Dutch Customs and Cultures
As in every country, there are certain sets of traditional or common behaviors that are considered the norm in the Netherlands, or at least not abnormal. As foreigners, it’s a good idea to become acquainted with these customs, so that it becomes easier to feel at home in the Netherlands.
Manners in the Netherlands
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.
Some important etiquette rules to remember include:
- 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
Dutch Customs and Culture Workshops
A few times a year, we host our own 1.5 hour workshop and Q&A session about Dutch customs and Culture!
Would you like to better understand the national customs and unique culture of this country? From Dutch etiquette and social occasions to public holidays and celebrations, plus other practical information, we’ve got you covered.
Want to join our next IWCN Webinar or in person session? keep an eye on our social media or event calendar so you don’t miss the next date!
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