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Amsterdam in the Netherlands

Culture of the Dutch

Canals. Windmills and Tulips. Oh and……….those coffee shops. That about sums it up right? Well, no - day to day living is as always, unlike a holiday brochure.

To quote from Wikipedia: Dutch society is egalitarian, individualistic and modern. The people tend to view themselves as modest, tolerant, independent and self-reliant. They value education, tolerance, hard work, ambition and ability. The Dutch have an aversion to the non-essential. Ostentatious behaviour is to be avoided. Accumulating money is fine, but the gratuitous spending of money is considered something of a vice and associated by some people with being a show-off. A high style is considered wasteful and suspect with most people. The Dutch are proud of their cultural heritage, rich history in art and music and involvement in international affairs. Dutch manners are frank with a no-nonsense attitude; informality combined with adherence to basic etiquette. This might be perceived as impersonal by some other cultures but is the norm in Dutch culture. As always, manners differ between groups. Asking about basic rules will not be considered impolite.

Recycling is really important here. All households need to separate their organic, general, glass, paper & plastic items. Garbage Collection takes place one day a week, alternating each week between General and Organic, so at the very least you will have a black wheelie bin and a green one in the yard. Plastic and glass can be deposited into designated bins at the local supermarket. When you register with your municipality (Gemeente) you will receive a schedule of what type of waste is collected when.


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Personal stories

Read about personal experiences from South African IT specialist about living and working in the Netherlands.

Buddy system

Providing a workplace buddy ensures that you has someone to talk to, which is important in the first nerve-wracking weeks (or even months) of a new job and especially when you’ve made the big step of moving to the Netherlands!

Sports clubs

The Dutch are known for being a very active nation. There are a few sports that are very popular in the Netherlands including field hockey, soccer, tennis, road running and going to the gym.