10 Things the Dutch Think about Americans
“You’re not like most Americans.”
A student of mine, a trainee English teacher, said this to me.
I laughed, and the conversation moved on to other topics, but I’ve been thinking about what he meant by this. What the Dutch think about Americans – and I dare say this applies to other Europeans too – is not at all flattering.
(A note to any Americans reading this: please don’t take offence! I’m NOT saying these are true! I just thought you might find it interesting to see what stereotypes Europeans have about you.)
(Aan mijn Nederlandse lezers: als je in het Nederlands wil lezen, kijk hieronder.)
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What the Dutch think about Americans
1. The Dutch think Americans are ignorant.
I’m convinced this image comes from several media-related sources.
First of all, the news shows here in Europe, like news programs the world over, need to keep their audience entertained, and showing stupid American people is a great way to do that. It’s much more entertaining, for example, when you’re choosing which man-on-the-street interviews to broadcast, to select the clips where they say the most ignorant, inane things, preferably in a southern accent. Extra points on the entertainment chart if the person is also fat (see below).
The internet is crowded with examples of Americans saying stupid things. This beauty contestant, for example, has been viewed with glee around the world:
Or this game show contestant and country music singer, Kelly Pickler, who thinks Europe is a country but isn’t sure about France. (The presenter’s sexism is pretty stupid too.) This kind of ignorance about the world is particularly popular with the Dutch.
2. The Dutch think Americans are fat.
It’s amazing how often the media shows fat people, and often the fat people are caught saying terribly stupid things. It’s not like there aren’t any fat people in the Netherlands; there are! But they sure love to laugh at fat American people. Photos of fat people, particularly fat people at Walmart stores, for some reason, are particularly popular on the internet.
3. They think Americans are all toting guns.
If you believe the Dutch press, all Americans carry guns … everywhere. And they’re positively rabid about their right to do so. And the Dutch just cannot get their heads around why gun ownership is allowed.
4. The Dutch see Americans as patriotic.
The Dutch don’t mean this in a good way. They don’t see anything wrong with loving your country – just watch the Dutch fans at any international sports competition – but in their view there’s a difference between loving your country and seeing it as superior to other countries.
5. They are convinced that Americans are racists.
The Dutch just love a good American racial scandal. This from the same country that gives us Zwarte Piet and Geert Wilders.
6. To the Dutch, the average American is loud and shrill.
This image comes specifically from reality TV, where the most popular programs from America seem to involve the most shrill, pointless arguments between contestants. This is particularly ironic, given that the Dutch invented Big Brother, one of the earliest reality TV shows.
7. Americans are Bible-thumpers, according to the Dutch.
Apparently, Americans are not just Christians, like many Dutch people. They’re extremist Christians who shout about the word of God and insist that everyone must believe as they do. A related point: Americans don’t believe in evolution.
8. Many Dutch think that a lot of Americans are polygamous.
They believe that Mormons and many other Americans are polygamous. This comes from coverage of breakaway sects as it appears in the press, or from the reality TV program, “Sister Wives.” Reporters tend to mention “Mormons” much more than they mention that the particular sect they’re covering isn’t actually part of the Mormon Church, or that polygamy is illegal in the US.
9. The Dutch view Americans as lawsuit-happy.
We’ve all heard of the Stella Awards. Given the Dutch cultural and legal limits on lawsuits – they are much less likely to sue and awards are generally very low – they love a big lawsuit story as an example of “typical American excess.”
Other posts you might like:
10. Americans are paranoid, according to the Dutch.
Americans are afraid: of lawsuits, for one thing, and of terrorism. The Dutch like to chuckle at the warnings that American companies put on their packaging: “Warning: contains hot liquid.” Seems pretty silly on a cup of coffee.
What’s funny about the whole list, of course, is that they’re all stereotypes, and the people who express these ideas to me don’t generally even believe them themselves. They ask, “Is it true that…” as if they’re really just asking me to reassure them that the stereotype isn’t actually true. And they’re happy to hear my more nuanced explanations.
