Tap to unmute

10 Reasons Why I Love the Netherlands (As an American)

  • Published on May 30, 2023 veröffentlicht
  • From Dutch directness to the world's happiest kids-here are ten things I love about living in the Netherlands.
    🙋‍♂️About me: I'm originally from California and have lived in the Netherlands for 4 years (Amsterdam & Maastricht).
    🔸 If you live in the Netherlands, I'd love to hear your story and interview you about your experiences.
    Email: hidavidwen@gmail.com
    00:00 Intro
    00:21 Doe Normaal (Be normal)
    02:44 Dutch Directness
    04:50 Work-life Balance
    07:27 Beautiful Country
    09:37 “Church space”
    10:20 Bike Culture
    11:40 Public Transportation
    12:25 Amazing English
    13:32 Safety
    14:46 Easy to Travel
    15:36 Conclusion
    💶 Cost of Living (Amsterdam) - • How much does it ...
    🏠 Living in a Dutch Canal House - • Living in a 17th ...
    🇺🇸 USA vs. Europe - • USA vs. Europe: L...
    PayPal Donations - paypal.me/davidswen
    Buy me a coffee - www.buymeacoffee.com/davidwen
    🎒 MY GEAR (Affiliate Links):
    Camera (Sony A7iii) - amzn.to/3PjxZjQ
    Phone (iPhone 12) - amzn.to/3Rktqrw
    Microphone (Rode Wireless GO II) - amzn.to/3auLEWM
    😁 WHO AM I?
    I'm David, a Californian living in Amsterdam. I make videos about life in the Netherlands, hiking/traveling, and the Camino de Santiago.
    #lifeinthenetherlands #livinginthenetherlands #thenetherlands

Comments • 1 823

  • David Wen
    David Wen  8 months ago +186

    What do you like about the Netherlands? 🧡🇳🇱

    • Robert Boender
      Robert Boender 8 months ago +11

      Great video David and glad you still like it :-) And before I forget, you're also contributing to make things even better.

    • Albert Zonneveld
      Albert Zonneveld 8 months ago +19

      Time to learn dutch !!

    • Frank Heuvelman
      Frank Heuvelman 7 months ago +15

      @Albert Zonneveld 😎Helemaal fucking mee eens!

    • Donald Pesch
      Donald Pesch 7 months ago +14

      I love ZWARTE PIET! But because he‘s black they declared him taboo and persona non grata.

    • Sparkle Motion
      Sparkle Motion 7 months ago +4

      The weather, obviously

  • Vincent
    Vincent 6 months ago +1052

    More than anything we Dutch people love hearing from others how awesome our country is. Kudos to you 😊

    • David Wen
      David Wen  5 months ago +36


    • Magere Hein
      Magere Hein 5 months ago +38

      Yup, we've very proud of our humility.

    • Jules Verne
      Jules Verne 5 months ago +8

      Who's 'we', randstedelingen maybe...

    • Fokko Pater
      Fokko Pater 5 months ago +12

      I knew it, WE are the greatest........ little country in the world!!! 😮

    • R W
      R W 4 months ago +10

      As long as we can complain how aweful everything is in our country

  • Niels
    Niels 3 months ago +337

    One thing I feel you missed about being homeless in the Netherlands is that, compared to many other countries) us that they're treated as actual human beings and for better or worse get the help they're able or want to get.
    I was homeless for just over a year when I was 19. I had depression and a massive addiction. Within 2 weeks of losing my old student room, I had a room in a homeless shelter, yes an actual room to myself. I got fed 3 times a day, could go and leave whenever I wanted and there was even a room where things like needles where handed out and people could use drugs under the supervision of a trained nurse. There always was a team nearby to help me with things like keeping my room clean to filing taxes and applying for rehab. I still feel I was the one who pulled myself out of homelessness, but could never have done that without the care the Netherlands offers to their homeless population.

    • naDah._. `
      naDah._. ` 2 months ago +12

      Woah u could leave when u wanted and you got a room 2 yourself that's way better than in the US omh

    • Hau Tran
      Hau Tran 2 months ago +3

      I think free feeds meals is okay. Need help poor ppl & ppl who need eager for help
      But no shit as CAN FREELY USING DRUGS IN SHRLTER OR ANY PUBLIC PLACE, just because you or they’re massive addict to drugs.
      All you need is stop using drugs & stop proudly of addict to drugs like normal things.
      Its will create more homeless & addict thugs just like what happened in USA & alots Western country.
      It also creating more younger generations addict to drugs & have no depressing to become druggies while they know the gorvement will help them with all foods & shelter & basic amounts of moneys to buy drugs for using.
      Anyone did mistake, specially young adults. Anyone can make wrong choice in life & turn themselves addict. But they must get HELP WITH ONE CONDITION : STOP ADDICT & GETTING REHAB CENTER HELP TILL THEY CLEAN.
      If Netherlands don’t fix this problems, no longer & sonner in 2-3 decades their country is full of young addiction just like what happened in us/uk now
      Look at how shitty druggies in us/uk - shitting all day high on drugs in public & parks, proudly to be druggies thugs because it’s humans right & freedom right so they can going around to do shitty stuff attack people.

    • Quinn
      Quinn 2 months ago +59

      @Hau Tran i don't think you get how addiction works

  • Paul van Hooijdonk
    Paul van Hooijdonk 7 months ago +547

    As for working overtime in the Netherlands: Most of us are ok to work extra hours if it is really needed and if it is effective (like close to an important deadline), but not when it would be a 'regular' excercise, that would just be considered as 'bad planning' and 'not my problem'.

    • David Wen
      David Wen  7 months ago +30

      Thanks Paul. I've noticed that as well.

    • graffie
      graffie 7 months ago +40

      True, and when really needed, everyone pitches in and the boss buys you dinner.

    • babykrul
      babykrul 7 months ago +9

      Yeah and often times you can trade the extra hours you made that day for a day off :)

    • Dutch Gamer
      Dutch Gamer 7 months ago +1

      Only do it if your employer pays extra, gives you a meal and compensate over time and give is extra time off

    • Star Light
      Star Light 7 months ago +6

      @Dutch Gamer You forget one important factor: giving. Your boss creates a workplace for you, and pays your salary every month, he takes all the financial risk of being an business owner. As a token of appreciation you could do your part in time of need, to help your boss and his company out. Which is ultimately helping yourself, because if the company goes bankrupt you are out of job. So giving is important not only taking.

  • rik danko
    rik danko 5 months ago +201

    Being dutch you tend to forget the good things of your country, and focus on everything that is bad or wrong. Your video opened my eyes again on the good stuff and made me proud of my country and my people again. Thank you!

