Dutch (ethnic group)

The Dutch

• Dutch girls in traditional Dutch costumes (1920s)•
Total population
est. 25 million - 28 million (with Flemings: - 34 million)
(14,000,000 - 15,000,000 with full Dutch ancestry)
(Red → Dutch-born)
(Green → Reported ancestry)

Regions with significant populations
(Ethnic Dutch)
(Dutch Eurasians)
 Belgium121,489, of which 59,000 in the border region
(Not including Flemings)
 South Africaest. 5,000,000 (45,000)[4][5]
 New Zealandest. 100,000 (25,000)[6][7]
 Sri Lanka40,000
(Burgher people)
Dutch, Frisian
Main languages of Dutch emigrants: English and Afrikaans.
(In alphabetical order)
Agnosticism, Atheism, Protestant (mostly Calvinist), Roman Catholic, other.[9][10][11]
Related ethnic groups
(In alphabetical order)
Afrikaners,[12] Flemings,[13] Frisians.[14][15]
The Dutch people (Dutch: Nederlanders ) are an ethnic group forming the majority of the population in the Netherlands.[16] Historically the Dutch chiefly lived in the Low Countries and Northern France but since the 12th century have migrated all over the world.[17]

The Dutch predominantly descend from various Germanic tribes,[18] [19] and speak Dutch, one of the 3 most spoken Germanic languages today.[20]

The Dutch region has been permanently inhabited since Neolithic times. Nevertheless the Dutch mainly descend from 7th-century immigrants, the Franks, who arrived and settled in the Low Countries during the migration period.[21] They arose from relative obscurity when they, for political, religious, and cultural reasons, revolted against Europe's most powerful nation, Habsburg Spain, in what became a struggle for independence lasting eighty years (1568-1648).

The Dutch emerged victorious and established the first truly independent Dutch state in history: the Dutch Republic, which would soon manifest itself as one of Europe's Great Powers and have complete naval dominance for nearly a century.

During the age of Imperialism the Dutch Empire controlled 3.7 million km² of the earth's surface and had a total of 80,000,000 inhabitants in 1940.[22]

Today, Dutchmen and their descendants can be found all over the world, most notably in Europe, the Americas, Southern Africa and Oceania, ranging from (near) completely assimilated to isolated communities.


Dutch (Diets)

Further information: Dietsch

The origins of the word "Dutch" go back to Proto-Germanic, the ancestor of all Germanic languages, "*theudo" (meaning national/popular); akin to Old Dutch "dietsc", Old High German "diutsch", Old English "þeodisc" and Gothic "þiuda" all meaning "(of) the common (Germanic) people". As the tribes among the Germanic peoples began to differentiate its meaning began to change. The Anglo-Saxons of England for example gradually stopped referring to themselves as "þeodisc" and instead started to use "Englisc", after their tribe. On the continent the situation was different, and "*theudo" evolved into two main forms: "Diets" (Dutch meaning "Dutch (people)", alongside "Nederlanders") and "Deutsch" (German meaning "German (people)".) At first the English language used (the contemporary form of) "Dutch" to refer to any or all of the Germanic speakers on the European mainland. Gradually its meaning shifted to the closest Germanic people near them: the Dutch.[23]


"Nederlanders" is the endonym the Dutch use to refer to themselves. Until the Second World War it was used alongside "Diets", when the latter was dropped due to extensive use of the word by the German Nazi occupiers and Dutch fascists. The geographical term Nederland (and its plural "Nederlanden") originated in the early Middle Ages and was used to denote the low-lying lands situated in the delta of the river Rhine and its tributaries.[24] [25] [26] In addition, "Low Countries" ("Lage Landen" in Dutch) is a commonly used name for the historical region of the Netherlands and Belgium taken together. Although not as old as "Diets", the term "Nederlands" has been in continuous use since 1250.[27]

However in English, the gentilic or demonym of "the Netherlands" is "Dutch", not "Netherlander".

When concerning adjectives of "the Netherlands", "Netherlandic" and "Netherlandish" (for example as in Early Netherlandish art) are acceptable, but far surpased by "Dutch" in both daily and official use.

Dutch ethnicity

An ethnic group or ethnicity is a population of human beings whose members identify with each other, usually on the basis of a presumed common genealogy or ancestry.[28] Ethnic groups are also often united by common cultural, behavioural, linguistic, ritualistic, or religious traits. The defining characteristics of the Dutch as an ethnic group (although no longer as obvious as before) are:
  • Religion: Although a single religion no longer plays a dominant role in the Netherlands,[29] Dutch society is nevertheless influenced by Christian tradition which is imminent in the landscape dominated by Church towers, Christian holidays (Christmas, Easter, Ascension), several biblical proverbs and sayings.
  • Language: The Dutch share a common language, Dutch.
  • Culture: The Dutch culture is a north-western European culture, be it with quite a few unique elements. Dutch customs are also different from other European countries.
  • Ancestry: The main specific ancestry of the Dutch are the Franks, a migratory Germanic people (themselves an alliance of a number of smaller tribes) who arrived, and settled, in the Low Countries during the collapse of the Roman Empire, and the migration period.[30][31]


The term "Dutch" can reflect different definitions, which are listed below.
In this article only the latter 2 definition will be used, as this article only concerns the Dutch as an ethnic group and Dutch ethnicity.
  1. It can refer to the entire population of the (country) the Netherlands. Note that the Kingdom of the Netherlands includes certain Caribbean islands with an ethnically distinct population, and they may or may not be included in the population of the country and hence in the term "Nederlanders".
  2. It can refer to those with Dutch nationality and citizenship (which is essentially the same under Dutch law). Thus in nationality law, the term Nederlander denotes a citizen of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, and can hence also include persons with clearly non-Dutch ethnicity.
  3. It can refer to the Dutch nation.
  4. It can refer to the Dutch ethnic group.
  5. It can refer to descendants of Dutch emigrants. (for example Dutch-American")
(Note that the Pennsylvania Dutch do not fall into this category, the term is a misnomer for a minority of German ancestry)

Concerning the relation between Dutch citizenship, ethnicity and autochthonity

When concerning Dutch citizenship the Netherlands employ a policy largely based on Jus sanguinis ("right of blood"). In other words, citizenship is conferred primarily by birth to a Dutch parent, irrespective of place of birth.

For example, a child of a foreign father and a Dutch mother can automatically receive Dutch citizenship. A child with a Dutch father and a foreign mother can also automatically receive Dutch citizenship, with the added requirement that the father recognize the child as his own.

However, having a single Dutch parent does not make one an autochthonous inhabitant of the Netherlands, as two Dutch parents are required for that status. Nevertheless, having a single Dutch parent or (some) Dutch ancestry does make one (at least partly) ethnically Dutch, but this notion has no legal status in the Netherlands and will not grant easier acces to citizenship.

Total number of Dutch

The Dutch are a relatively small ethnic group, making up about 0,4% of the world,[32] and 1,9% of the European population.[33] (2,8% of the European Union is ethnically Dutch)[34]

In the narrowest sense the total number of ethnic Dutch is about 14 to 15 million people. In this sense only people with full Dutch ancestry are counted. The number of people outside the Netherlands, mostly post 1950 emigrants and their children, with full Dutch ancestry is roughly 1,600,000 to 2,000,000.[35]

First-generation emigrants with Dutch nationality are officially treated as Dutch, resident overseas. The children of two Dutch-born emigrant parents are defined by Statistics Netherlands as "autochtoon". This means that the children of the Dutch immigrants to Canada, Australia, and New Zealand, who left the Netherlands after the Second World War (often while still in their twenties) are considered autochthone, even if they do not have Dutch nationality (they may qualify for it).

In a broader sense the number of Dutch people is much higher. This is when for example people with partial Dutch ancestry are included. This way the number of Dutch totals at around 25 million people.