Of course, many of these stereotypes contain more than a grain of truth as well. My task, as an American Studies teacher, is to illuminate the gray areas. Yes, there are polygamous families. No, they’re not part of the Mormon Church. Polygamy is illegal in the US. Yes, there are fundamentalist Christians in the US, as there are here in Holland. But not all Americans are fundamentalist Christians. Yes, the “right to bear arms” is in the Constitution, and many people own guns. The debate is still on about what the limits on that right should be. Don’t worry: people don’t generally carry their guns around with them; it’s not the Wild West. And so on.
“I hate Americans, but I’ve liked every American I’ve ever met.”
I’ve heard this lots of times, in one form or another.
I think what it comes down to is that every country likes to laugh at another. The Dutch used to laugh at Belgians, but the culture is so similar there’s less fodder for jokes there. The Americans, on the other hand, with their dominance of international media – and their involvement in pretty much every international political issue – are an easier target.
But don’t worry, American readers, you get equal time: read my post about the American view of the Dutch!
[Update February 2021: Since I wrote this we’ve entered and exited the Trump era. None of the above has changed, but, if anything, this Dutch view of the US has only become more entrenched.]
Dutch and other European readers: Is there anything I’ve forgotten that should be included on this list? Add a comment below!
American readers, please don’t add defensive, angry or abusive comments! I am not claiming any of these are true! If you are offended, go read my post on the American view of the Dutch. It might cheer you up and help you see the light-hearted spirit in which it was intended!
Also, if you’ve enjoyed this post, please share it by pinning the image below!
You might like to read some of my other most popular articles:
10 dingen die Nederlanders denken over Amerikanen
“Je bent niet zoals de meeste Amerikanen.” Dat zei een student van mij, een leraar-in-opleiding Engels, tegen mij.
Ik lachte, en het gesprek ging over naar andere onderwerpen, maar ik heb nagedacht over wat hij bedoelde. Er is een beeld hier in Nederland van Amerikanen, en ik durf te zeggen in heel Europa, over hoe Amerikanen zijn.
Wat de Nederlanders denken over Amerikanen:
1. Ze zijn onwetend. Ik ben ervan overtuigd dat dit beeld uit verschillende media-gerelateerde bronnen komt. Allereerst, het nieuws wat getoond wordt in Nederland, zoals nieuwsprogramma’s over de hele wereld, willen graag hun publiek amuseren en het tonen van dom Amerikaans volk is een geweldige manier om dat te doen. Het is veel leuker, bijvoorbeeld, als je aan het kiezen bent welke man-op-de-straat interviews uit te zenden, om de clips te selecteren waarin mensen de meest onwetende, zinloze dingen zeggen, bij voorkeur in een zuidelijk accent. Extra punten indien de persoon ook dik is (zie hieronder).
Het internet is vol met voorbeelden van Amerikanen die domme dingen zeggen. Deze deelnemer aan een Miss verkiezing, bijvoorbeeld, is met vreugde bekeken over de hele wereld (zie boven).
Of deze game show deelnemer en country muziek zanger, Kelly Pickler, die denkt dat Europa een land is, maar niet zeker is over Frankrijk. Dit soort onwetendheid, over de wereld, is vooral populair bij de Nederlanders (ook boven).
2. Ze zijn dik. Het is verbazingwekkend hoe vaak de media dikke mensen laat zien en hoe vaak ook de dikke mensen zijn gelinkt aan het zeggen van verschrikkelijk stomme dingen. Het is niet dat er geen dikke mensen hier zijn; ze zijn er wel! Maar Nederlanders lachen graag om dikke Amerikanen. Foto’s van dikke mensen, in het bijzonder dikke mensen in Walmart winkels, om wat voor reden, zijn bijzonder populair op het internet.
3. Ze hebben geweren. Als je gelooft wat de Nederlandse pers laat zien, dragen alle Amerikanen overal wapens. Amerikanen zijn razend enthousiast over hun recht om dat te doen. Nederlanders kunnen gewoon niet begrijpen waarom wapenbezit toegestaan is.
4. Ze zijn patriottisch. De Nederlanders bedoelen dit niet als een goede karaktertrek. Ze vinden vaderlandsliefde prima—kijk maar naar de Nederlandse fans op elk internationale sportwedstrijd—maar in hun ogen is er een verschil tussen het liefhebben van je land en geloven dat je land superieur is aan andere landen.
