It will soon be 15 March! For whom is this an important date? Why is this an important date? If you have children in Group 8 (final year) of the Basisschool (primary school) this is important for you. The 15th of March is the deadline for registering for a secondary school. You must apply before the deadline or your child risks not having a place at secondary school in September.
Continue reading “Choosing and applying for secondary schools” →
To many Mata Hari is known as “that Dutch spy”, but who was she, and was she really a spy?
Continue reading “Mata Hari – Guilty, or maybe….?” →
As an immigrant from a non-Dutch speaking country, whether temporary or permanent, with children, you face some hard choices. Do you send your children to a local school or to an international one, what language should you speak at home, what if the parents already speak different languages? Is it “safe” to introduce yet another one?
Continue reading “Bilingual Children / Tweetalige Kinderen” →
Maybe you are moving, maybe the kids have reached a new phase in their lives, maybe you are just having a good old clear-out. But what to do with your “stuff”?
In other articles/blogs we have described trash collection and recycling for general waste, paper & cardboard, compostable material, plastic, chemical waste and the annual Christmas trees. These items are collected or at least organized by your Gemeente. You can contact them to find out about collection dates in your street.
This article focusses more on what you can do with your clothes and household goods.
Continue reading “Recycling & Donating” →
You know you are properly integrated when you pronounce it Ghowda and not Goodah. Yes! It’s time to expand your horizons beyond Gouda cheese. The Netherlands has many more types of cheese to offer.
Continue reading “Dutch Cheese” →
There are many wonderful things about being an expat and we often write about those things in these articles. Sometimes however, sad things happen. Someone close to you dies or you are invited to a funeral of someone maybe not so close, but you don’t know the right protocol. This article is intended to give you an idea of what to do in those circumstances. A time of grief is particularly hard when you are away from family and friends and it can be hard to focus and plan.
Continue reading “Funerals” →
If you have spent a winter in the Netherlands it cannot have escaped your notice that the Dutch love their potatoes and that stampot is a Dutch staple winter food. Stampot is a dish of mashed potatoes with for example kale (boerenkool stampot) or carrots and onions (hutspot) and is generally eaten with smoked sausage (rookworst).
Continue reading “Hete Bliksem” →
Everyone knows the Netherlands is flat. Apart from the three hills in Limburg, flat, completely flat. Or is it?
If one looks closely, particularly in the coastal provinces of Friesland and Groningen (and to a lesser extent, Noord-Holland and Zeeland), one can see churches, farms and even villages raised up on flattish hillocks. (There were once ones in Drenthe, but they have since disappeared.) These are known as terps (terpen in Dutch) and have been around since at least 500 BC.
Continue reading “History of the Terp” →
“We hebben dit weekend een huisje” (“We have a little house this weekend”) or “We gaan in de vakantie in een huisje” (“We are going in a little house in the vacation”). If you mingle with the Dutch, you will have heard these phrases. People regularly book holiday homes in vacation parks for a break with their family, wider family get-togethers or boys/girls only weekends away.
Continue reading “Vacation Park Holidays” →
Children’s swimming in the Netherlands is a BIG DEAL. It is a big deal for anxious parents shelling out fees and schlepping to (twice-) weekly lessons. A big deal for the kids (for many their first “exams” and for some big rewards in the form of presents for passing) and a big deal commercially.
Continue reading “Dutch Children’s Swimming Programme” →