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The Netherlands, the Country I live in




Roses for a friend?

Nothing here,  for now.

I suppose that most of the visitors of my site are not from the Netherlands and are probably wondering wich part of  the world is called this way:
I will start telling you that it is situated in Europe, along the North Sea, West of Germany and North of Belgium.

Why the Name?  
Well, NetherLand is the English version of the Dutch name of it:  Nederland, and that, in Its turn, is old Dutch for Laag-Land, LOW LAND in English, but, since there are already Lowlands in the Northern part of the UK, we prefer to call it Netherland (towards foreigners that is, we speak Dutch amongst each other), are you still with me?

Low Lands?
And low it is, I can tell you, most part of the country is below sea-level, and is protected bij Large dykes.
People say that Holland (another name for the Netherlands) was made by the Dutch, without the dykes it would be about half its size at high tide.
I, for instance live in Lelystad, the capital of the Province of Flevoland, wich is made of three of the largest polders in the world (a polder is, for those of you who are not educated enough, former sea which is surrounded by dykes and then dried-up with the help of large waterpumps).
So, my house is built on the bottom of the IJsselmeer (used to be called Zuider Zee, a former Sea-arm of the North Sea), if the Dykes would brake, the sea would flow into the polder and fill it up in about one or two weeks, I will then be able to swim in about two or three meters of water (10 feet) in my garden..

We live below sea level
The deepest Polder is about six meters below sea-level.
I was born in Amsterdam, the second most beautiful city in the world, I moved from there to Lelystad in 1983 when I was about 24.
Amsterdam is build on 90 little islands on the banks of the river Amstel which gave it its name,
All houses in Amsterdam were built on poles, first wooden ones, and now reinforced concrete, to prevent the houses from sinking into the soil.
The Royal palace on the famous Dam Square was, for instance,  built on about 36.000 poles (thirty-six-thousand)

Dutch is what we are called in English speaking countries and Dutch is what we speak in our own country.
I dont know why, but I think it is from the old Dutch word Diets, wich is the German dialect we speak (I think it is, please correct me if I'm wrong)
The Dutch Language DUTCH (we prefer to call it Nederlands), is a German dialect, it is the official language of the country, but spoken in different dialects, and, in some parts, like Friesland (a northern Province) which has a language of its own, seen as the second language besides the local tongue.

We dont wear this anymore

What about the Dutch people?
Holland is not what you think, we don't live in windmills (but some of us do), we don't eat Tulip-bulbs anymore, we did once, but that is a long story, we do not usually walk on wooden shoes, only gardeners and farmers do that, the rest does it for the tourists.
We wear normal clothes, shoes and other stuff people all over the world would like to wear, we eat bread, meat, vegetables and potatoes but also love to eat foreign food for a change.

We party!!!!! The guy on the right is the Mayor!

What do the Dutch do?
We live, the same as you, our lives, we get born, go to school, get married, work, Party, get sick and die, eventually.
The Dutch are sometimes a strange kind of people, we allways want to talk about things we HAVE to do or are FORBIDDEN to do, we Never accept things the first time it is said.   Everything is open to discussion, even the Law. We always want to know the WHY behind something.
But it seems to work.
We dont eat tulips, we sell them!
Do they Work?
Yes,we do, and, despite the discussions, we work hard.
We export, of course, flowers, fish, cheese, plastics, knowledge, agricultural goods, our ships, dyke-builders, .......and so on.
The Royal Dutch Airlines company KLM (I won't trouble you with the translation, you probably can't pronounce it anyway), is one of the largest in the world.
Also our commercial fleet is well known all over the world seas.
Our Diamond industy is world famous!!


But where am I talking about when all of this is easyly available with a touch of your mouse button on this cheese picture

Say Cheese!

Pictures are borrowed from the website