Did you know that

Words such as "dollar" and "Yankee" have Dutch roots - just like 4,5 million Americans.

Same-sex marriage and euthanasia are legal (since 2001 and 2002 respectively).

gay pride flag
Photo by Flickr user -Marlith-

Prostitution is considered legal as long as prostitutes are at least 18 and clients at least 16 years old.

Only coffee shops are allowed to sell soft drugs. Citizens can grow their own though.

Orange carrots were bred in the Netherlands in the 16th century in honor of the house of Orange. Before then they were white, yellow, black, purple or red.

Although the Dutch language is taught at more than 250 universities worldwide, in the province of Friesland, locals speak Frisian, their own language.

The Netherlands is a founding member of NATO, the EU and the OECD.

Royal House members have to acquire an official approval by the parliament in order to get married. If not, they lose the right to succeed to the throne.

A Dutch wedding can consist of either a civil ceremony (by a local official at a town hall) or a wedding in a church or other location. Regardless of location, unions must be registered with the local town hall (gemeente) to be recognised as legal marriage in the Netherlands.

The Homomonument in Amsterdam is the world’s first public memorial to persecuted gays and lesbians.

Around 9% of marriages in the Netherlands are same-sex.

Every New Year’s Eve, fireworks worth around 65 million euros are consumed.


NYE 2012 - Rotterdam from Jan Landsaat

The Dutch healthcare system is (considered) one the best in the world. In fact, it has been proposed as a model for the United States to emulate.

May 4th is the day when Dutch victims of war are remembered and at 8pm, a two-minute silence is observed nationally.

The Dutch monarch's birthday has been an officially celebrated since 1898 (Queen Wilhelmina’s 18th birthday). Queen Juliana (1948-1980) changed the date to her own birthday (April 30) whereas Queen Beatrix (1980-2013) celebrated her birthday on April 30, despite the fact that she was born on January 31. King Willem-Alexander (2013-present) celebrates his birthday and King's Day (koningsdag) on April 27.


Queensday from Spiral Move

Netherlands is the only country with a national dog.

There was a time when the Spanish Inquisition condemned the entire nation of the Netherlands to death for heresy.

Sinterklaas and Santa Claus are not the same person! Sinterklaas, his white horse and his helpers (Zwarte Pieten or Black Petes) arrive from the south of Spain on a steamboat.

sinterklaas
Photo by Nicolas St

Since January 1, 2014, one has to be aged 18 or older to purchase alcohol, cigarettes or soft drugs. Previously people 16 years and older could buy alcohol and cigarettes.

As a rule, public consumption of soft drugs is unacceptable.

Dutch police are not obliged to grant a phone call to those they detain.

The Dutch were the first to officially recognise nationhood of the United States.

The Netherlands ranks second in global productivity potential

For the second year in a row, the Netherlands has managed to secure its position of second place in KPMG's Variables for Sustained Growth Index.

Air and water quality in the Netherlands: an EU concern

An EU report reveals a concern for the quality of air and water in the Netherlands. This is mainly due to traffic congestion in major cities.

The Netherlands and the 2016 Corruption Perceptions Index

Transparency International has released its annual Corruption Perceptions Index on the levels of corruption worldwide. See where the Netherlands ranks.

The Netherlands' population growth: Dutch cities soaring ahead

According to the CBS, the population of the Netherlands grew to 17,1 million in the first 11 months of 2016. The speed of this growth has hit a record.

The Netherlands drops in HSBC's Expat Explorer Survey ranking

British bank HSBC has released their 2016 Expat Explorer Survey report. Find out where the Netherlands ranks compared to the rest of the world.

Treitervlogger voted 2016 word of the year

'Treitervlogger', a video blogger who pranks people around his neighbourhood, has been voted 2016's Dutch word of the year.

The Netherlands ranks lower in 2016 Global Wealth Report

The 2016 Allianz Global Wealth Report reveals the Netherlands has the ninth highest private wealth in the world at 80.180 euros per person.

New study reveals how tall Dutch grew compared to other countries

A new analysis of 100 years of data confirms Dutch men as the tallest in the world. Dutch women, however fall short of being the tallest for their gender.

Huis ten Bosch, the Dutch-style theme park in Japan

Find the Netherlands at the other side of the world in Huis ten Bosch, the Dutch-style theme park in Nagasaki!

10 things I love about life in the Netherlands

We like to complain about the weather and food, but expats often stay longer than expected in the Netherlands. Here are 10 reasons why.

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