Dutch Culture

Etiquette

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Basic Etiquette
  • Cover your mouth when yawning.
  • Avoid speaking while chewing gum.
  • People are expected to ‘self-service’ and help themself as much as possible before asking as service person to do something they could easily do themself. Never show superiority over someone of service (e.g. a waiter/driver/shop assistant) by patronising them. Always show them the same respect you would show your friends.
  • Knock before entering a room if a Dutch person has shut the door as they value their privacy.
  • Standing with your hands in your pockets can be considered impolite.
  • Compliments are usually given in private and directly to the person that deserves them.
  • Bills are usually split equally between couples as it can become awkward to specify who ate what. However, in groups people usually pay for what they ordered.
  • Greet people as you pass them casually around the workplace or in public. It’s considered slightly standoffish to pass someone you know without at least waving and saying “Goede Morgen” (Good morning) or “Goede Middag” (Good afternoon).

Visiting
  • Always call or text a person to arrange a visit. Turning up at their home without invitation can interrupt them and can be seen as an invasion of their privacy.
  • It is the best practice to bring a gift to a Dutch host or hostess.
  • Do not ask for a tour of your host’s home.
  • Do not begin eating until directed to do so. People often say “Eet Smakelijk” which means eat well and with taste.
  • It is recommended to take a small portion as your first helping so you’re able to accept a second helping.
  • The Dutch avoid wasting food and therefore appreciate it when their guests finish everything on their plate.
  • Coffee served at the end of a meal is the cue for guests to depart, and a second serving of coffee means it is definitely time to leave.
  • Parties can continue very late into the night. Give yourself flexibility to stay a few hours after dinner has finished.

Gifts
  • Appropriate gifts to give a host when visiting them are chocolates, flowers, a pot plant or a book.
  • White lilies and chrysanthemums are given in times of mourning.
  • Gifts are usually opened in front of the giver upon being received.
  • Gifting very expensive or lavish items can make the receiver a bit uncomfortable.
The Netherlands
  • Population
    16,802,463
    0.23% of World Population
  • Languages
    Dutch (official)
  • Religions
    No Religion (42%)
    Catholic Christianity (28%)
    Protestant Christianity (19%)
    Other (11%)
  • Ethnicities
    Dutch (80.7%)
    Other European (5%)
    Indonesian (2.4%)
    Turkish (2.2%)
    Other (9.6%)
  • English Proficiency
    Well (70.58%)
  • Cultural Dimensions
    Power Distance 38
    Individualism 80
    Masculinity 14
    Uncertainty Avoidance 53
    Long Term Orientation 67
    Indulgence 68
    What's this?
  • Australians with Dutch Ancestry
    335,493
Dutch in Australia
  • Population
    76,047
  • Average Age
    64
  • Gender
    Male (50.9%)
    Female (49.1%%)
  • Religion
    Catholic Christianity (32.7%)
    No Religion (31.1%)
    Presbyterian and Reformed Christianity (9.2%)
    Other (21.5%)
  • Ancestry
    Dutch (89.3%)
    English (1.7%)
    German (1.6%)
    Other (5.7%)
  • Languages
    English (63.7%)
    Dutch (33.9%)
    German (0.3%)
    Other (1.2%)
  • English Proficiency
    Well (95.5%)
    Not Well (2.2%)
  • Diaspora
    Victoria (28.4%)
    New South Wales (24%)
    Queensland (19.7%)
    Western Australia (13.1%)
  • Arrival to Australia
    Prior to 2001 (87.2%)
    2001-2006 (4.5%)
    2007-2011 (5%)
Where do we get our statistics?
Country NL Flag