    • David Wen
      David Wen  5 months ago +9

      That’s good to hear. Similarly, many things to be grateful for…sometimes it takes a reminder to help us out :)

    • Brian H
      Brian H 2 months ago +5

      Don't forget that it's also Dutch culture to look at the negative things. 10 good things can happen in a day and most will be like "oh, thats normal" or something like that. But 1 or 2 'bad' things happen and the entire day and sometimes multiple days will be 'ruined' for some people

    • Tool Time
      Tool Time Month ago +4

      As an older American past retirement, I can openly tell you that the U.S. is drastically falling apart. No one is just focusing on the bad; it's the bad that is mainly happening. It could be a long list in a conversation but it's true. The general mindset of the average American is as corrupt as it can almost get. Americans can hardly see it because they are blind to their very warped ways of thinking and living. I, too, have been out of the country at times and when I return, it's never a good feeling. Sure, it's home and familiar, but you'd have to be in a coma to not see the *serious* problems all around and start questioning if survival is possible. Americans have an "I'm above it all and don't question me" attitude and think they are invulnerable, entitled, spoiled, arrogant, careless, wasteful, big-time materialistic, very judgmental and too often impatient. Yes, there are MANY Americans that do not fit this description, but the prevailing atmosphere falls back on the previous list. The problems in the U.S. are too widespread and deep to realistically attack and solve which means that any "solutions" someone may come up with will be quickly discarded. Even in an individual life, when evil takes ahold, it usually requires a massive amount of fortitude and discipline to overcome it and get back on track. The country is blind to correction and is happily destroying itself. Its feeling of superiority and "Lord over the Earth" is too strong to let go and admitting anything less is unheard of. America used to be really nice; now it's a hole with shiny glass and blinking lights to dazzle the empty, deluded heads of its citizens.

    • 1911GreaterThanALL
      1911GreaterThanALL Month ago

      That is many countries not just the Netherlands. When you come into contact with something that is comparing countries it is a natural way of comparing. "One only knows good from bad".

  • Christoph Denner
    Christoph Denner 5 months ago +85

    I'm Austrian and I love the Netherlands. I visit Amsterdam at least once every year, this year I visited also Rotterdam. The people are friendly, open, I like their energy and the architecture is so incredibly charming. However, Amsterdam can be a bit of an overload due to massive overtourism. During lockdown, I started learning Dutch (which is not very difficult for a German native speaker) and I'm frequently getting my news from Dutch newspapers now. I consider looking for a job in the Netherlands and moving there.

    • Balletified
      Balletified 5 months ago +6


    • zzZzzzz
      zzZzzzz 5 months ago +3

      Austria is so beautiful!

    • David Wen
      David Wen  5 months ago +6

      Hi Christoph - yes, there's a lot more than Amsterdam. But the Netherlands is a beautiful country. Wish you the best of luck in finding a job!

    • Christoph Denner
      Christoph Denner 5 months ago +6

      @David Wen Thank you David! The bigger challenge seems to be finding an apartment. ;-)

    • David Wen
      David Wen  5 months ago +2

      @Christoph Denner Best of luck! I know how hard it can be. I made a video about "How to find an apartment in Amsterdam" that may be helpful...

  • MadSciMadDog
    MadSciMadDog Month ago +8

    I spent 4 years in Sweden, and many of the things you describe are also true there. (I am American as well.) Nearly everyone speaks English, minimal choice of consumer products (which is just fine), work-life balance, ease of travel, lots of bikes, over-achieving is not considered a virtue, etc. I was so sad to come back to the US, and the culture shock was severe.

  • Milady
    Milady 7 months ago +253

    Hi David, the Dutch also speak English (and other languages) so well, because all tv programs and movies in foreign languages are subtitled in Dutch, while the UK, USA, Germany, France f.i. all dub their movies. That helps the learning a lot.

    • David Wen
      David Wen  7 months ago +24

      Thanks Milady! Yes I’ve learned! That’s so smart because children can learn so much

    • 370 amsterdam
      370 amsterdam 6 months ago +3

      He did not know, but its treu. We know enhlisch because of tv en it subtitles. Not because we are small and the trade

    • TEAser
      TEAser 4 months ago +8

      @370 amsterdam We know it because of both reasons.
      We learn English at a young age due to the TV and it's subtitles, but we master it for the ability to better sell our trade, wether it be our knowledge or our labour or actual goods.

    • Bertus Bankstel
      Bertus Bankstel 4 months ago +1

      @370 amsterdam Wrong !

    • bishplis
      bishplis 4 months ago +1

      what the dutch speaking multiple languages before tv or radio was even invented?

  • KacperM
    KacperM 8 months ago +224

    One of the best things in the Netherlands is the energy of the people. A couple years ago when I lived in this country I couldn't even talk in english due to my low level of speaking and comprehension. And I still felt very comfortable, peaceful and happy amongst the people - like a cat :D They radiate positive energy. And I felt like "more myself" than in my own country because their mentality, positive attitude, not-judging was contagious and reflected on me. I really can't wait to return to this beautiful country.

    • David Wen
      David Wen  7 months ago +10

      That’s great to hear! Yes I also feel like people don’t judge you as much in this country as compared to others. Hope you can return soon!

    • Paula M.
      Paula M. 7 months ago +4

      🥰I am dutch ad you are welcome

    • KacperM
      KacperM 7 months ago +8

      @Paula M. I have severe health problems right now but as soon as I recover I will return to the Netherlands and stay there forever

    • Paula M.
      Paula M. 6 months ago +4

      @Franklin yes, there are people who are racist, i am dutch, and understand what you say, that not the majority though

  • Martijn Keisers
    Martijn Keisers 7 months ago +223

    As a Dutch person you almost made me blush.
    We ourselves seem to forget sometimes what a great country we live in. Thank you!

    • David Wen
      David Wen  7 months ago +9

      Thanks Martijn. Good reminder to be grateful for what we have in life , so thanks for the reminder too!

    • Franklin
      Franklin 6 months ago

      The dutch can be awfully racist against asians though - don't forget that. The elderly dutch especially - just awful people from my experience.

    • Gloria Scientiae
      Gloria Scientiae 6 months ago +4

      @Franklin lol what did u do to piss them off

  • Han Tek
    Han Tek 7 months ago +179

    Well said, nice video! I lived in another country (Turkey) for 24 years and after that I moved to the NL. The nicest thing I noticed is how friendly and kind people are. For example saying hi to the bus driver, thanking the cashier in a shop, wishing the waiter a good day in a restaurant, greeting people passing by while walking on the street etc. I was really not used to this kind of behaviour and I was positively surprised.

    • Sjeluc Ten
      Sjeluc Ten 7 months ago +16

      Goede morgen Meneer ! Dag !

    • Vaska Tumir
      Vaska Tumir 7 months ago +14

      Something we also take for granted in Canada. ❤️

    • David Wen
      David Wen  7 months ago +9

      Thanks for sharing Han and glad to hear you’re enjoying it. Many others also mentioned how friendly the Dutch are.

    • Eva Bakker
      Eva Bakker 7 months ago +26

      Honestly, I don't even think that's really considered being friendly in The Netherlands, I think it's common sense to treat everyone equal. I've visited a lot of countries where people don't thank the waiter, the bus driver or wish them a good day, and I think it's so rude! I literally heard someone say 'I don't thank people below me' in the US and I was absolutely horrified!!

    • myrthe2401
      myrthe2401 7 months ago +5

      @Eva Bakker I also think it's like norms and values and something we are used to. Where a cashier will for obvious reasons try to be polite the respons to that is usually a automatic reaction, same as greeting the bus driver.

  • Fernando Ferreira
    Fernando Ferreira 7 months ago +81

    I am Dutch (from the Caribbean part of the Netherlands) and while doing my MBA in Pittsburgh I had a B average which was the requirement, but than my dean told me that I was an underachiever and I asked why? He told me to go for the A's, which I did, straight A's for the rest of the MBA program. Back home when applying for jobs no one ever asked to see my grades, you graduated that was always enough.

    • David Wen
      David Wen  7 months ago +8

      Thanks for sharing Fernando. Hah yeah, I am not surprised. Yeah no one ever checks for grades. Except if you are coming straight out of college in the US.
      Where are you now?

