In a word, no. Dutch people aren’t rude, they’re direct – there’s a difference.
And the difference is – other cultures perceive the Dutch to be rude. But here’s the thing: it isn’t intentional (most of the time anyway 🤣🤣).
As a young, English child, my parents were quite strict and brought me up with a strong focus on manners. “Mind your manners”, “good manners cost nothing” and “mind your P’s and Q’s” were commonplace in my household. It was drilled into me from a young age that I must be polite at all times.
“What’s the magic word?” was often fired back if I had forgotten that polite little word at the end of my request. If I was in a sassy mood I would reply “Abracadabra” which was met with sniggers from my parents, but obviously I wouldn’t get a Bourbon biscuit or custard cream until I’d said please.
Fast forward to the present, I don’t eat at biscuits anymore. So instead I go into an English pub and I say brightly “Hello, can I have a white wine and a bag of scampi fries please”. When said drink, and king of (English) pub snacks are delivered – I graciously deliver my my most polite “thank you”, nod and smile. (Side note: if you have been to England and not ordered scampi fries you are SERIOUSLY missing out!)
Cut to Dutch kroeg (pub). The Dutchie walks in: “Heb je voor mij een biertje?” (Literally: Do you have a beer for me?)
Dundundun… and here’s the thing: there’s nothing wrong with that. It’s just how you order a beer in Holland.
Another example, at the dinner table I might ask “can someone pass the pepper please?”.
The Dutchie would say “mag ik de peper?” (Literally: may I have the pepper?) and in Dutch culture, that’s polite enough.
I’ve talked about directness before on my blog so I don’t think I have to hammer the point home anymore. But I have one thing to ask: next time you think a Dutch person is being rude, first question yourself and your perception of the situation rather than generalising “oh, Dutch people are rude”… pretty please 😉😉
There is of course, one EXCEPTION TO THIS RULE: Dutchies living in England.
Dan moet ik tegen jullie zeggen: je moet je P’s en Q’s leren. En als je weet niet wat dat is… you are soooooooo not inbuggered. Learn about our culture, please. It’s only polite 😉