Piñera found on Flickr.com with license CC BY-SA 2.0

Corona in Understandable (Dutch) Language

Being a political issue, the corona crisis also involves complicated words and sentences. 2.5 million Dutch people have difficulty with reading such information, and so there are resources that make more easily digestible information available. Of course, such resources can also help if you are not yet well-versed in Dutch and want to learn the language in a more accessible way. Find out about resources written in understandable Dutch in this post.

June

Photo from Rijksoverheid

Infectious Diseases in the Netherlands

How does the Netherlands determine which vaccines you should get, and how is this researched and updated? We explored the PIENTER-onderzoek in this post, looking for the answer, and how it relates to the current corona crisis.

July

A girl with the 20,000th zwemdiploma in August 1950 (Image by Ben van Meerendonk / AHF, uploaded by IISG at Flickr.com under license CC BY SA 2.0)

What’s a Dutch Zwembad?

A public swimming pool is a thing all over the world. But the Dutch swimming pools take a special place in a country as defined by water as the Netherlands. With zwemdiploma’s and zwemlessenzwembaden are a cornerstone of Dutch childhood. Find out all about it here.

How to Get a Bike in the Netherlands

Next to zwembaden, the Dutch are also dominated by tweewielers (two-wheelers, bicycles). But they come with problems, too. Fietsdiefstal (bike theft) is very common in the Netherlands. So what steps can you take to have a nice bike experience in the Netherlands? Learn about it in this post.

Binnenhof: Eerste Kamer

In this series about the Dutch center of government, the Binnenhof (Inner Court), we look at each of the important buildings in turn. In July, we looked at the Eerste Kamer (First Chamber), the higher house of parliament.

August

Photo taken by James Cridland found on Flickr.com with license CC BY 2.0

Dutch Commercials: Amstel and Coolblue

In August, we looked at Dutch commercials from Amstel and Coolblue. What’s special about them? Find out here.

September

Brugge, Belgium (Image by Libby Penner at Unsplash.com)

What do the Belgians Speak?

Officially, the Belgians speak Dutch. And yet, what the Belgians speak is often called Vlaams, and is seen as a different language than Dutch. But how is it different? And if it is officially Dutch, does it make Vlaams a dialect? Well, it’s a bit complicated. Find out here how it works.

October

Even Koala’s have their inkakmomentje! (Image by David Clode on Unsplash)

Untranslatable Dutch: Inkakmomentje

In our series on untranslatable Dutch words, we looked at the word Inkakmomentje in October. An odd word, but a fun one. Find out what it means and how to use it in this post.

November

personal photograph

What makes you really Dutch?

So – you live in the Netherlands, learn the language, get comfortable in the culture. But how do you actually become Dutch? We explored it in this post in November.

December

Max Euwe in 1935 (seated) (Image colorized and upscaled by author, public domain)

The Dutch & Chess – Part 1: The Dutch Greats

Our list of the most read posts only goes on till November. But here’s what we looked at in December – schaken (chess)! In three parts, we explored great Dutch players, chess terms and how you can get involved playing chess in the Netherlands. Start reading in this post!

We hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and wish you all a happy new year! Let’s toast to a new year with new conversations and explorations into Dutch language and culture! Proost!

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About the Author: Sten

Hi! I am Sten, both Dutch and German. For many years, I've written for the German and the Dutch blogs with a passion for everything related to language and culture. It's fascinating to reflect on my own culture, and in the process allow our readers to learn more about it! Besides blogging, I am a German-Dutch-English translator and filmmaker.


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