See also:
The Dutch nation was defined in the middle of the 19th century, when the current state of the Netherlands emerged after the secession of Belgium, thus also the Dutch-speaking Belgians. This however, did not coincide with the Dutch ethnic group, which had long since emerged.

The Dutch republic for example was the first truly independent Dutch state, before its establishment there had been various personal unions between a number, and in the end all, Dutch fiefs/provinces.

The exact date when the Dutch emerged as a new ethnic group is, like with most other ethnic groups, difficult to determine.[36] The Franks arrived in the Northern and Central Low Countries around the 3rd and 4th century AD (after the retreat of Roman troops) and started the development of a people later known as the Dutch. The Dutch language was spoken and attested around 450 AD,[37] and emerged from Old Frankish. The first people to speak the language did speak Dutch, but they would most likely be classified as being Franks today.

The cultural and linguistic distance between the modern Germanic peoples is rather large. Although in the beginning the Germanic tribes were united by mutual intelligible dialects (and a more or less single mythology), today, of about 50 related Germanic languages, only Afrikaans (a Dutch semi-creol mainly spoken by the Afrikaners, partly the descendants of Dutch colonists) is mutually intelligible with Dutch.[38][39]

Epic ancestry

Enlarge picture
The Batavians swear allegiance to Gaius Julius Civilis, by Rembrandt.

The Batavians were a relatively small Germanic tribe, allied to the Roman Empire and romanized, who between 69 and 70 rebelled against Rome. The rebels led by Gaius Julius Civilis managed to destroy four legions and inflict humiliating defeats on the Roman army. After their initial successes, a massive Roman army led by Quintus Petillius Cerialis eventually defeated them.

From the 16th century until the early 20th century, the Batavians were falsely regarded as the sole ancestors of the Dutch. Dutch intellectuals saw a parallel between the Dutch revolt against Spain and the Batavian revolt against the Roman Empire. As a result a number of things related to the Dutch are and were named after this tribe. Some examples include: Modern historians view the Batavians as a minor contributor and historical sources indicate the Batavians most likely joined the much larger tribe of the Franks when they arrived in the Low Countries.

Regional Dutch subgroups

Before the large-scale political developments of 1384 (the establishment of the Burgundian Netherlands) and for some time afterwards, there was no sense of overlapping political unity among the Dutch, and Dutch soldiers from various regions often fought each other during this largely feudal period, and allegiance towards ones own county or even city was often more important to the Dutch than towards their people as a whole.[40] This began to change as the Dutch entered a proces in which they were being gradually politically unified into a single country/political entity. Today, there is still very much a regional identity among the Dutch, though not nearly as strong as 700 years ago, which primerally outs itself in continuing or restoring local traditions and speaking a certain dialect of Dutch.

Genetics and appearance

The Dutch descend from groups of people who settled in Europe during the Paleolithic and Neolithic eras. These people originated in what is now the Middle East and brought with them a distinct set of Y chromosomal and mitochondrial haplotypes as well as Indo-European languages, agriculture and pottery. Hence the Dutch share a lot of their genetics with other European people; nevertheless there are some mutations that arose among the Dutch.[41] The percentages of hair colour for the Dutch population are 43% brown, and 40% blonde hair and 17% other (note that this includes non-western ethnic minorities so the actual percentages of blond or brown hair for the Dutch ethnic group are likely to be higher)[42] Generally the Dutch are described as being very tall, and they are indeed among the tallest people on earth, but this is a relatively recent development. It was only in the 1950s that the Dutch passed Americans, who stood tallest for most of the last 200 years. In fact, in 1848, one man out of four was rejected by the Dutch military because he was shorter than 5-foot-2 (157 cm).[43]

Related ethno-linguistic groups

(Hist. definition)
= Strong linguistic connections.
= Strong cultural connections.
† = Exinct/No longer used.


Main articles: Flanders and Flemings.
The relation between the Dutch and Flemings is a complicated one. The existence of "Flemings" as an ethnic group, is itself debated, and the idea of a Flemish nation or ethnic group is itself fairly recent.[44]

The Flemish once were, and sometimes still are, regarded as "Dutch". It is however inaccurate to view the Flemish as a Dutch offshoot. A more accurate view would be to consider the modern Dutch and Flemish as having been a single people which subsequently (due to all kinds of factors) split. When this exact split occurred is open to debate (as is, in some circles, the split itself). Some claim it began when the Dutch Republic signed the Treaty of Münster, thus creating essentially the first political division between the Dutch, while others say it wasn't until the start of the Flemish movement at the beginning of the 20th century.[45] As a result of this the Flemish people are generally not regarded as identical nowadays, and most Dutch people see them as a separate ethnic group. At the same time however, the Dutch and Flemish see themselves as the most similar people,[46] and some institutions see "Fleming" as an alternative term for "Dutch".[47]

The situation in Belgium itself was/is very vague. Until 1980, for example, the "Flemish community" was called the "Nederlandse Cultuurgemeenschap" (Dutch: [The] Dutch cultural community) and there are people who deny the existence of the Flemish as an ethnic group, and refer to them as Dutch-speaking Belgians instead.

The Dutch and the people now known as Flemings have experienced a separate political development since the Dutch Revolt, with the exception of the short-lived United Kingdom of the Netherlands. As a result of this the Flemish people are generally not regarded as identical nowadays, and most Dutch people see them as a separate ethnic group. At the same time however, the Dutch and Flemish see themselves as the most similar people,[48] and some institutions see "Fleming" as an alternative term for "Dutch".[49]

Some people even support a re-unification of Flanders and the Netherlands, though they form a minority; it is not a political issue in the Netherlands and the sentiment is strongest within the right wing of Flemish politics.[50]

Walloons and Northern French

Walloons, the French-speaking Belgians, generally do not speak Dutch today, but in many cases (some) heritage can be linked to the (historical) Dutch. Many 'Walloon' surnames for example are of Dutch origin[51] and some of the most well know Walloons, such as Jacques Brel, Goswin de Stassart and Paul Émile de Puydt were (often partly) of Dutch(-speaking) heritage. In Northern France Dutch has been the traditional language for over 1400 years, as a result of this, and migration of other Dutch towards the south, over 1,250,000 French people (on a population of roughly 60 million) have Dutch surnames[52]. The position of these people is somewhat vague as they, although relatively close to the Dutch-culture area, are often frenchified if not entirely French. For example, in the now French city of Calais one can still find people singing traditional Dutch songs, even though the people who sing them have no idea what they mean.[53]


Main articles: Afrikaners and Afrikaans.
The Afrikaners are an ethnic group who live in South Africa and Namibia and who are mainly (though not exclusively) of Dutch descent, much in the same way as Dutch Americans, Dutch Australians or Dutch Canadians. There is however one major difference. The Dutch emigrants and, more importantly, their descendants in Canada, the U.S. and Australia, have adopted English as their first language, while Afrikaners did not and today speak a creolized version of Dutch. Their language, Afrikaans, is mutually intelligible with Dutch and it was hence easier to maintain cultural bands between the two, now separate, groups.

Until the early 20th century, at the time of the First and Second Boer Wars, there was a strong sense of unity, this has gradually faded. Most Afrikaners acknowledge that they descend from the Dutch, but they generally do not consider themselves to be ethnic Dutch, and they may not be considered 'Dutch' in the Netherlands itself.[54]


Main articles: Friesland, Frisian and Frisians.
Frisian may refer to an ethnic group, a regional or cultural identity, to inhabitants of the Province of Friesland, or to speakers of the Frisian language.

