15 Weird Things Dutch People Do

I don’t like to generalise 😉 … but Dutch people are weird. In a good way, of course! And I have proof…

1. Hang their duvets out of the window, with the covers still on, to ‘air’ them. Washing machine, no?

Dutch duvets out of window

(Photo shamelessly stolen from my Dutch friend M…)

2. Can’t decide whether to say ‘doei’ or ‘dag’, so say ‘doeg’ instead.

3. Give you three kisses. (But only if they like you.) Right-left-right. If you get three kisses, you’re in!

4. Think almost everything is gezellig and/or lekker.

5. Eat shitloads of deep fried snacks without getting fat. (It MUST be all the cycling, right??)


6. Cycle. Everywhere.

7. Complain about the weather. (Ok, ok, English people do this too. I fit right in…)

8. Base their lives around sunshine. If the sun is out, Dutch people are out. In full force.

9. Wear white leggings. Why…? Why…?

10. Have a day dedicated to skirts! 😉 ‘Rokjesdag’ meaning Skirt Day is ‘celebrated’ on the first day of spring when women suddenly decide it’s warm enough to wear a skirt with bare legs.

11. Say ‘Tsjonge, jonge, jonge!’ A LOT. (Possibly the most annoying Dutch phrase ever.)

12. Let their dogs take a shit on the footpath and don’t clean it up.

Poep sign

Yes, love. I bet you do!

13. Talk English to you, even though you’ve clearly expressed your desire to practice Dutch. (Flippin’ show offs.)

14. Eat ALL the dairy. Cheese and milk for lunch, anyone?

15. Think that chocolate sprinkles on bread for breakfast is a good way to start the day. I will never get over this. Really, never.

What other weird stuff does your Dutchie do?

Hayley x


    1. Mijn dutchie eats his hambrgers with a fork and knife….but worse is eating american southern fried chicken legs with a knife and fork. He leaves half the meat on the bone….I say use fingers..the original forks….

      Liked by 2 people

        1. i cannot imagine being afraid of your own dirty fingers in the Netherlands, while NOONE wears gloves when serving your food and they touch the garbage and all the money and then make a sandwich for you with bare hands without even washing them…I was really astonished with how filthy they are in this matter and 4 years later I still cannot get used to it.


          1. Don’t forget the fact that the toilets, either has no sink, or a supertiny sink,mm that only has cold water, so you can’t clean your hands anyway. And instead they walk with their filthy hands, touch every handle until they reach the kitchen, open the kitchen tap with their filthy fingers to wash their hands. Disgusting!

            And also, walking with shoes indoors?! As they don’t pick up dogshit in the netherlands, lovely to have that on my carpet when they step with their shoes on it?


  1. Having lived abroad for a considerable time and then moving back to Holland, the thing that really got to me was the social convention to congratulate not only the person whose birthday it is, but also all family and friends! I forgot this was the norm and was deemed extremely rude many times…:-)

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I can relate, it was the cause of great confusion among my American in-laws. They couldn’t figure out what to say to who and why.


    2. Yay, I’m not the only one! I’m Dutch, but I was raised by a Czech mother and I too never got used to the congratulating family and friends thing. People find me rude as well, but I can’t bring myself to say it. It just sounds so stupid!


    3. I’m completely Dutch, born and bred, although I did live in the UK for 12 years, but I never understood that custom either. It completely baffles me why we feel the need to congratulate family and friends of the birthday boy/girl. It’s hardly their achievement, is it? Family at a push, but why congratulate the random visitors? I find it bizar and have refused to do so as long as I can remember.


    1. In the Zaanstreek where I grew up doeg was the common greeting when leaving. Dag was too formal. And I never heard of doei until much later.