    • Fernando Ferreira
      Fernando Ferreira 7 months ago +4

      I am still in Curaçao and not planning to go anywhere else, except for vacations.

    • Sjeluc Ten
      Sjeluc Ten 7 months ago +2

      True. My husband got his MBA degree from Newport University in Utrecht and I don't think he had any graduation celebration there. Dutch kids also don't celebrate graduation days in schools. Doe gewoon dan doe je al gek genoeg (just act normally, that's crazy enough they say). Wat een flauwe kul , what a nonsense !

    • Trevor Disseldorp
      Trevor Disseldorp 7 months ago +6

      Thats because we do not consider scoring A's or B's as intellegence, in the US they really have a habit of confusing IQ/ Intellegence with Memory. If person A read his books all night long he will probably be able to puke out more stuff on Exam day as Person B who didnt read it it all as he was having a beer with his buddies, doesnt mean that person A is more intellegent tho. The guy in this video described it so well

    • Book Insights
      Book Insights 7 months ago

      You can’t be Dutch and from the Caribbean. Dutch people are European people and they are white. In Europe peoples nationality iš tied with their ethnicity.

  • Anneke Kramer
    Anneke Kramer 7 months ago +170

    "Doe normaal" is the short version of "Doe maar normaal, dan doe je al gek genoeg", meaning "When you act normal you are already crazy enough", meaning pretty much what you explain in the video :-)

    • David Wen
      David Wen  7 months ago +7

      Thanks Anneke =)

    • Nanneke9
      Nanneke9 7 months ago +5

      I've always flipped it and thought: just act crazy, you'll be normal enough. 😁😁

    • Mister Ivo
      Mister Ivo 3 months ago +4

      dat blijft 1 van de beste Nederlandse uitdrukkingen :)

    • Noah
      Noah 2 months ago

      die heb ik vaak aan moeten horen van ons pap lol

  • Edwin Tax
    Edwin Tax Month ago +3

    Left The Netherlands 7 years ago to live in Thailand. I love to live in Thailand but when I saw your video, it almost made me cry, missing my home country. Thank you ❤

    • David Wen
      David Wen  8 days ago

      You're welcome =) Oh I also love Thailand...and Thai food....

  • Dylan Dicks
    Dylan Dicks 6 months ago +64

    Recently moved to the Netherlands from South Africa. I am utterly inlove with the Netherlands. Sure, vad weather and all, but everything here is 100x better than in my home country.
    I love that even if it rains, people still walks their dogs, ride their bicycle and go to the gyms. It is amazing.

    • David Wen
      David Wen  6 months ago +2

      Thanks Dylan. Great to hear you are enjoying it so far! The colleagues I’ve met who also came from South Africa love it here too

    • RPT
      RPT 5 months ago +3

      Glad to hear you like our country my friend. Enjoy it!

    • Balletified
      Balletified 5 months ago +4

      Of course we walk our dogs in the rain! Dogs need to run, no matter the weather.

    • Gerard Emile Story
      Gerard Emile Story 5 months ago +1

      But but....hot weather from March , autumn till December , groundwater level dwindling because of prolonged drought etc.... Bad weather....chose New Zealand...yiiiiiikes..

    • DanielTheCritic
      DanielTheCritic 4 months ago +2

      Yo same! Welcome to the club. Haha

  • M33VR
    M33VR 3 months ago +39

    Als mede-Nederlander heel erg bedankt voor het maken van deze video. Ik waardeer het dat je van het land houdt. Je hebt eindelijk mijn ogen weer geopend en me laten beseffen hoe goed we leven, Liefs uit Nederland. 🇳🇱 ❤🇺🇸 (Are you able to read this without translating?)

    • David Wen
      David Wen  3 months ago +10

      I got it more or less =) Thanks for the kind words!

    • Spring
      Spring Month ago +2

      Ek kan verstaan. Afrikaans sprekend van Suid Afrika.

  • NVB
    NVB 2 months ago +7

    Oh this is so funny to watch as a Dutch person! I actually noticed people seem to be pleasantly surprised by our openess and directness. I think because it also shows a level of confidence like “you see what you get”. And if I would come across rude…I wouldn’t lose sleep over it 😅

    • Amy
      Amy Month ago

      From my Dutch boyfriend and his family I’ve noticed there’s two kinds of Dutch directness. There’s the normal straight-forwardness that might be put more delicately by an American. Then there’s when Dutch people actually ARE being rude, but it’s okay because people are allowed to be annoyed or impatient for a moment without hurting anyone, and there’s a sense of humor about it

  • M IJ
    M IJ 4 months ago +30

    I am a Dutch person from the North Eastern side of the Netherlands and i hope you also come to visite our side of the Netherlands where we have beautiful nature. People in the North East are even more of the "Doe maar normaal" than the rest of the country. I really would recommend you would visit Friesland, Drenthe and Groningen for its beautiful sights.

    • David Wen
      David Wen  4 months ago +5

      Thanks! I will definitely try to make a visit this year =)

    • Reflex
      Reflex 3 months ago +1

      @David Wen if you visit Drenthe you should definetely stay at Hof van Saksen for a weekend at least. There is so much to do there and even the worlds biggest water slides are there at the swimming pools.

  • Wijn100
    Wijn100 7 months ago +128

    As a Maastricht resident I'm proud you also value our "southern" beauty! When people talk about the Netherlands they mostley talk about Amsterdam and I always have to tell them: "We are so much more than that!"

    • David Wen
      David Wen  7 months ago +10

      Ohh I miss Maastricht! That 1-year felt like a dream…I miss the slower pace of life at times too

    • Mavadelo
      Mavadelo 7 months ago +4

      I am from Utrecht myself but besides Utrecht places like Maastricht and Valkenburg are among my favorite places in the Netherlands.

    • Richard Duinmaijer
      Richard Duinmaijer 7 months ago +1

      Maastricht is Belgium

    • Francesco Salvia
      Francesco Salvia 7 months ago +4

      @Richard Duinmaijer It's like Belgium, if Belgium had the Dutch quality of life.

  • Koen NL
    Koen NL 7 months ago +37

    As a dutch person I really feel blessed living here. It feels kind of weird saying that because i have never lived anywhere else. I just like the peacefullness structure and safety in my country and value it highly and know that this is not something to take for granted. Only thing I wish we had are mountains 😅

    • David Wen
      David Wen  7 months ago +3

      Thanks Koen. I remember when I arrived to Maastricht, and they told me there was a Dutch mountain at a place called Sint Pieters. I went there...and of course, it was a joke =)

    • fortunist
      fortunist 4 months ago

      Your comment about wishing for dutch mountains made me think of a song ....In the Dutch Mountains by The Nits.

    • Takhir Kikot
      Takhir Kikot 4 months ago

      My friend and I moved to the Netherlands not so long ago. And we have a local joke between ourselves every time we pass some hill or bridges using bikes: "Where is that promised land? They promised low lands! Such a false advertisement!" Other than that it's perfect in every possible way.

  • Azabujuban-Hito
    Azabujuban-Hito Month ago +1

    My dad is half Chinese-half Dutch ( mom is German Swiss ), so Im VERY familiar with Dutch bluntness.
    Imagine the culture shock I had when I was transferred to Tokyo, Japan where seemingly every single conversation is heavily nuanced !