Historically, Frisia was a county that was relatively uninvolved with Guelders, Utrecht, Holland, Zeeland and Flanders until the early Middle Ages. However, after a series of wars (often followed by revolts) between the Dutch fiefs and the Frisians they were eventually defeated. From the 1400s onwards Hollandic government and civil servants were installed and from then the fortunes of Friesland are intertwined with those of the present-day Netherlands.[55]

Though along with Dutch many Frisians speak the Frisian language, which is not a Dutch dialect but a historically separate language and have (to some degree) a separate culture they are not treated as a separate group in Dutch official statistics. In this way Frisians can both be both 'Dutch' and Frisians. It should be noted that 'Frisians' in both Dutch and Frisian is used virtually exclusively for the West Frisians. Frisians in the Netherlands generally do not feel or see themselves as part of a larger group of 'Frisians', including the East and North Frisians of Germany and Denmark, and, according to a 1970 inquiry, identify themselves more with the Dutch than with speakers of the other Frisian dialects abroad.[56]

Ethnic nationalism

Enlarge picture
Dutch in early modern Germany (17th-19th century)

There has been some call for a "Greater Netherlands", combining the Dutch-speaking regions in Belgium with the Netherlands, since the late 19th century. This wish was voiced by Dutch, and especially Belgian, fascists during the 1930s, but the occupation of Belgium and the Netherlands by Nazi Germany brought only some tiny border changes. After the Second World War interest in enlarging the Netherlands dwindled.

The Belgian revolution, domination by a francophone elite, and structural disadvantage for Dutch-speaking Belgians led, at the end of the 19th century, to an oppositional "Flemish" (ie. Dutch-speaking Belgian) cultural movement, which soon politicised. It revived interest in the idea of reunification - at present in the form of unity between the Netherlands and Flanders, rather than a recreation of the United Kingdom of the Netherlands. Support for the idea has varied: at present no political party represented in the Dutch parliament actively supports it. In Flanders, there are several parties who openly strive for independence (such as the N-VA, Vlaams Belang, VLOTT and Lijst Dedecker), but none of them actively support or reject an union with the Netherlands. Support for the break-up of Belgium is less strong in Wallonia, as Flanders is financially much stronger and independent, and there is no major political support there for unification with France. An obstacle to any break-up of Belgium is that both groups claim the capital Brussels, historically a Dutch-speaking city, currently near 80% francophone, although officially bilingual.

Dutch diaspora

Main article: Dutch diaspora

Emigrants from the Netherlands since the Second World War went mainly to Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and until the 1970s to South Africa, and Dutch immigrants can be found in most developed countries. In several former Dutch colonies and trading settlements, there are ethnic groups of full or partial Dutch ancestry.

The Dutch in Asia

Enlarge picture
The "Dutch" Monkey.

The Dutch have had a profound effect on the history of South East Asia, Taiwan and Japan; the Dutch settlement on Deshima provided for centuries the only means of cultural exchange between Japan and European civilization, and indeed most of the outside world. In many cases the Dutch were the first Europeans the natives would encounter. As a result there has been some considerable ethnic stereotyping. The Japanese described the Dutch as red-haired barbarians[57] and in Malay, the language of the former Dutch East Indies, the name for the Long-nosed Monkey literally translates as "Dutchman", as in Eastern Asian eyes the noses of Europeans were exceedingly large.
Main article: Indo people
After the Indonesian Revolution, most Dutch were either evacuated or evicted from Indonesia. Ever since the earliest days of the VOC several waves of mainly Dutch males decided to stay in the islands now known as Indonesia. Through the centuries there developed a relatively large Dutch-speaking population of mixed Dutch and Indonesian desccent, known as Indos or Dutch-Indonesians. Nowadays the majority of this group lives in the Netherlands.

The Dutch in the Western Hemisphere

United States
Main article: Dutch Americans
Enlarge picture
A Dutch family in New York (c.1880)

The Dutch had settled in America long before the establishment of the United States of America.[58] For a long time the Dutch lived in Dutch colonies, owned and regulated by the Dutch Republic, which later became part of the Thirteen Colonies. Nevertheless, many Dutch communities remained virtually isolated towards the rest of America up until the American Civil War, in which the Dutch fought for the North and adopted many American ways.[59]

Most future waves of Dutch immigrants were quickly assimilated. There have been three American presidents of Dutch descent: Martin van Buren (8th, first president who was not of British descent, first language was Dutch), Franklin D. Roosevelt (32nd, elected to four terms in office, he served from 1933 to 1945, the only U.S. president to have served more than two terms) and Theodore Roosevelt (26th).
Main article: Dutch Canadians
Enlarge picture
Percentage of Dutch Americans per U.S. county according to the 2002 U.S. Census.
According to the 2001 Canadian census 923,310 Canadians claim full or partial Dutch ancestry.

The first Dutch people to come to Canada were Dutch-Americans among the United Empire Loyalists. The largest wave was in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century when large numbers of Dutch helped settle the Canadian west. During this period significant numbers also settled in major cities like Toronto. While interrupted by the First World War this migration returned in the 1920s, but again halted during the Great Depression and Second World War. After the war a large number of Dutch immigrants moved to Canada, including a number of war brides of the Canadian soldiers who liberated the Netherlands.

Other notable "Hyphenated Dutchmen"

Some examples of people of Dutch descent among other nations/peoples:


Enlarge picture
Languages in and around the Low Countries in the 13th century AD.
Legend:      Dutch.      (West) Frisian.      (High) German.      French.      Low Saxon.

The history of the Dutch, as of most European peoples, is complex and intertwined through migrations and shifting empires. In this section, a short overview of these issues in relation to the approximate area of the current Netherlands is sketched.

In the Roman Empire, the imperial boundary ran east-west through the present Netherlands, along the Rhine. Within the empire, tribal groups included the Belgae (whose name was adopted in 1830 for the new Kingdom of Belgium), and the Batavi (whose name was adopted for the Dutch Batavian Republic). After the Fall of the Roman Empire, by the end of the Migration Period, the Low Countries were inhabited by Frisians, Saxons and the Franks, a Germanic people first recorded living in Pannonia. Of these three groups, the Franks were most dominant,[60] and would in fact conquer large areas of Europe in the subsequent centuries. In 843, the Treaty of Verdun divided the (Frankish) Carolingian Empire into three kingdoms for the three sons of Louis the Pious. The Low Countries became part of Middle Francia under Emperor Lothair I.

In 962, the Holy Roman Empire was established with the coronation of Otto the Great, extending from the Low Countries to Italy. The Holy Roman empire was a largely decentralised state and its authority within the low countries was never very strong. Later, semi-independent fiefdoms formed in the Low Countries; the most powerful being Brabant, Flanders, Guelders, Holland and Luxembourg. The first steps towards political unification of the Low Countries took place under the dukes of Burgundy (until 1473). The Pragmatic Sanction of 1549, issued by Charles V, established the Low Countries as an independent entity, the Seventeen Provinces with boundaries approximating to the present Benelux, as an entity separate from the Holy Roman Empire and France.

Although the Seventeen Provinces had become a political unity, there were still great regional differences. The eastern (e.g., Guelders and Liege) and southern provinces (Artois) were less densely populated and agrarian. These provinces were also partially oriented towards their (German or French) neighbours. A division between North and South was not foreseeable at the time. The primary contrast was between the rich urbanised coastal provinces (Flanders, Zealand and Holland), and the less developed peripheral domains.[61]

As the Reformation gained influence in Europe, Calvinism became very influential in the Seventeen Provinces, including Artesia and Flanders, the base of the Spanish governors. When Catholic Habsburg Spain turned to repressive policies, this added to general dissatisfaction in the Seventeen Provinces. In 1566, a wave of iconoclastic attacks on Catholic churches began what is now known as the Dutch Revolt. During the succeeding rebellion, the Spanish forces managed to re-establish their power in the southern provinces. In the north, the Dutch Republic emerged, defining for the first time an independent Dutch nation. The economic golden age, and spread of Calvinism, redefined "the Dutchman" across Europe a "Hollander" rather than a "Fleming" as had previously been the case.[62]

Enlarge picture
A map showing the territory that the Dutch held at various points in history.

