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‘The Dutch are so relaxed and easygoing!’ That is what many foreigners hear when they leave for the Netherlands, but this often turns out to be less than accurate. In fact, in many respects, the Dutch are surprisingly formal. And what’s more, they possess their share of idiosyncrasies: some of their ways and manners being quite different from anywhere else.
Such different or unfathomable ways of behaving sometimes make foreigners and expatriates feel unsure of themselves, since they do not know how they should act or react in a given situation. But someone might also feel offended, for instance, if a Dutch person does something that seems rather inappropriate according to that foreigner’s cultural perceptions.
To avoid misunderstandings and difficulties in adjusting and to make the lives of foreigners in the Netherlands easier and more successful, this book Manners in the Netherlands - Dutch Ditz, covers the most important aspects of etiquette deemed to be typically-Dutch. These are dealt with in seven chapters laced with questions, info blocks, quotes and (historical) background.
To achieve as broad and reliable an overview as possible, the author spoke to numerous expatriates in the Netherlands. She also visited so-called expat centres set up by companies and municipalities and spoke to the heads of expat societies and international clubs. The many observations and experiences of all these foreigners revealed just how different the Dutch actually are - and especially different compared to how they see themselves. Thus this book serves another - unexpected - purpose: it also compels the Dutch to take a good look in the mirror!
Reinildis van Ditzhuyzen in the TV-Studio in Madrid, Spain (facing the Royal Palace) at the wedding of Crown Prince Felipe & Letizia Ortiz.
Foto: Michiel van Nieuwkerk
Reinildis v. Ditzhuyzen has written 15 books since 1980 (in the field of cultural history). She is particularly well known as an expert on the monarchy, history of universities, and also on general etiquette. Several of her publications have been devoted to the Dutch Royal Family. Her book on etiquette has been published 14 times. Her Etiquette Calendar, with a daily question (and answer) on good manners, is extremely successful.
|Official presentation of the book about the Dutch Ambassadorsresidence in Strasbourg. On this photo from left to right: the President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe René van der Linden, the Dutch Foreign Minister Dr Bernard Bot, the author, Ambassador J.C. Landman, former Ambassador Hans Gualtherie van Weezel.|
Reinildis van Ditzhuyzen is a regular guest on television and radio programmes. She also appears on several foreign television channels as an expert on background information and current news regarding the European monarchies. She also delivers speeches at home and abroad on a variety of subjects and in various languages including French, English, German, Swedish or Spanish. (Phone: +31-70-3280555 or www.assemblee.nl; +31-43-3432169)