  • Heidi xxx
    Heidi xxx Month ago +2

    Wow! I just watched 2 of your videos. The piece about competition, how it easily results in feeling bad about oneself, so spot on for me. I was just bemoaning with my husband on how unproductive my 58 years of life has been, as just a housewife (after a 2-year college degree), despite the fact I've always been busy attending to the business of living for us. Now I care for my disabled Mother. All the other points you touched on in recently revisiting California also spot on. We live in Portland Oregon and have managed to design our lives to avoid most of those negatives. Supersize and superspend makes you supersick and superpoor! Intangibles is where contentment is.

    • David Wen
      David Wen  8 days ago

      Thanks for sharing Heidi! Oh yeah...we learn to equate success in life with these external labels that are associated with career and financial success...when being a caregiver is one of the most important labels. Hope you are well in Portland!

  • Shadé
    Shadé 5 months ago +14

    I am Dutch (I grew up in Maastricht actually) but currently living abroad. What I've experienced is that, as someone with social anxiety and crippling insecurity, the Dutch directness is liberating indeed: I don't have to worry so much about what people might think of me or my work (which of course tends to drift off into the worst case scenario based on my own insecurities), because they'll just tell me to my face and I'll know exactly where I stand.
    I greatly prefer the clarity and actionable improvement points negative feedback gives me, over the endless pondering and doubt.

    • David Wen
      David Wen  5 months ago +3

      Thanks for sharing Shadé. Ah that makes sense…yeah I get that. I’m in my head a lot and I get what you mean. I’m learning to appreciate it too. What I’ve also learned is that of course “how” you say it matters too…you can be direct and polite or direct and rude

    • Shadé
      Shadé 5 months ago

      @David Wen Absolutely, that comes with the territory; Because it isn't taboo to give negative feedback, people learn to give it in a constructive manner and how to receive it too. Thanks for your reply, wishing you a marvellous time in NL.

  • Dorie McKay
    Dorie McKay Month ago +1

    love your channel. my sons wife is dutch, or was.. divorced now. ( thats ok.. theyre friendly) anyway, she learned English as a child, along with spanish, german and french i believe too. they met in ca in the sf bay area then yrs later moved to holland. my son had a hard time learning dutch, and seeing how she knew several languages had me wishing american schools taught us like this. im now addicted to your wonderful channel ❤

    • David Wen
      David Wen  Month ago

      Thanks Dorie! Yeah I wish American schools taught more languages too. Now I wish I paid more attention in high school…languages are the bridges to connect with the world

  • John Ces
    John Ces 27 days ago +2

    I just realised that happiness means being at peace with yourself and others, thank you!

    • David Wen
      David Wen  27 days ago

      Glad to hear John :) thank you!

  • FurryingAround
    FurryingAround 4 months ago +12

    As a Dutch person i can say that everything in this video is true!!! (And i also like when non-Dutch people say how awsome our country is! Thank you for this super video David Wen! En fijne dag nog! )


    I agree with you when it comes to visiting Europe because it is not only expensive to travel to different European countries from the US and from other parts of the world but also time is the essence especially for those travelers who have to go back to work. However, it is also quite difficult to uproot from a place you have been living comfortably for more than 30 years especially for seniors, I think. Anyway, thank you for sharing your awesome insights and experience in the Netherlands. I am now one of your subscribers.

    • David Wen
      David Wen  Month ago

      Thanks for sharing. I can understand it is hard to uproot one's life...I did it without any (major) responsibilities so it was much easier. Though, it's always hard to leave family and friends-this is still the hardest part-being so far away.

  • Anym
    Anym 4 months ago +14

    Love how we all are like "oh yeah the Dutch are quite humble" but the second a single video gets made that speaks positively about the country, somehow we sniff em out like hounds going "YEAHHHHH I KNEW IT! WE ROCK! WOOOO!" whilst also complaining about every single thing that's wrong with our country. It's a real emotional rollercoaster😂

    • David Wen
      David Wen  3 months ago +1

      Haha many Dutch people mentioned the same...that it's easy to complain...and it's a good reminder to look at the positives once in a while!

    • Floris Backx
      Floris Backx Month ago

      You my friend are on the money : )

  • Image Info Mood
    Image Info Mood 5 months ago +45

    The full saying is:"Doe normaal, dan doe je al gek genoeg."/"You're crazy enough just by acting normal." Meaning that by authentically being yourself you're your own unique being. No need to step outside of yourself to stand out.

    • David Wen
      David Wen  5 months ago +4

      Thanks for sharing. That’s so important..learning to accept oneself.

    • 812x901
      812x901 5 months ago +4

      @David Wen its more of an insult, they're telling you you're crazy 🤣

    • Studio Margalima
      Studio Margalima 5 months ago +2

      That's not entirely the exact explanation, there's slightly other twist to it.
      Now, the thing is just that you might be perceived too crazy by *being* yourself. "Doe normaal. ." is a kind of related to the expression "je kop boven het maaiveld uitsteken".
      What does the expression means?
      Certainly you can be yourself, yes, in a sense of honesty and directness. But you can not be bombastic, bragging, boasting full of confindence all day long, openly, or being openly and rudely bossy, or dreaming very big, or constantly nagging about things (the later being a Karen basically). This behavior will be - generally of course - perceived as definition "crazy", and will really quite be "punished", sooner or later, in smaller or bigger way.
      That is what the expression actually means.
      That's the Calvinistic nature of he Dutch and how our society works here.

    • Fokko Pater
      Fokko Pater 5 months ago

      @812x901 oh I have no problem to make it sound like a compliment or an insult .
      This saying is sensitive for which tone you use, i guess that explain the different opinions above me.
      Speaking out of your experience you have with it!

    • jacqueline schael
      jacqueline schael 5 months ago +1

      I take "doe normal" to act natural (not phony or pretentious) and directness to mean frankness.

  • Jamie Pfaff
    Jamie Pfaff 5 months ago +19

    I feel like the being honest part in the Netherlands is that we find honest communication so important! We would rather have someone tell everything that's on their mind than keeping secrets. Honesty is such a great way to learn and grow from each other. I love how direct we are haha!

    • David Wen
      David Wen  5 months ago

      Glad to hear Jamie! Hah I wonder if you’ve experienced any challenges interacting with cultures who are more indirect?

    • Jamie Pfaff
      Jamie Pfaff 5 months ago

      @David Wen well, one of my best friends is from Suriname and whenever there is something she wants to talk to me about, or when something bothers her, I find she can have the tendency to talk in circles. When something bothers me, I say it as it is and sometimes that can lead to some friction. I think it's fascinating how every culture communicates differently!

    • jacqueline schael
      jacqueline schael 5 months ago

      I think by direct you mean frank.

    • Jamie Pfaff
      Jamie Pfaff 5 months ago

      @jacqueline schael both :)

    • Jumasingleton
      Jumasingleton 4 months ago

      How are you doing Jamie

  • Ha ru
    Ha ru 7 months ago +26

    I feel like in the Netherlands when someone (or I) ask what someone does for a job its more to know about the things we can talk about, even if you answer with a job that is usually looked down upon in other countries, like Truck Driver for example, they won't judge you and instead ask if its hard, whether you like it, why you started doing it etc. instead of acting like its such a bad job to have.

    • David Wen
      David Wen  7 months ago +1

      Thanks for sharing. Yeah I feel the same way here in the Netherlands...that I’m not being judged based on what I do. I know I used to do a lot of judging myself in the US (I still do if I’m honest)

    • Fjodor Tabularasa
      Fjodor Tabularasa 7 months ago +2

      Why would there be a bad job? Why to look down on someone's job? Ain't we all trying our best? There are jobs that pay (too) little, but is that a reason to value a person less?
      Some years ago we had a posh company outing, the costs were atleast € 1200 p.p. The after hour office cleaners, who were not on the payroll of my company but hired through a cleaning service company, were invited also, as they should.

