Ten tips on how to become Dutch

Dan has left the building. He is studying in America for the next few months. So here are his final tips to become Dutch.

You’ve made it this far, so I hope that you know a little more about Dutch culture than you did before, and that you will go home and tell your friends and family about your wonderfully enriching experience here in Groningen. Perhaps with all this new understanding of the Dutch culture, you will be able to better integrate into Dutch society; some of you may even want to become Dutch. But what the façade do you have to do to become Dutch?

Well, I’ve compiled a short list of ways to naturalise into a Dutch citizen for your delectation. Of course, learning to speak Dutch is one of the most important factors, but here are some other ways if you want to avoid learning the lingo…

Wear brown shoes.

10. Wear brown shoes. No matter the occasion, or the dress code, wear shoes as brown as your shit.

Working part-time

9. Start working part-time. Or open an Inconvenience Store. Make sure your store is never open on the weekends, and close on random days of the week without explanation.


8. Pre-drink at 11pm. Head out to the clubs at 1am. Get kicked out of the club (which closes for a mere hour) at 10am. Go to lectures one hour later.  Remember to laugh at the hordes of squinty-eyed internationals sprawling around all strunk in the streets.

Be stingy

7. Be stingy. Grab money where you can, and save money when you can’t. Go out with your friends, but refuse to drink because of a lack of money until a fed-up friend finally buys you a drink.

Dress down

6. Dress down. Fuck dressing up for dates. Dressing is something you put on your salad!

Ditch that dog shit

5. Ditch that dog shit. Don’t pick up your canine’s crap under any circumstances: let that kid pick it up on their feet and take it home for their parents to dispose of!

Park your bike

4. Park your bike where you bloody well please. Preferably in a rack, rather than big Belinda’s butt-crack.

Grease your hair

3. Grease your hair and your personality.

Be active

2. Be active. Whether it’s hopping on your bike or your boat, or ordering half pints at the pub so you have to keep getting up to order more (yeah, sure, that’s why you order half pints…), find ways to stay on your stilts.

Love Zwarte Piet

1. Love Zwarte Piet. As I experienced last November, Piet-hating foreigners should either leave the country or shut their Piet-hating traps; at least, that’s how responses to any anti-Piet ‘abuse’ are usually framed. If your Dutch friend explains how Piet came down the chimney, clench your teeth (until they bleed, if necessary). Hey, if you really want to win over the Dutch and make them accept you as one of their own, instead of merely pretending to love Piet, go one step further, and say ‘the racism is much worse in the UK and US. They should sort out their own problems before tackling problems here’! Someone buy this man a beer!

Many unique traditions and habits create Dutch culture; some are relatively small, such as the Dutch obsession for hagelslag, while others, like being green giants, are more noticeable. The ten listed above are just some of a plethora of quirks that make the Dutch Dutch.