This article can help myself more integrating in this country and some awareness when dealing with dutch people, sharing to somebody who are planning or wanted to stay or visit in the netherlands.
1. A firm handshake
Many Dutch people may think your handshake is weak. They hate a limp handshake. Dutch handshake seems intimidating and domineering.
2. Formal and informal forms of address
Most Dutch people will be offended if you use the informal 'jij' too soon. It is always the more important the two (the older one, the boss) who takes the initiative and says that the other can say 'jij'.
3. Keeping their distance
When talking to you, Dutch maintain a greater distance than you are accustomed to. They do not touch each other while having a conversation.
4. Being on time
Dutch people often keep track of the exact time. And they are generally punctual.
5. Letting the other finish speaking
In the Netherlands, it is considered good manners to let the other person finish what he is saying. Dutch consider it polite.
6. "Yes" means 'yes' it's a commitment
If you ask a Dutchman something and he says 'yes', then he's made an agreement.
7. Verbal and nonverbal communication
The Dutch pay most of their attention to your actual words. They don't hear the intonation that you use when saying something.
8. Dropping by unannounced
The Dutch almost never visit each other without making an appointment first, even with close friends.
9. Taking flowers with you
In Holland, visitors frequently take a bouquet of flowers when they visit. It is particularly important to take flowers if you don't know the people very well: this is to make a good impression.
10. You won't automatically be asked to stay for dinner
If you visit a Dutch family at around 5:30 p.m., the chances are you will not be asked to join them for dinner. Lack of hospitability? It's just the way they are.
11. Not everything revolves around food
The Dutch say "what we eat doesn't really matter as long as there's plenty of it"
12. Enjoying yourself seems to be a sin
Many Dutch seem to find it difficult to enjoy themselves - it is as they consider having fun to be a sin.
13. Act normal!
To many Dutch men and women, it is a virtue to just to be normal and blend in with the crowd.
14. Who pays in a cafe or restaurant?
When the Dutch go out to eat together, it is quite usual to 'go Dutch': everyone pays for their own food and drink.
15. Annoyance if you speak your native tongue
Dutch people will find it extremely annoying and inappropriate if you converse with others in your native tongue in their presence.
16. Family ties are less important in the Netherlands
Grandparents, aunts and uncles no longer play an important role in their lives. It's the direct family that has priority, not the extended family.
17. Everything in life is carefully planned
The Dutch lead very planned lives. This makes the Dutch feel comfortable: nothing unexpected can happen.
18. The weather
If you want to strike up a conversation with a stranger, talk about the weather: you can't go wrong. Complain about the weather, not say how lovely the weather is.
19. Adorable little rogues
The Dutch find it amusing when children make cheeky remarks. They think that's a healthy precocity.
20. To bed on time and no playing outside after six
To the Dutch, 'bedtime' is an important aspect of raising children. Dutch children go to bed on time, not five minutes late!
Sex is discussed more openly in the Netherlands than in many other countries.
22. Whistling at women on the street
Dutch males consider it unseemly to whistle and call after women.
23. Showing that you want sex
The Dutch usually show that they want sex in fairly indirect way. "a cup of coffee" This is a kind of code language.
24. Do Dutch women seem unfeminine to you?
Many Dutch women find it silly and overdone to wear nail polish on daily basis, to wear perfume, skirts or makeup and to pay too much attention to clothes and so forth in general.
25. Breasts or buttocks?
Dutch male is more of a 'breast man' than a 'buttock man'.
26. Relationship: understanding, respect and love
Dutch people want partners who really listen; they consider mutual understanding and respect for one another's feelings to be important.
27. How do the Dutch move their bodies?
Compared to many people, the Dutch have stiff and angular body movements.
28. "Come in"
Your Dutch host will not welcome you formally. You might find this manner of receiving guests uncivilized and rude, but to the Dutch this is simply a relaxed way of greeting visitors.
Coffee is an essential part of Dutch life. When the Dutch invite you to their homes, they often promptly serve a cup of coffee or tea. Is this a hint that you should not stay too long!
Along with coffee, another essential ingredients of Dutch society is gezelligheid.
31. At the dinner table
Dutch table manners might be different from what you're used to.
When you visit Dutch people at home, they normally turn off the TV, this is a sign of good manners.
33. Give my regards to your wife
This is just to show that he has not forgotten his friend's wife even though she is not there. It has no sexual connotations.
34. Helping a woman into her coat
The Dutchman performing this ritual considers it a very polite gesture.
35. Adapting to life in Holland
The Dutch sometimes say that foreigners should adapt to the way of life in Holland.
36. Dogs and cats
Pets are important to many Dutch people. They aren't as important as a child, but if a pet dies it is mourned by it's owner. and it is often buried or cremated.
To many Dutch, religion is not very important.
38. The left hand or the right?
In daily life, they use both hands for everything. they won't understand why you feel offended if they simply happen to have handed you something with their left hand.
39. Pork or beef?
Most Dutch eat any kind of meat.
The Dutch feel that conversations should process calmly. Even when disagreeing with each other, they like to maintain their composure.
41. Getting straight to the point
When the Dutch want to discuss a difficult topic, the usual approach is to plunge right into it.
42. Direct language: contradicting one another
If the Dutch do not agree with something, they sometimes make this known in a very direct way.
43. Telling the truth versus lying
Honesty may very well be the characteristic the Dutch value most in themselves.
44. When do the Dutch not tell the truth?
Though Dutch think of themselves as always telling the truth, this is not the case. They still lie.
45. Arguments and opinions
When you ask the Dutch for their opinion, they start by giving you their opinion, and then follow it up with supporting arguments.
