Saturday, October 07, 2006

The Rude Dutch?

In a survey, the Dutch have voted themselves, behind the Russians and the French, the third rudest nation in Europe.

Now there's a source of national pride! I've never been to the Netherlands and have never heard that the Dutch are rude.

Perhaps their directness is seen as impolite.

The expression, "Talk like a Dutch uncle" means talking with complete and brutal candor.


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Anonymous said...

They voted themselves the 3rd rudest. As an outsider, living in
Holland for more than 20 years,
I would give them, with no doubt, first place. Rudeness is for the dutch hereditary. I have had
to deal with the french and the
russians and they do even come
close. But the dutch are always
patting themselves on the back,
one way or another.

Anonymous said...

Wow there is no way the French could outdo the Dutch with respect to rudeness. The Dutch far exceed them!! I've never seen such an uncivlized group as the Dutch. And I have lived among the French already. It's nothing compared to the usual ill-treatement you'll get by the average Dutchie!

Tizzone8 said...

I have also seen this rudeness up close and personal.
I have lived in the Netherlands for almost 4 years now and have man a time wanted to go somewhere else. In Germany, I have always felt welcome. France has never been an issue, Spain, Italy, Luxembourg... Then again all of these countries seem to have a great love for Black people. With exception of France, Blacks are not such a common part of population, but in each of these place Blacks are a somewhat of a fetish. In the Netherlands, however, though the fetish does exist, Blacks (from the old Dutch colonies in the Antilles and South America) are abundant and therefore seen as Dutch, at least since the droves of Moroccans come to this country. In fact, I do get some special Treatment, but because I am
It is not surprising that outsiders would find them extremely rude. I know firsthand that even the Dutch complain about the Dutch. And considering they love themselves, most do anyway, better than they do their European counterparts , such as Italians (they view them as people who come just for the Marihuana) The British (they see them as drunken troublemakers, and the Dutch Prime Minister has even pleaded to the British government to find a resolution) basically all Eastern Europeans (just because they come from Eastern Europe) and especially the French (for no good reason other than they were controlled by the French for such a long period) and Germans (let’s just say the Nazi party ruined it for all Germans, which is quite unfair, but the way too many Dutch think tend to think). Surprisingly they have no great animosity against the Spanish, who, when they withdrew from their colonial occupation of the country, left behind many starving people. Most countries are nationalistic and even racist, but I have not seen it so much as when here in the land of “tolerance”. The difference being that here they try to pretend not. Image is everything to the Dutch and they hate that people do not know of their accomplishments , they hate that people know only the windmills and wooden shoes, and they hate that people who know more than the windmills and wooden shoes, which are from the countryside, by the way, is the drugs, but what can they do? Probably nothing…
The Dutch, are, however, not so bad once you get to know them, you just realize that they are blunt and thoughtless of what their words might do to the people receiving them.
On the other side of that, there is the cutting in line, which they learn with me will not work. This reminds me of a Dutch Military add campaign which show scenarios at the end of which they fill in a tick-box next to the word “geschicht” or “ongesicht” (suitable/unsuitable). In this particular one, a young kind of average sized guy is waiting in a snack bar to order. When it is his turn to order, taller, larger customer enters the shop and does the typical thing… He cuts right in front of him. The boy asserts himself and is marked as “geschicht”. This only shows one aspect of the rudeness, but it does show that they are knowledgeable of the fact.

Anonymous said...

Since I am Dutch, and I am reading this post because I was looking for information about my research paper about the Dutch language (which is full of metopnymy: that means concreteness, directness etc) I feel like leaving a little message here.
I must say that I would consider the Dutch to be very direct, in a way that might seem very inpolite (or even rude) in a lot of other cultures, but, for us, is quite excepted.
When I was in Turkey for example, I found the people almost too polite, and I missed this directness of saying things, which a lot ot the people who read this and don't come from the Netherlands might not understand.
This is the first example I think off, but there are much more.
I hope this helps others to understand a little bit about the Dutch culture and put things in their perspective. I like to read books about cultural differences, especially ones about language, mind and communicating. Research about word associations and the use of metaphors are very interesting to read, in order to compare different countries.

Anonymous said...

I live in the Netherlands for almost 6 years, I have finished a Bachelor and a Masters degree at the University in Dutch and after all this time and experience I still feel very uncomfortable, with their "directness", which to me is more like being impolite and extremely rude. First I thought that all Europeans from this side may be the same, but I have also visited and lived in Belgium, Switzerland and in Germany and in these contries I have never felt this way. I can understand that for the Dutch it is the normal way of going along with people, but what I do not understand is that they dont want to realize that for other cultures it may be too rude and they just pretend that you get used to their way. After all these years I have not been able to do so.

Anonymous said...

I have lived in the Netherlands for about 4 years and found Dutch people are arrogant and rude. They are interested in just themselves, and don't beleieve others or don't open their minds to other people. They cannot think about how other people feel about what they say. They are superficial and Dutch culture is very shallow; just want to get good parts without making efforts or thinking others! I think Dutch top politicians are still good, so hope that they can change ordinary people and such atmospher in Dutch culture and society.

Apekop said...

Dutch like to think that they are open, honest, to the point and direct. But that is just an excuse for their extreme rudeness.

Dutch people are also known for being tolerant and ‘liberated, but their culture and character is founded on strong Calvinistic principles. Maybe it is not so obvious for the first time visitor, but their culture has very strong unwritten rules, on what is perceived as ‘normal’(read Calvinistic)behaviour.

Dutch people are open and tolerant in the sense, that they mostly suffer from the ‘Nimby’ syndrome.

I am Dutch, and have lived in that country for the first halve of my life. But I guess that I have seen the light, and have realized that there is more to the world than the Netherlands. If you consider living in the EU, I would recommend England or Germany instead.

Anonymous said...

First of all @ tizzone: The commercial that you are talking about, you didnt get that in the right way.. the boy who came in to grab the snack wasnt going before his turn (doing that is considered extremely rude here too!), the commercial was about knowing what you want and making quick desecions which is necesarry in the army.

i'm dutch myself and i can understand that foreigners think we are rude.. but i think a lot of that is mistaking with what the dutch think is polite..
for example its not common to talk to people who you dont know in public, to respect there privacy. but when foreigners do start a conversation (i think i can speak for most of the dutch) most of us likes that. dutch are in general very closed but that is found polite here.

with this i just want to say that the dutch can appear like there not interested in other people but that is not the case.

i understand that the direct way of speaking can be awkard to foreigners, but what can i say, its also something dutch appreciate. During my 6 months in de US i missed that in americans. I can say that they are very polite but i had my doubts of the fact they were sincere. i had the feeling that they were really nice in my face even when inside they dont mean it. i found that really disturbing. i do say that they have my respect for covering it so well ;)

Anonymous said...

Hi all,

I really would like to avoid generalisation in culture difference but I do have to insit on the fact that DUTCH are very rude, not only because they speak what they think directly ( i can understand this part of their culture) but more about their constant rudeness in every day life. They do push you on the train, in shops constantly wihtout expressing any kind of apologies: for me it s not a cultural thing, it s just a lack of fundamental and basic manner!!! that everybody in the world knows without being told that when you push someone on the street because you are in a hurry or so, the strict basic HUMAN reaction is to apologise even with a shy Sorry!!!

Anonymous said...

I don’t think the problem can be confined to whether the dutch are rude or not.
It actually goes way deeper than that; the sad truth is that they have become extremely asocial, selfish and shallow, and that is a sure recipe for disaster.
If you pay a little attention you will notice they are overstressed and are only waiting for anyone to make a mistake so they can release the steam building up inside them.
Cyclists, drivers, walkers…they’re all out there trying to eat each other faces! how can they live like this?
it’s ME,ME,ME all the way, no consideration for other FELLOW HUMAN BEINGS, no empathy.
The only values dominating here are social status, predomination, denigration…it’s really the quintessence of sick western capitalism taken to its furthest limits.
I never catch anybody reading a book, but shops are packed with consumers buying fruitless products: they’d rather read the labels on their new clothes than feed their souls on worthy items.
Can this really make them happy? To be the final product of this mtv-society?

Anonymous said...

I have lived in Netherland for 5 years and in my opinion, the dutch have mostly negative thought. I really don't know that cause from the bad weather or culture but it seems like they can hurt you with their words or their mean action all the time. As I am a foreigner who work in the company here. They will call you 'Allochtone'. Is that not too racist?
I'm wondering if they are confusing between the word 'directness'and 'rudeness'. And because I'm polite as a nature of Asian race. They will look at me like... Oh..'zij is nagemaakt' means.. I'm covering myself too good.. just like @9.04 AM said.
That kind of the dutch behaviors have bothering me. Why can't these people just think in positive way to other? Why can't they think that kind of politeness action is also real? Surprise me all the time. But afterthat I have found an explanation because the Dutch love to talk behind your back. That's why they are thinking that everybody is the same. From their nature, The dutch trust no one.

So,NEVER EVER share your personal life with them before you're fully trusted them because within 10 seconds, a whole company will know everything about you plus coloured more than you know yourself for a whole lifetime.
Beside, about their 'directness' which they have thought that is a sincereness. I have my doubt all the time. Couldn't they find anyway to be direct and polite?

Anyway, They are more kindly to you if you don't get too close to them. Just leave some space then you will love the dutch more than you really think.

Anonymous said...

I agree that avoiding generalisations is right. I've met many Dutch people but find them to be utterly rude - with the exception of one Dutchman who'd lived in London most of his life. If you're working with people from different cultures then it's important to try to understand their culture and respect it. However with the Dutch it's all one way traffic. Amazing lack of manners!

Anonymous said...

Completely agree with the comments here. The Dutch are the rudest most impolite people I have ever come across. I have lived in Amsterdam for nine months and thought it was me being paranoid... apparently not!
It's not just the directness but lack of manners, with no pleases, excuse me, sorry, barging people out of the way etc.
My girlfriend came to visit from the UK recently and within half an hour she commented how rude everyone is! It can't be coincidence!

Anonymous said...

I was Googling to see where the word Dutch comes from and bumped into this article. Very confronting!
As a Dutchman with a history in the U.S. (17 years) and my youth spent in South America and the Caribbean, I must disagree with most of the negative implications. Sure there are bits of truth and speaking for myself, it is good to see this picture of 'us' in the mirror. It reminds me that modesty is a virtue and silence CAN be golden. However, when we say: "nice to see you, stop by again", we mean it and it is not some nicety that crept into the polite form of interaction like in the U.S. where they might say it and not mean it at all. I enjoyed living there and miss being there but I would like to add that the forwardness of the (us) Dutch has its merits. You will know what we mean. We don’t love Coca Cola, our wife, our car, our favourite football team and so on. We like the drink, love our wife, enjoy our car and root for our favourite football team. We distinguish and don’t call everyone our friend, some are acquaintances. We do not mean to be impolite I am sure. Speaking for myself, I mean to be specific and not unfriendly.
It is up to a speaker though, to verify that the (his) message is not shocking, abrasive or that it leaves the listener sorry he tuned in. Agreed, not everyone is looking for harsh reality and of course there is small talk. Somehow we must balance the effectiveness of forward communication and applying inter and intra cultural sensitivity to our message so it doesn’t work counterproductive. I really don’t like the term ‘politically correct’; call a spade a spade I say but be there for the listener if your message is confrontational or harsh.
I will continue to be straight forward, never speak in the third person when I mean me and encourage others to do the same. With a world that keeps getting smaller (via the internet) I believe that it is very important that we remember in our communication that there are other cultures that speak their mind differently. As we may have to soften our tone a bit, so I would encourage others to meet us half way. Peace and harmony to all.

Jolanda Willemse said...

A friend of mine told me about this post and wanted to know from me if i took personal affront from your comments. I have to say - and i am a little bit ashamed to admit, that though some people cant seem to get past the lower layers in society - which are heavily ignored by politics with any concrete livechanging actions which gives them a generally pissed off atittude - There are many people that are rude in stores (the pushing) in trains (the pushing) in traffic ( bumbersticking cars who want to overtake) and so on. But - what is true for so many things in life - if you are looking for the rude, you will find the rude. So i ask you - why not focus on the kindness? Though our country seems to be going through an odd period in which induvidualism still reigns, people are again opening their eyes and realizing that working for yourself and only to improve oneself is not fullfilling. Maybe that is also a root of the rudeness - unfullfilment. We have problems with how schools and parrents dont raise their kids - and they do watch nonsense crap television like MTV and commercial shit. That wont improve anybody of course. Lets not assume that that is who we are.

So. might be a bit confusing story - ill recap;
i agree, ppl in holland can be extremely rude in public. Pity those ppl. They must be very unhappy. Just laugh on the inside tell em to behave like growups (i sometimes do that when i almost fall into a train with the help of a 'friendly bystander'.) some even have the decency to blush.

But this rudeness is not perse a cultural problem. Its know throughout this country that you do have to get to know ppl before they will open up to you. I think its more a problem of society in general. Of education and of parenting. Maybe even of caring.

ill explain the last one. Its actually dangerous to help, or corrent certain behaviour you see in the street. If you see a 16 y old kid steal a bike with his friends and you have a mind to tell him off, odds are they will hurt you. It happens to much. This country is greying. The 1945-47 babyboom are reaching retirement age and most of them are afraid of our youngsters. No this is ofcourse not an excuse. We are the third most closely populated country IN THE WORLD. Did you know that we are the most burocratic, overmanaged, rulecrap country in the EU? That our government ignores 40.000 signatures to stop a preemtpive culling of goatstock and so on. Transparancy is lost. Confusion is found. And everybody is crankier for it.

I apoligize on behalf of my country. Happy new year?

Anonymous said...

Hmm never knew people thought this badly about us (i'm dutch:P)
I don't find us rude to be honest but I think I'm used to it. And I think people are right about the stress leven you can notice it everywere people are just waiting to get mad at someone to relese there stress. But the people I know do offer old people ther seat and stuff. About conversations we don't have them because we really like our privacy... But when you start talking to them first you'll notice they'll be nice (or they will ignore youXD) To be honest I often don't appologize to people when I bump into them cause they look angry and even if you say sorry they'll ignore you.. I guesse it's more like a every one on his/her own culture...
(we mostly hate the french en German because we get the languages at school so we'll be reminded to school when we think of themXD)

Anonymous said...

I think that one can be direct without being rude. My experience with this particular Dutch man is that he is not only rude, but also downright racist. He is now living in my country and I actually confronted him once that "I hope you can at least show some respect to the people in your host country - otherwise please go back to Amsterdam!"

Anonymous said...

I am Dutch by my self and I think everybody is really over reacting at this forum... You see that many people come from other coutries to the Netherlands because we have a good economie and stuff... and once you have been here for a couple of years you are going to say that we are junks, smoke weed, drink beer and are direct and rude. I think you should stay in your own country if you think we are rood bastards...
Every body that I know are really polied people.

Anonymous said...

I am Sjaak, that’s typical Dutch name.
I drink beer and smoke weed.
I’m cool and rude.
I hate other countries.
I think all the people should die except the Dutch people.

Anonymous said...

I live in Holland and am a Jewish American lady. I find the Dutch people not at all welcoming and at times anti-semetic despite the constant reference to "we saved Anne Frank". They are very rude, bitter, envious people that have no respect for anyone, they are stingy, controlling bullies. I have not enjoyed living here and have found them to be the exact opposite of what I had thought them to be.

Anonymous said...

I have met many Dutch people in my life, and from my experience they are not just direct and outspoken, they are selfish, rude, obnoxious, ofte extremely ignorant and with a holier than thou attitude towards anyone but themselves.
Especially the females tend to sleep around more than a prostitute, and act superior to any other woman, constantly and seem to have this idea that they are entitled to be completely rude and bitchy to other peope and.

The men are horrible too, being rude and sexist. they are just not a very nice type of people, and it cannot be a coincidence that millions of people avoid dutch, or that men avoid dutch women for fear of HIV and that women avoid dutch men because they'd rather have someone with at least an ounce of chivalry left.

it's just how I've conceived this, but it cannot be a coincidence. Everyone seem to agree that one way or another, the dutch in general are horribly rude and thoughtless, and even the dutch agree!

grik said...

I hope the Dutch people who stop by to read these comments take them with a grain of salt. There are rude people everywhere in this world. It is interesting (from reading the comments) that the Dutch seem to be so direct.

I live in Minnesota (USA) and we are sort of the opposite and almost never tell people what we think unless we really know them. In a way that is even more unfriendly. Sort of two-faced almost. And sometimes you hear people refer to it as "Minnesota Nice" LOL Gag ME! Its so passive agressive - but part of our culture.

So go ahead Dutch people speak your minds. There is no one right way to being in this world.

Naomi K. said...

"Wie zonder zonde is, werpe de eerste steen" / Let he/she who is without sin, cast the first stone
I'm sorry, but aren't we, humans, suppose to stop generalising? If you want to nit-pick, you will always find something wrong with people. So instead of pointing the finger at people’s flaws, start pointing the finger at your own flaws and if you really don’t like them, fix them. What I read into this research is that the Dutch are at least honest about the flaws they see in themselves, and that’s something positive.

Maak de wereld beter, begin bij jezelf / Make the world a better place, start with yourself.

Louise said...

I personally like the Dutch people very much. It is a very small country and the people of the Netherlands travel around the world. They see a lot of it, taste different cultures and are open to talk to everybody. 90% of them speaks English and will help you if you ask a question. A lot of them also speak a third and a fourth language. When you visit for example France, Italy or Spain it is totally different, they will not help you if you don’t speak their language (of course there are some of them who will help you like in every country).

In every country are rude people, nice people, noisy people, quit people etc. You cannot judge the people of a whole country if you only met a few. So, just give everybody you meet a fair chance and you will see that there are a lot of nice people all over the world.

