As I approach the end of week one, I like to think I am getting the hang of this whole “being dutch” experience! I recently purchased a bike as that is the primary mode of transportation around here and ordered a smoothie with the help of my dutch friends! So I thought I’d take the time to write about some of the cultural differences I’ve experienced so far!
The language. Oh the language. Fun fact, most everyone in the Netherlands speaks English (90%) as their second language while the other 10% speaks German. This is a huge advantage to us as while they speak English, everything else is naturally in Dutch. Everyone speaks dutch instinctively as it’s their primary language so this was an advantage as someone tried to sell me something at the train station. They started speaking dutch and i said english and they backed away. Score one!
The music. The Dutch feel personally invested in America and as a result, they enjoy most of our music! They play it in grocery stores and cafes and it is so calming to hear a familiar language after hearing everyone say things you cannot understand all day long! In America, I sing songs from other countries that I don’t know the meaning too and it’s weird to be on the opposite end of that! They sing along without knowing what it even means most of the time. Crazy world!
The culture. Even though most things I write about are influenced by the culture, there are some differences between America and the Netherlands I have to write about directly! In America, we value privacy and personal space and that is a whole different story over here. I like my “bubble” circumference and that, well that is just not existent over here. In addition, they are very direct and honest in all that they say. This takes some getting used to as blunt statements in America typically indicate anger and that is not the case here. They are highly efficient in the way they talk and want to get to the point.
Two entirely different countries yet all in the same world. Environment plays such a huge role in the culture in which you live and it is so enlightening to be learning all of this!