Wednesday, October 5, 2011

I'm Dutch

We bloggers have a little thing called a dashboard to show us who, when, how many, where you're from and how you got here.  I try to avoid looking at it, but sometimes it calls my name and I have to look.  So I did.  I noticed, recently, I've gotten quite a few hits from the Netherlands.  I LOVED this.  Why?  Because, I'm Dutch.  I'm all Dutch.  There is nothing but Dutch blood running through my veins.  So, I thought I'd talk a bit about being Dutch.  I have never been to the Netherlands.  My parents visited.  One of my brothers visited.  But not me.  I'd like to go, someday.

How will I talk about the Dutch?  Since I've never been there, I'm going to have to guess.  And use stereotypes.  So all you Dutch readers out there, feel free to correct me in any way.  I'm open to it.

The Dutch are cheap.  I've been told this all my life.  My father could make a penny cry.  I won't even tell you what they said about the nickel.  (US buffalo nickel, mind you)  I was always told the reason we were so thrifty was because we were Dutch, not because we didn't have a lot of money.  (we didn't)  I want to read Simon Schama's book The Embarrassment of Riches.  I want to understand the discrepancy between the era of the Dutch being the "bankers of the world" to the thrifty Calvinist I was raised to be.  I think it will be fascinating.  Also, you've all heard the term "going Dutch."  A well known term that means "I'm not paying for you" doesn't come without a background of truth.  :)

The Dutch are pious.  Another thing I've been told all my life.  I was raised a Calvinist.  This is a reformed theology stressing the human nature as total depravity.  There is no good in us.  The only thing saving us is the Grace of Jesus Christ.  And, we have been preordained to receive this Grace.  It is not of our own choosing.  This is what I was taught from my father's knee.  I still believe this.  Also, from history classes, I learned most pilgrims came to America from Holland.  The Dutch wanted to worship the way they wanted to worship without interference from any government.  They were willing to risk their lives to do this.  I don't know how true this is in modern Netherlands, but I'll get to that.

The Dutch are "house proud."  This is another thing I learned at my mother's knee AND from my grandmother.  I grew up cleaning the house.  A lot.  We swept the sidewalk out front.  We swept the street in front of our house.  We may be so cheap we won't buy anything new, but our stuff lasts a LONG time.  We clean it.  We take care of it.  We fix it.  Anyone looking at my house, growing up, would have seen a neat, orderly, clean house.  :)

The Dutch are hard workers.  My family had the strongest work ethic of any family I knew when I was growing up.  My dad taught me to be early for work. If I wasn't ten minutes early, I was late.  I think the fact that the Netherlands is land reclaimed from the sea with dikes and canals is proof of the hard-working nature inherent in the Dutch people.

Now for the part of being Dutch I really don't understand.  And, maybe this is why I'm an American and my ancestors moved away from Holland.  The Dutch are tolerant.  They've got the pot smoking in bars and the prostitution in the picture windows.  I just don't get this, but I've heard it is true.

I hope I go to the Netherlands one day.  I would like to see the beauty of the windmills and tulips and canals and wooden shoes and bicycles and row houses.  *sigh.  fingers crossed.  :)

Btw, I think the Dutch are smart, too.  Any country with a language using as many double vowels and assorted letters to make words must have smart people in it.  I mean, little kids learn how to write this language in kindergarten.  :)

I'd tell you my maiden name, but with the double a's and the double g's it wouldn't fit in the space allowed.


  1. I would love to visit the Netherlands!

  2. You made me look - I have the most hits from the US.  Russia is second and the Netherlands third.  How about that.  I am of Scottish / Welsh heritage and don't seem to have any readers from those areas. 

    Interesting to read about your Dutch heritage (we have the Calvinism in common.)

  3. ha. dutch you are then...smiles....i though aa's and gg's came from you have a pair of wooden shoes too?

  4. Dutch? My wife is 1/2 Dutch...1/2 too mutch (joke).  God made the world, but the Dutch made Holland.

  5. Loved this.. and love that your dad can make a penny cry. I bet my husband wishes I could learn that trick! Thank you for sharing.

  6. I love Dutch culture.  :)  I am Irish and Welsh.  

  7. All English and Welsh here.  But enjoyed the penny pinching and other attributes.  


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