With a positive attitude you will get positive reactions. With a negative attitude you will get negative reactions. That’s just the way things work.

So be positive!!

Anonymous said...

I have been to Amsterdam five times as it is one of my favourite cities in the world. I had always noted that the Dutch people were reserved and private but have never considered them rude until my most recent trip. Two incidents occured that left me feeling publicly embarresed. The first was in a shop me and my fellow compaions decided to have a look for trinkets to take home with us. The store was quite crowded and I saw a pile of masks on a hook protruding from the wall so I tiptoed and brought one down to take a closer look. When I decided to put it back I realized I could not reach high enough the hook it back on without risking pulling the whole display down, I looked for a member of staff to help me but unlike England where shop staff have a uniform or name tag so you can identify them everyone was in casuel clothing and the one man on the till was busy serving. So I neatly placed the mask on the nearest shelf I could reach under the display. Just as I was walking out the door to meet my friends a very tall man stood in front of me blocking my way and coldly said 'what are you doing?'. I didn't understand what he meant as he looked like a normal shopper. he then marched me to the self where I had placed the mask and said 'what is this, it does not belong here, where did you get it from?' The gentlman already knew It was from the wall hanger above. I picked up the mask embaressed as people were looking and my perplexed friends stared at me from the doorway wondering what I had done. I pointed to the hookful of masks and explained that I was too short to reach properly and demonstrated this to him by trying to put the mask back. Seeing I wasn't capable he snatched the mask from my hand and put it with the other masks he told me sternly what I had done was 'very rude' and saying 'It's not nice to do something like that is it?' and waited for my response in whitch I apologized and stated that I did not know I had done anything wrong. He then marched me out of the door and told me 'do not come here again'. I was so embarressed everyone in the store was staring and my friends were looking at me in disbelif. The man had made me feel like a shoplifter even though I hadn't taken anything, when I explained what I had actually done my friends could not believe the man had scolded me so harsly for simply putting a six euro object on a lower shelf. Also the man had talked to me like some silly child I may only be 5'1 but I am still a 24 year old woman and I was clothed appropriatly to be in a shop (Some shops in the UK do not let you in if you are wearing a hat/hoodie etc I'm not sure if the same applies there) I had done nothing wrong or illegal and yet I left feeling ashamed and scared to venture into another store. The next incident happened in a coffee shop a few days later we entered one night and bought a round of drinks and sat in a downstairs booth drinking our hot chocolates and talking, One of my friends said something funny and we burst out laughing. We were alone in the downstairs part of the shop except for the guy working at the weed counter whitch was also downstairs. The man approached our group and told us to 'please stop that and to take it easy on the smoke' whitch we found funny as we hadn't even smoked any joints. So to be told off for laughing is just silly there were no other people in the downstairs area so we were not disrupting customers and we were not doing anything silly just conversing and laughing. I'm sorry to say those experiences especially the first one really marked my holiday. After both I felt very uncomftable in shops or cafe's I understand other cultures do things differently but I was only in western Europe how silly is it that I was told off for laughing and banned from coiming back to a store beause I put something on the wrong shelf. I still love Amsterdam the city for it's beauty and history but I have to say it's a shame about some of the people who live there.

Anonymous said...

What I can't get is if you people hate The Netherlands so much then why don't you get the fuck out of here and never come back? If life in your own country is so good please go there and stop whining about ours. You people are really miserable

Anonymous said...

All of you jugding a whole country by a few people u met. I Think thats kinda rude.

Anonymous said...

a FEW?
i've been in your horrible country for YEARS, and i've met my share of cloggies; so on what basis do you assume we've only met a FEW?
Or is it MAYBE that only duthies can judge dutchies?
that'd be VERY objective i guess.
it'd go along the lines : alles gezellig, alles prima, or something like that.
And to answer to all those 'open-minded' cloggies whose only answer to criticism is GET THE FUCK OUT IF YOU DON'T LIKE IT...well i followed your advice.
I'm finally out of the swamp!
and never to be back!
yes, life is good now...very much so

Anonymous said...

I was in Amsterdam a few years ago and found the bartenders to be very rude. So much for customer service. One bartender even kept some of my change as a tip for himself. When I challenged him, he returned it without any embarrasment on his part, nor any explanation.
They don't like it when you stand up to them. They are so conceited that they think they are the only people with an opinion. And they also think that their culture is perfect.
To any Dutch person reading this; please learn what being sensitive actually means.
And for goodness sake, leave your own country for a while to enable you to develop a more balanced attitude to life and other people.

Anonymous said...

Well, i'd only like to say this, we dutch people all speak english, and one other strange language, only in our kapital city there are 187 different nationalities, and that makes Amsterdam the most multicultural city of the world, so well if you guys say were not tolerant please just go on with your dishonest lifes and keep lying to your close relatives and friends instead of saying to them, hey you have some toothpaste on your lip, or saying, you've got some chocolate on youre shirt.

Anonymous said...

you all speak english...
...that'll be the day...

Anonymous said...

I am french and dutch and lived in the UK for 3 years. I think this country is uncivilized when I compare the mannerisms with other countries (Germany, Belgium, France, Canada, UK)

In the workplace there is often no politeness. People become to familiar and afterwards try to stab you in the back. A lot of people are so self-satisfied that it is impossible to have some sort of social encountering or normal understanding. Maybe I exaggerate now, as there are a few, that are not too bad.

The nosy behaviour, always wanting to overrule the other, is getting really on my nerves, and I am Dutch with a French nationality!

The problem here is, that in this country, they do not accept people as they are, but want to change them to their benefit. Leave people alone, with their background and culture, as long as everyone can live in their happiness. Tolerance is a word that the Dutch use just to give themselves a tap on the shoulders. It doesnt exist in this country.

Anonymous said...

I'm a Peruvian woman married to a Dutchman for six years. Well, I just wanted to say that, indeed they ARE rude AND straightforward. When you get to know them and you are in their circles, you'll see they are not too bad. I appreciate the fact that they appear by far less judgemental than my fellow Peruvians back home, and they won't judge you for what you have or own... I think that as most Germanic, Nordic people, the Dutch like to keep to themselves and are perceived as "cold" by the "more Latinised" cultures. That said, when you go to the Netherlands, just be prepared that the Dutch won't receive you with a big hug, not to get disappointed... greetings from Ireland

Anonymous said...

Dutch people also lack logic and reasson. Tizzone was stating that, the commercial depicted something that typically happens quite often in Dutch society. Yes, he knows that commercial is relating to the Army and making quick decisions - but he was stating that, the commercial used a typical situation in Dutch society to get their point across.

"""First of all @ tizzone: The commercial that you are talking about, you didnt get that in the right way.. the boy who came in to grab the snack wasnt going before his turn (doing that is considered extremely rude here too!), the commercial was about knowing what you want and making quick desecions which is necesarry in the army."""

Alexander said...

The interesting thing here is that many of the comments about the Dutch will count for a lot of other countries as well. I know tons of horror stories about people visiting the states that are treated bad there.

The other thing is that those people who thought that other were being rude to them could (most likely) just have stated the fact to those people.

The guy stating that we're racist in the netherlands doesn't seem to know what he's talking about.

The thing about the dutch is that yes, they're open and honest and yes, to someone from another culture that can be concieved as rudeness.

The dutch don't trust someone instantly and saying that to their face isn't concieved as rudeness. It's telling them what things are like. It's not that they trust everyone BUT the person they tell it to. It's just that they only trust a few people and aren't willing to lie about it.

Even the language creates barriers, to a Dutchman when an englishman says "interesting" he often means "boring but I'll pretend to be interested because I want to be polite"

To a Dutchmen.....he's just not saying what he means and is therefore dishonest.

A dutchman that bumps into someone in the street and isn't sorry....won't apologise. Yes, I agree, he should be sorry. But to him lying about being sorry is worse than not being sorry at all.

The culture and calvinistic backround have honed honesty into such a hardcore value that it comes before a value such as politeness.

There's nothing wrong with that, just like there's nothing wrong with the american tradition of being nice to someone when they're there and then completely forgetting about them when they're gone. It's just different that's all.

Don't like it? That's fine. But complaining about something just because it's different is just ignorant

Anonymous said...

I totally agree with most of the things that are being said here. I have been living in the Netherlands for about 22 years and still sometimes the Dutch surprise me how rude they can be.

But maybe the people that are complaining the most should look for other people to hang with because there are good ones in between, you just have to keep looking.

Joe said...

Really, I cannot believe how short sighted most people are.

Have you ever thought about CULTURE?
We (the Dutch), have our culture, virtues and believes, as well as any other country.
That includes telling people what you think, and NEVER to lie about that.
This is because Lying about things, is even worse than not speaking up at all, to us.
This said, I know, in most (if not all) other countries, this is seen as extremely rude, especially since we do it in public too, if necessary, and we're not the least bit embarrassed doing so.
But we talk about other countries too!
We highly value a proper greeting WITH EYE-CONTACT!! (which is seen as extremely rude in most countries).

We regard punctuation as extremely important, that's why most of us dislike tourists.
Keeping ones promise is seen as NORMAL. No excuses accepted, unless notified at agreeing.
This means: show us your doubt about your ability to deliver the promise. Than we won't flame you.
We, in generally, do NOT like surprises, except for birthdays and such.

We KNOW most outlanders do NOT like us, but we DO NOT care, since we know what we can expect from them, as much as from ourselves.
We Dutchmen like to stay calm and reserved, not showing any emotional affairs in public, or during international distress. This way, we can think with a clear mind, and take the appropriate actions.

We are Dutch. Therefore, we are not as easy to read as others. We like to keep ourselves closed from the outside and to strangers as well.
This, however, does not mean we are asocial, or not interested in the world.
We highly value education, and international communications. Our High Schools do not have tons of exchange projects just for the sheer fun of it!!!
We may be direct and therefore seen as rude, but it's WHO WE ARE.
In your own country, you sure have met people like us. So what sets us apart? In what way are we different? Just because it's an entire country this time?
If so, than ask yourself this: Who are you fooling?

Finally: do you honestly think there are any Dutch people left?
Sure, there are, but they are quickly losing their numbers.
Over 75% of the Dutch citizens, are *half-breeds*, or less.
Especially Dutch and German or Dutch and French are popular.
The most popular combination is anything with Indonesian, living in The Netherlands.

We are proud of our heritage, and we feel like Provincials, not like Dutchman.
For example, if you call us Hollander, most people from the southernmost provinces will tell you: 'No, they live in The Netherlands as well.' Or something to that extend.

Please note the following:
We do not see ourselves to be superior to others; we just aren't comfortable in showing affection, since it is a part of our heritage.
Us showing affection as led us to great disasters several times (the economic crash with the downfall of the V.O.C., the 2 World Wars, and such).
These events locked our affection into an airtight safe, presumably never to get out again.

We may be proud. Indeed, we are proud of ourselves, for what we did in the past. And most of us regret it as well. Others praise it. But we RESPECT those opinions.
Our attitude:
What's done's done, BACK TO BUSINESS.

And Indian truth may be at place here:
"Never let yourself be tempted to prejudice others. Instead, accept them as they are."

Just like we do, AFTER we've seen what you're worth. (the Dutch: zien wat je waard bent -> to see how people are and how they react to certain situations).
We describe a person by their actions (who on their turn describe someone's personality).

Please do not disregard us as rude, or impolite, BEFORE you've researched our norms, and virtues, as well as our norms and etiquettes.
Once you've researched those, and understand our place in this world, as well as our ideals and such, you can complain as much as you like. (at least, if it's up to me =P)

Yours sincerely


Anonymous said...

As I am Dutch myself, I can understand some people might see us as rude, arrogant and impolite. I have to admit that, ocasionally, even I get surpised by the manners of our own people. I think It's just our culture, and everybody's accustomed to it. When we grow up, we do get to learn proper manners. But then again, noone notices we have because we simply don't show we have. It's a little bit complicated. Everybody's different. I've been living in the north now for 15 years (that's my age) but I've always been trying to be as polite as possible. Some people just don't like foreigners. Take a look at Dutch manners on Wikipedia. And maybe, maybe you'll then understand why we make a rude impression. But still, I want to point out that there are a lot of prejudices about the Dutch! Please take in mind that not everybody's rude. In the big cities, they can be. They treat you the same way they treat eachother. Please, don't hate us. It hurts to see that this is how other people see eachother, just based on their own experiences. It's like saying all the Germans are nazi's. I just don't understand why some people hate us so much. Maybe there aren't that much rude people in the area where I live (Frysia, northern province).

Anonymous said...

As person born and raised in the Netherlands it is somewhat surprising to find a so widely experienced rudeness.

To some people who lived here, as mentioned in above comments, most people live as guest in our bigger cities (Amsterdam - Capitol, Rotterdam, The Hague - Political Center, Utrecht). Seen from the countryside / province, Amsterdam has a complete different culture experience as Rotterdam. Same goes for most people not living in those big cities.

Hope people will watch somewhat further as just those big cities when citing that most people are rude.

Anonymous said...

I've only met one Dutch person and he shocked me so much that I had to check if the Dutch culture is so selfish and rude. We were fellow tenants at a bed and breakfast in a Japanese-style room with paper screens for doors. This Dutch guy smoked like a chimney through the night and we had a baby who was only 14 months old. The smoke wafts into our room as the wind direction brings it over. I told hime politely of the situation and how the baby and I have sensitive airways (its true) but his reply was, in short "it's too bad, leave this place if you don't like it"! How nasty and inconsiderate!

Andika said...

Woah, I'm actually shocked to see these hellish negative responses. I'm Dutch, born and raised. I agree there are a lot of assholes, but aren't there assholes in every country? We live in a tiny country, overrun by people packed up in a small area. It may seem like we have more assholes, but really we don't.
Also for the people living here for a couple of years now: in what neighbourhoods do you live? 'Cause yeah in some bad neighbourhoods they will but extremely mean and rude, but they're really not as bad as the "ghetto" in other countries (US hello?). It also depends in what circle of people you've put yourself in. I knew a lot of bad people for a long time, till I moved on and met better people, who were awesome and open and cool and relaxed and most of all FRIENDLY AND POLITE.
And then you start meeting their friends who are also FRIENDLY AND POLITE and then all of a sudden everyone you know seems FRIENDLY AND POLITE.
We have some awesome people walking around here and I dearly miss them after the 4 weeks I spent in the US. Because, nothing beats the attitude of the people I know. And I'm sorry that most of you guys have only met the assholes.

And I also have to agree with some of the people who said that, we just have our own way of doing things and keeping things to ourselves. But when we open up, you will have our full trust and we will be friendly to you. And then you'll actually KNOW that we're being sincere and not pretending to be nice.

Anonymous said...

Well, I wonder why so many people came to Holland each year:p But I do have to say I can understand many people find the Dutch rude and arrogant. I am Dutch, borne and raise, so I am used to the directness, but sometimes I feel uncomfortable how people are acting to each other, especially in the west region (big cities). But, there are rude people everywhere. American give you the feeling that they like you but inside they dont mean it. They are covering it very well. That kind of behauvior of the American people is well known all over the world. And they don't understand that's a kind of rude (in a sneaky way).

Tsuda_takatoshi said...

I am living here in The Netherlands for more then 12 years

And I would say to dutch people who ever think that he is not rude.
He must look to him/herself in the mirror before posting here.

Actually they are a bunch of uncivilised people but I ignore it.

Anyone who is Dutch and posting:
'Not all dutch people are rude' are just people who are rude himself but do not think about it twice before you say it.

I know not all people are rude they really lack politness.

Some people look 20 but are childish like 10.There are a lot in NL I know. So do not think you are not rude because if you are Dutch.

Hell, even polish people are not that uncivilised like this.

No polite words (eg. please)
They need to teach this at school before coming to the society.

And also really smashing your in the face if they steal your properties in front of your face.

and in 20mph/30km/h zone tail-gating and overspeeding.
Also on the motorway which are the most dangerous driving skills I have ever seen.

Peter said...

The Dutch probably didn't vote themselves personally the third rudest nation, but their fellow Dutch. Dutch always criticise their country and its inhabitants, but disregard themselves. Other surveys showed that the dutch are worried about the youth in the Netherlands, but they considered their own children to be raised well. Which leads us to the main problem of the Dutch: their ignorance about themselves. They're just plain stupid when it comes to reflecting about their own behaviour. Trust me, I'm Dutch myself (as far as my passport goes, I'm of foreign descent) and the attitude of the Dutch has brought me to the idea of emigrating.

Anonymous said...

Being direct isn't the issue - it is their lack of consideration for others that makes them what others might consider rude and what is most troubling for me. They don't appear to think (at all) about how their own behavior affects those around them - nor do they seem to care.

You'll rarely, if ever, find them being proactively considerate (i.e. letting you walk past, holding a door, or letting your car into heavy traffic when they see you're having difficulty).

They tend to be very aloof and, dare I say, incredibly self-centered and entitled (almost narcissistic).

I am an American expat living in Holland and this is probably the hardest thing about local culture to accept. Americans are generally very polite and courteous (sometimes to the point of being phony) - the Dutch are quite the opposite. In fact, they see our behavior a sign of weakness.

Typical examples of what I mean that the Dutch do that is inconsiderate:
Talking (very) loudly on the cell phone on a bus or in a shop;
Cutting someone off (within inches) or physically pushing past someone in the shop (even the shop employees will do this!) or on the street; and if another (usually a Brit or American) apologizes for doing the same inadvertently, they simply don't acknowledge it.

They are, however, the first to give you the "Dutch finger wag" if you break one of their rules (they, on the other hand, will break the same rules and see no issue with it - then it becomes none of your business....) God forbid you challenge a cyclist - whether or not he/she has the right of way.

In traffic, they are incredibly aggressive (and frankly, dangerous) - the goal is to keep the flow of traffic moving (not to drive defensively for safety's sake).