    • Sjeluc Ten
      Sjeluc Ten 7 months ago

      But a truck driver in The Netherlands can afford to buy a house a corporate manager used to live in. Because a truck driver and his wife earn roughly the same as a corporate manager. They don't need expensive suits for their job and a truck driver will get extra earnings when they drive to faraway places in Europe, such as England, and Italy. The rich are not too rich, the poor will always have a place to live in. Geen hoge dunk, they say.

    • Ha ru
      Ha ru 7 months ago +1

      @Sjeluc Ten You really don't earn that much money as a Truck driver lol.
      On average a Trucker earns about € 28.199 a year while a "middelmanager" earns between €41.000 and €86.000.
      Considering the housing prices and housing situation (even before the current crisis) you're not geting more than a two, maybe three bedroom apartment depending on where you live.
      It doesn't really have much to do with money and more so that people in the Netherlands are more so expected to go for a job they actually want or like to have instead of being pressured into performing so they can become a doctor or a scientist or something like that.
      Even at a young age we ask our kids "what do you *want* to be when you grow up?", you'll rarely find a parent telling a child what they should strive to be, unlike in many other countries.

    • Aleida
      Aleida 7 months ago

      Thats so true, I do that as well

  • Elfo
    Elfo Month ago +3

    As a German, I think the Dutch are very friendly and not as direct as we are, haha, I was there a few times and I like to visit the Netherlands, because they are so friendly and you can bike everywhere.

  • SquirrellyJax
    SquirrellyJax 2 months ago +1

    This was awesome to watch, Bay Area transplants ourselves & looking to move out that way next year. Everything I've researched right now (even the "bad side" lists) are selling me more & more every day. But it was really great to hear the opinion from someone with a similar background

  • Wael Alsail
    Wael Alsail 4 days ago

    God bless the Netherlands! ❤
    I have been in many different countries and it is the best in my opinion! Very clean, everything is good organized, the Dutch people are lovely and amazing ❤ Nice to see how families enjoying their time outside together 👍🏻 every time i get back to Netherlands from any trip i feel very grateful for being here 🙏🏻

  • Bert Kassing
    Bert Kassing 8 months ago +26

    So nice to hear you speak about the Netherlands. You can see it with different eyes than I do. I, an Amsterdammer, but living in Hoofddorp, think everything you say is normal. I think about the foreign trips I have made (yes also to the US and Canada), then I realize again what a good country the Netherlands is to live in.

    • David Wen
      David Wen  7 months ago +4

      Thanks Bert. Yeah it’s always good to hear the perspectives of others. Me too. I know Hoofddorp :)) Well…actually not really, but I know the area around the train station quite well haha

    KACEY KELLY Month ago

    This is an excellent video, and I believe that when more Americans see that this is working so well in Netherlands, it will become the focus of future changes and improvements in our society. Thank You, David! This fills me with such hope and joy.

  • HenkYou VeryMuch
    HenkYou VeryMuch 4 months ago +9

    As a Dutch person, thank you so much! Glad to hear you’re enjoying the Netherlands 😊🇳🇱

  • Arnold
    Arnold 7 months ago +33

    Love to watch these kind of clips. As a dutch citizen everything is normal to me. While from a different perspective (as yours) a lot of things we take for granted are just very special.

    • David Wen
      David Wen  7 months ago +3

      Thanks Arnold. And I also appreciate hearing from the Dutch and other nationalities too. Great learning experience

  • Annabelle Owl
    Annabelle Owl 2 months ago +4

    I come from Germany, literally a 3h ride away where I live now in the netherlands and the differences are amazing! Everything you mentioned is very true even if you're from a neightbouring country.
    I like to joke and say going to the netherlands is like travelling 15 years into the future, and coming back to germany is like travelling 15 years back

  • Karin Turkington
    Karin Turkington Month ago +2

    I remember loving the Netherlands when I camped out for a couple of weeks many years ago. Thank you for this great video.

  • el7griego
    el7griego 4 days ago

    I am glad (for you) that you feel so happy here in the Netherlands, David. I do find it funny to note that someone who came from the US and is now living for a few years here, tends to look at certain things a lot more positive, than someone who has lived here for say 40 years (like me). The traveling for instance. If you have lived in the US, which is a big ass country, and where, like you described, you are still in the same city after 7 hours of travel, it must be awesome to be in a total different country after traveling for 5h from Amsterdam to Paris. Where an average Dutchie wouldn't even take a trip from Groningen to Maastricht because we find the 2,5h trip too long. Anyways, I quite enjoyed this clip and the newer one about the differences in work ethics between the US and the Netherlands. Enjoy your stay here

  • RobS
    RobS Month ago +1

    I just think you do a great job promoting the Netherlands! Thank's very much for doing that. And yes, we are somewhat direct.....

  • Shiva
    Shiva 3 months ago +5

    This is so true. I relocated to the Netherlands recently and I love this country for all these reasons! Wonderful people wonderful country!

  • Carel Wervenbos
    Carel Wervenbos 7 months ago +14

    Thank you for refreshing my view and perception of my country of birth. As a citizen I have taken all of this for granted. Your explanation made me aware of how fortuned I am to be born here and live here.

    • David Wen
      David Wen  7 months ago +1

      You're welcome Carel. Glad to hear that! Sometimes we need these reminders and different perspectives to be grateful for what we do have in life!

  • Nic Jansen
    Nic Jansen 2 months ago +4

    Even someone who doesn't know Dutch can understand the (written) words "een 6 is een studenten-10"
    Many students just want a passing grade and 6 is good enough, but there're also Dutchies like me who'd strive to get closer to an actual 10 since we want to understand it all and want to be able to properly reproduce something when needed it in the field. However I never felt like I ever had to get the best grades in class to be able to get a proper job like I have now

    • David Wen
      David Wen  2 months ago +2

      That’s so freeing…to be average and still live a decent life

  • Tim Beerens
    Tim Beerens 2 months ago +3

    I like that you actually cover not only Amsterdam. As a Dutch man in the Netherlands from Eindhoven (Brainport) with big companies like ASML, also on a company level we have a lot to offer. Personally I work at KPMG and I actually enjoy it a lot partly because I dont work at the local office.

    • David Wen
      David Wen  2 months ago

      Thanks Tim. I lived in Maastricht for a year, and that was very different. And hey-I'm a fellow KPMG alumni =)

  • yowo
    yowo 8 months ago +66

    I agree so much about the directness/egalitarian society part. I'm a university student and during a lecture a professor was talking about some of his own research and a student raised his hand and asked some very critical questions about the procedures, the interpretation of results and the relevancy of his research to the course we were taking. The professor was totally cool about it, tried to answer his questions as best as he could but also was upfront about things he would need to check over again. In the end he also thanked the student for the questions as he said it was good to be critical and evaluative of your own research. Really nice and eyeopening experience during the lecture, it made me respect the professor (and the student as well) a lot more.

    • David Wen
      David Wen  7 months ago +7

      Thanks for sharing. Yes! I was pleasantly surprised to see the Dutch students in my class challenge the professor. It definitely added to the learning experience. That would never happen in certain cultures…

    • Ham Ster
      Ham Ster 7 months ago +10

      I did a subject/course in University in which we cooperated with a few African universities. We were getting some disappointing results from the African universities. I was shocked when one of my group (African student) explained they may not have fully understood the assignment, and that they could not ask, as asking your professor to (further) explain the assignment or for that matter anything he had lectured on, would be considered very rude. I could not fantoom why, until she explained it would be seen as criticism of the professor as it would/could somehow suggest the professor had not done a good job explaining it in the first place.
      Pfff tiresome.