5. Ze zijn racistisch. De Nederlanders houden van een goed Amerikaans schandaal waarin discriminatie de hoofdrol speelt. Dit, uit hetzelfde land waar Zwarte Piet in de harten van de meesten leeft en Geert Wilders in de regering zit.
6. Ze zijn schril. Dit beeld komt in het bijzonder naar voren in reality tv-shows, waar de meest populaire programma’s uit Amerika de meest schrille en zinloze argumenten tussen de deelnemers laten zien. Dit is bijzonder ironisch gezien het feit dat Big Brother, een van de eerste reality tv-shows, een Nederlandse uitvinding is.
7. Ze zijn schermen met de bijbel. Blijkbaar zijn Amerikanen niet alleen christenen, zoals veel Nederlanders. Nee, ze zijn extremistische christenen die schreeuwen over het woord van God en erop aandringen dat iedereen zoals zij moeten geloven. Een gerelateerd punt: Amerikanen geloven niet in de evolutie.
8. Ze zijn polygaam. Veel Nederlanders geloven dat mormonen en vele andere Amerikanen zijn polygaam. Dit komt door de aandacht aan afgescheiden sekten in de pers of van de reality-tv-programma, “Sister Wives.” Journalisten praten over “mormonen” veel meer dan ze vermelden dat de specifieke sekte eigenlijk geen deel uitmaakt van de officiele Mormoonse kerk, of dat polygamie illegaal is in de Verenigde Staten.
9. Ze zijn gek op rechtzaken. We hebben allemaal gehoord van de Stella Awards. Gezien de Nederlandse culturele en juridische beperkingen op rechtszaken—het is veel minder waarschijnlijk dat ze iemand aanklagen en de vergelding is over het algemeen zeer laag—houden ze van een grote rechtszaak als voorbeeld van “typische Amerikaanse overmaat.”
10. Ze zijn paranoide. Amerikanen zijn bang: met name voor rechtszaken en voor terrorisme. Nederlanders grinniken graag bij de waarschuwingen die Amerikaanse bedrijven op hun verpakkingen zetten: “Waarschuwing:. Bevat hete vloeistof” lijkt behoorlijk dom op een kopje koffie.
Wat grappig is van de hele lijst, natuurlijk, is dat ze allemaal stereotypen zijn, en de mensen die deze ideeën uiten over het algemeen er niet eens zelf in geloven. Zij vragen: “Is het waar dat …” alsof ze me gewoon vragen om hen gerust te stellen dat de stereotype eigenlijk niet waar is. En ze zijn blij als ik mijn genuanceerde uitleg vertel.
Natuurlijk bevatten veel van deze stereotypen ook meer dan een kern van waarheid. Mijn taak als American Studies leraar is de grijze gebieden te belichten. Ja, er zijn polygame gezinnen. Nee, ze zijn geen onderdeel van de mormoonse kerk. Polygamie is illegaal in de Verenigde Staten. Ja, er zijn fundamentalistische Christenen in de Verenigde Staten, net als hier in Nederland. En nee, niet alle Amerikanen zijn fundamentalistische Christenen. Ja, het “recht wapens te dragen” staat in de grondwet en veel mensen hebben eigen wapens. Het debat loopt nog steeds over wat de grenzen van dat recht zou moeten zijn. Maak je geen zorgen: in het algemeen nemen de mensen hun geweren niet met hen mee; het is niet het Wilde Westen. Enzovoort.
“Ik haat de Amerikanen, maar ik hou van elke Amerikaan die ik ooit heb ontmoet.” Ik heb dat vaker gehoord, in een of andere vorm. Ik denk dat waar het op neer komt is dat elk land houdt van lachen om een ander. In het verleden lachten de Nederlanders om de Belgen, maar de culturen zijn zo vergelijkbaar geworden dat er minder voer voor grappen is. De Amerikanen, aan de andere kant, met hun dominantie van de internationale media—en hun betrokkenheid bij vrijwel elke internationale politieke kwestie—zijn een makkelijk doelwit. Maar maak je geen zorgen, mijn Amerikaanse lezers, jullie krijgen even veel tijd: de Amerikaanse mening van de Nederlanders!
Nederlandse en andere Europese lezers: Is er iets wat ik vergeten ben dat moet worden opgenomen in dit overzicht? Voeg een reactie hieronder!