Certainly by British or American standards, the Dutch are flat out inconsiderate. But we can't put our values on their culture.

Although their lack of consideration (and associated behavior) often irks me, since I live in their country, I must accept it as the norm and not judge it.

Anonymous said...

Lived in the U.S for 23 years, Holland for 18, France for 2 years and I have been in Germany for 2 months now and I can say without a doubt that the Dutch are the meanest, most arrogant, rudest people on the face of this planet. Strangely enough, in the Netherlands, people that are nice are considered boring and insincere, " brutaal" or being rude is considered a good quality and encouraged in the Dutch culture.
Can think of a thousand acts of random kindness that I have experienced first hand in all of the countries that I have lived in except one...Holland.

Anonymous said...

I've been in the UK multiple times and I can't count how many times I've heard: "Excuse me" when people actually mean to say: "Out of my way"

Dutch might be rude but atleast they're upfront. If you find it rude that you haven't been invited to drinks you probably not considered nice enough to be invited. Be glad that no one has told you yet. We keep work and private life mostly seperated and are in general quite private people.

Opinions here might be formed on purely visiting or living in Rotterdam/Amsterdam or any other big city. They're no nonsense hectic cities with bigcities problems like crime etc. People are annoyed daily by hoards of tourists and the "Dutch" you encounter there are probably 30% tourists and 20% immigrants.

Flowery talk by English speaking people can be considered rude by Dutch.. If you tell us that we should come over, we expect you to invite us (and not in a few months)

I travel 16 hours a week by train and bus. The passengers always thank the driver and the person who checks their tickets. I have never experienced cutting in line or people not letting people off the train (except on one occasion when a lady was very late with getting her bag and was "caught" in the stream of people).

Honesty above politeness is the general rule her. Your foreign "civilness" will probably only work against you in the Netherlands, we'd consider you to be fake rather then polite.
Because we're so direct you get to the core of people pretty fast. You might actually make some real friends here..

Anna said...

Joe said: "We KNOW most outlanders do NOT like us, but we DO NOT care, since we know what we can expect from them, as much as from ourselves."
If you have that state of mind already, you become rude with just the sight of a tourist coming. YOU make the tourist not like you from the beginning.If you would smile, the tourist would smile.Psychology.

"We Dutchmen like to stay calm and reserved, not showing any emotional affairs in public, or during international distress. This way, we can think with a clear mind, and take the appropriate actions."

"We are Dutch. Therefore, we are not as easy to read as others. We like to keep ourselves closed from the outside and to strangers as well.
This, however, does not mean we are asocial, or not interested in the world.etc.
We may be direct and therefore seen as rude, but it's WHO WE ARE."
How can you be closed and direct at the same time? I guess that`s how you become rude.Not being yourself in the public but wanting to shout out the very first thought without thinking further than your nose.

Anonymous said...

i'm a dutchmen and most of the things mentioned above are true.
But there is a thing about not judging a book by it's cover.
i have lived my live in the smaller towns and i can say the people are more open there, more considerit about te people next door.
I also felt ashame when i see how the most people in the big city behave.
live and let live is my motto don't judge to fast, i have a brasilian wive and a lot of brasilian friends because i take the people as the come.
so treat the people as you woult like to be treatet.

kind regards

Anonymous said...

It's true. The Dutch are unbelievably rude. They say whatever pops into their heads, whether it's hurtful and mean or not.

They can call it "directness" as much as they like, but what it really is, is complete and total lack of empathy. People who have empathy consider other people's feelings and don't just blurt nasty things out whenever they feel like it.

Don't get me wrong. Nobody is perfect. Everybody thinks mean and nasty things about others at times, but that doesn't mean you have to come out and say what you're thinking. In fact, in general, if you think something mean and nasty and petty about someone else, you should KEEP IT TO YOURSELF.

Unfortunately the Dutch never seemed to get that particular memo.

Anonymous said...

Having lived in Amsterdam for around 7 years, and then left for other European cities, I must say that I have never elsewhere had as many encounters with rudeness as in Amsterdam. Nowhere else have I been treated as bad in shops and cafés etc. (And I am very friendly and threat people well in general).
This has nothing at all to do with directness, it rather has to do with a general lack of gestures and a general disbelief in anyone (especially anyone non-Dutch).
Many many Dutch seem to me to have a very blunt attitude and are extremely attached to rules and "normalness".
Being normal means to not ask too much and to have no particular wishes or behavours. You need to just have look boring and behave fast/efficient, then you are accepted by the locals in Amsterdam!

Anonymous said...

I don't find Dutch people direct at all. I think they often confuse directness with rudeness.
I like being direct, and I am direct myself.
The Dutch seems to me to be very afraid of close relations. In my view they like to stay on a very superficial level, and you have to always behave "normal!".
I find most Dutch people very afraid of actually talking straight about anything - especially emotions and things like this.
Instead, they are rude -especially in shops etc - this has nothing to do with being direct, it's simply a lack of education and a lack of empathy with other people. And at the same time they always behave as if they know "the rules" and they know what's best. Oh i dislike it so much and am so happy i moved away after 5 years.

Anonymous said...

It is not about saying your opinion - It is about how you say it! In Holland people like to say things with wide open, starring eyes, a "stupid" look on the face, slightly raised voice, and using rude and superficial words. How simple can it get!
It seems to me that they do no understand anything about life, which is for me also much about the "graytones" in between the black and the white.
If directness is to be black or white, yes, then the Dutch are direct.
But i would rather call it to be CLOSE-minded and open-MOUTHED.
The Dutch as a nation has always been tolerant. That is good cause it allows a certain freedom. But on an individual level they are not openminded at all! Only tolerant. There is a big difference between being tolerant and openminded.

Wessel said...

I'm Dutch, and we're not rude, we're straight. We don't like the "oh my god i'm so sorry, i'm so very sorry" when you stand on somebody's foot or something. We just say nothing, just watch to each other and sometimes we say sorry, of excuse me, and we Dutchman's are satisfied with that.

Anonymous said...

I greatly prefer Dutch honesty over the faux-politeness of other cultures. So terribly fake, my fellow Americans will happily barge through a group of people going "excuse me, excuse me", the Dutch just skip the part where they pretend to care.

Anonymous said...

I once went to amsterdam, and a tourist stepped on my foot. It didn't hurt much, but the part ''I'm sorry, I'm sorry.'' was more annoying. Dude, you're wasting my time, stop pretending you care.

BlueBelle said...

I've always loved the Dutch (which is just as stupid as disliking them en masse), but I must say, some of the "pro" arguments here just don't make sense. Like this one:

"A dutchman that bumps into someone in the street and isn't sorry....won't apologise. Yes, I agree, he should be sorry. But to him lying about being sorry is worse than not being sorry at all."

Sorry... what?

First of all, you're making the Dutch sound like psychos. Why would anyone NOT feel sorry for having bumped into another person? Obviously, it doesn't have to be a harrowing sorrow, coupled with bitter tears and hand-wringing - but please...

However, the TRUE and REAL feelings (an overrated category if there ever was one, when it comes to social interaction) notwithstanding, it's the part about "lying" being worse than uttering a syllable or two - or just flashing an apologetic smile - that sounds self-important to the point of being ridiculous.

Who gives a damn about your "real" feelings on bumping?
It's a very minor "sacrifice" to keep the people around as happy as possible - not a Faustian bargain!

It reminds me of a silly, silly Greek woman who once argued (not to me, I wasn't the accuser) that the apparently also famous "rudeness" of her countrymen was due to directness. "They tell you what they think about you right in the face!" she said, proud as a peacock.
The problem was, she was referring to a totally unsolicited and unprovoked expression of opinion, in a matter that did not concern the expresser of said opinion...
"Directness", indeed.

And this: "We highly value a proper greeting WITH EYE-CONTACT!! (which is seen as extremely rude in most countries)"

Well, I am a European myself (from Ljubljana, Slovenia), and have travelled extensively and lived in other countries around the world.
I have yet to visit a country - certainly a European country - where direct eye contact would be considered rude. The opposite is true.
(N.B. I haven't been to Russia - but it would surprise me if there were any difference in this particular regard.)

Perhaps you should revise the sources of your information about other people's mores.

I haven't been to the Netherlands in many years. After reading these comments, I almost fear going back.
Perhaps I should go on remembering it as a beautiful country, full of helpful and smiling and friendly people.

BlueBelle said...

"the Dutch just skip the part where they pretend to care"

For their sake, I hope not.
Because "pretending to care" is the grease that keeps the social machine going.

That machine, by the way, is the ONLY thing that separates our modern societies from the Roman arenas. Human nature does not change; only our social conventions of what is acceptable do.

Somebody commented that a person who apologised to him/her for stepping on their feet was wasting his/her time.
Wow, really?
You do not have a second for a quick nod or smile in your life?

What exactly would you have done with that wasted second, if I may ask?

What you actually did was to make the world just a little bit grimmer and uglier.

Think about it, when you can spare the time.

Anonymous said...

Good lord, what superficial thought everybody has!

Yes, I am Dutch but have lived in several different countries in the world. And maybe our nature is somewhat ruder than, say, Asian countries but cooommmmeeee ooooooon! I bet everyone who has lived in the NLs has lived in large cities like Amsterdam. Yes, a capital is chaotic and stressful but that's only because of the thousands of tourists crowding Amsterdam.

The Dutch are hard-working people, that's why we're always in a hurry. And yes it is why we tend to spend little time on strangers. But all the examples you're giving are completely disrespectful. People who don't apologize for standing on someones foot are found in EVERY country in the world.

I believe I am a social and helpful person, and being Dutch only gives a perspective on life I am grateful for. We are realists, see the world as it is (unlike the bigger part of America e.g.).

All I'm trying to say is that I understand that people see us this way, but there's more to us than meets the eye.

Anonymous said...

Do you people not understand what indivuduality is? Every person is different. The dutch are not collectively anything, neither are americans, french, or italians. Some people are rude, some are not. Generalizing is bad in any case, and you all appear to be doing it. Being dutch myself, I had no idea people from other countries saw us as rude. But then again, you seem to be giving examples of things that could happen in any country and contributing it to the general rudeness of the dutch as a people. Which is simply a flawed argument. And culture is a big factor here too. Dutch people mainly communicate with other dutch people. If we're all rude (which we're not) then we're used to communicating with eachother in this way and it's normal. I never heard people here talking about how our society is rude, so I don't think it's a big problem. Maybe if you see a whole nation collectively doing something, you should either tolerate it, or go along. You shouldn't expect a different culture to conform to your standards so you can be more comfortable while visiting, now THAT'S would be rude. Calling the dutch collectively rude is creating a stereotype, and stereotypes are always bad and never accurate.

Anonymous said...

I had recently visited Amsterdam and outskirts, and although there were a few shopkeepers(Asians,Middle Eastern) who were friendly and polite,the staff at the hotels we stayed (esp one called Fashion Hotel)were outright rude and disinterested.We are from Asia,and I couldn't believe how nastily they replied to our simple questions on getting to station from the hotel etc.
Out bus tour guide,a middle aged woman who sounded very experienced,had the same attitude during the tour trips-one of bored indifference.When these experiences kept aside,Netherlands was worth the visit.
After returning to Singapore where we live,i googled and found these umpteen remarks on 'Dutch rudeness' and now understand the whole context better. Personally i prefer directness,but atleast those Dutch in hospitality business need to learn to get it right.Next time around,guess we'd stay with family friends and venture on our own,than spend money and take rudeness.

Anonymous said...

I work in the Netherlands very often and I am amazed at he general dutch belief that their rudeness is just bluntness that is misinterpreted by foreigners. Actually the dutch avoid confrontation at all cost. Business meetings are much blunter and direct in the US, Germany and France. The only time they become blunt is when they blow up out of sheer furstration with their own bureaucracy or when they are surprised by an outsiders true bluntness. The cities are filthy with litter and garbage and the service culture is non existent- The dutch reassure themselves with this myth of being honest and blunt but generally you will never receive honest constructive feedback, bluntness will only come during an argument or a confrontation. Of all the countries I have worked in on 5 continents the Netherlands would be my last choice.

Anonymous said...

Hello Dutch critics, the reason why the dutch come acros like rude is that our language is a verry short language. Why say something with 10 words if you can in 3. The dutch understand each other that way and its accepted to give other people feedback on their behaviour without giving the other person the feeling he/she is under atack.
I've noticed that in other language and cultures this is seen as rude....... I've been living overseas now for 5 years and I'm still missing the dutch directnes and openmind.
And if you don't like the dutch that is fine, its your choice to hang out with them or not....... Or is this to direct for the rest of the world and seen as rude....

Anonymous said...

Its all very well telling ppl not to socialize with them but what if you are forced to work with them? I work with a dutch man as my supervisor and he will always criticise but never give praise. You never feel equal and get spoken to like a child. They are impossible to connect with, have no conversational rituals and are just rudeas their default setting. Its much easier to get along with other English / British or Irish, Americans, Portuguee, Asian. The only exception being the Polish who have a similar chip on their shoulders!

Anonymous said...

there is A LOT OF GENERALIZING here. It depends on the people, the class, the location. I have lived all over the world and have met rude people in every country. When I came to Holland I have to admit, it did take me a while to get used to some social behavior.
1. I didnt like it when I was with a friend/boyfriend and we ran into people he knew and i wasnt introduced. I do find that to be rude.
2. When people meet you, and you are the outsider- they dont take you under their wing so to speak.. but expect you to make the effort to belong.
3. speaking up is appreciated. In a social situation it is perceived as being rude or strange to be shy.
4. Conversation seem to have little focus on topic but instead the focus is on everyone contributing- to be heard.
5. It is very difficult to integrate into a group of friends when you are the outsider. You have to prove your worth and entertainment. No one will pay attention to you or make you feel comfortable or care that you come from a different culture etc, they are happy to be comfortable and the rest is up to you.

These experiences have been a negative side to living in Holland. However, I have also experienced 'rudeness' in other cultures. America also included, I found people to be fake and its common to talk behind peoples backs. Dutch people seem to care less.

- on the bumping into people part: I have bumped into people and apologized and they have apologized to me- unless you are dealing with lower class people almost 99% will apologize. Amsterdam is a bad example of Dutch people because it's fast paced and touristic.

Anonymous said...

I've lived in England most of my working life and i would say that i find them very polite and

sincere despite the drunks, so when i find myself working in Amsterdam right after (for the last

5 years) it was abit of a culture shock.
The first thing I did in amsterdam was dodge the "direct and not rude" cyclists, even if they can

go round with no effort at all.
Then jump out of the way from the "direct and not rude" scooter people bombing down the

See the "direct and not rude" Zwarte Piet's, man.. i thought blacking-up was left behind in the

work colleagues speaking "direct and not rude" dutch to each other infront of me knowing well

that they are cutting you out of the conversation (even if they can speak perfect English).
the "direct and not rude" way of putting every non-speaking dutch child in "Zwarte schools" which

are 95% black and not even trying to teach young foreign kids in local schools.
having to see the "direct and not rude" little 6 year old kids urinate in the middle of the

street on many different accounts by different kids even if they just live 20m away from home.
I really can go on but i have to deal with the "direct and not rude" neighbor that's making the

hall way smell of cheese and stinking fish.
and one thing i have to say to the dutch, please get a proper departure board in your train

stations and stop using the tiny ones that only shows what platform and final destination (not

everyone wants to just go to Breda).

Anonymous said...

My experience of the Netherlands is just passing through schiphol airport and sometimes having to stay overnight in amsterdam waiting for flights.And even that limited exposure to the Dutch has led me to conclude that they are the most obnoxious people on earth.I would never want to stay a minute longer in that place than I have to.

Anonymous said...

Well, I have to add my own voice here. I am New Yorker who lived in Amsterdam for a year. I have also lived in France, Germany, Switzerland and travelled all over the world on every continent and the Dutch are the most difficult from the point of view of daily interaction. They are petty, jealous, impolite, rude, etc. The jewish lady who lives there really hit it directly. It's so funny to read, even the dutch posts on here, where they sort of admit how bad they are and then say racist stuff like "even polish are better..." HAHA. They are really racist. I found the best way to deal with them when they are being childish and petty is to laugh at them to their faces! True, this is a bit horrific for polite people, but you have to realize that you are dealing with squirrely animals and this is really a good way to shame them. Someone bumps me or pushes me rudely in a store, I laugh loudly and comment to my friend "look how cute another rude Dutch person." They understand sarcasm - that's one thing they really get.
Seriously, though, the best thing to do is limit your time in their country. If you like to smoke weed, amsterdam is a nice place in the summer when its not raining. Or if like me, you are there for work, just get your thing done and get out. France is not too far and you can have some great food, and although the french can be brusk at times, they will always say "pardon moi" when they bump into you.....

Anonymous said...

Hi everyone. I am french, living in Holland for nearly 12 years. I have to say that many of the comments I have read here are a way too amplified and lack objectivity. If indeed the average dutch person can be rude he can be pretty friendly too. I hate when one put the whole nation in one bag: Dutch are rude, French are like this, German are like that... As far as I remember I have met rude people all over the world. Understanding their culture is the key of a good integration and most of dutch people do appreciate when you speak dutch to them (except in Amsterdam). Amsterdam will remains the place where the people are the rudest I reckon. Lots of them aren't actually Dutch by the way.

Anonymous said...

They must be #1, bloody morons

Anonymous said...

For all those fellow dutch people out there stop being so ignorant. we are like this.

Anonymous said...

I'm Dutch, and I don't recognize the things people are saying here at all. I don't find the examples of "Dutch rudeness" given here representative. For instance, I never notice any problems with "pushing in the streets". Maybe you were in an overcrowded tourist area at the time? Sounds to me like some people just had a few bad experiences, and are coming here to vent.

