Dutch Language Blog

Tag Archives: Dutch Culture

Showing Respect in Dutch: Invaliden and Handicaps Posted by on Jan 3, 2022

Mindervalide handicap disability invalide

When I grew up, a person with a disability was known in the Netherlands as an invalide. This doesn’t mean they are “invalid”, of course. It comes from French invalide, which in turn goes back to Latin invalidus – the opposite of validus, which means strong and healthy. So to say that having a disability makes you invalid, in other…

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What Dutch Drinking Games Were Like In The 17th Century Posted by on Feb 22, 2021

Molenbeker Back Utrecht Drinking Game

The Dutch have quite an intricate relationship with alcohol. From the infamous Dutch courage to the nationwide Dutch celebrations like Koningsdag (King’s Day) or the bevrijdingsfestivals (Liberation Festivals), the Dutch enjoy a glass or two. And what’s better than enjoying drinks doing a drankspelletje (drinking game)? You might think that this is a rather recent mindset – but…

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The Unchanged Dutch NYE Treat Posted by on Jan 4, 2021


Oliebollen – the tasty “oil balls” that is only eaten around oudejaarsavond (New Year’s Eve) in the Netherlands. We’ve discussed the fried dough treats before, as well as its companion, the appelflap. But we haven’t answered the question – who came up with them, and why is it only a tradition in the Netherlands? Today, we’ll uncover…

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August: A Stressful Month For Students In The Netherlands Posted by on Aug 19, 2019

It’s August. A month of sun and relaxation. It is a real komkommertijd. But for starting college studenten (students), it is quite a hectic time. They are often moving away from home, to another stad (city), since the next academic year is starting on September 1. De aankomende studenten gaan op kamers! Op kamers gaan Op…

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This Is Why Your Uncle Might Be Dutch Posted by on Aug 12, 2019

We’ve explored before the rather curious reasons behind the uses of the word “Dutch” in different terms. From “going Dutch” to the “Dutch angle”, the lowlanders are popping up everywhere. Today, we are looking at the Dutch uncle. For other terms in this series of “Dutch” words, check this link. What’s my uncle got to…

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Dutch Eindexamens – Time to Hang Up The Schoolbag Posted by on Jun 12, 2019

Today is an important day for over 200.000 Dutch school kids. This afternoon, they will hear whether they have geslaagd (graduated) or not – a big deal! It is accompanied by an interesting tradition… Hang de tas maar uit! It is traditional in the Netherlands to hang up your schooltas (school bag) if you graduated. There has…

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The Dutch Day of Wallowing! Posted by on Jan 9, 2019

Yes, you read the title right. There is a Dutch day of wallowing or zwelgen! Read below to find out about this curious event. What is zwelgen? According to my trusted Prisma dictionary, zwelgen means the following: gulzig en veel eten en drinken; zich te buiten gaan aan, genieten van; zich helemaal overgeven aan het hebben van medelijden…

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