Klik hier ook om een tegenovergestelde post te lezen: hoe de Amerikanen denken over Nederlanders!
Ha, ha, ha! As an American . . . I’m giggling like crazy because I laugh at many of these same stereotypes. I just say they are “southern” or “rednecks”! Great post!
This is what we get for saving Holland’s ass in the war?
What a country of pussies. LOL
That was the Canadians, moron.
Mishima, first off it was the allies so it was all allied armies but mostly American supplies and logistics, secondly the Canadians were also supported by the polish airborne troops , a Country who fought with great honor and courage and were sold out by the allies in 1939 by not attacking in the west when the polish army was going toe to toe with over 90 percent of the German army and then sold out a second time at the yalta conference in 1944.
Gary, if you want to correct Mishima, that’s fine (I know the Canadians were active in pushing the Germans out the Netherlands, but, yes, as part of the Allied effort.). You’ll notice, though, that I edited out your last sentence because there was no need for a personal attack. (And, yes, Mishima also included a personal attack. I don’t know why I allowed that a year ago.)
This website is totally not what we think, first of all, where does this info come from?
Anyways, than don’t let the movies show Americans like that. (the only thing I hate about Americans is that they believe that their country is the greatest.(and their fake news)) anyways, about fat people, this is something that angers me, mostly because this is something that DOESN’T HAPPEN IN THE NETHERLANDS!.
To answer your comment, this website comes from me. I just listed the kinds of things I’d heard from Dutch people about Americans and things I’d observed on Dutch TV. It’s not a scientific survey or anything like that.
Are you saying people in the Netherlands don’t get fat? That isn’t so. When I first arrived 20+ years ago, it was very rare to see an obese person in the Netherlands. I remember noticing that the few fat people on the street really got stared at, pointed at, and openly ridiculed. That is not true anymore: obesity is on the rise in the Netherlands just like in many western societies, and the level of staring, etc. has really gone down.
If you’re feeling offended about what I wrote, please read the other post I referred to; it’s about what the Americans think about the Dutch!
Rachel , what part of my comment was personal?? What I stated about what happen to the Poles is historically correct, they were sold out by the allies twice, once in 1939 and then again by President Roosevelt in 1944 at Yalta , where is the personal attack??
As I wrote, I edited out the part that was personal. I don’t remember what it was, but it was some sort of insult of the person who commented.
I doubt it’s only the dutch who think that and they are not wrong. Evidence is overwhelming.
Unfortunately, everything the Dutch think about Americans is true. The places with notable exceptions are NY and CA.
A lot of the things the Dutch think about Americans, does not apply to me. I am Christian. What’s wrong with having a passion for what you believe?What’s wrong of being afraid of terrorism?
I’m not sure if you are replying to Nic or if you meant to be replying to the article as a whole. Assuming it’s the article, I’ll respond:
I didn’t actually mean that this list is true. I meant it as a list of the kinds of stereotypes I hear from people and from the media in the Netherlands. I don’t think anyone thinks it’s actually true about all Americans!
There’s nothing wrong with being a Christian. The Dutch have a pretty low percentage of religious people, and their stereotype (which I agree is false) is that everyone in the US is not just actively Christian but also a fundamentalist, which, to many Dutch people, is seen as extreme. And I think it’s safe to say that pretty much everyone except terrorists is afraid of terrorism, but there’s a difference between caution and paranoia.
You can have your hobby and in the Netherlands religious people including Christians are protected by law, Rachel just had to throw something in like many of her points, her intentions were just to clap back.
You are misinterpreting my intentions. I think I explain my intentions pretty well in my own reply to Richard Ferstandig.
Speaking for some friends from the south: ouch! ;o) Anyway, I’m glad it made you giggle!
Interesting observations, Rachel!
I think that the Internet has indeed brought all kinds of misconceptions out into the world, which then stereotype all groups. I’m a Canadian, so we’re all stereotyped as being “too polite, too nice, & pushovers” by many Americans. Abroad, we tend to be welcomed with open arms.
The key is to look past the stereotypes and realize that all races and groups have good and bad. Thx for the post!