I for one am always trying to be polite, and so are many other Dutch people. Sure, there are rude people, but you can find people like that in any country. I love the direct way of talking. I've lived in the USA for 2 years, and missed the directness very much. I always felt like people were not getting to the point. I also don't like it when people are very friendly to me even though they don't like me. It makes me look like an idiot if I mistakenly take you for a friend. If you don't like me, just ignore me instead. However, there's a distinct difference between being direct, and being impolite. I always try to be polite even when I'm being direct. I think it's all in the choice of words. Maybe foreign people just misunderstand Dutch culture? Or maybe the nuances just don't come across when Dutch people are speaking in a foreign language.

I'll tell you what is just plain rude though. The extremely generalizing comments left here by some people.

Ji Xiang said...

I have never been to holland so perhaps I shouldn't comment. However I have known quite a few Dutch people and I have found a lot of them to be far too verbally aggressive. True, directness can be a virtue, but there are ways and ways of saying things, and a lot of Dutch people have a way of expressing their opinions which is far too assertive and self-assured. Furthermore, there are moments when it is not the right time to be direct and you should try and be sensitive and think about the effect your words will have on others.

Anonymous said...

Maybe it depends on where in the Netherlands you have been. I think most foreigners have only been in Amsterdam. I don't think people are rude where I live, exept a few dicks but you have idiots everywere.

If you go to the smaller cities or villagers people are different then in a big city. For example the eastern part of the Netherlands people there are also not that calvinistic and they are mainly katholic (or atheist).

I've been to Paris and I found waiters and other people there extremely impolite. But a few years later I was on holiday in Normandy and the people were much nicer there.

Anonymous said...

People! Let's face it. Most younger people come to Amsterdam for the "weed" and or prostitution. This being said: the Dutch resent this fact. They are angry partially because their country is mainly known for this. I mean ,let's be real, most people don't come here to learn about Dutch culture.
Another reason I think they're always "bitchy" is because they feel insignificant. They have themselves become little "bitchy , rude, obnoxious, self loathing people.
As an American who lived in Amsterdam from 2000-2002 I can tell I learned a lot. I'm being honest about my comments. Sad but true.

Anonymous said...

Another comment from a Dutchie, or as someone rightly pointed out, there are not many Dutchies around as they are mixing a lot :) I am from Dutch/German descent and live in Amsterdam these days with my Scottish boyfriend and work in an international office as I do not want a Dutch men as a boyfriend or the Dutch as colleagues...

The Dutch are rude, more so in the big cities then in the rest of the country. There is a lot of difference between different parts of the Netherlands.
People in the South are open but will most likely never really let you into circle. Up North they are closed but open up once they come to like you...

When I grew up in the East, I was shocked that if you would come around a friends house and it was dinnertime, you had to stay on the couch and watch the family enjoy their meal.. in my home, everyone was welcome, whenever and we would always share the food...

Anyway, enough about all that. One thing I really wanted to add:
Upbringing, the kids these days are being raised differently from how I was raised...each to their own and make sure you claim your spot... being assertive is seen as good... too much of a good thing if you ask me ;)
Next to all this is the rise of useless violence as they call it in NL. If someone misbehaves on a tram, hardly anyone will speak up as there have been many incidents where the person speaking up was hurt, by knife or fist.. it makes people scared to correct their co-dutchies... its a scary vicious cycle and I am not going to wait and see where it will lead as there are better places on this earth then Amsterdam or the Netherlands...

Anonymous said...

If you dont like our culture you are more then welcome to fuck off. take all the english hooligans who tear apart amsterdam with you.


Anonymous said...

Hello, im from Holland. while reading these posts i find a lot of things that you consider rude but i consider it normal. i think this is strange... but in general we have a lot of problems that other countrys don't know about us. such as: we have a lot of immigrants who do not work and get alot of money from the goverment. w need to pay 52% tax on our income, and an extra 16% if we buy anything, this menas you only recieve 40% of the money you earn and the rest goes to people who do not work. also the last years the crime rate is outragous. if you are in a bigger city and ask something at anybody you can get stabben, kicket or even worse... these people are mostly the low-income people and immigrants. so we dont like them. if some one talkes another language to us we get the image that he is a dangerous person hurting other people and receiving goverment money recieving instead of working.

but when we are at home whe are very friendly to each other.

also, we are direct because we (almost) always speak the trouht and you know what to expect from eachother.

also we have the most redicilous goverment of the whole world, because if you want to contact the goverment or police it at least takes 2 months to recieve anny feedback...

in our country everybody is in a hurry and wants to be fast because we hate traveling and cant stand slow people who hold us up.

maybe i sound very rude to you when typing this but this is who we are.

also the goverment spends ALOT of money to education and alot of people from other countrys come here to study and after that leave with the profit of our cheap schools and well education...

as a final and not very important but nice to know: read a bit about our history, we where one of the greatest people in the world but everything has been taken away from us, our colonys where taken by britain and americe(who we found) we had a 80 year war with spain, the germans attacked us and killed alot of us while we wehre nutral in the war, and belguim used to be part of holland but wanted to be a seperate country... (we have hostiles from the past al over out little country and react to that by being very direct end a bit rud to outsiders...)

thanks for reading this and dont forget to learn a bit about the dutch history please! it realy changes your point of view..


a dutch person

Anonymous said...

The Dutch are rude plain and simple. They are cold and quite a mean bunch in my eyes. My husband is Dutch I am an American and I can tell you even my husband finds them rude. Most expats who come from English speaking countries find them rude as well.

It has nothing to do with directness because it goes beyond the line of being direct. They have no idea about customer service, shop keepers are rude, kids are bad, in the small towns people are racist. You learn to have to put people in their place if you live here. It's a shame really.

Anonymous said...

Dutch are frugal, impolite, and invade vakantie places all together in caravans with supplies bought from Aldi!

Now.... one can not be refined if one meets fellow dutchman in the campground.... can he??? There is your answer! Heel Mooi!

a dutch woman said...

it is true that the dutch people are rude but that's different in the east of the country.

Anonymous said...

Yet it's true most writen here.

But almost I'm going to think people are exaggerating things.

When I visited the States, I really disliked the way they were trying to be friendly.
It was obvious so fake to me, that I felt uncomfortable with it.

Most of the rudeness which I experienced in the Netherlands, are people which thing they are above.
But when other people do that it's very rude in their eyes.

Michael Wade said...

As an American who works a great deal with diverse groups, I'll tell you a little secret about those friendly Americans you encountered: Most of them aren't faking their friendliness. With rare exceptions, Americans truly like meeting people from other countries.

Rein said...

I think people should not pay too much attention to the people complaining in this blog. People who have bad experiences are the ones posting a comment. If you rule out some of the Dutch people being shocked who also reply, you see that there's 60 people who actually had a bad experience in The Netherlands. The Netherlands receives about 10 million tourists a year, while we only have 16 million people that live in our country. So what are these 60 people on 10 million tourists? Exactly: exceptions. And ofcourse i know this statistic doesn't really count for anything, because not everyone who has had a bad experience will post about it on this blog, it's just to sketch an image.

I am Dutch myself, and although I can see that we do not have such a "warm" society as e.g. the Greek have, we do mean well. I, for example, study International Business and deal with a lot of different cultures, and a lot of people actually really like the Dutch. Maybe not for our (fake?) warm treatment of people, but because we have other values. We care very much about education, and health, every citizen here pays so much taxes, to support eachothers education and healthcare. And yet you call us selfish? We have tax policies that make the rich and the companies pay a lot of taxes, to support the lower income family's who have a hard time. We may look at things without any affection, but with this attitude we are one of the few countries who are not in any financial trouble. The Dutch pay relatively the most to the EU, and to the IMF, EFSF, etc. Yet you call us selfish? We do not live in a dreamworld, we do not keep living on credit (US), we are willing to work hard to gain personal results (greece), and this has worked out for us. The individual is indeed important in the Netherlands, but the system (which is represented by the dutch citizens) makes sure that no one has to die of hunger, or live in a shelter. Yet we are selfish?

I am from the North of the netherland, and people here are not that rude when bumping into eachother, or in traffic. So people probably generalize the dutch from what they see in Rotterdam or Amsterdam, which are crowded cities with a lot of foreigners, which will produce irritation, and friction. What better example than in the US? Where gang wars, and ethnical violence are part of daily life? Of course that is not the case everywhere in the US, just as not all the dutch are rude. And as mentioned before, we as the Dutch are surprised when people in for example the US, are overdoing the 'nice', it makes us feel like we are being lied to in the face. Ofcourse you wouldn't care about a random stranger who walks into your store, so why bother? Call it polite, that's fine, we won't judge you for that. We think of it as a nice variation to our culture. It's just not the way we do things here, we just wish eachother a good day, that's it.

My whole point seems like I think the Netherlands is great at everything, but it sure is not. Every country has it's problems, i was just trying to point some of the good things in the netherlands out. I mainly try to point out, that not everyone is the same, so don't generalize. The dutch generalize too, the US is criminal, moneygrabbing in it's optimal form by wall-street, and everyone's fat. This is ofcourse not true for everyone in the US, i was in paris this summer, and my girlfriend and me were pleasantly proven wrong by a young american family with three young kids. So please people, keep an open mind, i'm sure that I speak for nearly all Dutch people when i say that we do nót intend to be rude, and we all hate people that bump into you and do not even apologize or look at you :)

*On a side note, we think that the French are rude, because many of us go to Paris for a weekend, and everyone knows that the people who live in Paris hate the tourists, although they do live of them.

Anonymous said...

I'm Dutch. When someone says something rude to me, I'd rather shut my mouth than say something rude back TBH. I'm very uncomfortable saying something rude, especially to adults. I'm never rude to my parents, I mean, they gave me life, a warm home, they make me dinner and help my with my education and difficult times. I'm always available for a hug! xxx
Ps. I feel very sad that people see the Dutch as rude. If you think so, then stay away from the drug addicts and go to smaller villages and stuff! I hate drugs, it drives people crazy...

Anonymous said...

I was really laughing about all these comments, what a frustrating people. Just try to understand the arguments and don't generalize! If you do that you will see they ar very nice people. I don't want to glorify them, but I travel a lot so i;ve seen a lot people and still I think the Dutch are one of the nicest people I know.

I'm from Germany living near the Dutch border and studying in Holland and I live 3 years in Utrecht, so I can truely say the Dutch aren't that rude as people think they are. And I think I've a good overall view, because I've seen more than just Amsterdam.

1)Ok this was teh first thing I noticed when I was in Holland. They don't share their food or have a lots of food at home, just in case some visit them. But that's because they eat to live instead of live to eat. And they don't like to waste stuff.

2) Yeah it's true, they say everything what's on their minds (but most people do it here so why can't they?) but they are still polite (in the way they don't shout, staying calm and they try to say it in a tactical way).
But I have a sympathy for that even when I never will get used to it. FOr example they think Americans are fake, always overacting 'hi how you doin' your hair is so lovely...' But as soon as you are gone they are rude behind your back, and people feel that and it's uncomfortable if you know people are talking bad about you behind your back.
In Holland they have a word for that 'schijnheilig!' litterly translated 'fake saint'. They think it's better to say what's on your mind instead of gossip around, because they think gossiping is not fair and rude. Furthermore, if you know what the other is thinking it can clean the air and help to understand the otherone.

3) Most of the tourist go to Amsterdam, Utrecht or Rotterdam and that doesn't give a good picture of how Holland and how Dutch are. Most people in those cities are foreigners, look to the shops most store staff is not Dutch. they act a lot different in the country side or just outside the city.

Anonymous said...

4) I think the Dutch are very kind. They always try to speak the language of the one they are speaking with, to make it easier for the other one. And we can learn from that, because when we travel to Holland I never try to speak Dutch and when I worked in a shop in Utrecht I never saw a tourist (and there where a lot of Americans, French, Italian and Germans) trying to speak Dutch. Before Dutch people travel they try to learn the foreign language of the country they visit.

5)The Dutch are the most generous people in Europe, when it comes to charitable donations. According to international survey.

6) Always willing to help someone in the street if he's lost or want to know something about the train schedule.

7)Interested in other people and their culture. And try to understand the other people and the way they are thinking. Very open minded people!

8)They are everything except arrogant. They are very down to earth and they feel very uncomfortable if you give them a compliment. You will never hear a Dutchman say what he's good at. They have a saying 'Doe maar normaal dann doe je al gek genug!' (act normal, then you are already acting crazy enough).

But I think for example that Italians and French people are way more rude.
*For both countries counts that they are very rude in traffic.
*Not willing to help you find the way if you are lost in the streets if you don't spreak their language.
*They will shout at you if you touch something in the stores and even call you names like fat bitch (the only English words they know).
*If you come in a shop they say hello but when you're leaving without purchasing something they refuse to say bye
*they come always late even if they know you're waiting in the rain (they don't care)

About the Britains
*they are rude and break everything down when they are on Holiday
*yelling all the time
*nose up in the air

Americans and Swiss
*arrogant, they think they have the best country in the world

We are the best ofcourse :p no we all have our bad side, also the Dutch don't want to glorify them.

dutch said...

I'm 100% Dutch and I feel shocked reading all these negative comments! Are we really that bad?

Yes I know we are very direct, so am I. But I am always direct in a happy way, making small talk with strangers and I'm just hopping (well sorta) around being happy. For me honesty is a big deal, I do not like the fake polite behaviour seen in various other country's.

Some things I do understand. I find staff in shops are mostly unfriendly, you get pushed around in clubs and I don't understand why so many of us can't wait for passengers to get off the train first. I come from a small town but kinda travel around for school/social contact, and I find Dutch living in the south more outgoing and friendly.

I find it sad to realise that parts of what you guys are saying in the comments are right. I do hope you realise that not all Dutch are like that. It's dishonest to consider us one big group of assholes. I have amazing friends that are always kind to everbody, polite and thoughtfull. I hope that the people who think so negative about us Dutch wil meet some nice "cloggies" in the futute :)

Anonymous said...

It makes me sad that so many people think we're rude, selfish, etc.

In my opinion you haven't seen ALL the people and THE WHOLE COUNTRY.

You've seen a couple of people doing this or that and you guys tend to think EVERYBODY in Holland do so...

I personally think THAT is rude.

Anonymous said...

Well, I've got to leave a comment after reading such ridiculous comments. I assume most people commenting here have only been to Amsterdam or other big cities in Holland, and yes, some people in those cities can be rude, but what would you do if there are crowds and crowds of tourists running around like drunk, stoned, crazy men.

I find it highly annoying, when all these people are in the tram or the metro with me, screaming and being really loud and saying rude things to me. Ofcourse, not all tourists are like this, same as not ALL dutch people are like this.

It's shocking that so many of you have these experiences with dutch people.

In my experiences, Dutch people always make an effort for people from other countries, they even talk in their languages (or at least they try), something that the french or the german will never do (in my experiences).

As many people said here, we are a highly multicultural country, and a lot of foreigners do not adjust themselves, and they gather up in small groups together with other foreigners with the same culture and the same languages. No wonder none of the dutch came to you to say hi or something, you all are doing the same thing. We are not exepted in you're little groups.

For all the tourists that came here, I really think it is a shame that most of you feel this way about our country, but start with yourselves please. Most dutch people will copy the additude that you show them! I sincerely hope that you all will think otherwise sometime in the near future.

Anonymous said...

I am Dutch, have lived in the UK and now live in Germany.

Some situations described are really rude and the excuse of being direct and honest really does not count for this.

But guys, did it ever occur to you that we do not speak English as well as we think? That we try to translate our short and direct language directly to English and forget that we should add words like, 'please' and 'thank you' into sentences?

Anonymous said...

I'm not one to leave comments on internet articles but I felt I had to leave my two cents after reading most of the comments above.

As most, I am pretty surprised at all of the negativity, hatred and a word that has been mentioned often: generalization. Come on people, you accuse the Dutch of being rude, yet you manage to fit some of the worst and rudest generalizations in the same comment space. Talk about hypocrisy. I am Dutch but have lived the most part of my life in Germany, France and Belgium. When I moved to the Netherlands I was RELIEVED. My god, finally a people who actually say what they mean. Yes, Belgians are soft spoken and polite, but my god have I been insulted behind my back. And believe me, that hurts MUCH more than being told off in a store for not cleaning up your stuff behind you.

I have worked in a store at Amsterdam Central Station for a couple of years and as a result, have had a lot of experience with many cultures. And through the years I have developed a pretty well balanced view of many nationalities. Dutch are not the rudest AT ALL in stores. They are the most direct and straightforward but as much as people like to put it down as rudeness, it's just not. I have experienced Spanish and Russian people to be MUCH more rude for instance: they will just refuse to say hello, goodbye or attempt to speak anything other than their own language. I find the Dutch cold, but pleasantly normal and just very down-to-earth. I have to say that the British are the most polite while not coming across as insincere (like Americans often do). But before I am doing too much generalizing myself: I have met rude and friendly people in every culture. And I see many flaws in the Dutch culture, but not more or less than in any given other culture. And really, many of the people above can stand to grow a bit of a thicker skin. Really get a bitter, old sourpuss vibe from some of the comments above. Try some positivity, that helps a lot already.

Anonymous said...

It is funny how some people can make up their mind about over 16 million people by visiting 1 city a couple of times. Wonder what language they spoke when they visited, I'm pretty sure it was their own?

Of course there are rude people in The Netherlands, like there are in so many other countries. It doesn't surprise me that people who weren't brought up here take our bluntness for rudeness. But have you ever thought how you come across to people from other cultures? For example, the well known politeness of American people:

I have lived in Florence, Italy for a while and whilst visiting one of the squares I was asked to take a picture of an American couple. I took the picture and they thanked me and asked me where I was from. I answered them I was from Amsterdam, in Holland, and currently studying in Florence. They began talking about how they loved Amsterdam, and that it's such a nice country! I explained to them it's not a country, but the capitol of The Netherlands, a country in the west of Europe. They walked away astonished that I had the heart to tell them they were wrong.

