Brightlands-Get Out Of The Building 2019

First of all we would like to thank everyone who visited our Cultural Awareness stand at Brightlands’ event “Get Out Of The Building” on Friday, September 20th. We are very pleased if you enjoyed it and moreover if we succeeded in creating more awareness about the Dutch culture.

As promised herewith some information about the statements:

Facts about the Dutch

The Dutch are quite innovative people. Many inventions have been done by the Dutch like the storm umbrella. There are few places in the world more hazardous for umbrellas than the Netherlands, a country under constant assault by stiff winds and pelting rain. Like many Dutch natives, Gerwin Hoogendoorn had grown accustomed to replacing broken umbrellas after storms. He invented the Storm umbrella.

Some other examples of Dutch inventions can be found on

Why are Dutch so innovative? This also has to do with culture. The Dutch ‘like’ to complain but on the other hand they are seeking for solutions.

Cultural behaviour

In general the Netherlands scores high on ‘individualism’ ( An heritage from the 18th century when Calvanism took a strong position in the Netherlands. Therefore the Dutch are ‘carrying’ honesty in their DNA. This leads to the quite direct way of communication. Dutch teach their children to give their opinion and to take initiatives. At school it is common to discuss your results with the teacher if you don’t agree.  Nevertheless in general a Dutch is quite unpretentious, if you would give a compliment on his/her car the answer could be something like ‘Oh…I need it for my work’ or ‘Oh..It’s a safe car for my kids’. Next to that Dutch people are precise with respect to appointments; be in time and in general it is not appreciated when you just step by, your Dutch host wants to be prepared for your visit in order to give you a feeling of being very welcome.

Furthermore we would like to pay attention on the use of gestures; your gestures will not always be understood and certainly non verbal expressions are not always noticed. On the other hand be aware a gesture from someone of another culture can have a complete different meaning.

If you want to learn more about how to adequately interact in an international (business) environment, please contact us.

We support professionals to integrate smoothly in the Dutch work culture. We train and coach people who are interacting with different cultures. We maximize employee potential by harmonizing and building on intercultural competences.


Expat Centre Maastricht Region

Does your new hired international expat need support in formalities (like Visas & Permits, BSN), housing, healthcare, taxes, childcare etc.? The expert team at Expat Centre Maastricht Region is highly skilled in providing an efficient transition process from a nervous newcomer to laid-back local, for individuals and businesses alike. The team is able to assist throughout the entire relocation process, in dealings with local authorities as well as neighbouring countries and most importantly connecting people while they are settling into their new city.

Are the Dutch really addicted to planning?

The Netherlands is a small country with a limited internal market, consequently the Dutch look across their borders for markets. They started out as worldwide maritime traders in the 16th century and today they are still significant players in the global economy.

The Netherlands is one of the most densely populated countries in Europe. Everyday life is structured down to the smallest detail. Private life and work are carefully planned and nothing is left to the unexpected. Ad hoc changes are not appreciated.

A typical Dutch cultural thing is the willingness to be ‘in control’. There are even rules to manage the rules. An at random check shows that each kilometer road on average contains about 15 traffic signs.

Unwritten rule in the Netherlands: stick to the planning, don’t be too late for your appointment.

Cross-Cultural Competences

Cross-cultural competence refers to the knowledge, skills, and affect/motivation that enable individuals to adapt effectively in cross-cultural environments. Cross-cultural competence is defined here as an individual capability that contributes to intercultural effectiveness regardless of the particular intersection of cultures. Although some aspects of cognition, behaviour, or affect may be particularly relevant in a specific country or region, evidence suggests that a core set of competencies enables adaptation to any culture (Hammer, 1987).

We believe that persons’ drivers to adapt effectively in cross-cultural environments starts with the awareness about their own culture and values. Comments are welcome.

Typical Dutch Food?

Maybe you wonder what kind of food the Dutch like to eat. Actually the previous Dutch generation used to eat mostly potatoes (boiled or mashed) with vegetables and meat or fish (on Friday). But now a days the Dutch love to eat international food, although…they twist the food to improve the taste for the Dutch. A nice example is the typical Dutch Babi Pangang with a lot of sauce . Nevertheless there are still favourite Dutch dishes and candies.

Score for The Netherlands

Connecting the valuable professional from abroad to the Dutch culture can be done much better! The world through Expat Eyes…… Read more

The ‘Kroket’

Did you know that such a ‘typical Dutch’ thing like the ‘kroket’ is not originally from the Netherlands? Read more