What do the Dutch think is typically Dutch?

What do the Dutch think is typically Dutch?

At present, the Netherlands Institute for Social Research (SCP) is researching what characterises the Dutch identity. Whilst the report has not yet been published, Joep de Hart, a researcher of religion at the SCP, has already presented a sneak peek of the trends.

What makes the Dutch, Dutch?

The SCP’s research project involved 5.500 Dutch people and, according to De Hart, at the top of the list of what makes them Dutch was their language. So, if you want to fit in with the Dutch, learning the language seems to be a good way to go about it.

Interestingly, religion was hardly mentioned as a Dutch identity factor by subjects in the study. Factors that were thought to be typically Dutch by participants were phenomena such as King’s Day, Sinterklaas presents evening, the Elfstedentocht, ice skating, cycling, windmills, dykes, polders, the Delta Works, the national anthem and Rembrandt’s the Night Watch.

Dutch people’s heroes and values

When asked who their heroes were, many participants cite Anne Frank, Johan Cruijff, or simply citizens who help others. When it comes to important values, participants tended to indicate the following: freedom, equality between men and women and homosexual and heterosexuals, the right to vote and freedom of speech and of education. Notably, freedom of religion does not make the list.

Right now, only the trends of the Dutch identity report have been revealed. The full report including statistics is set to be published in May 2019.

Mina Solanki


Mina Solanki

Completed her Master's degree at the University of Groningen and worked as a translator before joining IamExpat. She loves to read and has a particular interest in Greek mythology. In...

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Frank Treatment 22:45 | 17 January 2019

The Dutch think that they have freedom but they are living in a dream. Just stop paying your taxes and see where you end up!