Was I really rude there? I don't think so. I think the American couple was being rude for faking to know something about the place I'm from and then finding it strange I corrected them.
I know not every American is like that, I actually have a couple great American friends, but it's just a story to illustrate how different perceptions can be.

Maybe some of you should keep in mind that different cultures raise different people, and that not all people from the same culture are alike, next time you visit The Netherlands. And it also helps trying to think how you would say certain things in another language. Even though most Dutch people speak a work of English, they're not masters in the language and might find it difficult to answer questions in nice full sentences. Then maybe your next encounter with Dutch people will be a more pleasent one!

Anonymous said...

@ 9.17 a.m. has said it best.
I've lived in the Netherlands for many, many years and I completely agree with that person's statement.

Yes the Dutch people will never fully admit it, but they are extremely rude, ignorant and very closed minded.
They think they know everything better than anyone else.
And they are pushing their agenda in U.S.; always trying to force a fake image of being tolerant, open minded and intelligent in Hollywood movies.

They feel no remorse what so ever because of their colonist history.
They've had slaves for hundreds of years and stole other people's countries all over the world.
Not only do they feel no remorse, but they also brag about how rich they are and they'll never admit that the Netherlands got rich over poor slaves' backs.

They don't know what empathy means and they hide behind the word directness just so they can insult and belittle other cultures/nationalities.

Anonymous said...

first off, i'm Dutch, and i know we can be rude, but we see it ass direct, and speaking our mind, if we want something we just say it, thats how we are.

Second, we are the most curtural country in the world with the most nations.. that means something right?

third, yes we do pick on some country's ;).. like the french because they're rude (in our opinion).. the german are fine but we like to pick on them anyways. And we make always fun of the belg, i don't know why, but they do it to :P..

and last, we aren't that racist against maroc's and other country's just against the foreigners who live in our country, profet of our land, and don't do anything back for it (like working)..

From a Dutchman

Anonymous said...

First off I've lived here almost 6 years. I have to, as my husband is Dutch. So there are some very nice Dutch people and yes everyone is individual.

However, as a rule MOST are just plain rude, un caring and just have a total "me-first" attitude.

The dutch have done a lot of great things but it has gone WAY too far into thier heads. Come down from the cloud, you are not everything there is. The world would go on without you. Stop being so rude to everyone that is not part of yuor country.

In the states we are taugh to think before you speak, be kind. Back to basics from our childhood even, "if you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all". In fact, for that matter, don't show it on your face.

And stop judging. Do you really KNOW the person's story you are being rude to? Do you stop to consider that they may be going through rough times and could just use someone to CARE and not judge?

I have 3 kids. Yes 3. To most Dutch I may as well be the Duggers with that many kids right? Tell me, am I wrong? But did you stop to ask, will I have more, am I done having kids, perhaps one was a suprise. I don't just abort, i love them all. Sure, wasn't planning on 3 but I wouldn't change a thing now. So stop, think before you ask me "Are ALL those yours????" And then go on to say "Oh my God" after I say yes. Because today I've been near my breakign point and that just sent me over the egde. I've been trying to teach my kids to smile, and be kind always even to people who are rude. How can I here? You *most* only care about one thing, YOURSELF. I feel sorry for the kids being raised to treat others like you do here. Break their spirit, their innocence young right?

To those who are kind here, keep it up, hopefully someday you'll make the difference this country needs.

Anonymous said...

I'm not dutch. i'm australian. i know a few dutch people though, and i think they're great! i love their honesty. you know exactly where you stand with them, and don't have to worry about them being two faced, or just saying something to be polite.

cloghuggers rule!

Anonymous said...

I'm a 19 year old girl/woman from Holland. And I find most of the comments on this forum very insulting. How can you say all dutch people are rude and arrogant? Do you know all dutch people? I love living in Holland and all the opportunities it's brings with it. I concider myself a open, honest and kind person, but not rude. Of course there are people in the Netherlands who are racist, arrogant and very very rude. But I've been to the US and there were a rude people there as well and I don't go around saying all Americans are arrogant and rude. Maybe you should all also think a little longer before posting things like that. It's not just the dutch :)

Steve said...

I'm British and live in the UK with my Dutch partner. I don't think the Dutch are rude. I think it is more of a language issue. I have travelled to Amsterdam many times and find them very similar in attitude to most Londoners. No one has ever been rude to me and I love my Dutch family.
When they do travel over to the UK they do say that the British seem a little more polite. There are people in all country's that are rude, (we have a few here believe me) and I have encountered nice people and not so nice people on my foreign travels. I actually find the Dutch and The Netherlands very similar to the British, we even eat similar food!
If you take a look on all these forums on the net asking what they think of the Dutch, the British, the French etc, you will always...ALWAYS find negative comments...arrgh the human race!

Anonymous said...

I think reading the comments by so many Dutch here who say they dislike people being friendly and polite says it all.Must be the only place on earth where people are disliked for being friendly and polite!!

Anonymous said...

The ignorance concerning this topic baffles me, it really does. Everybody claiming that the Dutch being direct is actually rudeness, are willingly admitting that they think politeness is more important than honesty. The dutch people are honest, up to a point that they don't like make excuses for something they don't feel sorry for. Is that a bad thing? I like the fact that if i do something wrong, people will correct me, it allows me to learn. If people consider it rude if people don't apologise if they run into someone, you have probably also noticed that the Dutch person being bumped into, doesn't say anything most of the time to, it's the way that society works. Live and let live, but though unconventional: Die and let die too. We will not smile to you if we are not happy, and we will not be nice to you if we don't think you're nice, most of the time at least. I am stunned people actually know that, and still think we are rude, isn't dishonesty far more rude?

Anonymous said...

What I found here is totally opposite to an only Dutchman I know. He seems to be nice, caring, and positive. About directness, I just asked him to clarify what he actually meant by things he said earlier. Did I meet an exception? I'm Asian by the way.

Mckroket said...

It is wrong to use examples like pushing in crowds and not saying excuse me as an example of Dutch rudeness. I am willing to make an assumption here that most of these examples were experienced in cities where civility is harder to find such as it is in any large city in the world. Their rudeness however is more insidious. Saying someones fly is open or that they have a spot of tomato ketchup on their chin is also not rude actually quite the contrary that is being very polite because you are pointing out something that is objective fact and potentially embarressing. The problem is that many Dutch cannot differentiate between objective fact and subjective OPINION which is where the break down starts to occur. Sitting in a living room with a group of Dutchies and listening silently to when the inevitable topic arises about how foreigners are taking over their country and ruining everything KNOWING you are a foreigner is imho rude in the extreme. Their counter of course is that they do not consider me to be a foreigner. Also sitting with a group of Dutchies listening to one start to go on about how one of the girls in the group is not physically attractive ( true example ) to the point of making her cry is also rude. Of course his counter is that he is "telling the truth". Everyone has a right to their opinion no one has a right to their truths. Are Dutch bullies ? Imho yes they are and I will explain why. i had this conversation with my son about the difference between bullying and simple teasing. I told him teasing is a 2 way street where the giver can take as good as he gives and is a good sport about it. A bully is someone who likes to dish it out but cannot take it. It is an extension of the NIMBY attitude that was discussed earlier. Try it yourself.
Sit with a Dutchie and for no reason tell him his hair cut is ugly or her shoes are not fashionable and see what you get. Their indignation can be legendary. If you really want to set them off ? Start to talk about world politics and history and the Dutch role played in shaping things today. Some topics are encouraged and others are strictly taboo for example their own colonial history, the role played in the trans continental slave trade or their co operation and complicity with nazi war crimes during WW2. I suggest you have good running shoes on to get away quickly if you decide to go down that road. So it is not their pushing and lack of apologies I find frustrating ? It is their implicit double standards, hypocrisy and holier than thou attitude. In addition their propensity to view anyone who is not Dutch as being socially ( dare I say genetically ) inferior plays a problem here. They are actually quite nice to me smiling and such until I speak when they hear I have quite the accent. They switch automatically over to english assuming I am a stupid foreigner never realising how advanced my dutch actually is. Their change in attitude towards me is measurable. They are quick to perceive a weakness in someone and are not at all shy about trying to exploit it to their advantage. It is the biggest reason why I was so motivated to learn the language so quickly. The downside of being in control of the dutch language is that they view me as being a bad foreigner who refuses to integrate and assimilate ( i have wooden shoes and a windmill decorating my garden and i make really good snert ) but because I can see through their bullshit and beat them at their own game ? I have become a serious threat to them. the only thing worse than a foreigner who cannot speak Dutch is a foreginer who can read the Collectieve Arbeids Overeenkomst.

Jibe1111 said...

Its now 2 years that i liv in the netherlands and i don't recomend it to anyone. I lived in germany before and could get along very good with the germans. When i got here, i thought that dutch would be similar to germans, i was wong. In one word, dutch people suck so bad it angry. they jave a shoking lack of imagination and fantasy, they never get any jokes, they ar just unable to be junuanly interested in someone. Directness is just a myth. They would just never tell you ehat they think, what they call being direct is just asking you some strange questions like are you gay? On think you should know i that they are extemly jugmental, theyvjudge every body and therefore feareverybody's judgement. this is the reason why they have such a lw level of creativity: they exist by fitting in, not by standing out. It also probably due to they language which is so poor. Girls are unkind, really i have such a low chimistry with them that for a time i thought i lost all my power of seduction, actually they are just programmed to reject anyone with a slightly different personality, they don't understand my jokes, so frustating. in short don't go here.

lxemergency said...

So in short:

[Quote] they never get any jokes,[/quote]
You're not funny,

[quote]It also probably due to they language which is so poor. [/quote]
You don't speak the language. (you're not very good a typing in the english one either btw.)
[quote]Girls are unkind, really i have such a low chimistry with them that for a time i thought i lost all my power of seduction, [/quote]
And you think girls should not be able to resist your charm......

Yeah, I can see why you'd think the dutch are're just a douchebag.

Anonymous said...

I am married to a man who is Dutch. In all reality, the dutch are a great! When people are blunt and straight forward things get taken care of. My family used to take months and even years to get a point across because they didn't want to just come out and say what they felt. I never have an argument that lasts longer than an hour with my husband because everything comes out at once, and trust me, its very refreshing. No tension is built up, and there is no "going to bed angry". So, why beat around the bush? And really, the people that are rude, are the ones that gossip and talk behind other people's back. At least the Dutch just come out and tell you the truth. So everyone that hates the Dutch- you are simply afraid of hearing the truth.

Anonymous said...

Just got back from our third trip to Curacao. Love the island. On this trip though I noticed that the Dutch are (for lack of a better word)rude. Wondering if it was just me, I Googled the topic and came upon this old link.
In a separate link, I found a quote from Professor Paul Schnabel of the university of Utrecht which perfectly captures my sentiments...
“Courtesy, willingness to please, and good manners are not national virtues in the Netherlands,” he writes. “To a certain extent we are even proud of this fact. We like to say that this is because we are so honest and straightforward. Anyone born or raised outside our borders would say that the Dutch are mainly blunt and rude.”
I think Professor Schnabel also probably used "rude" for lack of a better word.

Anonymous said...

The anonymous Dutch writer of one of the comments above, remarks that "metopnymy" in very prevalent in the Dutch language. Metopnymy [sic] does not exist in my dictionary; what does exist is metonymy which means a figure of speech and the use of figures of speech. This is hardly the meaning of "directness" or "concreteness" to which the writer referred to means.

Anonymous said...

If you think average Dutch people are rude, you should meet the Frisians. I think many of you would consider them at least twice as worse.

Anonymous said...

I too have experienced this (not the talking, directness or not,) actions speak louder than words.
Then I was watching 'criminal minds' where they listed the aspects of a psychopath, and i thought 'wow, this fits my general view of the dutch'.
Even though I know of 50% of the dutch people that I met are very kind, warm and caring. It's the other 50% that make it feel that way.

Anonymous said...

Direct? No. Arrogant, yes. I work with a Dutch who trumpets Dutch superiority EVERY CONVERSATION WITH EVERY PERSON EVERY SINGLE DAY. She is making me HATE Holland, without a doubt.

jos meijers said...

heh i found a list that will help non dutch people understaind the mindset of the dutch

Anonymous said...

Wow, I'm quite shocked, reading some of these comments. I didn't know we were so hated, haha!

First off, I can see why people think of us as rude. I myself sometimes think that as well. Especially in the "big" (well, for Dutch standards they are big, haha) such as Amsterdam, Rotterdam and Utrecht there's a big chance you're gonna encounter rudeness.

I also agree that lately, we haven't been as tolerant and open-minded as we like to pride ourselves on. Especially with the economic crisis, it's been more "me me me" and less "us us us" so to say.

I can see why we're perceived as rude, really, I do. The most frequent counter argument is that we see ourselves as "direct, not rude". While this is by far not always the case, it's how we interpret this trait ourselves. Isn't it that you, being from another culture, simply have other values? This isn't a question of who's wrong and who's right or who's the rude one and who's the polite one, but a cultural difference.

Also, the language thing? Please don't think we speak English to tourists out of arrogance, because we think we speak the language so well. It's just that, being such a small country, we've learned to adapt ourselves. Of course I can't speak for everyone, but really, we see it as polite to change to a language we assume you're more comfortable with, not because we want to show off our rad language-skills.

That being said, there certainly are a lot of people here who should consider a few lessons in empathy. But from what I've been reading here, some people on this forum need the same. Please don't lump us in with the few bad encounters you've had while visiting the Netherlands. That's a bad thing to do no matter which country you're talking about.

Anonymous said...

Fuck you all, you all don't know shit. The Netherlands are very nice, you just dont understand the cultural difference and think its being rude. It's not.

The people in the Netherlands aren't rude. It's the cultural difference. You think its rude because you hide behind your farce and dont speak your mind truthfully, we do.

The Dutch people are very sincere and direct. If you think that is rude to speak your mind, you are by a long shot, not an open culture. We are.

Anonymous said...

I am living in the Netherlands for 2 years, and i agree with everything what was written here. Dutch are quite rude and their directness mostly not at the right time. I am Russian, it is said that Russians also rude, and, we do agree. Knowing closer us people know that we are quite good and warm people.We will never invite people home and give them nuts as a dinner. Once i was in a train and one woman started to talk with me, when she discovered that i am Russian she made a comment "Russians look chip, but you not" what a nice comment...want to say that her look was like she worked in a fiel whole week and after drunk some beers,so dirty and ugly she was. This is how dutch women look for me- not feminine at all,family is not considering as a value at all,career,money,money,Prada,Prada, this is what they need.And after they are surprised that their man are get married with Slavic,Asian,Spanish and etc.
I lived with Dutch in one house;they always parked car at our side, never took out a bin with garbage outside,behavior was like they are alone in this entire world. Before coming here i had more positive ideas about Dutch,however it was a mistaken view on their civilization.

Anonymous said...

I have been living in NL for 7 years. Let's not generalise and oversimplify. Humans are all self centered, history has never experienced such ego obsessed times before.
The Dutch have been hard working and struggling over the last centuries, harder than other people, given the lack of their natural resources and their constant battle against bad weather and greedy neighbours. They seem to want to have some time off and enjoy their achievements. Maybe this is the reason they seem to lack energy and interest in doing anything interesting at the moment. They are just tired.I also think that our client oriented world just does not suit the character of the Dutch as it implies a sort of humbleness and obedience they have historically opposed.
It is very little written about the Dutch as people. They are known to be honest which they doubtless are. They are known to be modest which they are. They gave some of the greatest painters of the world and you can see how they love light and colours in every corner of their country. No one can doubt they are the most skilled gardeners of the world, this is also something obvious. But you need to live among them to see how modern culture has altered a lot of these great features and skills. But aren't we all altered, some quicker some slower, by the technological revolution?

I must admit I am looking forward to leaving the NL though. But I blame it on my completely opposite temperament. I am communicative, humorous, curious, elegant, subtle, sympathetic and empathetic, immaginative, speculative. Can anybody tell me to what part of the world should I move? I have tried so far Germany, UK, NL, France and Rumania. None really felt like home.

Anonymous said...

I think there is a difference between direct and rude. I was in Amsterdam for two days and the number of rude people that I ran into was more than you would normally see. I ask a Policeman for directions and his response was condescending and his tone was like ~what the f#@$ do you want~. There were polite people too but they look more like immigrants and not born and raise there.

Anonymous said...

I think I could write a very long story here like some of you persons did, but I intend not to.

First to mention I am Dutch myself and apart for living abroad in Asia I have spend more than 20 years living in the Netherlands.

I must say, because of having the experience of living abroad I noticed the basic things mentioned here by many people I experience them too. Mainly being the general rudeness, lack of customer service, the complaint culture (but never looking at their own part in this or what they can do to change) and arrogance (close to being narcistic).

Before getting on, there are positive things to be noted as well. Being the honesty (if brought with consideration), sense of humour and the self-criticism (which does not exist on a personal level)

What I think the main causes are of the bad behaviour would be

1st that many people do not know hardship in this country. Many Dutch never had any problems providing for themselves and their families.

2nd that kids are no longer raised by parents but kindergartens and schools. A small bunch of kindergarten employees cannot raise kids values to a whole group the same way parents can on the individual level.

3rd the overdone culture of so called 'tolerance'. Everything is supposed to be excepted and dare to say to someone he / she is misbehaving, good chance you'll look bleu in the face where it was some other colour the day before. Mainly this has caused the Dutch to be the way they are these days.

But as I still live here I can say it is like a farm with pigs, it stinks but after a while you don't smell it any more.