Dutch people very often ask "Why is that?" That is quite normal in the Netherlands.
47. Asking for promotion
Many Dutch people ask literally for what they want.
48. I don't know
The Dutch do not find it impolite or impertinent if you tell them that you don't know something.
49. Do they always want to stand out in the crowd?
Most Dutch would actually prefer not to draw attention to themselves. But they were taught at a young age that it's important to have opinion on all sorts of topics.
50. Arguing and making threats
During arguments, most Dutch people reduce the level of emotions in their gestures and words.
51. An arguments has to be cleared up
Many Dutch will want to talk the through arguments thoroughly first, and only when then will they let bygones be bygones.
Dutch people don’t understand why you suddenly get so angry if your mother is insulted. They love their mothers too, but they stay much calmer if something negative is said about their mother.
53. Not too enthusiastic
The Dutch are not very profuse in their reactions.
54. Taking the initiative
The Dutch consider it very important that people take initiative themselves instead of waiting until someone asked them to do whatever it was.
55. Making jokes about the royal family
The Dutch regularly make jokes about the royal family. But they are less inclined to accept the same thing from you as a foreigner.
Usually when the Dutch tease each other they don’t mean any harm.
57. Emancipated women
In Holland, women are allowed to do just about everything that men do.
58. Wives and daughter
Dutch men don’t think their wives and daughters constantly need the protection of a man.
59. A woman boss
People in Holland who want to be progressive act as if it’s perfectly normal to have a woman boss.
60. The ‘me’ and the ‘we’ cultures
Dutch society is often called a ‘me culture’. A few examples:
-If you ask a Dutchman if he believes in God. He’ll stop to think about it. This means that everyone will give a different answer
- Dutch people do not strike up conversation with strangers at the bus stop. Most people don’t say a word in the train either.
- In the bus or train, most people look for a seat as far away from others as possible. You hardly see any people sitting together!
-In general, the Dutch don’t mind being alone for a while.
61. “Let the police tell them to stop”
In your former country, everyone could correct other people’s children in the street. That’s no longer accepted in the Netherlands.
62. Body contact
In Holland, strangers do their best to avoid touching each other.
63. Dutch friends do not always have time for you
Dutch friend might say “I don’t have time for you tonight.” That doesn’t mean he’s cross with you.
64. Reluctance to be a nuisance
This means refraining from talking too loudly in the waiting room or the train.
65. Indirect orders and instructions
“Nobody’s going to tell me what to do!”
66. “You must help me”
The Dutch are particularly allergic to the word ‘moeten’
67.”Don’t be silly”
This expression is always meant in a kindly way.
68. Now you’re really one of us
There are a number of words and expression that the Dutch don’t expect you to be familiar.
69. What do they talk about?
In Holland it is not acceptable to ask how much a person earns, even if it’s someone you know very well.
70. How to ask for something nicely?
Dutch people always use a ‘descending’ intonations.
71. Movements and gestures
If a Dutchman wants to tell you you’re out of your mind, he’l l point to the middle of his forehead.
72. How do the Dutch tell each other off?
They don’t say that something isn’t allowed, they ask a question!
73. Looking into each other’s eyes
The Dutch find it quite normal to maintain extended eye contact during conversation.
74. Confessing to the crime
If a Dutchman is caught stealing, he will usually admit to the theft.
75. First a warning, then the punishment
In the Netherlands, it is quite common not to punish someone the first time he breaks a law, but to let him off with a warning.
76. Showing remorse: “I won’t do it again”
A person who feels remorse wishes afterwards that he hadn’t done what he did.
77. Aren’t there any social values in the Netherlands?
The Dutch cannot tell you what their values are, because they are usually unwritten rules.
78. Smacking your lips at the table
‘Table manners’ They find it really irritating if you smack your lips.
It will be much appreciated if you go along, even if you think it’s rather peculiar custom. It will really mean you belong.
80. Are the Dutch unpredictable?
This is probably because you are still unfamiliar with the Dutch customs, norms and values.
81. Dutch history
The Dutch do not know very much about their history. They are not very interested in it.
The Dutch seem to be afraid of the future. Several insurance.
83. The telephone
The Dutch always begin by telling you their name. Saying just “Hello” is rude for them.
The Dutch have very fixed approach to conducting meetings.
Germans attempted to flee back to Germany as WWII neared its end on bicycles stolen from the Dutch.
Every country has jokes about a particular group of people who are reputed to be particularly stupid. The Dutch assign this role to the Belgians. The Belgians in turn tell jokes about Dutch stinginess.
87. Having or sharing
Many foreigners say that the emphasis n the Netherlands is on having, that the Dutch are not inclined to share.
88. Keeping business and private matters separate
In difference of opinion or disputes, the Dutch find it important to make a distinction between business and private matters.
89. Expressing emotions
The Dutch do not find it easy to express their emotions.
90. The birthday calendar
Many Dutch have a ‘birthday calendar’ at home, birthdays of family and friends are noted on this calendar.
Sinterklaas (the feast of St. Nicholas) is an important time for the Dutch.
92. Christmas and the New Year
If you want to make a very Dutch impression, send New Year card in December.
93. Here’s to your health!
In the Netherlands, a person’s health is very important.
94. The wish list
On the list, they write down what they want to receive.
95. Unwrapping presents
Not opening it gives the impression that you don’t care, but opening it looks like all you’re interested in is finding out exactly how much money the other person has spent you.
96. Living together
Common practice for Dutch couples to live together before marriage.
97. Family celebrations are contracted out
The Dutch will pay for the restaurant to prepare a meal or organize the celebration from the start to finish.
98. Saving stamps
More stamps, more goodies