    • Jara Simonson
      Jara Simonson 7 months ago +2

      @Ham Ster crazy! How can you learn without allowing your brain to function and asking the questions that pop up and then not even being able to do the proposed assignment because of the insecurities of a professor.. haha omg

    • Roger Elzenga
      Roger Elzenga 7 months ago +1

      @Jara Simonson Yeah imagine that in your professional life... You get an assignment where the only description is the name of said assignment... no explanation... then expect you to solve Nuclear Fusion :D

    • Jara Simonson
      Jara Simonson 7 months ago +1

      @Roger Elzenga hahaha.. did this actually happen? Sounds more like some sort of fucked up intelligence test (; not too funny probably then. Maybe you could take it as funny?

  • Camila Scherdien
    Camila Scherdien 2 months ago +3

    wow David! I just finished watching your video and I'm feeling a strong desire to live in Netherlands. Good job!

    • David Wen
      David Wen  2 months ago

      Thanks Camila, I hope you take the leap!

  • Hans Friederichs
    Hans Friederichs 7 months ago +69

    I definitely feel privileged being born, raised and educated in the Netherlands, and I can agree with all your views on this country, except for one: I don’t think it’s a beautiful country… The cities you mention are great, but 2/3 of our surface is used for agricultural purposes, far more than we need to feed ourselves (the Netherlands has the second largest agricultural export in the world, only after the US). We don’t have mountains, no raw nature, every square inch is organized. Having said that, this is obviously a subjective matter. And as you said, I can get abroad very easy to find the nature we don’t have here.

    • David Wen
      David Wen  7 months ago +9

      Thanks Hans. Yeah it's interesting to hear different perspectives. For me...I do think it's beautiful in terms of the architecture but when it comes to "things to do," (especially for the outdoor enthusiast)...yeah there's not much natural beauty. I guess "beauty is in the eye of the beholder." I do miss hiking and the mountains...but I know I can fly somewhere nearby to hike. Can't have it all!

    • Lijntje
      Lijntje 7 months ago +3

      we actually do have some raw nature :P u just need to look for it. :) no real mountains thats for sure and sad :P

    • Mathijn vd H
      Mathijn vd H 7 months ago

      haha pas op dat is een gevaarlijk standpunt in deze tijd maar een waar ik me in kan vinden. *( eng: take care, thats a dangerous pov the days, that said it is one i mostly agree with)

    • Star Light
      Star Light 7 months ago

      @David Wen That's correct you can't have it all. And also this: Everything in life comes with a price.

    • Frank Heuvelman
      Frank Heuvelman 7 months ago +4

      We got Germany to discover nature.

  • Jet Dooley
    Jet Dooley Month ago +3

    To add to your point on Travel, Amsterdam Schipol International Airport is a very nice airport and is quite easy to navigate too. The signs are easy to follow and clear too. My mother and I love traveling through Schipol when we are flying to and from Finland and Florida!

  • Ant T
    Ant T 4 months ago +5

    This is such a good video, Well done David! I too have been in The Netherlands for just over 4 years and I couldn't agree more with your summary. I just wish I had spent more time getting to know some other internationals like yourself to share the experience with. Shout out to The Hague too (my home), what a great city!

    • David Wen
      David Wen  3 months ago

      Thanks for the kind words! I'm loving The Hague more and more now =)

  • Rebecca
    Rebecca Month ago +3

    Thank you for making me appreciate my country a bit more :) The Dutch complain ALOT, which is exhausting, but we have a pretty epic life and place to live :)

  • sarcartist
    sarcartist 3 months ago +5

    I grew up right on the Maastricht/Belgium border. It's a fantastic area. Wish the US would be a lot more like that, I hate having to have multiple cars, drive everywhere, kids have little to no autonomy here either.

    • David Wen
      David Wen  3 months ago +1

      Ah I miss Maastricht in many ways =) I just came back from the US and had to drive everywhere.

  • LesAnimaux
    LesAnimaux 4 months ago +6

    I know we are often perceived as super rude in other cultures - directness is one of the things I appreciate most about Dutch people. I associate it with honesty and efficiency - you wanna hang out? No? All right!

    • David Wen
      David Wen  3 months ago

      Thanks. Yeah directness = being honest

  • Matt from Florida
    Matt from Florida Month ago

    When I was there on business we were so stressed over being an hour late to our first meeting with a client. Our rep in The Netherlands just said, _"You think they're gonna start the meeting without us?"_ He then stopped at a store and bought us liquor-filled chocolates that gave us a "buzz" just as we arrived!

  • CallousCoder
    CallousCoder 4 months ago +5

    He has a Brood on the wall!!! Back in the early 90s we used to open for Herman Brood and the Wild Romance for a festival tour.
    He was a true tormented spirit, and withdrawn but when he went on stage or was wielding his rattle cans, he became a totally different person. Almost happy and very friendly (although most times we could not understand what he mumbled).

  • Joran van Olphen
    Joran van Olphen 5 months ago +17

    I always love the fact that our dedication to the bike gets overlooked and under appreciated. We are such a fan of bikers that every town, every city every house can be reached by bike. You can travel from north to south with the bike. They are even making bike HIGHWAYS.

    • David Wen
      David Wen  5 months ago

      Bike highways??!

    • Joran van Olphen
      Joran van Olphen 5 months ago +1

      @David Wen yeah its like a long (mostly straight) oath that goes directly from a city to an other passing through/by different town. They are called “fiets snelwegen” in dutch

    • Peter Franz
      Peter Franz 4 months ago

      Honestly, it's one of the things that stands out most to me. Dutch cycling culture is being actively studied and attempts to copy it are happening all around the world. Slowly, admittedly. Countries are slow to realized they need a mobility revolution similar to what Holland went trough in the 70's.

  • D A.F
    D A.F Month ago +2

    Hi David, I have lived in the Netherlands and definitely I loved this country. You have mentioned about not being happy getting a 7/10 while Dutch kids were happy with a 6. Well as you have noticed in there many people speak more than on language and it is easy to find a kid speaking English German and Dutch. What I actually want to say is that learning in Europe is much more effective than in the US, I haven't personally studied in the US, but many friends that went to the US and back home they were below the average, and in the US they were above the average, and this is something that all of them told me is that the things they were learning in the US, they had already learned that 2 - 3 years before back in Europe.

    • David Wen
      David Wen  Month ago +1

      Thanks for sharing! I've always found (most) Europeans to be very educated. I think one reason is in the US, we learn to pass the exam vs. learning to learn (if that makes sense). The focus is on the grades. To get into a good school. The pressure takes away from the learning.

  • Jos van Zetten
    Jos van Zetten 7 months ago +30

    You are very positive about my country, and I recognise what you said, almost 🙂
    The positivity about the public transport in the Netherlands I hear a lot from foreigners.
    But the Dutch people are complaining about the public transport every day, we, the Dutch are spoiled 🙂

    • Sjeluc Ten
      Sjeluc Ten 7 months ago +1

      waar ! maar laat Mark Rutte niet alles veranderen.

