Okay, it’s the end of November and that means that Sinterklaas (Saint Nicholas) is arriving in the Netherlands, with his helpers, who have traditionally been all called Zwarte Piet (Black Pete). The Zwarte Pieten are traditionally white people with blackface. People of color in the Netherlands have gradually become vocal about not liking that and the Dutch reaction is incredibly embarrassing to me. Continue reading
Posted in American flag, black pete, Books, Cultural Differences, Education, Emigration / Immigration, Employment, Holland, Language, Montessori Schools, National Anthem, Nationalism, Pledge of Allegiance, Racism, School Libraries, Sinterklaas, Slavery, University, Violence
Tagged culture, cultuur, immigratie, immigration, Nederland, Netherlands, politics, politiek, Racism, racisme, Saint Nicholas, Sinterklaas, tolerance, toleratie, Zwarte Piet
This post doesn’t live here anymore. It has emigrated to my other blog:
The Big No-No: An Outsider on American Fascism, where it resides under the title:
“American Re-education: America After Trump”.
Posted in Education, Government, High School, History, Migrate, Religion, Science, Slavery, Society, US Politics, World War Two
Tagged Charlottesville, critical thinking, culture, education, Fascism, geography, history, KKK, moral compass, Opinion, politics, re-education, religion, Trump, white supremacists
How do you eat a salad? How do you cut your steak?
In Holland, I learned to eat with knife and fork, the European way. Holding your knife in your right hand, in a certain way, and your fork in your left hand, in a certain way. The cutting or folding of leaves happens just so and you keep your knife an fork in your hands the whole time you’re eating. Not just with salads, anything that isn’t finger food. Continue reading
Posted in Eating out, Emigration / Immigration, Food, Holland
Tagged America, culture, eating, etiquette, humor, immigrants, knife and fork, Opinion, table manners, The Netherlands
Posted in Holland, Society
Tagged black pete, black peter, culture, cultuur, discriminatie, Discrimination, feestdagen, Holidays, Netherlands, opinie, Opinion, Piet moet blijven, Racism, racisme, Sinterklaas, Zwarte Piet
One thing I’ve learned is the difference between Dutch politeness and Texan politeness.
To A Texan, being polite is not just a matter of saying please and thank you, holding the door open for the person coming behind you, not belching loudly at the dinner table, etc. It also means avoiding embarrassing someone. Continue reading
Posted in Emigration / Immigration, Language, Society
Tagged America, Cultural Differences, culture, embarrassment, emigration, humor, immigration, language, manners, politeness, society, The Netherlands
Cartoon by O’Farrell
One of my readers asked me a while ago to give my take on the apparent ambiguity between the American “melting pot” diversity and America’s dissociation from the rest of the world. Well, here it is. My take. I’m fully aware that I’m generalizing the heck out of this, but the question itself is generalizing, so that makes it totally okay. Continue reading
Posted in Education, Emigration / Immigration, History, Society, Travel
Tagged american dissociation from the world, culture, education, emigration, immigration, politics, travel, world
As I’ve explained in previous posts, we were on vacation when our son B’s appendix ruptured. He had an appendectomy and was in the hospital in Cody, Wyoming for four days. Six days after coming home to Austin, he had pains again, and had to have a follow-up surgery, and he has been in the hospital here in Austin for six days now. And when I say that B has been in the hospital, I really mean our family has been in the hospital. Continue reading
Another question I got from my funk post was: What do European kids learn about American history. Well, I can only talk about what I learned, but feel free to add to it in the comments, Dutch readers.
I had History several times a week, from seventh through eleventh grade, and from Mesopotamia to the Vietnam War, more or less. I seem to remember that we started learning about America in tenth grade, and it would have continued through eleventh grade, whenever America came up in relation to a certain period. This would have been around 1977-1978. I’ll just describe what I remember; trying to be systematic after all those years wouldn’t work.
Let’s have a look.
Posted in Education, Emigration / Immigration, High School, History, Holland, US Politics, World War Two
Tagged America, American history, Amerikaans, culture, Dutch, education, emigration, history, immigration, Netherlands, onderwijs
In my previous post I asked what my readers would like me to write about. I realized later that I would be in big trouble if I got no reply. Would that mean that no one is interested in what I say? Or they don’t care? Or what if I have no readers that day? Would reposting the question be too desperate? This could very well spell the end of my blog. But fortunately someone did reply. Phew, thanks, Hanneke, for averting my existential crisis! Continue reading
Apparently having good company for your birthday is not enough when you go out to eat. In many restaurants the personnel sings a song for the celebrant. And everyone in the restaurant will know about it. The waiters meet near the kitchen and start clapping as they walk to the birthday person’s table. Often they sing and clap their very own house-birthday song: Continue reading
Posted in Consumption, Eating out
Tagged America, American, Amerika, Amerikaans, birthday songs, Cultural Differences, culture, etiquette, food, gewoontes, kultuurverschillen, restaurant, United States, Verenigde Staten, verjaardagsliedjes