As the Spanish forces reconquered the Southern cities (in present-day Belgium), of which the fall of Antwerp in 1585 was most notable, many Calvinists, including much of the local economic and cultural elites, fled north. The Southern Netherlands remained under Spanish rule, and remained almost entirely Catholic. In 1648, the Peace of Westphalia recognised the de facto geopolitical division of the former Seventeen provinces. The Dutch Republic prospered and created the trade-based Dutch Empire overseas, while the Southern Netherlands had lost their leading economic role in Europe. In the 18th century, the power of the Dutch republic started to diminish.

After a short lived existence as the Batavian Republic supported by French revolutionaries, and as the vassal state Kingdom of Holland, the Low Countries were for a short time (1810-1813), annexed by the French Empire. At this time, the English occupied the Dutch colonial possessions. Except for the Cape Colony (South Africa) and Ceylon (Sri Lanka), the colonial possessions were returned after Napoleon had been defeated. The lasting division between the Dutch and the Boers (who were Dutch settlers in South Africa) started here. When France was defeated in 1814 and again after the Hundred Days Campaign in 1815, the winning coalition, created the United Kingdom of the Netherlands comprising of the Northern and the Southern Netherlands at the Congress of Vienna. The new state, intended to act as a semi-buffer state between France and Prussia, proved to be unworkable; not only did it include different ethnic and linguistic groups (Walloons, Germans and Dutch), the state was also divided by cultural, religious, and internal economic differences. In 1830, the southern provinces declared their independence in the Belgian revolution. In 1839, the independence of Belgium was recognised by the northern Kingdom of the Netherlands. With the resolution of the status of Luxembourg in 1890, the three states acquired most of their present boundaries. The Netherlands is a constitutional monarchy.

Influence on the world

See also:

Although comparatively small in numbers, the Dutch have definitely made their mark on the world, as we know it today. The Dutch Republic was an economic and military power during much of the 17th century, and involved in many conflicts of the time, such as the Anglo-Dutch Wars.The economy was carried by private enterprises, for the first time on that scale and the Dutch East India Company issued the first freely tradable stock, one of the cornerstones of modern economy.

Dutch colonialism still influences the lives of many today. Beginning in the sixteenth century, Europeans such as the Dutch began to establish trading posts and forts along the coasts of western and southern Africa. Eventually, a large number of Dutch, augmented by French Huguenots and Germans, settled in the Cape Colony. Their descendants in South Africa, the Afrikaners and the Coloureds, are the largest European-descended groups in Africa today, see Demographics of Africa. The Dutch also controlled what is now known as Indonesia, and waged various wars against its native inhabitants in a series conflicts raging from the early 16th to the late 20th century. The area surrounding New York was a Dutch colony and in fact many street names and geographical locations still bear Dutch (though Anglicised) names, see Legacy of the Dutch in New York for more information.

Contribution to humanity

Further information: List of Dutch people
A significant number of painters and philosophers are Dutch, despite its small population. Remarkable persons include painters like Van Gogh, Rembrandt and Vermeer, and philosophers like Spinoza (though not of Dutch heritage),[63] Erasmus of Rotterdam and Hugo Grotius as well as various poets and writers such as Pieter Corneliszoon Hooft, Joost van den Vondel and Anne Frank[63] and scientists like Christiaan Huygens also made their mark on how we today view the world. The Netherlands were arguably the first nation state of the world and the first republic in modern Europe. During the early 17th century, the economic reforms, empire and ideas made the Netherlands one of the world's richest countries and the first thoroughly capitalist country.[64]

Culture and society

Dutch culture

Main article: Dutch culture
Dutch culture is diverse, reflecting regional differences as well as foreign influences thanks to the merchant and exploring spirit of the Dutch.[65] The Netherlands and Dutch people have played an important role for centuries as a cultural center, with the Dutch Golden Age regarded as the zenith. During the 20th century Dutch architects played a leading role in the development of modern architecture, and Dutch painters like Rembrandt and Van Gogh are world renowned.[66]

The Dutch people and their culture were historically influenced by the culture of neighbouring regions. France played a substantial role in the history of the Netherlands in the 17th, 18th and early 19th centuries, and there are resulting cultural influences. Cultural contacts with Scandinavia were, and are, much less influential. English-speaking cultural influences are predominant since the Second World war. The Dutch also were influenced by their colonies, most notably Indonesia.

The Dutch and the Flemish share the same language. The present state border between the Netherlands and the Flemish part of Belgium does not coincide with any linguistic or dialectal boundary. In the Province of Limburg, the Dutch border with Wallonia coincides, in places, with the Dutch-French linguistic boundary.

After the Peace of Westphalia, the Dutch and people now known as Flemings (who live in Northern Belgium) began to slowly diverge, this diverging would prove to be a contributing factor to the dissolving of the United Kingdom of the Netherlands.[67] Nevertheless they share a sense of being closely related, as the only two Dutch-speaking societies in Europe. They share a language and have a similar culture. There are some differences: although Calvinism was originally strongest in Flanders, it remained under Spanish control after the Dutch Revolt, and remained overwhelmingly Catholic. (So did the southern part of the modern Netherlands, which was incorporated later into the Dutch Republic, but its culture was not dominant within the Netherlands).

The Frisian people, who speak their own language and today live mainly in Friesland (a province of the Netherlands), have had some influence on Dutch culture, especially in the northern parts of the province of North Holland proper; also named West Frisia.

Animal culture

Many Dutch people keep pets, in fact the Dutch have the most animals per capita in the world today[68] ; as of 2005, the number of dogs in the Netherlands was estimated at 1,760,000, the population of the Netherlands includes a large number of foreign nationals whose culture is not as dog-friendly,[69] so the actual percentage of ethnic Dutch dog owners is likely higher than the national average. The number of domestic cats at almost twice that the amount of dogs present(3,300,000).[70] While the Low Countries generally lack wild animals dangerous to humans - of the mere 3 snake species that are native to the Low Countries, only one is poisonous (the European viper) - nevertheless many Dutch are ophidiophobic. Arachnophobia plays as prominent a role.[71] This is something the Dutch have in common with other urbanized societies.[72] Other major animal-related phobias include apiphobia and spheksophobia.[73]


See also:

Enlarge picture
Predominant religion in the Netherlands before the rise of secularism and the arrival of immigrant faiths.
Red: Catholicism
Green: Protestantism.

The Dutch population can be separated into two main religious groups: Roman Catholics and Protestants. During and after the Dutch revolt against Spain, Protestantism became the dominant religion in most of the country. The provinces of North Brabant and Limburg and the region of Twente, however, remained predominantly Catholic.

At 30 percent of the population, Catholics form the largest religious group today. Meanwhile, the Dutch belong to many separate Protestant churches, the largest of which are the Dutch Reformed Church (Nederlands Hervormd) and the Reformed Churches in the Netherlands (Gereformeerd), although in 2004 these merged to form the Protestant Church in the Netherlands.

During the late 19th and early 20th centuries the different religious groups were living completely separately from each other, and from the newly emerging socialist labour movement. These sub-societies were a form of horizontal stratification: people lived and married within their own communities, and the pillars had their own schools and universities, media (newspapers, magazines and radio broadcasting associations), sport clubs, shops, hospitals, unions and political parties. This intense social fragmentation was called verzuiling and led to significant tension within Dutch political life. Pillarisation is described in detail in Arend Lijphart's seminal work on consociationalism, The Politics of Accommodation.

After peaking in influence in the 1950s, the social system of pillarisation started to crumble in the early 1960s during the Dutch postmaterialist revolution, due to secularisation, individualism, consumerism, counter-culture, rising living standards, the emergence of mass media (especially television), increased social and geographical mobility, and agitation by movements such as Provo, D66 and Nieuw Links.