I think these are the stereotypes that most people from other countries believe of Americans, not just the Dutch! ha whenever my relatives from Argentina come to visit they like to point out a few of these, especially points about being ignorant, too cautious and overweight. Even though that’s not necessarily true 🙂
I love that you posted about this! As an American, I have encountered this perspective in all of my travels anywhere. Even Canada! What I got the most was, “you don’t seem like an American”… I have never been sure how to take that! Anyway, I now take the opportunity to question the people who make such a comment. They usually respond with something about me not being loud. 😉
That stereotype about being loud is certainly sometimes true! I remember one time when I lived in Lyon, France, hearing a couple of Americans, complete with cowboy hats, from a half a block away. Embarrassing!
Anyway, thank you all for your comments. And let me know if you have any ideas for my upcoming post about how Americans view the Dutch!
Stereotypes are so ‘old skool’ – and whilst i think there is some historical truth to some of them, they seem to get blown out of proportion in today’s small world. I thought you might offend a few but please the American readers enjoyed it 🙂
All you can do is chuckle.
I have actually met a couple that fit some of these stereotypes (especially in the ignorance area) but certainly many that blow the stereo type out of the water!
Most of the Americans I know do not fit the stereotypes! But it’s still how they’re seen here. Thanks for commenting!
That’s funny coming from a group of collaboration thinking master race wannabes who voluntarily joined the Waffen SS!!
Master race wannabes? Are you confusing the Dutch with the Germans? Yes, some did join the SS or collaborated in other ways. But some joined the resistance. A lot of them just tried to keep their head down and survive. What does this have to do with stereotypes about Americans?
What does this have to do with stereotypes of Americans?? Tit for tat. We are fat and loud( not) and the Dutch , some but not all I get it voluntarily joined the waffen SS. So you stereotype Americans and I stereotype some of the Dutch as waffen SS wannabes.
Have you seen my opposite article about how Americans see the Dutch? Here it is: https://rachelsruminations.com/how-americans-see-the-dutch/ I didn’t include anything there about the Dutch being Nazi-wannabes because I don’t think that’s a common stereotype. At least I’ve never heard of it. But in any case I did give Americans equal time!
I was a bit worried about that too, but I guess that’s something we should add to the list of stereotypes: they can see the humor in a list like this! Thanks for commenting!
A couple of things; hat is wrong with the Us is their meddling in the world; their foreign policies are a disaster since WWII. The glorification of their armed forces and their wars is sick.
The only thing which counts is “money”. If you don’t have money you don’t count. I’ve also never seen such religious fanatics especially in the South as here; they just killed a kid of 16 because he wanted to leave the church. Talking about indoctrinated; that does the media day and night; repeating things over and over until you have to throw up.
Yep, all those things too. The Dutch are amazed at the arrogance behind the US involvement in other parts of the world. As for the US media, I think most Dutch don’t get so angry about it as you sound. I think they just roll their eyes and turn it off. And, in the US’s defense, a kid getting killed for leaving the church would be condemned in the US too, by most religious people as well!
As an American, these grains of truth are pretty thick. But, generally, the loudest and most annoying tend to get the most attention. In Texas, open carry went legal in January. So it might become the Wild West. I’m here because I’m researching potential countries to move to if Trump gets elected. Trump getting elected would solve the immigration issue. Everyone leaving America would free up some room. But, I am concerned with how people from other countries would perceive me , as an American. :/ It’s true, we don’t have the greatest reputation. Really, for pretty good reason. America gets dumber and dumber. Despite all the Ivy League universities. Though, perhaps I’m too hard on my fellow Americans. Though, the obesity epidemic is quite an issue. Next generation, 50% of Americans could be obese.Hopefully I’ll be judged for my personal identity in whichever country I may move to, rather than my previous nationality. Though, I think it’d be fine.
Oh, and I have Dutch blood, so figured Netherlands makes sense .
I think a lot of people are saying they’ll leave if Trump gets elected, but I think for most people it’s just talk. In any case, unless you are independently wealthy, it’s not so easy as just deciding to move somewhere. You have to go through an immigration process in most places, just like any other immigrant. I can only speak for here in the Netherlands, but people I meet seem to understand that there’s a difference between the Americans they meet here and the ones they see on TV.
