In many cultures there is a suggestion to believe, since childhood, that death should be rejected as it is intertwined with fear. They grow up absorbing this as a concept intrinsically related to destruction and suffering. Therefore, when it's time for a beloved one to depart, even the most peaceful or necessary goodbyes are seen as the worst thing that could happen.
The Netherlands is a shameless country where the inside of people’s houses is widely shared like an open book. The daily routine of families is unfolded to anybody’s curiosity: as long as somebody is paying attention to it. For the record, I am. This impulse of keeping a secret watch on their privacy is just something I cannot help. Can you?
A Dutch language teacher once told me that I had a too idealist and romantic view towards the Dutch, as though I had pictured a perfect - or naive - impression of its nation. That statement had a profound effect on me. That conversation somehow turned me down and until today I secretly reflect upon this; ever since I have been trying to find out if I was actually wrong.
I guess everyone thinks about Brazil when it comes to Carnival. But after one goes to Holland – especially in the month of February (or March) when it takes place in Brazil, this concept might change. Many cities in Southern Holland celebrate Carnival and it is a very important holiday to celebrate! They take it very seriously!
In 1316 Johannes von Steren founded Bürgerspital, which is still recognized as a center for social assistance for the needy elderly. Because many of these socially originated and business-backed businesses must create ways of subsisting, Bürgerspital has found a very smart and prosperous way to do so: producing wine.
Some of the nicest street and cultural celebrations I have ever been to took place in Holland. They celebrate Carnival with much enthusiasm and joy as a Brazilian or a Venetian. But there are two parties that cause lots of uproar and cannot be missed, which you should go at least once in a lifetime: Koninsdag (King's Day) and the Gay Parade.