Anonymous said...

I am an American in the Midwest and I haven't known many Dutch people. This is completely anecdotal. I work in the horticulture industry where the Dutch are very respected. I have recently taken a new job where there is a Dutch man I work with daily. He is rude and aggressive. I suppose you could call it direct but there is something insecure in his directness. It is like a preemptive strike. He is very competent but is emotionally a child. Americans can be aggressive too (New York Jewish, East Coast) but it is different. They are generally not looking for reasons to belittle you personally, they are just abrasive. I was curious if it was a Dutch trait and I found this thread. If you are a kind hearted Dutch person reading this I apologize for the generalization.

Anonymous said...

I now speak from my own observations...

I have lived in Holland for 9 and a half months now. I am from England and i spent 6 months in The Hague and now i am living in Amsterdam. I must say, i found living in Den Haag very difficult as 90% of the people i met were judgemental and condescending. They were not open to individuality and seemed stuck in their minds. They had forgotten what the true essence of life really IS and money appeared to be the reason for their existence.

A lot of dutch people i have met give this really intimidating eye contact with very few blinks. The conversation is usually small talk- weather or they talk about themselves. A lot of people are shallow and only care about their physical image and judge other people based on that. I have met some really friendly dutch people and two amazing spiritual people who lived their lives by the virtues of LIFE and not their culture but on the most part they have been rude.

I have lived in areas where there are no tourists, i understand what the culture is really like and how capitilistic it is. I understand how people think and how they are hostile to life, the universe, the whole spectrum.

I am only 20. I know that there are some great dutch people around but it's a shame to see rudeness. A shame that their behaviour makes me want to flee the country.

Anonymous said...

It is odd ( or maybe not ) how so many critics of the Dutch are not Moracans or Turks or the Poles who the Dutch hold in such contempt but higher educated western ex pats who are heavily invested in their life in Holland.

Mckroket said...

Can anyone really be surprised that the Dutch can be so brutally uncivilized ? Just watch their tv programming. Flodder ? De Tokkies ? Brutale Meiden ? Lets not forget New Kids. They glorify this behavior. Monkey see monkey do.

Anonymous said...

Hi everyone I'm a dutch girl, 19 years old and have lived here my entire life. I have traveled to many many places from england to portugal and a lot in between! I must say that everyones statements in this conversation are all mostly based on people who lived or went to Amsterdam, and I will honestly say that indeed most people in Amsterdam are very rude! This is because there are indeed over 180 different kinds of people(race nationality etc)! BUT this is also making everyone think that everyone is rude in Holland but I must say that if people would go just a bit more to the middle om the Netherlands and visit small towns or less busy places you will notice very nice people, 90% of these people also do NOT want to live in Amsterdam, because they also believe its waaay to crowded and rude and also dangerous it's not a good place to be! (unless your'e going out to an underground party :P) But I ask people to look a bit further than only the north of holland! Please be a bit more open minded and next time you visit come to places like Deventer or Zwolle beautiful cultural and kind places :3

Anonymous said...

european integration?!? I really have to say that I was quite shocked to experience the dutch cold shoulder and opinionated behaviour.
Hold themselves in great esteem and basically have a (dutch) double standard, one for themselves and for one for everyone else (goes without saying, everyone else turns out second). Just watch the dutch soccer team and you will almost know everything you need to know about this vain and deceived nation. funny thing is, once they study in belgium and get treated as exotic animals rather then persons, they become much more humble and easier to deal with. suits them right.

the text above was quite negative and shows some dark sides of their culture (of which the dutch are thouroghly unaware of), but dont forget that there are decent dutch people and anyone open enough has a good chance of meeting those aswell!

voskat said...

Most of the Dutch responses in here are typical of them: Just blame the foreigner for not understanding that the Dutch only try to be honest and truthful.

There's nothing wrong with being honest. That's not the problem.
The problem is that the Dutch believe that the only correct interpretation of anything is their own.
They seem to forget that they live in an incredibly tiny patch of land, and because they stay inside their own little bubble when they're abroad, they never get to learn anything about how the rest of the world works.

Foreigners outnumber you 1000000 to 1. And they've often been doing things their way successfully for many, many more centuries than you.

Try getting your head around the idea that OTHER people are simply RIGHT about some things, no matter how "niet normaal" they may seem.

voskat said...

Quote from Anonymous:
They began talking about how they loved Amsterdam, and that it's such a nice country! I explained to them it's not a country, but the capitol of The Netherlands, a country in the west of Europe. They walked away astonished that I had the heart to tell them they were wrong.

Uhm, I'm pretty sure that, when they said "IT is such a nice country", they naturally referred to the country that Amsterdam is a part of.
You just assumed they were idiots and then went off on a bizarre tangent that probably scared them off.

Ill communication. Heh.

voskat said...

Also, just wanted to repost this quote from "a dutch person", because it's probably the most hilarious thing I've read in months:

as a final and not very important but nice to know: read a bit about our history, we where one of the greatest people in the world but everything has been taken away from us, our colonys where taken by britain and americe(who we found) we had a 80 year war with spain, the germans attacked us and killed alot of us while we wehre nutral in the war, and belguim used to be part of holland but wanted to be a seperate country... (we have hostiles from the past al over out little country and react to that by being very direct end a bit rud to outsiders...)

thanks for reading this and dont forget to learn a bit about the dutch history please! it realy changes your point of view..

Poor, poor, poooor white Dutch people. :-D

Irene said...

I studied at a university in a small town in the center of the Netherlands. No rudeness at all but... actually covert behavior, AGAIN AND AGAIN. The Dutch, here, do not speak their mind. You do not know what they are thinking. And there are things are going on that they should address, although they won't most of the time. If they do, it is behind closed doors. Difficult academic and social environment, and a negative impact on the countries where their research is undertaken. But there are no means to discuss this openly.

Anonymous said...

It is July 2012 and we have been living here for 5 years now. All I want to say is that nothing has changed here since 2006.
I am working for an international organization and every time people here my wife and I talking English, we get their nice "expat-treatment". I have asked for a transfer to Munich, but they won't let me go, because we have so many more requests for going from The Hague to Munich and basically almost no requests the other way round. The Dutch are rude to what they call the "Expats", but it is true that they can be extra-nice to other Dutch people.

Anonymous said...

To everyone here, I'll tell you what the dutch think of you and how they think you see them:

"you whisper lies, we yell truths"

We are a lot like the scottish and the russians in that aspect.

That said, I will not denie that I see why you think the dutch are rude. I find the dutch rude as well, sometimes. In their "me me me" behaviour. Then again, I see that same behaviour from Tanzania to Norway. I also understand why you think the way the dutch treat you and/or eachother is rude. Well, we simply don't understand subtelties, we do not care for social rituals and untruthfull, empty chatter. It is hard to offend a dutchman, for that matter, because he'd just appreciate your honesty.

But one thing bothers me here. I see some comments about the dutch being ignorant of other cultures. The Netherlands depend on foreign trade. Every dutchman can make himself at least understandable in 3 or 4 languages. It is impossible to stay in the Netherlands your whole life, it is just too small. With the odd exception, dutch people travel all over the world. We follow forreign news, because nothing interesting happens here. We have a huge influx of foreigners into our country and we are thought to restpect those cultures in school. However, we do not denie who we are. And in the end, we are just a bunch of calvinists. We keep to ourselves, we like to solve our own problems. We would not like it if someone came to offer us help in a matter we could eventually fix on our own. If you need help in the Netherlands, you just need to ask. We are socially obligated to help you if you ask. We just think it is rude to offer. We do not trust anyone immediately, so we won't pretend we do. We won't say we are pleased to meet you if we are not, or if we are not sure about that. We won't invite you to dinner. Our cuisine just sucks, and dinner is a family or a buisiness thing. Never something mixed. Dining with friends might happen on very special occasions. We will not ask you about your personal life, because we don't know if you'd like that. We do not like to talk AT ALL about how much money we make. If you ask us, we'd get unconfortable. Not because we'd be ashamed of not earning a lot, we'd be ashamed to say we earned a lot instead, because showing off your succes is considered rude and obnoxious here. However, if you tell us about your culture, your beliefs, your friends, your pets, your hobbies, your aspirations, or anything, we'd listen, some silently, and be interested.

My appologies if you had any bad experiences with the dutch, and I know we are cold, stiff, unyielding, hard, harsh and such, but we do not mean to make you feel unwelcome. The odd idiot excluded. Feel free to ask or comment me about these things

Anonymous said...

"It is July 2012 and we have been living here for 5 years now. All I want to say is that nothing has changed here since 2006.
I am working for an international organization and every time people here my wife and I talking English, we get their nice "expat-treatment". I have asked for a transfer to Munich, but they won't let me go, because we have so many more requests for going from The Hague to Munich and basically almost no requests the other way round. The Dutch are rude to what they call the "Expats", but it is true that they can be extra-nice to other Dutch people."

I agree with the above poster, having lived there for 2 years I also came to the same conclusion. One rule for the ex-pats and a different rule for the locals. A horrible bunch of two faced lying coniving scheming nosey penny pinching rude false people as I have ever had the misfortune to work with. I wont name the Limburg based company but im sure alot of the internationals will know who it is. Truly horrible people.I feel sorry for them to have to act like that.

Anonymous said...

they are rude....i was in rotterdam, and had a chance to meet people in a multi-cultural setting..i went along with a german, spanish, and even a frenchie.

but the dutch you can't understand. one minute you are friends with them; intimate with them the next they are total jerks.

Anonymous said...

I am Dutch and I completely agree that most Dutch people are rude.

Just have a look at how they board a train and you'll see that they won't even let other passengers exit first! That says it all in my opinion.

I left the Netherlands six years ago and I've also encountered quite a few Dutch living abroad.
Many complain about how Turkish or Moroccan people do not integrate into Dutch society and cannot speak the language properly. Do some research and have a look at how the Dutch live abroad... it's absolutely embarrassing! The all live near each other in big houses, sponsored by Dutch companies, sending their kids to a Dutch school because of course, the native schools aren't good enough. Their only friends are, of course, other Dutch since they believe they're better than any locals and why mix with the natives really, what would they have to offer that's more interesting than the Dutch themselves?
I feel very ashamed when I see how they behave abroad whilst criticising foreigners for doing the same!

Fortunately, I do know many lovely Dutch people who do not conform the stereotype above. They are actually interested in other nations and cultures and welcome 'allochtonen' with open arms.
Despite of this, as soon as I hear someone speak Dutch, I run as fast as I can and avoid them at all cost!

Anonymous said...

I am Dutch myself and reading some comments in here actually really doesnt surprise me! I thought it all along, something is very different in this culture, than in other western european countries and tried to figure out what it was that made us so rude... (not everyone!!). I think I have an explanation for it, which has to do whith the history of Holland, the Netherlands in general. In the 16th century Holland was ruled by the Spanish inquisition which included great sufferings under its people like tortures and murder. So Holland rebelled agianst it very much. When Holland after an 80 years war againts this tiranny it finally became free and almost immediatly and became one of the most important Colonistcountry at that time. In fact Holland ruled many countries and oceans around the world. Its capital Amsterdam became the leading financial centre in the 17th century and people in the Netherlands got great prosparity and Wealth and became the richest country in the World at that time and stil is one of in Europe. In fact we not only invented capitalism (New York=New Amsterdam) we ARE capitalism. So people who dont understand US dont understand Capitalism. SO saying what you think, being rebellious, doing YOUR thing even if its rude to others is considered an very good thing in the Holland!

Anonymous said...

I don´t think people should mistake people from Amsterdam being representative for the rest of holland.

I´m from holland and I find people in Amsterdam very unfriendly and not really nice to customers.

In my opinion it is different in other parts of the country.

Mckroket said...

I am married to a Dutch woman and we have 2 children. When our first child was born and we had kraam visite ? I had to actually go upstairs when a woman came because she did not want to be in the same room with a buitenlander. My father in law who said "teminste ben jij geen turk ! " is the same guy that tried to tell me that it was culturally acceptable for Dutch fathers to molest their daughters and that the problem is that I am just a prudish American. All the while of course literally everyone either pretending it is not happening or doing the damned best to sanitize it all. How am i supposed to think highly of Dutch people after everything I have seen and experienced in the last 27 years ? What is worse ? The Dutch person displaying atrocious behavior or the other 15 million holding a hand above his head ? Oh FYI this was not in Amsterdam.

Anonymous said...

I agree with above.I am dutch.I have been living in another country and yes compared the Dutch are rude.Why do they call people born in Holland or who got a dutch citizenship still a foreigner?This is very rude.Most people do not want to admit how rude we are.

ManMachine said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
lxemergency said...

If they're soo bad and you hate it soooo much.....why don't you leave? no excuses.

Simple. Because it's not as bad as you all are whining about.

All these people claiming that the "dutch" criticize and judge others are a bunch of freaking hypocrites.

It's astounding the amounts of faults that people will find in a culture that they feel isn't as good as their own.

Anonymous said...

I'm Dutch, and I agree. Most of the people here are way to rude. The directnes excuse is complete BS. The average Dutch persone cares little to none about somebody else's feelings. I hate it here, When I'm a little more stable ( money ). I'll be leaving this country and will never return.

Sorry for my bad English.

Scylla said...

I've been to the Netherlands only once so far and spent practically all the time in Leiden so I can't generalise at all... But I didn't see a single rude person in the whole town during my stay, everyone was very friendly and polite. So I can say there are at least some people in this wonderful country who are not rude.
I also studied with a Dutch girl in India for a year, she was one of the nicest people in our hostel.
Of course it's one thing to come to a country for 2 weeks and something totally different to stay there for years, but I like the country very much so far.

Anonymous said...

I have lived in the Netherlands for four years now, and I do not agree with you guys. Yes they're some rude people, just as any other place. They do say sorry, thank you and please. Yes, they keep to them self s in the beginning but if you want their help you just have to ask. And if you don't speak Dutch they answer you in English. Many of them also speak a little German and French. And for the people who say they are rude but only have been to Amsterdam, Amsterdam is very different than most Dutch cities.

Anonymous said...

I've lived in Netherland for 18 years now and am still amazed at how rude the Dutch are. They consider themselves open minded and liberal but that's the image they want to present, not the reality. They're quite rascist, they do discriminate, they have an opinion about everyone and everything. I'm constantly hearing stories about life in England as opposed to Netherland from people who have never traveled outside of Netherland but because they read something on the internet they suddenly consider themselves experts about my country of origin. How rude are they: while walking the dog today a woman who I also see walking her dog handed me a package containing a box of hairdye. She said 'the last time I saw you I could see your hair was turning grey so when I saw this at the store I thought of you and bought it for you'. Sorry Dutchies but that to me qualifies as extremely rude!ysandr

Anonymous said...

Never lived in the Netherlands nor had many close Dutch friends. But have had numerous encounters on holidays in various parts of the World (where I knew they were Dutch because of their speak). Everyone I ever met was quite rude and agressive - pushing in lines, pushing you out of way when getting breakfast. The latest encounter on an aeroplane got me fuming. Unfortunately, a large group of dutch football 'lads' were on the plane too. They literally stomped over you in the aisle, and I am no small weakling. Alighting the plane at the end was amazing, they are like dumb animals with no sense of order and politeness, which would actually help them get off the plane quicker - push, barging, ramming their way through with no consideration for man, woman or child.
Had a similar experience at a theme park in Spain a couple of years back with a big group of BIG dutch lads behind me! Jeez, could they stop push into my back? No chance. No gentle pushing either, almost climbing on my back and steping on my heels trying to get in front - what is it with the Dutch and pushing in lines?! I ended up elbowing one in the stomach and was ready to fight (I was that pissed off, and I am a meek and mild guy usually). Calmed down a bit after that, thankfully they didn't beat me to death!
This was not the only cases with dutch in lines, etc. My folks have had similar on vacations with the Dutch.
Never had this with any other nationality, strange?

Anonymous said...

It's a BigBrother society, where everybody watches everybody and has an opinion about everything
no matter how banal or unwelcome.
If you happen to understand some German, I recommend reading the following article. It is the best piece of information on this flawed culture that I could possibly find!

or simply google: Frau Antje in den Wechseljahren!

and to cheer you up a little, I got a quote that may make sense ;):
"Before you diagnose yourself with depression or low self-esteem, first make sure you are not, in fact, just surrounded by assholes!"
-Sigmund Freud!

Anonymous said...

I ABSOLUTELY LOVE the Dutch! I Love their honesty, a Dutch person will not lie to you. It is never personal. There is no gigantic elephant in the room. I do not have to reed the air or between the lines. This is exhausting, because it is too open for my own interpretation, which can be emberassing. I can ask my American friends how I look in a certain dress (read ugly dress) and they will say AWESOME and have me walk down the street in it. I will ask my Dutch friends and they will say "the dress is not your color and size". Why? Because I ASKED. I have been living here for 20 years now and I love it. I am surprised at how much COMPLAINING there is on this site; OMG! as the Americans would say (lol). Now a Dutch would say that to your face and others come to sites to complain.

Anonymous said...

You are all being to hard on the Dutch. Seriously. The Dutch are something to be admired. Really in less than a generation they went from being a murderous colonial oppressor who built an empire on drug trafficking, gun running, slave trading and who actively participated in the murder of millions of innocent people in the concentration camps not to mention being the blue print society for the racist and oppressive South Africa evolved in to happy, friendly clog wearing bicycle riding just being honest Dutchies who we all know and love who graciously allow us to work in their wonderful country. You should all get on your knee's and kiss their a$$ in appreciation.

Newdutch said...

