CARNETS DESCARTES

Expressions and Traditions

Amsterdam, 23/03/18 -

Expressions and Traditions

 

As English is not the first language in The Netherlands, it's quite complicated to have a literal translation. For example, the English expression 'what comes around goes around' could be translated in Dutch by: 'Eigen schuld dikke bult' which means 'own fault, big bruise', or 'koekje van Eigen deeg' which means: 'cookie made of your own dough'. As you can see, Dutch, English and French are complicated to translate, it doesn't make sense every time. The Dutch language have some expressions, daily words, that international student have to learn : 'Gezelling' (cosy), 'lekker'( good - can be employed in every situation), ' neef' (nephew, which means something like 'bro' or 'homies' in the underground culture) or 'slaap lekker' (sleep well). Moreover, the Dutch language is well known for its hard pronunciation, close to the German. A little anecdocte: before coming to Amsterdam, I used to confuse German and Dutch.

 

The Netherlands are full of traditions. The most important ones : Sinterklass and Easter. Sinterklass is at the beginning of December. He can be compared to Santa Klaus. Sinterklass comes from Turquie or Spain to deliver presents. Nowadays, there is a huge social and political polemic arount Sinterklass and his 'helpers', the 'Black Piete'. The 'Black Piete' (Zwarte Piet in Dutch) can be compared to the Santa Klaus's elf, but they are white people painted in black. No need to explain why the situation is critical facing our contemporary time and knowing the Black History. Easter is also really important, and none of my Dutch friends can explain why. They have two days of Easter and two days of Christmas. Some of the Dutch people I know pretend it's because of the different types and forms of family, if you want to spend Christmas with them.

One of the most important day of the year in The Netherlands is Kind's Day! This year, it's going to be the 27th of April. This is a King's celebration. Everybody is in the street, partying, drinking and singing. A lot of tourists are coming to Amsterdam just for this special day. Of course, everybody is dressed in orange, the color of the country.

As an international student, I really loved spending quality time with the Dutch people and experienced their culture different from mine.

 

By Marion Caspar

MundiVox

MundiVox

Les blogs des étudiants internationaux. Etrangers, à Paris, ou Parisiens, à l'étranger.

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