    • David Wen
      David Wen  7 months ago +2

      Haha thanks for sharing Jos. I mean…compared to many places in the world, the public transport here is world class :)

    • Leendert
      Leendert 5 months ago +5

      Complaining is the Dutch way to start the process for improving on things. If other countries are doing it worse that is no reason to not improve yourself.

    • Frank Heuvelman
      Frank Heuvelman 5 months ago +1

      Nederlanders kunnen alleen maar gelukkig zijn als ze wat te zeiken hebben.

  • Giovanni - Boss of Team Rocket

    I love the Netherlands too! (I’m from the U.K.!)😊 I’ve been coming to the country many times in a year since 2010. Made many friends and how wonderful and friendly the Dutch people are! I love how the road and cycle system works and other transportation as a whole! Also I love Dutch snacks like Stroopwafels! Also I LOVE all kinds of Dutch cheese! Mmmmm yummy 😋 Since Lockdown I’ve been learning Dutch and I’m at a A2 level at the moment! :) (I want to be fluent as much as I can, possibly up to B2) I’m planning to move to the Netherlands in the near future for better job prospects in my field of work (IT). Thank you for a fantastic video! :)

    • David Wen
      David Wen  4 months ago +1

      Thanks Giovanni! Cheese is great indeed. Best of luck!

    • Dutchman 2002
      Dutchman 2002 3 months ago +1

      awesome, good luck to your learning!

  • Stefan Dingenouts
    Stefan Dingenouts 7 months ago +14

    Doe normaal isn't about conforming as much as it's about not being annoying. No one cares if you're a flaming gay for example, just don't be obnoxiously loud in my face about it. You can be different and unique as much as you want, you can be the biggest over achiever, and likely people will actually respect you for it. As long as you treat others normally. No diva bs here.

    • David Wen
      David Wen  7 months ago +2

      No bs. And treating people normally…that’s what I like and respect

  • Positive 84
    Positive 84 6 months ago +6

    I always get so happy when i see expats in the Netherlands talk about Netherlands. Its my go to place in times where media is very much complaining about everything. I used to travel a lot and i lived in the usa, Canada, australia and India and im just so happy that i can call the Netherlands my home. Because we sometimes forget how good we have it here. So thank you for your positive view!

  • Demoulius
    Demoulius Month ago +1

    Interesting video. Id like to add some things as a native Dutchie :)
    03:06 we do have one liners for the first 3. For the first 2 you could just say 'Oh, pardon.' or 'sorry, mijn fout' for example if you bump into someone. But the latter ones are generally said in the same manner as the english line is. But in Dutch, obviously.
    03:30 this does differ from person to person. And while we as a people do put alot of worth into beeing straight forward and honest. that doesent excuse people if they use it specificly to be rude. Specially not in a profesional setting. Beeing to straight forward or voicing an opinion to a superior in a job setting can get you into trouble (depending on the company and the superior in question) and we also have a counter saying to beeing to straight forward/negative. 'als je niets positiefs te zeggen hebt, zeg dan niets' which translates to 'if you got nothing positive to add, then please say nothing at all' but its a rather informal saying that youre more likely to hear it from mothers who quip it at nagging children then hear it in a profesional setting.
    04:50 work/life balance is GENERALLY oke in this country but it can differ greatly from job to job. Some jobs, specially in the Rotterdam harbour have 3 staged shifts for example. In these you work a few days in the morning shift, then the afternoon shift followed by a night shifft and then followed by a few days of rest. However when you have one of these jobs your social life is basicly tossed out the window and you are expected to adjust your life rhytm to your job. You also get paid more for it then a normal job, obviously; but those jobs in particular have a horrendous work/life balance and theyre very common where I live (Rotterdam). Ive also worked jobs in logistics where working overtime was a rule, not an exception. But again its paid overtime and you will be told upfront about it so you know what you sign up for. Note that both these lines of work are very related to Rotterdam though. Its a very big port and the day/life balance here is abit different.
    However most office or retail jobs tend to have fixed hours and generally speaking little to no overtime whatsoever.
    06:42 can sadly add to the burnout story as well as ive burned out about 5 years ago. Yes we are cared for. Im still cared for after the 2 years expred and im receiving WW. Sort of tax funded sick leave I guess you could call it. But its not like burn out is rare here or doesent happen. Its happening at (sadly) an increasing rate as time goes on. And while there isent a stigma on burnout, most people dont understand burnout either. You get a little bit of sick and tired of hearing 'oh cant you just take a nap and be better?' after a few times....
    13:33 we do have neighboorhoods that are abit more unsafe then others. But you are very unlikely to be shot or stabbed or something like that. Weapons arent as common here as some countries. However the crime rates are abit.... Misleading. Some crimes you can almost not report. Like stolen bikes or cars. The police generally shrug and tell you they cant help you with that. And thus are also not reported in the statistics. I mean yeah its petty crime but its not like nothing happens here. I dont know a single fellow Dutchie who hasent had at least a few bikes stolen for example. Can appreciate that for some countries only having that happen to you is a godsend but it gets pretty annoying pretty fast...
    Cheers for the video. We Dutch sometimes forget how lucky we are with our country and our society and it helps to have the good things pointed out to :)

    • David Wen
      David Wen  Month ago

      Thanks for sharing and for adding all of that! Learned something new :)

  • Aloha 808
    Aloha 808 Month ago +1

    Thank you for your perspective. I guess I could say the same for Hawaii in many aspects, too. We aren't perfect, but when visitors come here, they remind us that there are a lot of good things about where we live. I certainly don't think we are as lucky as you, but I'm pretty sure you wouldn't turn down a chance to visit the islands. Aloha!

    • David Wen
      David Wen  Month ago

      Thanks for sharing. I haven’t been to Hawaii yet (surprise!) but would love to visit one day :) I know it’s beautiful

  • Shehadeh Abulibdeh
    Shehadeh Abulibdeh Month ago +1

    Thank you for this David! Very helpful and from all the similar videos, I love your communication style and storytelling/ examples the most

    • David Wen
      David Wen  Month ago

      Thanks Shehadeh for the kind words! Glad you found them helpful

  • An Onymous
    An Onymous 4 months ago +5

    One thing that needs mentioning, is that "age" is not a thing here. You could be 70 years old, if you go to a club or a festival, nobody would even bat an eye. I'm nearly 60 myself and go to festivals regularly. I talk with young and old people alike and I don't even get remarks like "it so great that you still do this at your age" from the young people since it's such a non-issue!

    • David Wen
      David Wen  3 months ago +1

      That's great to hear. I love interacting and meeting people from all backgrounds and ages...there's a lot to learn =)

    SEULJI LEE Month ago +3

    I'm from Korea and I cannot agree with you more about directness and work-life balance! I am planning to move to the Netherlands now and those are the reasons why I want to move to NL!! Thank you so much for this video and your thoughts!

    • David Wen
      David Wen  8 days ago

      You're welcome Seulji! When do you plan to move? Good luck...I'm sure you'll have a great experienceand being in Europe!

  • Schatze Palen
    Schatze Palen 6 months ago +9

    Hi David, I'm an Asian American (from NJ/NYC) who moved to Amsterdam as well! For the most part, it has been tolerant and welcoming but I do experience people asking where I'm "REALLY" from or why I don't just say I'm from the Philippines (I usually say I'm Filipino but I'm from the US). Sometimes it's felt more isolating here. Have you ever encountered similar interactions or even less friendly ones?