I've lived / worked in N. + S. America, the EU and many countries in Asia, then married a Dutch national. I HATED it here the first 2 years + found rudeness everywhere. Now I just push and shout back at people - it seems to be expected here. Am putting in my time + plan to leave to Germany or France at the first opportunity. My experience with Dutch co-workers: they just want to know your shit to tell everyone else + don't really want to have anything more to do with you. Public transportation: pure antisocial behavior and aggression. Someone really needs to do a s study to find the "BEING A RUDE DUTCH ASSHOLE" - then switch the damn thing off already.

Newdutch said...

oops. Someone really needs to do a s study to find the "BEING A RUDE DUTCH ASSHOLE" gene - then switch the damn thing off already.

Anonymous said...

Have worked in approx. 30 countries. Find cloggies the rudest, most arrogant group IN GENERAL bar none. Avoid it if you can.

Numnuts said...

Just too many abnormally big people in a ridiculously tiny, former swamp. Preprogramming for seriously frustrated, rude people.

Winterstream said...

So many anecdotes. I hope that the reader will remember that the plural of "anecdote" is not "data". With that said, I'll add my own anecdote.

I've been living in the Netherlands for almost four years and I've been around the country, although I spend most of my time in Delft. During the last four years, I have also spent a lot of time in London and less time in other European cities.

I find it very hard to generalize across the Dutch, as the country is a lot more varied than I expected. It is true that many children here are taught to stand up for themselves and speak their minds; not everyone considers this to be a virtue and it certainly instills a lot of self-confidence. It is also true that many Dutchies say things that should rather not be said.

But I've met more than enough wonderful Dutchmen and that's why I find it so hard to generalize.

How does the Netherlands compare to the other countries I mentioned (in terms of politeness)? London is certainly different but even there I have come across plenty of very rude people, as well as plenty of polite people. In Germany I've had the same experience.

One thing I can recommend to anyone living here: take the time to learn the Dutch language. Although many Dutchmen speak very good English, you will be much more warmly received when you speak their language.

Anonymous said...

I am Dutch. I have lived most of my life abroad and have only recently moved back to the Netherlands.

I totally agree with the other posters who consider the Dutch downright rude and selfish. Customer service is non-existent. You should be pleased if somebody is willing to sell you something (most probably overpriced). Personal services are even worse. People offer all kind of things and then you find out they have no appropriate knowledge, neither qualifications, they just bluff their way into things. It is simply shocking.
Nobody seems to understand that you have to wait for your turn. Recently I stood in line at a supermarket. I only needed to pay for one thing. A father pushed his son (approx 8-10 years) in front of me. I told him to join the queue. He said 'What do you expect, he is young, he hasn't got time to wait in queues'. Hmmm, I did not allow him to push in, the father got very abusive.

I am pleased to have come across this forum and at least I know it is not just me thinking this country rude and uncivilised.

Anonymous said...

I have lived in several countries on 3 continents, and had never thought I'd be capable of actually hating a country... until I spent 3 yrs in the Netherlands. I don't really care about superficial cultural differences (what's rude or not, which food is good etc). But the Dutch are arrogant, greedy, selfish, incompetent, intolerant, self-righteous, racist, preachy and more. And the worst place to experience this is to go thru the Dutch healthcare system: family doctors will never even examine you, nor prescribe any medication. Instead they'll have a meeting and conclude that they should do nothing. Regardless of your affliction. When you point out the absurdity of the situation, they'll insult you (mostly without even noticing it), your values, your culture. And don't expect any empathy or compassion: pain is ignored. The standard is to give birth at home, without a epidural (and it's not like you have a choice). Same thing for dentists (if you can afford them): no anesthesia. So I *strongly* advise anybody with a chronic medical condition to stay away from the NL.
And all these negative traits are obvious through all aspects of life in the NL. Want a phone line? Wait 5 months. Garbage cans? I waited 2 years, while getting random fines for ... not throwing my trash in the correct garbage can. Mail delivery? Forget it... for a while I bothered to dispatch the mail I received and which was addressed to my neighbors, until it became obvious that they weren't doing the same. Now I throw it all in the trash. And don't expect to socialize with your Dutch colleagues or neighbors; you won't!
Lunch with your colleagues? Not done. And if by miracle you manage to socialize, be ready to schedule coffee breaks several months ahead.

So even if you learn the language, it'll be useless except to defend yourself or cut thru red tape. Staying in this country has taught me to not care about anything, esp not its inhabitants! Honestly, if Holland was ravaged by a natural catastrophe next week, I couldn't even feel any empathy except towards the foreigners.

Anonymous said...

I've just split up with my dutch boyfriend. His innate rudeness and arrogance was a significant factor in that. Like most dutch men he does not know what romance or chivalry is. I'm English and even strangers will hold a door open for me. Not once has he ever held a door for me; he's quite happy to shove in front. He's so tight...he's never even treated me to a dinner out! I lived in Holland for a year and true Dutch people have come across as very arrogant, impolite and it's certainly true they try barge you out the way on pavements. They believe they are always correct; this is because they are narrow minded. I had a broken arm and was in plaster cast...the number of men who struggled to watch me lift a heavy suitcase onto the tram was shining knight came to my assistance...guess what? He was English! lol

Anonymous said...

Let me be clear , we aren't rude. And you guys all say: We lived blablblah... its fake , in a test it is proved that if you talk to one and have a conversation about love or either problems the best one to talk to is a Dutch one ....

Anonymous said...

American. Have lived in the southern Netherlands for about four years now. The locals have been polite, welcoming, and not terribly cold. True, this is not the often over-the-top service culture I became used to growing up in America, but I find that cloying somewhat now whenever I return home. I suspect that because many Dutch have a reasonable command of English, native speakers will expect that they will use it in the way that we do. Whenever I translate directly from English into Dutch it is clear that I come across as a bit smarmy and dishonest. Just as when the Dutch translate directly from Dutch into English they can sometimes be seen as blunt, rude, lacking niceties which are inherent to sophisticated users of English. On the whole the Dutch culture will not reward you with undue hugs and praise, but it will encourage where encouragement is due. And people tend to be honest and reliable and hard working (They value the notion of hard work so much that they have turned it into both a mythology and a fetish).

A side note is that yes, Dutch merchant culture could use a bit of sprucing up if they want to win valuable tourist euros. There is sometimes a surprising lack of flexibility, and true that in Amsterdam particularly shopkeepers can be downright brittle when it comes to interaction with customers. My approach has been to reward good shops, restaurants, bars with my business (money) and to meticulously avoid those where I've had negative experiences and tell them (I'm not going to buy anything here because you're service is terrible)... It's a competitive world, right, and statistics show that people buy more when treated with efficiency and courtesy. Poor service can really kill a business anywhere in the world.

At first I noticed the lack of excuse me, and sorry, and please, but really, I guess more than feeling indignant about it I just chalked it up to a cultural thing. It's not that big of a deal. I sort of think it's implied by the fact that I'm human that just because I don't apologize to everyone who I accidentally touch does not mean I wish them ill. If "sorry" means, "I intended you no harm." Shouldn't the standard be higher than accidentally brushing someone's arm when reaching for a container of sla? It's just not a reasonable stick by which to judge an entire nation.

And it's quite true that people are surprised to learn that you find them rude. Try initiating a confrontation whenever you're feeling trespassed against, and you learn quickly that the Dutch can be downright timid.

My main critique of the Dutch is that they can be a bit too planned, and by the standards of all their neighbors (Belgians, Germans, French, British, and on and on...) simply boring. They tend to be a bit clannish, and joiners. Eccentricity does not seem highly prized and many try hard to keep it to the confines of the box.

Finally I also concede that where the Dutch can be truly offensive in their bluntness often centers around superficial qualities in people... weight, appearance, clothes.... stuff which native english speakers learn early on just to leave alone. "If you can't say anything nice about someone, better to say nothing at all." Nobody needs to be told unsolicited they are fat, or that their jacket is ugly. That's just boring and unhelpful, and probably overstating what is already obvious. It can best be responded to by stating what one finds particularly unattractive about the commenter. "Well, since we're being honest with each other, I find that your glasses make you look dumber than you are, and your jeans were clearly intended for someone five years younger." Point made.

Anonymous said...

Most of the Dutch people who have commented on this page are defending there "rudeness" by saying that they are direct. But that is not what makes them rude. What makes them rude is there almost total lack of respect for other people, including other Dutch. If you go to Holland expect doors closed in your face, if you open a door for someone, most of the time that person will walk past you without looking at you or saying thank you. The times I have wished I could go back in time for a few seconds so I could slam the door in there face.
They are either totally unaware of other people or they simply don't care!

Anonymous said...

I have been many times to the Netherlands, on my last trip I only encountered one incidence of rudeness when I left a bar. I said goodbye 3 times to the woman behind the bar and she just completely ignored me. As for all the other Dutchies I encountered, they were all friendly and welcoming and direct to a certain degree. I know what people are saying by the Dutch being direct though, although you will find this alot more common in the UK nowadays also. I do think there is a definate difference between directness and rudeness. Rudeness is just rudeness in any country, in any language.

Anonymous said...

well thanks a lot people. very polite.

Anonymous said...

Don't mention it. It is well deserved!

Anonymous said...

hahaha!!! and there you go again ;)

its very rude to catogirize a country of 17 million people as being rude. didnt you know that?

Anonymous said...

I learned long ago, never to wrestle with a pig. You'll get all dirty, and besides, the pig likes it! ;)

Anonymous said...

you're right, i shouldnt ;)

Anonymous said...

Lol, that is one of the rudest reactions in this topic... this way you'r just proving what is being said.

Anonymous said...

not true. i was only holding a mirror in front of you.

Used and abused said...

I wish I would have read this page BEFORE I agreed to give my two Dutch cousins a beautiful, 10 day tour of the most wonderful sites on the West Coast. They were extremely picky and cheep, insisting on buying bread and margerine at the store instead of eating out. The couple of times I insisted, they mocked our waiters for being too kind and attentive. They were SO racist! I had to apologize to the East Indian man who owned the hotel we stayed in. They called him a liar and then told me "thats just how those people are". They complained about Polish people and German people and said they would never go to France because the French were too rude. They wouldnt try anything. They said the Space Needle was dangerous, they said the trolley in San Francisco was too expensive and If you can believe this, my cousin Tinie said, "the thing I dont like about the beach is the sand" WTF!? They hated Yosemite. They hated Monterey. Everything was a bore. They wouldnt let me take their pictures or mention them on facebook. She said American dogs are sad and that we must be beating them. She said the cow that was under the most lovely oak tree "should really be in a barn". The worst part was I had planned a wonderful family reunion so that all of my aunts and uncles could meet their long lost cousins. Family came from all over California just to see them. My ungrateful Dutch cousins stayed for less than half an hour and then left on foot to go shopping! I was so embarrassed! Luckly my family also thought they were very rude and didnt blame me for their bad behavior. Reading through this post I realize I could go on and on. I have learned my lesson. Dont be nice to a Dutch person and expect to be treated that way in return.

Anonymous said...

...hey, maybe we could heighten all of the dikes around NL with all of those stupid "agendas"? A nation-wide enema might help as well. I still can't believe that A'damned is in some of the "top cities in the world" list: complete dump, no interesting/too expensive shopping, outrageously priced restaurants...and oh yea the cloggies themselves (see above posts)

Anonymous said...


I came on this website to search information for school about how foreigners see Dutch people. And I never thought people see us this way.I don't think the Dutch people are rude, arrogant or racist. And yes, I'm Dutch myself, but you've rude people everywhere, also in Holland.We are very direct though, and I can see that foreigners think that's rude. But we are used to it, it's our culture.
If English come here we'll speak English to them, if people from Germany come here we speak German, just to make them feel welcome.
And because of our directness, we won't lie to you. Dutch people say what they think but they do have respect for other people.
And no, we don't think our country is great, fantastic and so much better than yours. But my apologie for every foreigner didn't feel welcome in Holland.

Anonymous said...

I would like to thank the previous comment writer. It proves that DUtch people are not rude but very direct.
On the other hand I lived and worked in the NL for 2 years. I came as talanted migrant on an assignment. Company moved me and gave me the task to work in the NL. I did not feel welcome at all/ on the contrary they weretrying to be rude and found that funny/ always made fun of me in their language (dialect) as I could understand a bit of Dutch. SO I am happy I was moved back. I must say I worked in other countries and the warmest ever welcome I had was in Russia. I agree that people are different in every country but the Nederlands is a cold unfriendly place for foreigners to work/ Dutch people do not care at all about difficulties the expatriots might have. Maybe they have been thru lots of difficulties themself and that explains the will to watch how other peopel go thru. I am sorry to say but there is not a single dutch person who became a close friend to me since I left the NL/ but I have got friends from France/ Russia/ Germany after working in those countries.

MikeS said...

The restaurant Steakhouse Piet de Leeuw really exemplifies the Dutch business morale; they sold horse steaks as beef for over 60 years. Challenged by reporters the owner continued the lie until test results were produced. Typical: unbelievably cheap, slightly shady, belligerent until called out on it, and once caught - show absolutely no remorse. Avoid trying to do business here unless you are prepared for this mental mind set.

Anonymous said...

It seems that people here are talking about Amsterdam-Rotterdam-Utrecht metropolis. And I tend to agree that people there can be quite obnoxious and rude.

I'm not Dutch and have lived in Overijssel province for many years and find Dutch to be polite and friendly for the most part. I went out for a stroll just this morning, someone who I didn't recognize smiled and said hello, another Dutch woman politely stopped me to ask for directions, and an old Dutch man got off his bike in the park and asked me if it was ok for him to cycle there and we had a short friendly chat.

The thing I really do hate though are the Dutch who push. They also stand much too close in queues, practically breathing down your neck. I really can't stand people intruding on my personal space.

Anonymous said...

Well, since I'm one of the few people that lived in the NL for more than 17 years as a Soviet foreigner and one that read every single comment out of the 172 , I thought I might as well chip in with my point of view.
But I will try to keep it short.If I had to describe the Dutch in several words out of the maybe 1000 people I Interacted with for longer than 1 hour ( Can't say I only met a few can you!) I would say 99,9% of these are at least several of these: stingy, cheap, jealous, racist, obnoxiously loud, ugly, arrogant, tell childish jokes by constantly making fun of others, stare at people like goats, poor dressed, extremely narrow minded, full of double standards, only take and not give, feel superior by mocking others, never admit they are wrong while telling you that you are, terrible communication (can't express emotions, if they had any) , extremely boring: only like the 'Dutch standard behaviour'. This isn't the full list.
I basically think that the inferiority complex has conquered these people like none other culture in Europe / Asia that I have seen, from what I can tell. The Dutch just can't mind it's own business, they have to belittle you in order to feel better about themselves, and it's a game that all Dutch amongst themselves play 24/7, that's why they feel comfortable around each other. It's like (English translation) 'Hey man you are just plain s*** haha'. Reply from the other guy ' Yea man I know and you are just a dumb *** hehehe' . It's an actual game... they make fun of each other and they expect to get the same in return. IF you don't return the offence, then they will abuse your weakness, to make them selves appear more superior since you are the 'weaker' one from their point of view because you are not arrogant and obnoxious. It's a DNA thing. Just move away from the country, I know I will soon :)

Anonymous said...

I am Dutch but have lived in India and China for the last 20 years. The Dutch are generally rude and their level of education is dropping. The tv programming tells you a lot. You can accuse them of all the things I have read here and I would like to add one: hypocrites. Not like the US way of hypocrisy where everyone knows it is BS but so sincerely hypocrite that they believe the stuff they make up. I like the landscape. It is quite an easy place to get abound but I do not miss my country. Mind you that when it comes to being hypocrites, cheaters and rude the Chinese rival us. Maybe that's why they call the Dutch the Chinese of the North?

April said...

I lived one year two months in the Netherlands. I know lots of negative comments here. But for my experience, I really like Dutch people,(even I dont have Dutch friends that much or close friend) they are hard working, smart and friendly (I mean, very helpful if you need something)people overall. I really love the country, people and overall environment. I intend to comeback to the Netherlands after I learn some Dutch. I still miss the Netherlands and I'm learning Dutch by myself!

Verg said...

I actually was suprised when I was reading some comments here, oh I'm Dutch btw. I don't live the West of the Netherlands which is actually very different that the rest.

First of all, most of you probally visited Amsterdam/Rotterdam.. (and Leiden, same area). Than you complain about things what you are actually doing here yourself, not only that you generalize every Dutch here.. While you guys hate the fact we are doing it? (most of don't do such things) Bit ironic isn't it? But most funny thing is that some of you really think to know what we think, like post #3 (Tizonne8). It's just not true, simple as that.

Than I saw someone talking about that she visited a store (near post #20), took a mask from a hook what actually was too high and because she couldn't put it back she just dumps it somewhere and when a worker complains about it, this is rude? First of all, looking is with the eyes not with your hands, that's what we teach our childeren when we are young. Second of all you could ASK if he/she could put it back on the hook, but nope just dumping it somewhere in the shop. Than complain that the worker says something about it... Really? So you expect that he is polite to you while you we're just rude (rude isn't even a good word for this). Or is everyone in your country throwing products everywhere in the store when they can't put it back where it belongs, instead of asking someone to help you?

And actually we indeed think some of the French are rude. I actually expierenced myself when I was on vacation in France several times. First of all some of them never ever speak English to you, it's just French. If you don't speak French, well that's too bad for you than. I won't even mention Paris... But because I had bad expierence with French ppl several times do you see me generalize the French?