A 2004 study conducted by Statistics Netherlands shows that 50% of the population claim to belong to a Christian denomination, 9% to other denominations and 42% to none. In the same study 19% of the people claim go to church at least once a month, another 9% less than once a month, 72% hardly ever or never.[74][75] There is a small Jewish community of some 40,000 people, mostly in the larger cities.

People of Dutch ancestry in the United States are generally more religious than their European counterparts ; the numerous Dutch communities of western Michigan remain strongholds of the Reformed Church in America, a descendant of the Dutch Reformed Church.


There are a number of sports which the Dutch possibly invented or Dutch claim to have invented, which then spread worldwide, examples include ice hockey[76] and golf.[77] Apart from these worldwide sports there are also a number of local Dutch sports such as polsstokverspringen, kaatsen, klootschieten, kolven and korfbal.

The most popular sports, both for active participation and audience are Football (Soccer), Cycling, Speed skating, (Field, not ice) Hockey and Tennis.

Traditions of government

The earliest more or less exclusively Dutch politically entity, the Dutch republic, was a confederation of Dutch states and was led by their representatives, the Grand Pensionary (the de facto political leader of the Dutch Republic) and the Stadholder (a descendant of William of Orange) who acted as the Dutch supreme military commander. This system was eventually overthrown in the Batavian Revolution, inspired by the French revolution, in which the Stadholder fled to Britain and the revolutionaries established the Batavian Republic in 1795, which was a more centralised unitary state, not a loose confederation of (at least nominally) independent provinces. The Batavian Republic was actually a vassal state of France, which wanted to tighten its grip by establishing the Kingdom of Holland in 1806 with Napoleon's brother Louis Bonaparte as head of state, and finally by annexation in 1810 for a period of 3 years, until Napoleon was defeated. An independent Dutch state was put back on the map at the Congress of Vienna, comprising of the northern and southern Netherlands for the first time ever, as an independent monarchy, with strong monarchial powers. When the revolutions of 1848 swept across Europe, the King conceded a constitutional monarchy with parliamentary control, which it has been until this day.

Dutch language

Main article: Dutch language
Dutch is a West Germanic language spoken by around 22 million people, mainly in the Netherlands, Belgium and Surinam. The language was first attested around 470 AD,[78] and is an official language of the Netherlands, Belgium, Suriname, Aruba, and the Netherlands Antilles. Today the Dutch, Flemish and Surinamese governments coordinate their language activities in the Nederlandse Taalunie (Dutch Language Union).

Dutch was an official language in former countries of the Dutch Empire and in South Africa up until 1961, having fallen into disuse since Afrikaans (itself a direct descendant of Dutch) became an official language in 1925.

Linguistically it can be said that Dutch occupies a central position within the West Germanic languages due to the absence of soundshifts such as the Ingvaeonic nasal spirant law, Anglo-Frisian brightening and the Second Germanic consonant shift, which resulted in certain early Germanic languages evolving into English and German.

The Dutch immigrants of the 20th century often quickly began to speak the language of their new country. For example of the inhabitants of New Zealand, 0.7% say their home language is Dutch[79] despite the percentage of Dutch heritage, is considerably higher.[80]

Algemeen Beschaafd Nederlands ('Common Dutch', abbreviated to ABN) is the standard language as taught in schools and used by authorities in the Netherlands, Flanders, Suriname, Aruba and the Netherlands Antilles. The Dutch Language Union defines what AN is and what is not, for example in terms of orthography.

Dutch names

Main article: Dutch name

Dutch surnames (and names of Dutch origin) are generally easily recognisable, mainly because of tussenvoegsels such as van, van der or de. In the United States, partly due to the fame of rich industrials such as Cornelius Vanderbilt, Dutch surnames are often associated with the upperclass of society even though when translated the surnames are often very simplistic. For example, Vanderbilt means "(coming) from De Bilt", De Bilt being a small village in the province of Utrecht.[81] Unlike what is sometimes thought, Dutch van does not denote any aristocratic status.[82]

The image of the Dutch

Before reading this section and its subsections do note the following:
The section below is based primarily on etiquette and culture books concerning the Dutch. These books tend to/need to generalize in order to stay focused on the main subject. The section below is hence a general overview and not exemplary for all the Dutch.


Enlarge picture
Oranjegekte in the Netherlands

Stereotypical "Dutch" symbols such as wooden shoes, tulips, cheese and windmills, are not considered symbols of the Dutch by the Dutch themselves, but reflect a foreign popular image of the Netherlands and the Dutch. The Dutch national symbols mainly include the Dutch flag and the "national colour" orange (used for the national team in sports). The red, white and blue flag is the oldest tricolour in continuous use. Orange is also the symbolic colour of the Dutch royal family, the House of Orange-Nassau, through the principality of Orange. Another symbol of the Dutch is Het Wilhelmus, the Dutch national anthem, which is considered the world's oldest anthem in use.[83] The form of the song is that of an apologetic statement by William I of Orange-Nassau, leader of the Dutch revolt against Spain.


The Dutch self-image differs considerably from the image(s) other people have of them (see section below). The Dutch often profess that they greatly value hygiene, are thrifty, have an excellent feel for business, are good at foreign languages[84] and have an ability to coexist with others. The Dutch take pride in their tolerance and flexibility, and are generally modest people. According to the Xenophobe's Guide, perceived negative characteristics are a secret mistrust of foreigners and a distaste of alien cuisine.[31][86] Traditionally, the Dutch are also a nation of preachers, and it is common to (deprecatingly) speak of "the preacher's wagging finger" (Dutch "het opgeheven vingertje van de dominee") as a typically Dutch trait,[87][88] especially when referring to the moralising tone that is seen by many as characteristic of Dutch foreign politics.[89]

Dutch image worldwide

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Traditional costumes, tulips, clogs and windmills combined with drugs and pollution. German caricature of the Dutch by Sebastian Krüger.

Many nations regard the Dutch as being organized and efficient, but harmless at the same time due to the stereotypical mental picture of "a nation of rosy-cheeked farmers who live in windmills, wear clogs, have a garden full of tulips and sit on piles of yellow cheese".[90] Apart from the more or less touristy image described above, the Dutch also have a reputation for being opinionated, stubborn and incurably mean. Belgians even consider them to be downright devious in business affairs. Dutch frankness completely overwhelms more reticent peoples such as the Japanese who consider the Dutch to be the most arrogant of all the Europeans they do business with,[31] but at the same time are impressed by their reputation as formidable merchants. "Where a Dutchman has passed, not even the grass grows anymore" a Japanese saying goes.

Not just the Japanese may experience the Dutch as being (what they consider) blunt or insulting.[91] The author of "Dealing with the Dutch" illustrates this with a story he got from an American businessman whose Dutch colleague had stayed over for the night and for the first time got American pancakes for breakfast. After the Dutchman ate the pancakes the businessmans wife asked him if he'd enjoyed them. The Dutchman allegedly responded: "Sharon, after tasting these, I understand why your husband is so fat." The author explains that he was just making a compliment and meant nothing by it, however in many other cultures, this would be a grave insult towards the host and could very well be the end of a cordial relationship.[92]

English people survey the Dutch with guarded approval. It wasn't always like this, at the time of the Anglo-Dutch Wars in the 17th century these two nations were at each other’s throats. An English pamphlet raged: "A Dutchman is a Lusty, Fat, Two-legged Cheese worm. A Creature that is so addicted to eating butter, drinking fat, and sliding (skating) that all the world knows him for a slippery fellow". At this time the English language gained a whole array of new insults such as "Dutch courage" (booze-induced bravery), "Dutch comfort" ("Things could be worse") and "Dutch gold" (alloy resembling gold).[31] Others include:

  • "Dutch metal" (fake gold leaf or fake gold)
  • "Dutch treat"/"Going Dutch" (social date where the invitee pays for himself/herself)
  • "Dutch concert" (noise and uproar, as from a drunken crowd)
  • "Dutch-bottomed" (empty)
These terms also gained prominence in 17th century New England during their rivalry with New Holland, which was captured (and later recaptured by the Dutch) during the Second Anglo-Dutch War.