Ha! Great post. I am an American living in Europe. Living abroad in Greece for seven years now I can say I’ve heard all of those stereotypes about us. I’ve heard that many times too, “You’re not like most Americans.”
Yep, we seem to have to represent America, whether we want to or not!
I’m from the US and wanted to add frites and mayonnaise, canals, houseboats, nice flat biking, wadlopen and tall skinny buildings.
You mean you want to add them to my post on what the Americans think about the Dutch? I can see most of these, but would many Americans have even heard of wadlopen?
We are Americans living in Denmark and have encountered much of the same stereotyping and questioning. I would add that the Danes think Americans (and Brits to be honest) to be quite prude when it comes to talking about sex, bodies and public nudity. I imagine it is fairly similar in The Netherlands? Cheers from Copenhagen, Erin
Oh, yes, that too! Definitely prudish, compared to the Dutch. Thanks!
I know a lot of Dutch people and don’t for a moment think that they all truly believe these things. Isn’t there a danger you’re guilt of peddling a generalisation?
You may be right. I do think that these are the images projected by the Dutch media. I suppose the better-informed Dutch people have a more nuanced view.
Hoe durf je te zeggen zwarte piet is racistisch is een kinder feest gvd kk lijers ga terug wollah wat ga je zeggen je kent Nederlanders goed je praat niet eens nederlands en je kent mijn cultuur niet eens en tien keer zelfde persoon die wat anders zegt wauw nepnieuws
For my non-Dutch speaking readers, I’m going to translate this, warts and all (Yes, I speak Dutch, Ur mumg!): “How do you dare to say that zwarte piet is racist is a children’s holiday goddammit [rude insult here] go back i swear what will you say you know Dutch people well you don’t even speak dutch and you don’t even know my culture and ten times the same person saying something different wow fake news”
All I can say, Ur mumg, is that you’re being just a tad oversensitive.
It is very racist, it looks the old advertisements from the early 1900s. It doesn’t matter what your culture is, racism is racism. Idiot.
While I agree with you, there’s no need to get insulting. Zwarte Piet is a very emotional issue here in the Netherlands. When we attack it as racist, people who grew up with it feel like they themselves are being called racist, and that makes them defensive. It’s been interesting the last few years to see opinions gradually change as a result of reasoned argument rather than accusations.
Black Pete is black from soot out of the chimney.
That’s were the name comes from.
So, again, is this racist?
Yes, because that explanation is, in my view, pretty lame. I mean, does going down a chimney turn a person’s hair all black and curly and their lips bright red? I think if you’re going to keep to the story of going down the chimney, then the current trend of having sooty Petes instead works much better and isn’t racist.
So because blackface in America comes from mocking black people who were slaves and then became free with lesser right means that when Dutch people do it as a tradition to give children toys and candy, it’s also racist or in the same category?
Yep, pretty much. Blackface has similar roots. Remember, the Dutch had slaves too, and profited massively from the slave trade.
Rachel Heller, you should be ashamed of yourself. First of all, VOC was a commercial company, there were no slaves in this country. Second of all, you mocked black people with black face and a comedy act. Here zwarte piet hands out candy and gifts and is admired by children.
First of all, I am not ashamed at all. The VOC traded in slaves. How is that any better than owning slaves? And much of the Dutch “Golden Age” wealth was based on the production from plantations owned by Dutch people in the colonies, which in places like Suriname included slave labor. Second, I mocked whites dressed in blackface. I know that Zwarte Piet hands out candy and gifts. It’s still racist.
Yes be ashamed as you don’t know anything about the “golden age” *(Art, Science, Trade, invention of capitalism etc) and the definition of racism.
Your article is pretty badly written, so many lame cliches. So few factual examples. One of your clueless underage students made a comment…because he had the time to deal and learn about 330 million Americans in his short existence. So now he represents 18 million Dutch people which you know exactly how they function and think because you are an expat with very little experience.
And since when are dutch students taught “American English”. We learnt about marmalade, London, sang a song about England England Island on the other side and wactehd mr bean back when I was in High school and everything was British English because they are relevant, not America.