We actually don't dislike the Germans, we and Germany are #1 enemies in football. (not only football, but almost every kind of competition. This always results in bad jokes, flaming and other things on both sides... But we don't see them as nazi's, I actually have few German friends and we can get along very well. Some Dutch and Germans maybe hate each other but the majority have respect for each other. I also loved to go on vacation in Germany, I even speak some German as 3th language and when I'm in Germany I even try to speak German to them while I know I can't speak it that well. But what Tizonne8 said is not true, we don't see them as nazi's. I like the Germans :)

And about East-Europeans, we don't hate them cause they are East-Europeans. The problem is that a lot of East-Europeans that are coming to the Netherlands do things they shouldn't. Skimming as example, thefting of your magnetic strip of your bank card was in general people from Romania, Balkan, etc. (the fact is that 1% of the Dutch are a suspect by the police compared to the 3.8% that aren't Dutch, that is almost 4x as much.) But do I hate East-Europeans because they are East-Europeans? No, I don't. I do hate some of the East-Europeans that only come to do bad things and cause real problems for the citizens here.

I personally think the USA is the most arrogant country of the world btw, most of them actually think the USA is #1 country. You don't have to believe me, just Google it.

The city where I live, we say Hello to each other when we walk by. We help each other when we ask, do you know how many computers, televions and phones I fixed for people for nothing? (or foreign people I helped trough programs like TeamViewer) Or helping people to connect their internetmodem? I should be rich if I asked money everytime :).
If I go to a store I get greeted and most times get asked if I need any help. When we hit someone with accident in a supermarket we say oops sorry or pardon. One of my friends was actually suprised when she moved here (she used to live somewhere else in the Netherlands). She was suprised how friendly people were in my city.

Verg said...

(part 2)

You will be suprised how the culture changes in The Netherlands when you drive 30km further. I'm Dutch but I can feel sometimes like a stranger when I go to a friend in a other city. If you really had bad expierences in our country, than I'm sorry to hear. I can only advice to look further than Amsterdam/Rotterdam/Utrecht & area.

Mckroket said...

@ Verg

I think you are missing the point. It is not isolated experiences that is driving these criticisms. It is the fact that many of your countrymen did not get the memo that you are no longer the master race.

Also I have no idea why you insist in dragging the Americans in to this. It seems the Americans are the LEAST critical of the Dutch. The rest of the world does not seem to like you very much.

That you are in France and the French insist you speak French is not a problem. It goes without saying that you try and speak the language when you are a guest in someone else's country. My question to you is ? When you tried your best to speak French ? Did they ridicule you and hyper focus on minor errors in pronunciation and sentence structure making nearly impossible to express the simplest thought ? Or did listen patiently and encouraged you ?

If I was to do to you what your countrymen do on a daily regular basis ? I could dissect your entire post and dismiss it as being irrelevant because you said "I don't live the west " when you should have said I don't live in the west. But I understood the point you are making and to make a big deal out of it outside the context of this discussion would make me look like a jerk. Just like the vast majority of your countrymen.

Anonymous said...

the only thing that is comming clear is how stupid americans are! that they compare people from amsterdam whit the rest of the dutch people yess people from amsterfam are ignorant, rude and unfriendly but the rest of the netherlands is not amsterdam!

Anonymous said...

i agree with the person above!
people from amsterdam are very diffrent than people from other dutch city's.
and most people who come tho the netherlands just visit amsterdam and than think they have been in the netherlands..well thats bullshit because amsterdam is very very diffrent than the other dutch city's just like the people.

Anonymous said...

This is so funny! I'm from the UK, but half dutch and have lived in the netherlands for 20 years. And if you come from another country you will never get used to the dutch rudeness. They just don't have any class what so ever and finesse is not in their dictionary. They are very boastful and ALWAYS think they are the best in everything, they literally have never heard of modesty. It's very difficult to make good friends, because they will always they and one-up you on everything. If you criticise them they tell you to leave the country, it's just hilarious, they have no insight into themselves or self-reflection at all and they claim to be the most tolerant people in the world, but all they really do is complain about foreigners taking their money.

ANd the way they raise kids, OMG, that's a whole new topic, We could write a bokk about badly behaved dutch kids. These are the kids you will hear screaming loudest in the summer destinations of europe. The parents you will never ever see correcting their kids, they simply do now know how to discipline. They have 'everything is allowed' policy to everything and ARE SO PROUD OF IT!!!

Yes, the dutch are really something..... Unfortunately I can't leave since I married a dutchman, who I've been trying to change :) for the last 15 years to being a little more chivalerous. It's working!!!! LOL! Gee, I'd never thought I'd see the day the dutch got a godd, well-deserved bashing by the rest of the world.

Anonymous said...

hahahahahaahahahaha lol i'm so rude

Anne said...

Dear commenters,
I have never seen such rude behavior as you're all showing here.
I am Dutch and proud of it. Just like you all love your own countries, flaws and all.
I don't know who you've met, but there are normal people living in Holland too.
Most foreign visitors love it here because most of us speak multiple languages and we're not huffing and puffing when we're helping an other.
I don't know where all these accusations come from and, really, I don't care either, but think before you write something about a nation with 16 million different people from different backgrounds.
Take a good long look at your fellow countrymen and if you can't find a flaw in all of them.. then you may complain about mine.
I hope your next encounter with a Dutchie will be better.
For those who've never been in Holland or met a Dutchie... make up your own mind and don't repeat what others have written, just to be in a conversation.

Anonymous said...

You have just messed it up for the rest of us dutchies with that comment.

Anyway, most people seem to have just visited Amsterdam. In that case I can imagine that people think that dutch people are rude.

Amsterdammer said...

I've read all the comments and I have to agree on most of what is said about the Dutch.
I am Dutch myself and working in tourism in Amsterdam. I get to speak to people from lots of different nationalities on a daily basis. I like to believe that I have a pretty good idea on different cultural believes.
It is true that behavior that may seem normal or honest to Dutch people can be very offensive to people not from the Netherlands.
some *facts* about MOST Dutch people
1 most of the Dutch do feel superior (popular saying: when you ain't Dutch you ain't much says all)
2 honesty is everything
3 you can get away with hurtful or blunt comments as long as you speak up and feel you are truthful
That said I totally understand why so many people from other countries feel that we are rude.
we actually are.
Since the Netherlands is such a small country with a lot of nationalities, most Dutch people have a minority complex. They are scared to lose whatever Dutch culture they have left, and they tent to cling on to it. Actual racist traditions are begin downplayed as innocent like zwarte piet (don't worry it’s just for children they don’t see them as black people for example)
I have to say that I was quite hurt however to read some of the comments. It's not nice to generalize, and most Dutch people, how blunt and impolite they may appear are not hateful or mean people.

Paul said...

I'm Dutch and I'm really surprised to read all this; I never knew we were considered so rude! Amazing! I don't recognize most of the examples given though.. I'd say we're loudmouths, but plain rude, I don't know.

migi said...

I am Dutch myself and I TOTALLY agree with the negative comments !
Most Dutch people aren't nice. They are VERY direct and are often VERY mean. That is one of the reasons I want to move to another country. I am SICK and TIRED of their behaviour!
Dutch people want everybody to act as NORMAL AS POSSIBLE.So when you are acting a bit crazy because you are having fun.. most of them would look really weird at you and would talk bad about you behind your back. Also Dutch people live inside their homes and not outside. Most Dutch people don't even know their neighbours or have ever had a chat with them!
I am sorry Dutchies , but I will be very happy when I escaped this country !

Anonymous said...

I am in Holland at the moment and have spent some time looking around this country. The place is pretty, pity about the people that live here. I have never met such a rude bunch of people in all of my travels. They need to learn manners and treat others with respect. Everywhere else that I have been, I have managed to talk despite language issues and enjoyed my time. Not in Holland! I can't leave soon enough.

Anonymous said...

I have never had such a negative experience in my life! I found the people in amsterdam beyond rude. No customer service, no gratitude. Very controlling, sexist, homophobic. It had a dead feeling to it, the people also had no warmth. All swanning around in designer clothes, noses in the air and giving us high paying customers the evils!! So sad as i had dreamt of going for years, the dream became a nightmare. I will never take my polite, kind self there again. i've been to many places and have never felt such a bad vibe. I'm sure some dutch people are kind, but i'm yet to meet one. Sorry if this offends any nice ones.

Anonymous said...

I' Spanish. I have lived in the UK and have also visited Holland for long periods of time and I agree that Dutch people are often(unintentionally?) rude. Although in northern countries (and that includes both the UK and Holland) people are colder than in Mediterranean ones...why are the Ducht so dramatically different from the English? (I would say that Spaniards fall in between as far as politeness is concerned). I think that if you are and adult with an average cultural background and maturity there is no need to use such a rude and direct language in the interest of clarity. That would be baby talk. Languages are rich and there are many nice ways to say things firmly without been rude. The Cambridge English exams are a case in point. As you probably know, some of the aspects that are judged when you take them (CAE, CPE) is whether you use the right register in your writting, if you use a language wich is appropriated to the proposed real life situation in the oral exam, or if you are able to understand a text where there is some ambiguity or deduce things that are not specifically mentioned. Why is that? Because these aspects are considered important in communication. It is much more that getting your message through. Being clear is not incompatible with being nice and being polite doesn't imply being false or having two sides (there are people who are like that, but not necesarily). So If you Dutch proud yourself of having such a good command of the English language (which by the way is true) why dont't you try to speak like the English...always bearing in mind not to be verbally aggresive to the other person and -althoug that is a plus- perhaps making use of humour in order to avoid confrontation in delicate situations rather than adding fuel to the fire. Most conflicts can be managed with some skill without being unplesant to others.

Anonymous said...

I will tell you some of my experiences with Dutch people an you tell me if they are rude or not:

1)My brother lives in Holland and has Dutch friends. A few months ago they visited my home city (Barcelona). I was asked by my brother to pick them up from the airport. I have a big house and they were my brother’s friends, so I invited them to stay overnight until the next day (my brother was arriving in another flight the next day and they were all renting a car to continue their trip southwards). What was their response? “Before we decide we want to see your place to see if we like or not”. They went around the house, looked inside ALL the rooms, talked to one another in Dutch for a while and afterwards they say: “It’s OK, we are staying”. I was offering them my house and they acted as if it were an inn where they have to pay for the room!. The next day they left before I woke up. I got up at 7,30 AM only to find the dirty sheets on the messy beds and not a single note of acknowledgement. A few months later I commented the situation with another Dutch I met, and she didn’t find it particularly rude. She thought they were just practical and was no offence in their attitude !!!

2)A Dutch worker of our company visits our head office in Barcelona. Because my English is better than most of my Spanish mates’ he communicates mainly with me and after a few weeks I invited him to my house for lunch. After lunch we sat on the sofa and witched on the TV. I have cable TV and you can watch any channel. I avoided selecting Spanish or Catalan channels and as a first option chose an English speaking channel that we could all understand. What did he do then? He took the remote control and browsed until he found a Dutch channel and selected it! He kept going for 45 minutes until the program finished while my husband and I looked at each other in astonishment! It was very embarrassing.

3)My fiend’s boyfriend is Dutch. When we go out together with a bigger group we more or less take it in turns to pay for the drinks. No problem there, everyone volunteers to pay and things are balanced. One night he came along with us and after e-v-e-r-y-o-n-e had paid for the drinks three or four times he did not make any movement indicating that he had any intention of paying. Finally, he got up and paid for his own drink. I know that in Holland each person pays for his own drink but if you are abroad and you accept people’s invitation you are expected to correspond somehow! Not only was it rude, it was also mean and stingy.

I have many other minor anecdotes to tell but these are just a case in point. I know that there are offensive and mean people in every country but it seems that Holland scores higher than most nationalities on rudeness.

Now tell me what people in your country would think of these situations. You might have different points of view.

Anonymous said...

I had the recent unpleasant experience of considering working for a Dutch company living in the US. At the end of a long confusing process I concluded there must be some cultural issues in play and ended up finding this and many other online information. Thankfully I am not going to work for this company and I feel very relieved since it felt like walking to the edge of an abyss and then stepping back just in time to save my ass from hell. The term "I am direct" came up in one very weird interview and I felt more like something else was in play and in fact it turned out to be deception, arrogance, ignorance and incompetence. A very dangerous mix of powerful negative human behaviors seems to dominate these people. maybe it is due to long history of being stepped on by humanity, but the damage seems to have sadly lingered resulting in some form of darwinistic evolutionary blight that for me is better to avoid...Especially in a work situation.

Anonymous said...

These comments are so funny. Everyone except the Dutch believe the Dutch are so rude. I believe so too. They also support themselves till death, never seem to believe they are ever at fault and have a sadist way of life. The only reason why people ever go to Holland is because it's beautiful. Other than that it's a terrible place to live.

Anonymous said...

I posted here a longish comment a few years ago, and just found this thread again! What strikes me now, is how thoughtful and involved some of the more recent complaints are. Much better written than my pitiful attempt at explaining the problems with Dutch behaviour. And, while some foreign residents of holland have posted very explicit and detailed descriptions of their issues with the Dutch, the Dutch deniers who respond "its not true we're not like that" never address any of the serious social and psychological issues their culture seems to promote. They all say amazingly almost word for word the same argument, and it rings more and more hollow each time it gets repeated in the face of more reasoned and detailed complaints by long time residents of their country. Some who are even married to dutch people! These are not tourists writing about a bad 2 day stay in amsterdam. The bullying comment, and the dutch being able to dish it out but not take it at all, is probably the most central and correct of everything being said.

manjid said...

Hope this enlightens some dutch by informing about my own experience.
I have lived from age 13 till 19 in germany, hamburg, and moved to the netherlands thereafter. So basically i can compare 2 cultures as objective as can be.
Dutch have the image of german as being lous mouthed and rude especially when germans visit theit beaches. As a young teenager in

germany i found the germans at most times polite, correct in their language and interested in other people countries. Yes, they may be formal but they are very welcoming.
In holland i have indeed experienced rudeness in many ways. For example when i went class i asked a teacher a question which through my lack a proper dutch he could not understand. He responded with " wat zeg je allemaal" meaning what the heck are you talking about, The teacher did not know me.
Germans are in general ashamed of the war and they the verganenheitsbewaltigung a way to cope with the past. Dutch have absolutely no remorse about the attrocities in indonesia and surinam. On contrary they brag about what fantastic things they accomplished. The government refuses to appolagise the attrocities and killing of innocent in indonesia, although it was proven to by their own research to be true.this even after 60 years.
If you really want to objectively find if they are read dutch comments in their newspaper such as t
De Telegraaf and compare it to coments made by germans in german newspapers. You willfund the language of the dutch mostly rude, infantile and very ordinary.germans on the other are even when they are not amused mostly correct and polite.
Watch tv and observe how impatient they speak,paul de leeuw, dwdd etc.

Anonymous said...

My son married a Dutch "Lady" she is rude to me, my husband, and the rest of my sons family. She is rude to my son and is the most lazy young woman I have ever had the misfortune to meet. She does not care about anything other than herself and that includes her baby and husband. She prefers to got to work than do anything, my son works, looks after the baby, cooks and cleans etc. She thinks she is to superior to help with these things. I hope and prey that my son with come to his senses and leave. I have to many examples of her rudness and uncaring attitude to write here. She is way younger than me but still reduces me to a crying, angry wreck everytime I see her.

Anonymous said...

I too, posted a comment ages ago and feel it needs further details as i'm still getting the cringes about that experience in Holland, so much so that i had to throw my clog fridge magnet away. As it reminded me of the assualt of all the "directness". I feel so sorry for the lady who gets reduced to tears, i so relate. Bully is an understatement for a dutch person, I grew up with a dutch step father, had dutch neighbours and have been to dutchland. Everyone has to be in a "box" Hookers in a box, gay people in a box, drinkers in a box, weed smokers in a box, visitors in a box(excuse the pun) Everyone is deligated a place and is only tolerated if they remain in their allocated box, tolerating is one of hollands claims to fame! but tolerating does not mean liking, or accepting. So do not go there and expect to be welcomed and accepted for exactly who you are. They tend to like control, think they have the right to use people and they can be very tight with a superior disposition, and they don't care if their words hurt you. Example. You standing in a street (they all look similar) looking at a map and they would just push by you, no offer of help and look at you like you are stupid. Very polite as you enter a shop and when you say you just want to look they walk away, irritated and then gossip to other shop assistants, presuming that you can't speak dutch. The few friendly dutch people we chatted with also complained alot about the rudeness of the others, but even they had a prickly persona, but thought that there were alot of problems with the way things were in Holland and thought that was why rudeness preveiled there. There are problems in most countries yet one does not get insulted there, why is that prey do tell? Rude is rude. Language barriers have nothing to do with it, 70% of comunication is non verbal, and if you are tuned into that, you will be amazed at just how rude people can be without even saying much. The dutch ooze rudeness from every angle. The irony is that rudeness has no class, yet the dutch think they are better and classier than everyone else. It costs nothing to be helpful, kind, curtious, and sensitive to others feelings.

Newdutch said...

Check this survey by Forbes from EXPATS (in other words not some cloggie, who is too busy defending "directness" to even begin understanding outside perceptions):

Ingeburgert said...




In addition to the above comments, there are INBURGERINGSCURSES - integration courses. This will be the MOST humiliating experience of your life.

I was in a course basically with illiterates from 3rd world countries. Having 3 advanced degrees - I "got everything" quickly, but was still spoken to as a child through the whole process.

A portion of the final test was a "practical" portion, where I had to role play with teachers (total idiots) from the school. They told me to choose the role of cleaning person, since it would be the easiest. That should give you an idea of the level we are dealing with here. Honestly, how can they take this SHIT seriously?

To top off all of the degrading experiences, you are FORCED TO get a paper of completion in a totally retarded ceremony. To 90% of my illiterate fellow classmates, this was apparently the achievement of their lifetimes... tears of joy + family photos all around. For me it was just degrading. Looking at THAT crowd, I have a totally pessimistic outlook for the overall economic future here.

I am obligated to hang out in the swamp for about 2 more years, then we are GETTING THE FU** OUT OF HERE. Am counting the days.

Anonymous said...

I love these comments - they are such an awesome example of self-selection bias :)

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