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Customs

Manners

Dutch people always watch the clock and are very punctual. If you have been invited but are running late, let the other person know. The Dutch have a diary for appointments, which they call “agenda.” In general, they are unlikely to drop by uninvited or to expect you to drop by uninvited. Normally, they don’t invite people on Sundays as this is considered family time. If you are throwing a party at your house or are renovating, let the neighbors know. They will expect you to tone it down after 11pm.

  • Don’t point with your index finger
  • Don’t chew gum while talking
  • Cover your mouth when yawning
  • Don’t pass between conversations between other people
  • When someone else sneezes, say “gezondheid
  • Smoking is prohibited in many areas. It’s a courtesy to ask your companion first before lighting a cigarette