The Dutch in popular culture

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Plain willow-wood Dutch clogs, for everyday use. Clogs are considered to be one of the best known Dutch symbols worldwide.

Dutch people generally appear in popular culture in two completely distinct ways.[93] The traditional Dutch image (people in national dress, wearing clogs, having blond hair and blue eyes, standing in front of wide, flat landscapes covered with tulips and windmills in the background) and the more recent, and mostly negative, image of non-religious drug addicts, who legalized prostitution, marihuana, abortion, euthanasia and gay marriage.

None of these stereotypical images are correct. Only a small minority of the Dutch people wears traditional costumes on occasion in certain parts of the country or to entertain tourists.[94] Clogs, or wooden shoes, are not usually worn in public life, however, they are practical for gardening and farming. The drug and value related stereotypes of the Dutch are relatively recent, from around 1985. The Dutch laws no longer establish drug use and small scale sales of some drugs as a criminal act, which created the widespread stereotype that the Netherlands are a drug-based society, especially in the Western Hemisphere.[95]

Dutch views on others

The Dutch tend to judge foreign cultures using the standards and values they hold dear. Traditionally, the socio-political climate in the Netherlands has been one of collaboration and working towards compromises. Accordingly, cultures with different standards are often considered unsympathetic. [96]

In comparison to many other cultures, the Dutch are rather reserved in public and do not often touch each other or display anger or extreme exuberance. This is why people and cultures who display these "vices", for example those living around the Mediterranean Sea, are regarded as being too emotional. In Dutch society, extravagantly flaunting ones emotions (whether positive or negative) is easily seen as an 'act'.[97] It's neatly illustrated by the Dutch proverb "Doe maar gewoon, dan doe je al gek genoeg" (Just act normal, you'll be crazy enough already).

Enlarge picture
The ethnic stereotype of the Dutch in an 19th century British children's book: "A peep around the World".

After centuries of close commercial, military, cultural and religious relations between the Netherlands and the British Isles, the Dutch have a generally positive opinion of the British. Anglophone television programmes and English literature are popular and held in high regard, and English is widely spoken. Americans are typically also thought to be principally "good" people, though somewhat uneducated, unsophisticated and badly guided by their politicians.

For centuries,[98] and most recently since WWII, a strong animosity exists towards Germans. They are said to be rude, arrogant, noisy and intolerant. For many Dutch people it is not a question of "why" they dislike Germans, they just do. According to The Xenophobe's Guide to the Dutch, "Telling a Dutch person that their language seems very similar to German is unlikely to benefit your relationship." It humorously adds: "Remarking that the two nations are similar in many ways will probably get you thrown out of the house." In recent years, however, the attitude towards German people has become more positive.[99]

The Germans seem to be generally unaware of the way they are stereotyped by their neighbours and often think it is merely a soccer phenomenon, as this is when the anti-German feelings are most visible. The Dutch and Germans have had fierce soccer rivalry ever since the Second World War, even though the post war rivalry on Germany's side is actually a reaction on the behaviour displayed by the Dutch.[100]

Belgians have an entirely different image. They feature prominently in Dutch jokes in which they are typically portrayed as stupid and uneducated. This is however commonly accepted to be a fictional stereotype, originating at the time of the Belgian Revolution, in which the Southern provinces seceded from the United Kingdom of the Netherlands. Most, if not all, Dutch people consider the Belgians to be the closest related people. It should however be noted that the Dutch, when they speak of Belgians, nearly always mean the Flemish (the Dutch speaking inhabitants of Belgium) rather than the Walloons.[101][102]

