The Netherlands is a small country that has become more progressive with its windmills and tulips, making it one of the most beautiful countries in the world.
Its people, the Dutch, are easy going. They are also hard working and know how and when to have fun. They are actually the world’s tallest nationality, and with their sense of humor, there will never be a dull moment with them.
If you are planning to visit or even work in the Netherlands it helps to know some important details about the country and its people. This is especially true if you work there as an au pair, as you’ll be fully immersed in the family’s lifestyle and culture.
As a start, one thing you need to know about the Netherlands is that it is one of the top countries that need help when it comes to taking care of their children, as the Dutch adults are mostly employed – in other words both the fathers and mothers work – and spend less time in their homes.
To slowly introduce you to the culture of this beautiful country and prepare you as a future Netherlands au pair, here are a few facts you should know:
- The Netherlands’ National Anthem, the Wilhelmus, Is the Oldest in the World
The National Anthem of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, both its words and music, were made in the 16th century and it is considered the oldest in the world. In it, the Dutch king speaks of his German blood and describes his loyalty to the Spanish crown.
- 87% of Dutch People Speak English
In 2013, the Netherlands ranked third in the world for English proficiency as a second language. In fact, an EU report stated that from 2005, there was about 97% of Dutch people who said that Dutch is their mother tongue, and 91% claimed they speak at least one other language on a conversational level, and 66% speak German. This means that many of them can speak at least three languages.
- More Than 1,000 Windmills Are Still Standing from 1850
Windmills were traditionally used for a different purpose, from irrigation to grinding grain, and at present only a few of them still operate commercially. The Kinderdijk area, which is a UNESCO World Heritage site, is home to 19 traditional windmills.
- Clogs Are Rarely Worn and Usually Plain
The klompen were traditionally used as protective footwear for farm and industrial workers as they’re sturdy, waterproof, and easy to clean. However, at present, they’re usually used only when working in the garden or taking the rubbish out.
- Tulips Are Still Popular
These lovely flowers have over 1,500 varieties, and 80% of which come from the Netherlands. Nine billion bulbs and millions of flowers are grown each year, mainly for export, and thousands of people both tourists and locals come to see the beautiful fields as they grow. The most popular places that are considered home to many commercial fields are Haarlem and Keukenhof park.
- Tulips Aren’t Native to the Netherlands
While the country is widely known for its lovely tulips, these flowers were not native in the place. They were actually imported from Turkey in the 16th century and they became popular in the 1630s when prices rose to the extent that a single bulb could cost as much as a house. Unfortunately, the industry suddenly collapsed leaving many in economic crisis.
Now that you’ve learned these facts about the Netherlands, it will be easier for you to adapt to their culture, especially if you want to work there as an aupair. These facts may even help you in striking up an interesting conversation with your host family!
If you’re seriously considering becoming an au pair, you also need an agency that can help you with your application. At Wecare AuPair, we will be more than happy to bring you safely to the Netherlands, and introduce you to a wonderful host family. Visit our website now at http://www.wecareaupair.com/.