Because all the interns are from the Netherlands, we thought it would be nice to spend or next blog about some things about the Netherlands. So you will know a little bit more about the Netherlands!
If you ask the question of what the Netherlands is known for to Dutch and foreigners and you will always get answers like liberal, tulips, windmills, wooden shoes, cheese and canals. But the Netherlands is much more than these things. I get some interesting facts about the Netherlands that I would like to share with you.
- First things first, Netherlands and Holland are not synonymous. Holland is largely the western coastal region of the Netherlands, comprising of Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Haarlem, Leiden and the Hague.
- The Netherlands was the first country who legalise same sex marriages in 2001.
- The Dutch are the world experts on keeping back water from the sea and rivers turning the Netherlands into an Atlantis. The US government turned to the Dutch for help during the hurricane Katrina disaster.
- The Dutch are the tallest in the world with an average height of 184 cm for men and 170 cm for women.
- 70% of the WORLD’s BACON comes from the Netherlands. You’re welcome.
- The highest point in the Netherlands, Vaalserberg, is only 323 meters above sea level. The rest of the nation is as flat as a pancake.
- The Dutch city of Eindhoven is also known as the ‘City of Light’ because the electronics giant Philips started there with products like light bulbs. Eindhoven is also known by the best football club of the Netherlands; PSV Eindhoven.
- A person drinks on average 74 litres of beer a year in the Netherlands.
- The Dutch are the world’s biggest coffee drinkers after the Scandinavians with an average of 140 litres of coffee a year or 3.2 cups coffee a day.
- Dutch brewer Heineken is the 3rd largest beer brewer in the world with over 140 breweries in over 70 countries (included New Zealand). Back home, it owns around 50% of the Dutch beer market.
- There are specially-designated “bicycle roads” called fietspaden or bike paths all over the country and pedestrians cannot walk on them.
- 86% of the population speak English as a second language.
- Rotterdam is the second largest port in the world.
- According to The Brewers of Europe, the Netherlands exports the largest proportion of beer production of any country in the world with approximately 50%.
- Netherlands has the highest population density in Europa with 487 inhabitants per square kilometre.
- The Netherlands are the largest exporter of cheese in the world with a dairy industry turning over around 7 billion.
- The world-famous tulips and tulip field of the Netherlands do not originate from the country. The first tulip bulbs were actually imported from Turkey.
- Dutch electronic dance music has conquered the world with DJ’s like Armin van Buuren, DJ Tiësto, Afrojack, Martin Garrix, Hardwell and many more. They exporting their music to the remotest corners of the world. The exports totalled 81.5 million in 2010, and raise every year.
- One of the most popular snacks in the Netherlands is French fries dipped in mayonnaise. We eat those fries with some delicious snacks like Frikadel, Kroket and a Kaassouflé. You can taste them in some restaurants in New Zealand, like Dutch Delight.
- Wooden shoes or like ‘klompen’ like we called them in the Netherlands, have been popular in the Netherlands for about 700 years as industrial footwear worn by farmers, fishermen, factory workers, artisans and others to protect their feet from injury and keep them dry.
- Orange is the official colour of the Netherlands because of the House of Orange, who led the Dutch revolt against Spain and later became the Dutch royal family. That is the reason why every National squad of the Netherlands wear a kit in the colour Orange.
- Despite the rainy weather, the Dutch use raincoats and rain suits instead of umbrellas because the wind is too strong and it an acrobatic feat to hold one and cycle at the same time.
- It is the bicycle capital of the world with more than 18 million in the country. That’s is more than 1 bicycle per person.