See also

Notes and references

1. ^ According to a 1990 study by Statistics Netherlands there were 472,600 Dutch Indonesians residing in the Netherlands. They are the descendants of both Dutchmen and native peoples of Indonesia.
2. ^ Autochtone population at 01 January 2006, Central Statistics Bureau, Integratiekaart 2006, (external link)
3. ^ Belgian migrational statistics.
4. ^ Dutch-born, 2001, Figure 3 in DEMOS, 21, 4. Nederlanders over de grens, Han Nicholaas, Arno Sprangers. [2]
5. ^ Based on figures given by Professor JA Heese in his book Die Herkoms van die Afrikaner (The Origins of Afrikaners), who claims the modern Afrikaners (who total around 4.5 million) have 35% Dutch heritage. How 'Pure' was the Average Afrikaner?
6. ^ Dutch-born, 2001, Figure 3 in DEMOS, 21, 4. Nederlanders over de grens, Han Nicholaas, Arno Sprangers. [3]
7. ^ Te Ara, the encyclopedia of New Zealand, claims that: "[...] as many as 100,000 New Zealanders are estimated to have Dutch blood in their veins".
8. ^ See Demographics of Sri Lanka or this link on the Burgher people.
9. ^ Dutch religious and intellectual history.
10. ^ See the article "History of religion in the Netherlands".
11. ^ (Dutch)Religion in the Netherlands.
12. ^ Mainly the descendants of Dutch colonists in South Africa, speak Afrikaans a Dutch semi-creol.
13. ^ Share language and origin with the Dutch, live adjacent to the Dutch.
14. ^ Are bilingually Dutch, largely intertwined history and also possessing Germanic heritage.
15. ^ Note: ''Germans are not included for various reasons. Germans are a large ethnic group with large internal differences and hence their relation to the Dutch greatly fluctuates and is very region specific.
16. ^ (Dutch) 13,186,600, autochtone population at 01 January 2006, Central Statistics Bureau, Integratiekaart 2006, (external link)
17. ^ See the Dutch diaspora section.
18. ^ (Dutch) The first Dutch people (in Dutch language)
19. ^ (Dutch)Germanic heritage of the Dutch.
20. ^ English has 400 million, and German 100 million native speakers respectively. Dutch comes in 3rd with with 22 million speakers. When Afrikaans is added to the Dutch language -which os occasionally done- the Dutch language totalls at 36 million speakers.
21. ^ (Dutch) The first Dutch people
22. ^ 1940 population of the Dutch Empire 8,729,000 in the Netherlands (ethnic Dutch) 70,476,000 in the Dutch East Indies(link) (mostly Indonesians, but also ethnic Dutch and Dutch Indonesians) and another 500,000 (mostly of African descent) in the Dutch West Indies.
23. ^ www.etymonline.com and (Dutch) Etymologisch Woordenboek van het Nederlands entries "Dutch" and "Diets".
24. ^ (Dutch) See J. Verdam, Middelnederlandsch handwoordenboek (The Hague 1932 (reprinted 1994)): "Nederlant, znw. o. I) Laag of aan zee gelegen land. 2) het land aan den Nederrijn; Nedersaksen, -duitschland."
25. ^ (Dutch) Source on the Low Countries. (De Nederlanden)
26. ^ (Dutch) neder- corresponds with the English nether-, which means "low" or "down". See Online etymological dictionary. Entry: Nether.
27. ^ (Dutch) Etymologisch Woordenboek van het Nederlands entry "Diets".
28. ^ Smith, 1987. The Ethnic Origins of Nations. Oxford: Blackwell.
29. ^ 2004 data drawn from 2007 SCP report
30. ^ The first Dutch people (in Dutch language)
31. ^ The Xenophobe's Guide to the Dutch; "How they see themselves", These are similar to those of other countries in north-Western Europe; and may have been specific in many of the indigenous and migratory Germanic tribes.
32. ^ Percentage of ethnic Dutch, including those of Dutch ancestry, (≈25 million) when compared to the total world population (6.7 billion) = 0,37%
33. ^ Percentage of ethnic Dutch, only those living in Europe, (13,5 million) when compared to the total European population (728 million) = 1,85%
34. ^ Percentage of ethnic Dutch, only those living in the European Union, (≈13,5 million) when compared to the total population of the European Union (493 million) = 2,73%
35. ^ In the 1950s (the peak of traditional emigration) about 350 000 people left the Netherlands, mainly to Australia, New Zealand, Canada, the United States and South Africa. About one-fifth returned. The maximum Dutch-born emigrant stock for the 1950s is about 300 000 (some have died since). The maximum emigrant stock (Dutch-born) for the period after 1960 is 1.6 million. Discounting pre-1950 emigrants (who would be about 85 or older), at most around 2 million people born in the Netherlands are now living outside the country. Combined with the 13,1 million autochtoon inhabitants there are about 15 million people who are Dutch, in a minimally accepted sense. Autochtone population at 01 January 2006, Central Statistics Bureau, Integratiekaart 2006, ((Dutch) external link)
36. ^ (Dutch) The first Dutch people (in Dutch language)
37. ^ (Dutch) The linguistic magazine Onze taal on the oldest and earliest Dutch.
38. ^ Linguistic difference between Dutch and Afrikaans
39. ^ There exists intelligibility with other Germanic languages to some degree, but Afrikaans is the only language in which a native speaker of Dutch who does not have command of any other language may be able to have an advanced conversation with mutual intelligibility. For further information see this article/website
40. ^ Illustrated by the various wars between the Dutch fiefs. (for example the Guelderian Wars)
41. ^ Scientific study of the Dutch genes.
42. ^ (Dutch) Source. It says the Dutch have 43% brown, and 40% blonde hair and thus 17% other).
43. ^ Dutch, World’s Tallest People, Just Keep Growing, last line.
44. ^ (Dutch) 'Ons volk bestaat niet' (Our people doesn't exist).
45. ^ When the Flemish movement became most active, and hence (started to) create(d) a new sub-Belgian national identity.
46. ^ (Dutch) Perceptie van similariteit, page 21.
47. ^ For example the Joshua Project. "People Name General: Dutch", "Alternate People Names: Fleming".
48. ^ (Dutch) Perceptie van similariteit, page 21.
49. ^ For example the Joshua Project. "People Name General: Dutch", "Alternate People Names: Fleming".
50. ^ about 25% of the members of the Flemish parliament, elected by the Flemish, are part of Vlaams Belang, a party which supports the separation of Flanders from Belgium, but not necessarily linking up with the 'Hollanders'.
51. ^ Surnames in Belgium
52. ^ According to 'Nederlands. Het verhaal van een taal.' (Dutch. The story of a language) by O. Vandeputte
53. ^ Voor wie Nederland en Vlaanderen wil leren kennen''. By J. Wilmots
54. ^ According to Dutch nationality law, an Afrikaner (or South African in general for that matter) can become a Dutch citizen. However, whether he or she would be considered an allochtoon or autochtoon (the latter close to "ethnic Dutch" in English) would depend on the fact if their (grand)parents where born in the Netherlands. An Afrikaner with one Dutch-born parent would be considered an allochtoon, while two Dutch-born parents would make him or her an autochtoon.
55. ^ Frisian history. (English)
56. ^ Frisia. 'Facts and fiction' (1970), by D. Tamminga.
57. ^ Prints were sold as souvenirs to Japanese who visited Nagasaki and hoped to catch a glimpse of these strange "red-haired barbarians".Red-haired barbarians, the Dutch in Japan (link).
58. ^ The U.S. declared its independence in 1776, the first Dutch settlement was built in 1614: Fort Nassau where presently Albany, New York is positioned.
59. ^ How the Dutch became Americans, American Civil War (1861-1865).
60. ^ Map of Frankish kingdoms, (image)
61. ^ (Dutch) J. H. C. Blom et al. Geschiedenis van de Nederlanden (First edition), p. 107).
62. ^ (Dutch) In J. H. C. Blom et al. Geschiedenis van de Nederlanden. (First edition. p 118).
63. ^ Both Spinoza and Anne Frank are of non-Dutch heritage. While Anne Frank was born a German national and was later stripped of this (she died stateless in a concentrationcamp), she did have some Dutch blood from her mothers lineage, Spinoza has none since he and his family were originally Iberian Jews. Nevertheless, they are considered Dutch in the sense that they were raised with Dutch language and culture (alongside their own Jewish heritage) who considered themselves to be Dutch, as well. (Geschiedenis van de Joden in Nederland by R. Fuksmansfeld) This respect goes both ways as is illustrated by Anne Frank's inclusion in a recent game show aiming to identify the Greatest Dutchman of all times (as can be seen here), and the depiction of Spinoza on largest denomination of the national heroes series of Dutch guilder banknotes designed in the 1970s
64. ^ Many economic historians regard the Netherlands as the first thoroughly capitalist country in the world. In early modern Europe it featured the wealthiest trading city (Amsterdam) and the first full-time stock exchange. The inventiveness of the traders led to insurance and retirement funds as well as such less benign phenomena as the boom-bust cycle, the world's first asset-inflation bubble, the tulip mania of 1636-1637, and according to Murray Sayle, the world's first bear raider - Isaac le Maire, who forced prices down by dumping stock and then buying it back at a discount ("Japan Goes Dutch", London Review of Books [April 5, 2001]: 3-7).
65. ^ For example the introduction of Indonesian spices and herbs to the Dutch cuisine in the 16th century.
66. ^ Artcyclopedia, list of most popular artists, Van Gogh ranks 2nd, Rembrandt 7th.
67. ^ (Dutch) in J. H. C. Blom et al., Geschiedenis van de Nederlanden, p. 118, quoted above.
68. ^ (Dutch) Dutch animal party website says een land dat de meeste dieren per inwoner heeft ter wereld.
69. ^ For example Turkish, Arab/Berber, Indonesian and Surinamese people(s)
70. ^ [4]
71. ^ [5] Arachnophobia is listed in the top-5 of phobias among Dutch and British people.
72. ^ [6]
73. ^ Fobieen en angsten (phobias and fears) by F. Bleys
74. ^ Statistical Yearbook of the Netherlands 2006, page 43
75. ^ (Dutch) Religion in the Netherlands, by Statistics Netherlands.
76. ^ See the Ice Hockey article.
77. ^ Golf was mentioned on February 26 in the year 1297 for the first time in the Netherlands in a city called Loenen aan de Vecht. Here the Dutch played a game with a stick and leather ball. He who hit the ball in a target several hundreds of meters away the least number of times, won.
78. ^ "Maltho thi afrio lito" is the oldest attested (Old) Dutch sentence, found in the Salic Law, a legal text written around 450AD.
79. ^ See article on New Zealand
80. ^ As many as 100,000 New Zealanders are estimated to have Dutch blood in their veins (some 2,1% of the current population of New Zealand.
81. ^ See the history section of the Vanderbilt family article, or visit this link.
82. ^ "It is a common mistake of Americans to think that the 'van' before a Dutch name signifies nobility." (Source.); "Von may be observed in German names hinting at nobility while the van, vander, and vanden stamp the bearer as Dutch and merely mean "at" and "at the." (Source.)
83. ^ The Dutch anthem was written between 1568 and 1572 during the Eighty Years' War. The Japanese anthem has older lyrics, but the melody wasn't added until the early 20th century.
84. ^ According to a 2006 report by the Radboud University Nijmegen, however, the Dutch tend to seriously overestimate their competence in other languages as compared to other Europeans. Short summary in English here.
85. ^ The Xenophobe's Guide to the Dutch; "How they see themselves"
86. ^ Whether or not this is part of the Dutch self-image, the continuous popularity of Indonesian food in the Netherlands, at any rate, has to be noted. Furthermore, Dutch taste has shifted markedly during the past thirty years. According to euromonitor.com, "Thirty years ago the Dutch just had meat, vegetables and potatoes for supper. Nowadays, Italian, Mexican and all kinds of other ethnic foods are common in Dutch food retail". At present, rice products, pizza and sushi are as common and popular as anywhere.
87. ^ The Merchant as Exponent of Dutch Identity.:Alongside the preacher's wagging finger and the farmer's surly gaze, the merchant's purse has for centuries represented Dutch identity, both at home and abroad.]
88. ^ (Dutch) Interview with M. Rem, on the role of the Dutch in worldwide politics.
89. ^ (Dutch) The Netherlands: An example to the world?
90. ^ The Xenophobe's Guide to the Dutch, page 4; "How others see them".
91. ^ Saxion, on Dutch culture: [...] they can be very straightforward and frank, some people would say blunt.
92. ^ As mentioned, source: "Dealing with the Dutch". J. Vossestein.
93. ^ Profile of the Netherlands by English]])]
^ For example in the village of Volendam.
95. ^ According to a teacher of foreign students at Tilburg university, "Many students are surprised when they hear how Dutch drug policy really works and that the percentage of Dutch people who use drugs is actually below that of other European countries and the United States". ([7] See also comments on BBC News: Talking point.
96. ^ The Xenophobe's Guide to the Dutch, page 4 and 5; "How they see others" and "Special relations".
97. ^ The Undutchables, by White & Boucke, ISBN 1-888580-32-1.
98. ^ Intermediair & same article here. It speaks of anti-German sentiment as early as the 16th century.
99. ^ (Dutch) German-Dutch relations. Dutch views on Germans.
100. ^ Onbekende Buren, by Dik Linthout, page 60 till 64 "voetbal".
101. ^ (Dutch) Clingendael, "What do you think about with the word "Belgians", "Flemish" or "Walloons"? (page 39)
102. ^ The Xenophobe's Guide to the Dutch, page 4 and 5; "How they see others" and "Special relations".