What I know factually about America is that you have a murder culture.That you are one of the only western countries left in where Christianity actually thrives. That you have American exclusive religions like Scientology and Mormonism and other extremists like the latter day saints and the baptist church. That you like criminals more than cops
First of all, I am a Dutch citizen and have lived in the Netherlands for 25 years. And yes, more and more students are learning American English because of a general recognition of the UK’s declining importance and, whether we like it or not, the US’s much greater importance. They often get taught aspects of both cultures. I won’t go into a defense of the US here, since I haven’t lived there in so long, I’m no longer a US citizen, and am not feeling particularly patriotic at the moment. What I will say is that you should study the so-called Golden Age – not what you were taught at school, but the less rosy reality of it.
I also wish you would see the humor in this article and its counterpart about what the Americans think about the Dutch. They’re both meant to be funny, pointing out the over-simplification (i.e. lame cliches) on both sides!
A warning: I will decline to publish any more of your comments that are personally insulting, whether against me or anyone else.
ps let me be clear, google’s corrupt search algorythm got me here. I didn’t went looking for anything related but it popped up again as first search result. Everyone has the right to have an opinion and everyone has the right to counter.
You know, you’re welcome to click away. As I wrote in my response to your last comment, I will decline to publish any more of your comments that are personally insulting, whether against me or anyone else. Yes, everyone has a right to an opinion, but I get to approve or decline comments, and will not approve insults or offensive comments. They have no place on my site.
First of all, I’d like to apologise for my fellow countryman Urmumg. Although it is very easy to see zwarte piet as racist, I assure you it is not. Everyone’s been fine with it for ages too, some aggressive left wing wankers just found a nice topic in it.. Nevermind, never liked the whole sinterklaas/zwarte piet thing myself, as I’m against lying, and making children accustomed to that nasty habit.
I came across this article in my search for the humorous way the British see us as Dutchmen. Don’t ask me how I ended up here lol.
As the “findings” offended me a little, I would like to clarify. This is just my way of seeing you lot across the pond, can’t say I speak for the whole nation. However, I feel many share my opinion.
Here we go..
Ignorant doesn’t quite say it.. Add self-righteous, controlling, arrogant, and globally aggressive (youngest country in the history of mankind) to provoke and start by far most wars). I’m afraid this repulsive behaviour does not go unnoticed, therefore it’s quit obvious there’s so much footage around to show. The fact that we are being contaminated with this junk, is that your fellow countrymen have found a market for that crap here. Had a discussion about this some time ago with Greg Shapiro from comedy central, we, as you truthfully pointed out, are a people that happen to actually like watching you lot act funny.. Please don’t ask me why. Oh, by the way; please stop watching the bloody news over here, it’ll prove refreshing.
Personally I don’t think everyone’s at least chubby over there, I do however feel disgusted by the fact that you feed your nippers fried food at school. That does however say a lot about how Americans see food. Let me tell you this, food should be a way to help your body develop, and add to your health and lifespan. Not the other bloody way around. What seems “odd” to us, is that obesity is being accepted on a large scale, and will inevitability stand in the way of progress for that matter..
Some mostly southern states are pretty fond of guns, that’s a widely known fact. I’m pretty sure the majority in the US feels otherwise. I’m amazed by the interest shown in the US by our telly boys, but it seems like every single shooting over there at schools or wherever the ****.. It happens to appear on our screens. Personally I couldn’t care less as I can’t help it, nor will the bullets hit me. Also, what’s the use of having guns at home? Try resolving a dispute by talking or a little fistfight every now and then, you all get to live at least..
4 + 5. Patriotism and racism.
The fact that zwarte piet has been around for so long, is that we hate racism. Imagine this: we find it a racial to fly our colours on a normal day! Even having a little bumper sticker with our Dutch flag on in will by most Dutch people be seen as an act of racism.
Also, a flag is a symbol. I personally consider symbols for the simple minded (your George Carlin has a nice thing to add to that, look him up at youtube). How can you fly your nation’s colours, or agree to proudly show/admire any symbol for that matter if you have mixed feelings about what it represents? This has quite something to do with the first thing pointed out here.. Geert Wilders by the way is a politician who is against having our nation exploited, and mainly focusses on troubling minorities. He’s not my cup of tea either, but represents quite a lot of people in Holland who feel the same. Except from this I will not mention your Trump.
