I’m Dutch, Too!


Time for one of my pet peeves.

Scene in a restaurant:

A woman talks to me, I answer, and she detects an accent. “Where are you from?” “I’m from the Netherlands–I’m Dutch.” “Oh wow! I’m Dutch, too!” I don’t detect an accent, but I’m slightly hard of hearing and it’s noisy in  the restaurant and maybe she’s lived here a really long time. “Oh really? Where in Holland are you from?” “Well, my great-grandmother was Dutch.” “Oh.”

This happens all the time. Or they’ll say “I’m Irish” or “I’m Italian”. With great pride.

Sure, whatever. But what gets me is that many of those same people are anti-immigrant and they rail about Europe being socialist or communist and how becoming “like Europe” would be the worst thing that could ever happen to “this great nation”.

You know who you are.

So to all you so-called Irish, Italians, Dutch, Germans, Swedes, etc.:  Decide already. If you want to claim you’re Dutch, then learn the language, or at least go visit sometime. And not just to take pictures of yourself in front of a windmill, but to see what being Dutch means to Dutch people. The real ones.

And if you want to rag about everything European, if your view is that any fair healthcare or any realistic safety net, or the idea that you can’t put a price tag on everything, or any sense of it being reasonable that everyone contributes to society according to his/her abilities is “un-American” (said in a tone as if anything not American is the ultimate insult), then shut up about being Dutch.

You can’t have your Dutch apple pie and eat it, too.

9 responses to “I’m Dutch, Too!

  1. Another story: first visit to my new dentist (you know, professional people that are supposed to have a good education). “I notice an accent, where are you from?” I’m from the Netherlands. Oh, isn’t that in Scandinavia? When I explained that Amsterdam is our capital ‘viel het kwartje’, and the rest of the conversation went on about drugs and legal prostitution…… yeah….

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    • Haha, yeah, for some reason so many people around the world (not only in America) confuse Dutch with Danish. Even when I lived in Australia in the sixties, my third-grade teacher told me that if I was Dutch, it meant I was from Denmark. Imagine my parents’ reaction when I told them my teacher had enlightened me, and I didn’t actually emigrate from the Netherlands three years earlier, but from Denmark!

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  2. Yep same here in NZ, when you are from Holland (Netherlands, where’s that?) you know Amsterdam very well, with all the drugs and the red light district, (you know, you know) Uhm, no sorry, I don’t 🙂

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  3. Pingback: An Irish Girl in the World | Life in a State of Wanderlust

  4. I just discovered your blog (now following!), and I really love how candid all of your posts are about both the good and the bad of living in the U.S. Although I can’t say that I agree with everything said in this post, I think it is a really interesting viewpoint, and it made me think so much that I was inspired to write my own post on this very issue–from the perspective of an American living in the Netherlands. If you’d like to read it, I’ve posted the link below:
    http://lifeinastateofwanderlust.wordpress.com/2012/12/07/an-irish-girl-in-the-world/

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  5. You’re a kindred soul. I tried to comment on your toilet gap post but it wasn’t working. Just imagine me traipsing around your blog saying yep to everything. Americans, hey?

    I’ve never considered how lucky I am. As an Australian In America I usually just advise on potential future itineraries and occasionally agree that the weather in the UK is terrible.

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