Further reading

  • Voor wie Nederland en Vlaanderen will leren kennen. By J. Wilmots and J. De Rooij, 1978, Hasselt/Diepenbeek. (Dutch for "For those who want to know about the Netherlands and Flanders")
  • Geschiedenis van de Nederlanden. By J.C.H. Blom et al. (Dutch for "History of the Low Countries")
  • The Xenophobe's Guide to the Dutch. By Rodney Bolt. Oval Projects Ltd 1999, ISBN 190282525X
  • The Dutch in America, 1609 – 1974. By Gerald Francis De Jong. Twayne Publishers 1975, ISBN 0805732144
  • Handgeschreven wereld. Nederlandse literatuur en cultuur in de middeleeuwen. By D. Hogenelst and Frits van Oostrom, 1995, Amsterdam. (Dutch for "A handwritten world. Dutch literature and culture in the Middle Ages.")
  • Dutch South Africa: early settlers at the Cape, 1652 – 1708. By John Hunt, Heather-Ann Campbell. Troubador Publishing Ltd 2005, ISBN 1904744958.
  • The Undutchables, by White & Boucke, ISBN 1-888580-32-1.
  • The Persistence of Ethnicity: Dutch Calvinist pioneers. By Rob Kroes. University of Illinois Press 1992, ISBN 0252019318
  • Die Niederlande. Geschichte und Sprache der Nördlichen und Südlichen Niederlande. J.A Kossmann-Putto and E.H. Kossmann, 1993. (German for "The Netherlands. History and language of the Northern and Southern Netherlands")
ethnic group or ethnicity is a population of human beings whose members identify with each other, usually on the basis of a presumed common genealogy or ancestry.[1] Ethnicity is also defined from the recognition by others as a distinct group[2]
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"Je maintiendrai"   (French)
"Ik zal handhaven"   (Dutch)
"I shall stand fast"1

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The population of the Netherlands is concentrated on a limited territory. Furthermore the demographic development is characterized by three trends: increasing longevity, decreasing birth rates and an increasing percentage of population from foreign extraction.
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"Je maintiendrai"   (French)
"Ik zal handhaven"   (Dutch)
"I shall stand fast"1

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neutrality is disputed.
* It may contain original research or unverifiable claims.
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Eendracht maakt macht   (Dutch)
L'union fait la force"   (French)
Einigkeit macht stark
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Main languages of Flemish emigrants:
they tend to quickly adopt the local language. Religions Predominantly Roman Catholic or Atheist/Non-religious Related ethnic groups

(In alphabetical order)
Afrikaners, Dutch.
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"God Defend New Zealand"
"God Save the Queen" 1

Capital Wellington

Largest city Auckland
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"Sri Lanka Matha"
Music   , Singing  
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Burghers are a Eurasian ethnic group, historically from Sri Lanka, consisting for the most part of male-line descendants of European colonists from the 16th to 20th centuries (mostly Portuguese, Dutch and British) and local Sinhalese women.
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Writing system: Latin alphabet (Dutch variant) 
Official status
Official language of:  Aruba
 European Union
 European Union
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The West Frisian can mean:
  • West Frisian language, the language spoke in the Friesland provincie of in the Netherlands
  • West Frisian (dialect), the Dutch/Hollandic dialect spoken in North-Holland provincie of in the Netherlands

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Writing system: Latin (English variant) 
Official status
Official language of: 53 countries
Regulated by: no official regulation
Language codes
ISO 639-1: en
ISO 639-2: eng
ISO 639-3: eng  
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Official status
Official language of:
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Monism Monotheism
Natural theology Nontheism
Pandeism Panentheism
Pantheism Polytheism
Theism Theology

Specific conceptions
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Metaphysical naturalism
Weak and strong atheism
Implicit and explicit atheism

History of atheism

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Protestantism encompasses the forms of Christian faith and practice that originated with the doctrines of the Reformation. The word Protestant is derived from the Latin protestatio meaning declaration
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Jesus Christ
Church Theology
New Covenant Supersessionism
Apostles Kingdom Gospel
History of Christianity Timeline
Old Testament New Testament
Books Canon Apocrypha
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Jesus Christ
Church Theology
New Covenant Supersessionism
Apostles Kingdom Gospel
History of Christianity Timeline
Old Testament New Testament
Books Canon Apocrypha
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Main languages of Flemish emigrants:
they tend to quickly adopt the local language. Religions Predominantly Roman Catholic or Atheist/Non-religious Related ethnic groups

(In alphabetical order)
Afrikaners, Dutch.
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Frisians are an ethnic group of Germanic people in Fryslân, Groningen and parts of Germany. They inhabit an area known as Frisia. They are mostly tall, light-haired people[1] and they have a rich history and folklore.
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Writing system: Latin alphabet (Dutch variant) 
Official status
Official language of:  Aruba
 European Union
 European Union
 Netherlands Antilles
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ethnic group or ethnicity is a population of human beings whose members identify with each other, usually on the basis of a presumed common genealogy or ancestry.[1] Ethnicity is also defined from the recognition by others as a distinct group[2]
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"Je maintiendrai"   (French)
"Ik zal handhaven"   (Dutch)
"I shall stand fast"1

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Liberté, Égalité, Fraternité
"Liberty, Equality, Fraternity"
"La Marseillaise"

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Germanic peoples are a historical group of Indo-European-speaking peoples, originating in Northern Europe and identified by their use of the Germanic languages which diversified out of Common Germanic in the course of the Pre-Roman Iron Age.
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Writing system: Latin alphabet (Dutch variant) 
Official status
Official language of:  Aruba
 European Union
 European Union
 Netherlands Antilles
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Germanic languages are a group of related languages constituting a branch of the Indo-European (IE) language family. The common ancestor of all languages comprising this branch is Proto-Germanic, spoken in approximately the latter mid-1st millennium BC in Iron Age Northern Europe.
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