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Holland, or The Netherlands

"Holland" is the name of only two of the twelve provinces of The Netherlands, and of a historic region that was a bit smaller than their current expanse.

Properly, only the rich and powerful North Holland and South Holland are so called. The casual use of the technically-incorrect word is a bit of an affront to the people of the rest of the nation.

But it's not only the loutish anglophone calling the whole country by that name, which derives from the complications of military-political history.

And, after all, who shouts "hup hup Holland?*"

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"Alstublieft"

A good Dutch word, hyper-polite and utilitarian....

Holland can be exasperating

Culture shock...

"Gedogen"

... Active tolerance...

"Coffeeshops"

A "coffeeshop" in Holland sells cannabis products....

Following and pacing

Dutch pedestrianism....

Holland is safe

... But you might not be able to sue...

Bombing of Nijmegen

Allied forces accidentally destroyed the oldest city in the Netherlands...

Giving away your bicycle

If you leave your bike unlocked....

Talking to a stranger

In Holland, small-talk is not necessary, and it is not customary....

Nieuwe Hollandse Waterlinie

Historical military floodplain...

Papal visit gone wrong

Pope John Paul II's visit to the Netherlands in 1985 was the worst in his papacy....

New Spelling

The "Nieuwe Spelling" in Holland refers to an orthography that became official in 1996....

Dutch bureaucracy

I tried to get a tax number when I was living in Amsterdam....

Polders

Life below sea-level...


More from Holland ...


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* "Hup hup Holland" is a traditional shout in favor of the national soccer team. Voetbal, that is — Football.


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