  2. I’m a Dutchie… sometimes proud, sometimes awfully ashamed.

    1) YES! We washed them 2 days ago and then someone (annoyingly) needs to swet alot or fart (yuk) then we hang them out to dry or take away the smell. Washday is every saturday or sunday, so they eventually do get washed.
    2) Total language mistake! Some even say “hoi” when they leave…. Lack of education. :-p
    3) Why? WHY? WHY????? I don’t like this one either! I’m refusing each time, hoping to change the habit. Guess I haven’t made any progress here did I…
    4) With friends /family: ALWAYS!
    5) Really? haven’t noticed 😛
    6) Cycle is our best friend!
    7) Dutchies complain! Weather is just one of the topics, but basicly you don’t need a topic. They’ll even complain for the lack of a topic to complain about.
    8) See 7: We can even complain it’s too hot! But sunshine does take us all out. We’ve got so much fun things to do in this small country. But it’s not so much fun when it’s raining or snowing. Besides that: We have way to much spare time and we save those for the sunny days.
    9) NEVER!!! It’s a hype flown over from USA. They should shoot the one who introduced it and made it sound like a good idea.
    10) Guys LOVE it! They’re all waiting for it each year. We girls just love the response, so comply 😉
    11) It’s an annoying sound to announce you’re annoyed and do it in an annoying way to make EXTRA sure the one who annoys you understands you’re annoyed and the situation you were put in is annoying!
    Remind that when someone says it to you!
    12) NEVER cool! Tsjonge jonge jonge.
    13) we’re impatient… sorry bout that! We do want you to learn, but talking Dutch and having so much to explain… it takes time. We both know English…. so…..
    14) This must be a type-o, cause i’ve never eaten my diary before. I’ve never kept a diary since i was 12. But we do eat all the cheese if you come in late. There’s just never enough cheese. Whose fault is that?
    15) I’m not a chocolate fan anymore, but as a child we even combined them with peanut butter or yelly. Can’t stand the sugar anymore, but you should try it. Why waste a day in feeling sprinkly happy. (Maybe we spoil our kids)

    16) Weird stuff Dutchies do:
    * Park and chain their bikes in “your” spot, so you can not leave anymore.
    * Block the doorway of a tram because they want to get in, expecting those who want to get out to move.
    * Buzz you in when you ring the bell, but don’t greet you at the door (its open right..?)
    * Massively hog terraces when sun comes out and just sit there and do nothing but get drunk. Even during lunchtime.
    * Have thoughts about who’s gonna pay the bill on a date, even prior to the date itself. (In USA they call it ‘going Dutch’. Really, if you interview some folks, you can dedicate a whole blog on this one)

    Liked by 2 people

    1. 1) If the Deck cover is not dirty, just put on but slept on for a night, there is nothing nicer than to simply air it out.. Nothing strange about that.. Just nice and fresh
      2) There is nothing wrong with fried foods.. They are delicious… fat packs on for those who take elevators rather than the stairs, who drive instead of walk or cycle and for those who don’t take physical health & fitness seriously. Basically fried foods are the enemy of the lazy.
      3) Many cultures kiss each other.. The Arabs kiss 4 times, the French 2 times, the Americans & Canadians once if your lucky and the Dutch 2 times. Each culture to its own & its all good.
      4) Rain, sleet, ice, snow or Sunshine we are out in full force. Nothing stops us.. life goes on regardless of the weather
      5) You are the 2nd expat writer I’ve read who seems to have a problem with white leggings. That is very strange indeed.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. YAW. Not sure if you’d want to read a blog of mine :-p

        It’ll only be filled with conquerings surrounding blue envelops and frustrations surrounding loads of time but lack of inspiration VS Loads of inspiration and lack of ….