6. Loud & Shrill.
Quite true, not just for seeing weird irrelative skirmishes on television. That behaviour does not seem to surface in any personal contact with Americans though. What I find more offensive, is the constant lying and acting. Both of them from your government, but the first seems to be a nationwide trait you absolutely love. Mind you, I see being friendly to someone you hate (apart from the acting) as a lie. It seems it is so embedded in your culture, like obesity it is widely accepted. Just be honest please, even if it means being blunt, we’re all grown ups ffs, we can take it.
7 & 8 Rubbish.
9. Sue them!
You are, in fact trigger happy when it comes to suing the shit out of ’em. Just don’t bore me with any of it please, I’d like to stick to talking things over, keeping reality in mind.
Your government scares you with idle threats, works really well for them too. We have that here too, starts with turning on the telly. We don’t necessarily think you are easily scared, just bothered by the fact that you lot tend to “declare war” on anything you don’t like, getting us to help you in the process..
Good luck with the gray areas, just please turn it down a notch, we’re not that interesting really.. Now the Belgians for that matter! Lol
Hope this won’t take as much of your time as it’s done to me, wouldn’t want to waste it 😉
I’ll reply to a few of your points.
Ignorance – In my time living abroad I haven’t noticed foreigners to be more or less ignorant than Americans. This comes across as a silly stereotype to me, and I would hope that foreigners would be better informed. Wars – yes. Many Americans are against these wars but don’t believe that because it’s democracy that the individual has any control over the government.
Obesity – Really only a problem in some southern and western states. Personally, I’m fine with others getting as fat as they like. Hugely overblown in the media.
Arms – Also hugely overblown in the media. Guns at home – some here want the ability to defend themselves. If someone threatens your life, try solving that with words and see what happens. Crime rates are overblown here too, and most Americans wouldn’t expect a break-in, their life threatened, etc., but it can happen anywhere and many of us would rather be prepared.
Lying – Americans, for the most part, are not blunt like the Dutch. I wouldn’t say we pretend to be friendly with people we hate but we’re mostly diplomatic in our relations with other people. Many other nationalities behave the same way, or even more so, some much more so. We don’t see this as lying.
Lawsuits – I agree with you and this is an unfortunate component of Anglo culture that was brought over. However, again, talking things over – people sue because talking it out doesn’t work.
Paranoia – I believe most Americans aren’t manipulated very successfully by the government. Declaring war, “we” don’t do it, Congress is supposed to be ones to do it, though a president has side-stepped that in the past. Also see “Ignorance.”
Ouch. This post makes Dutch people look incredibly ignorant and arrogant. I don’t think that is what they intended. Also, if they think that poorly of Americans because of Trump, I hate to see what they think of Filipinos and citizens from various African and south American countries. I guess we are all inferior compared to western Europeans – same story as usual, different century.
I have been living in Europe for sometime and I’ve frequently encountered these same stereotypes. Honestly, it’s getting boring, especially since western Europeans have quite a few of their own ignorant, fat and racist people.
Yes, I do find myself rolling my eyes when people ask me the same questions over and over. But I don’t blame them; they hear news of Trump and America in general far more than about other countries. And obviously, I was generalizing a lot in this article too. I meant it, and the companion article, to be a light-hearted look at how these two countries see each other. Of course it’s inaccurate! That was sort of the point!
That’s because the “news” is provided by CNN and other Left-biased media outlets. If people in Holland depend on mainstream media to “inform” them, then they will not be well-informed when it comes to the United States.
Generally the news that people watch or read in the Netherlands comes from Dutch news organizations, not CNN or any other American media – left or right. And the Dutch media has the usual array of biases as in every country: some strive to be impartial, some lean left or right. All of them seem to enjoy poking gentle fun at Americans.
There are many articles out there about the Dutch and their strange habits. But, as you may agree, a bad habit can sometimes be one s best asset. It all depends on how you look at it.
Has Holland ever compensated the Native-American tribes who they dominated, took advantage of and spread disease to? Have they apologized for destroying the Native-American way of life and for pushing them off of their land?
I don’t really get what you’re responding to here, but mostly, no, they haven’t. Neither have the Americans. What’s your point? I have written (critically) about how the Dutch have not faced their racist past (and present!) nearly enough, but they’re finally beginning to, just as the Americans are beginning to.