  3. Funnily enough, most of my expat friends kiss 3 times, but most of my Dutch friends don’t. It seems like a good habit to cultivate, but I was extremely taken aback the first time at a colleague’s house. I haven’t noticed the white leggings here either, but you do see people with beige leggings or trousers sometimes and do a double-take; looks like they forgot to get dressed properly. As for the dog pooh, our town has certain verges and parks as dog-walking areas (hondenuitlaatplaats) that are cleaned up every so often by a giant pooh-hoover. Don’t go anywhere near them on the day they’ve been cleaned! As a child (in the UK), my mother was always yelling “Look where you’re walking!” on the way to school. *old lady reminisces*

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Gottegottegottegot.let’s have a go at the English then: They also choose to always speak English, no matter which country they’re in. They eat crisps with their dinner. They drive on the left(how weird is that?) . They weigh things in stones and divide them in 14 pounds(to make it easier?). They measure lengths in inches, but add some ‘mill’ to make it more precise I suppose? They complain about the petrol price per litre and then boast about their miles per gallon. Mp’s ate still elected in their local constituency, even for national elections. Your labour vote is not counted if you live in the wrong town. They drink and drink and find it weird if you’re still sipping your first pint trying to have a conversation. They put on their ‘best’ shirt when lucky enough to attend a black tie event such as a snooker final, only to turn up in a Newcastle Utd top.gottegottegottegottegottegottegot!


      1. That’s a compliment, right? Thanks! I don’t really want to, I’m more of a reply-blogger, just loving all the confusions in your daily life, perfectly mirroring my life in England.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Poor Erik, ons bruidje aan het volgen (following our bride) beetje verbaasd, omdat je totaal niet snapt wat er eigenlijk zo raar aan ons is ( laughing bout those crazy Dutchies) en nu moet je zelf met maffe buitenlanders zien om te gaan… (just now in a foreign country trying to adapt to custom traditions)


          Quoting Russel Peters: “Indians do not stink. That’s how Canadians smell!”
          (That’s an inside joke. Joetjoep the man and you’ll understand 😉 )

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Couldn’t think of a better name for you, miauw! I’m not suffering here in England, differences are interesting, I quote myself now; opposites attract!(took me several minutes to translate your Dutch into YouTube, another crazy dutchlady you must be)


            1. That’s how we like it huh 😉 Hope you have a great time in England and hope the translation worked for ya. Would love to help you out there though. Just mums the word 🙂


            2. That’s how we like it huh 😉 I’m sure you’re not suffering. The whole world is a beautifull place as long as we try to get along 🙂


  5. Some of this is true, but not all. Gives a false idea of th Dutch people. All countries have different traditions and cultures. If you move to China, will you then write a blog telling their weird ways? When I moved to Holland for ten years, I accepted all that I saw and did, including the 3 spot kissing..it is what THEY do. Who are we to go to their country and then start laughing at them or complaining. Then return to where ever you came from..Probably have some weird ideas there also. Lighten up.


    1. Blogging (or my specialty, reply blogging) does not give a false impression of Dutch people, just an impression from an English point of view in good taste and spirit. Dutch people are zo gek als een deur. Ik kan dat gedrag niet meer uitleggen na 15 jaar in engeland,

      Liked by 2 people

    2. I don’t think Bitterballenbruid means it this seriously. She’s a foreigner and notices this. I’m Dutch and I love reading this. It gives you a different view on your habtis. I’m not offended or anything.

      Liked by 2 people

    3. Barbara: No disrespect but: “Lighten UP!”

      I’m a Dutchie! From as far as (the books go) the year 1318.
      I have NO problems with any of this blog!

      I’m even willing to state: “Our lovely bride is teaching us!”

      All of the stuff written in this blog is absolutely truly Dutch! All of it is recognizable to me. But, most of it I was not formiliar to me with being SOLELY Dutch… That is, not only, funny to learn about, but even quite interesting to see where it’s heritage lays.

      This is daily life in Holland. We all know it here, we all see it here and we should always be open and honest in talking about it. What better way than with a bit of humor?

      God knows we want all of our refugees to learn the “Dutch” way, to make them feel comfortable. What better way than reading this blog 😉

      Liked by 2 people

  6. As a Dutchie in the states I horrified my American wife when I dumped a spoonful of mayo on my fries. However, everyone exposed to this practice now does it too. 😉

    #5, it is the cycling! When I moved here I obviously had to transition from bike to car because everything is too spread out, but I kept my high-fat Dutch diet. I started gaining 10 lbs a month. By month 3 I figured out I had to adapt.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Educating those Americans. Way to go Tiemen! (concerning the calories: you might want to start with “snert, or stampot”…. They already know the “fatty snack” division over there)

      Yeah! Agree here. A week not cycling (flat tyre) is a gain of 5 pounds….


      1. Well I have thought more about this as I read the new replies. I have had Dutch language classes, did well. Speak it somewhat well….understand it better because my deep accent from southern america seems to always come through…it is rather annoying when I speak dutch to to be responded to in english….sometimes as a joke, i reply back in spanish to be confusing….i do this even with my husband. And then I remind myself that messages in the conversation are what are most important and if someone responds correctly in english to me then i know i did a pretty good job in dutch. Languages, at best, are difficult all over the world. Grammar is usually the toughest part and, of course, a few sounds. Even the 4 year old next door works with me on the “g” sound. But when he goes to school he tell his jufvrouw that he is leren engels van mij. I love it….so I have learned to lighten up on myself and lighten up on others….

        Also, as for frites and sauces….reminds me of potato chips and dips….enjoy!


  7. “Talk English to you, even though you’ve clearly expressed your desire to practice Dutch. ” That drive me NUTS there !! I worked with an Irishman there who is married to a Dutch girl wioth Dutch kids .. Everytime he speaks Dutch out shopping they answer in English … aaaagggh . Terrible habit.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. When we had American friends over and set the table for breakfast we were taken aback that they loaded up their sandwich with several slices of different meats- whereas we Dutchies very prudishly only put one or two slices of the same meat on our boterham.


  9. 1.Hang their duvets out of the window, with the covers still on, to ‘air’ them?
    -> the german do it, the austrian also, ts not typical dutch

    3. Think almost everything is gezellig and/or lekker.
    -> have you ever been at the rhein-area ? there is also everything lecker und so gesellig

    7. talking abut the wheather is common all over the world

    8. Base their lives around sunshine. If the sun is out, Dutch people are out. In full force.
    -> also common in germany

    15. Think that chocolate sprinkles on bread for breakfast is a good way to start the day. I will never get over this. Really, never.
    -> the german put it in cake.. whats worth?AND we put it on bread (we did it as kids)


  10. Calendar in the wc?
    Plastic bowl in the washbasin?
    Drinking coffee at 11 in the evening?
    Kids’ nose ruming into their shoes, no idea of using the handkerchief. 🙂
    Friet speciaal?

    Oh well, all these things make them Dutch, and I really love all of them. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I thought about you last week! I was waiting for the elevator at work and both elevators were stuck on the 3th floor. Then finally, one moved to the second floor. It took a while before it moved down again while the other was still on the 3th floor. So I went: “Tsjonge, jonge, jonge” and was like: “Oh wow, I never realised I did that too”. LOL It’s really actually the first time I heard myself say this.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Hello I am an American high school student who is working on an exploratory project on the Netherlands for my literature class, and I was wondering if you would mind taking a couple minutes to answer a few questions I have on Dutch culture. If you could reply anytime soon that would be amazing!

    First question: What is it like socially in Amsterdam compared to other countries, if you have visited any others?

    Second: What are some common leisure activities or hobbies that people/teenagers engage in in Amsterdam?

    Third: What are some popular foods/types of food in Amsterdam?

    Fourth: How developed or up to date is the technology in the Netherlands?

    Thank you!


  13. Like your blog! What’s really funny: we’re Dutch and just moved to the US. One of the strangest things over here is that they sleep under a printed duvet and wash them instead of using a duvet cover and wash those haha. We can totally get number one, the other way around;)

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Mine is crazy about candies and loves his hot chocolate fudge. Happens to be obsessed with some youtube thing called Rund Funk and often sings the ajax anthem in both public and private environments. Likes to make sex jokes but they rarely come across as funny.


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