    • David Wen
      David Wen  6 months ago +7

      Hi Schatze - nice to meet you! And so glad to get your comment. I was chatting with a few friends who grew up here as Asian Dutch...and they get the same too (I'll publish a video soon!). But I get you! I remember at the beginning, all the minorities I met here were introducing themselves as "Hey I'm David. I'm Moroccan, but I was born here." And I was just puzzled, so you are Dutch though? Even if they are born here, everyone introduces themselves as "I'm (ethnicity), but I was born here" to identify themselves. So I asked them, "Why?" They all said because they are never viewed as "Dutch Dutch," so they need to identify their ethnicity first. It's different compared to the US (East/West coast) where people are from everywhere and it's accepted, but I get it too. I used to travel to the rural Midwest a lot for work, and I had all the same questions too.
      I've gotten that here as well, "Where are you REALLY from?" For me, it depends on the context and how it is asked (the tone). If it comes from a place of curiosity, totally cool with it..and I've had some great conversations about "where we are really from." But yeah some people are just ignorant.
      Hope you are enjoying Amsterdam!

    • James Day
      James Day 5 months ago +2

      Ignorant= unknowing so that is why they are asking

    • DeusExMakina
      DeusExMakina 5 months ago

      What you might not understand as an American. But a country is where your ancestors are from. Is there a culture of bloodline. I can understand why you are having a difficult time understanding why do they see you as a Dutch person, and more of a country hopper, and im not saying thats a bad thing because i come from a immigrating family in the Netherlands. I can see what the difference is being of of Dutch decent and coming from a migrating mindset.

    • MrTubularBalls
      MrTubularBalls 5 months ago +1

      @David Wen This goes for the rest of Europe as well. Just having a piece of paper doesn't give you an ethnicity. I guess with some effort I could become a finnish citizen, but I'll never be finnish, even if I become fluent in the language. This is true for most of the world, I'll never be chinese or zimbabwean either.
      Also, some immigrant communities are very conservative, so they reject liberal values of their host country and pass the culture of their old country on to their children. Thus even the 3rd generation doesn't consider themselves dutch. Don't forget that such countries may have a "long arm policy", refuse de-naturalization, and exert some control over their citizens abroad.

    • Schatze Emilien
      Schatze Emilien 5 months ago

      @David Wen Thank you so much David! This is super insightful. I've learned that people that were raised in melting pot countries like the US and Brazil understand the difference between ethnicity/race and nationality. But in others, they're one and the same.

  • Gijsbert Schippers
    Gijsbert Schippers Month ago +1

    The brood Painting in the background was painted by the late Herman Brood, who origines from my hometown Zwolle. And in Zwolle we have church converted into a beautiful bookstore. Just a fun fact 😆

  • BB BB
    BB BB Month ago

    I will say that a good portion of Netherlands citizens do speak English but if you are in the countryside and catch and older person they may not know English. Most of the young crowd will know English and are very helpful. Actually I will be back in Amsterdam in a few weeks!

  • Marianne Bhatia
    Marianne Bhatia 3 months ago +2

    Thank you for the positiv outlook. Also came to Germany. We are also a great country with friend,y people. Take care. Greetings from Germany

  • kevin ghislain
    kevin ghislain Month ago +1

    Thanks, you explain doe normaal very well. It's nice to have this explained in a different way.

    JTP CORE 4 months ago +1

    As a Dutch person, it really feels great to hear the good things you have to say. But also we have to improve as a country. altho we embrase people we also dont have to forget who we are, and where we came from. Hardworking individuals who are trying there best to make a living. To keep things afloat we must keep working hard. Regardless of what other countries make of us. arrogant, cheap whatever... we are small but just look what we accomplished... Sorry for my bad language... i feel if we cooperate wevan accomplisch great things. Stop the War. Heal the ill, end hunger. Those should be our goals.

    • David Wen
      David Wen  4 months ago

      Thanks for sharing. Wise words. Let’s hope for it!

  • Ryan
    Ryan 6 months ago +9

    Maastricht is incredibly nice, I live a few km away on the Belgian side of the border and the contrast is crazy when I go to Maastricht, everything is nicer. I visited other large dutch cities but none got that little "town" vibe like maastricht does.

    • David Wen
      David Wen  6 months ago +1

      Oh I miss Maastricht! I was there for a day a few weeks ago, and it brought back so many good memories. I used to cycle into Belgium a lot too and into the countryside...it was so peaceful.

    • dominique76
      dominique76 5 months ago

      Nice to hear Ryan!

    • Jay Simoes
      Jay Simoes Month ago

      Hmmm...Haarlem, Leiden, Middelburg. The last town was mentioned in some Swiss paper as the better "Amsterdam" and has that vide too. Pesonally I love Haarlem and Leiden a lot and Utrecjt comes to mind but is a bit bigger than the others.

  • Cookie Monster
    Cookie Monster 4 months ago +2

    I totally agree with you! I love living in NL too❣️ I really miss real Japanese food but other than food it’s so much better than living in Japan.

    • David Wen
      David Wen  4 months ago

      Thanks! Oh yeah compared to Eastern cultures, it is very different! What do you like the most in NL?

  • Fallenangel69_69
    Fallenangel69_69 2 months ago +1

    You're making me want to move there so badly it's gorgeous

  • Ralph Maas
    Ralph Maas Month ago +1

    Thank you for describing and experiencing our country in this way.

  • Joey Koch
    Joey Koch Month ago +1

    I think you find happiness with others by finding similarities and you find happiness with yourself in what makes you different.
    So in order to create the most opportunity for happiness you need to switch up the perspectives on the two.

  • Eener1000
    Eener1000 Month ago

    Dutch "rude" directness is never meant as a personal attack. It is simply the quickest way for someone to realize what and where a problem is without being vague and beating around the bush. It is about giving someone who makes mistakes the clearest info and best chance to take control of a problem themselves and offer them a chance to improve without sinking further.

  • Sander Fitzwilliam
    Sander Fitzwilliam 7 months ago +16

    When you turn it around, the "not being direct" can be very annoying for Dutch people in return. We got some friends from the UK and they are just so polite that its quite hard for us to understand what they really think. You kinda have to make that up from like non-verbal signs or gestures, things like that. For example, if you ask a Dutch person: Do you feel like having that for dinner or would you like to go there, stuff like that, you expect a simple yes or no in return. With my English friends you really have to listen and pay attention to how they say yes. If its like a "yeah sounds great" its a yes, but if its a "hmmm well, yeah..." thing it probably means no? Ill be like... cmon, I just asked for your opinion so no need to be shy about just giving it?

    • David Wen
      David Wen  7 months ago +5

      Thanks for sharing Sander. Yeah communication isn’t easy right?? Yet probably one of the biggest challenges we humans face 😂 and usually the solution to many things…is learning how to effectively communicate

    • Sjeluc Ten
      Sjeluc Ten 7 months ago +5

      My daughter is Dutch-educated, her husband and children are English and my daughter can't stand their too-polite, but unclear answers. " I'm fine" when asked whether they want to have this or that. The Dutch people are direct, ja graag ! or Nee, dank je wel. They sound rude, but it saves a lot of time and we don't have to guess the answers.

    • Jara Simonson
      Jara Simonson 7 months ago +3

      I totally relate haha omg.. when asking a friend from London if he'd like some more food he'd say: no thank you, I am fine. I knew he wanted more! So I said I know you are fine but would you feel even better with more? All the time the same.. haha pretty tiring. He couldn't change it at all, so embedded in his national identity! (Or something like that :)

    • Greg Hiller
      Greg Hiller 7 months ago +3

      This is absolutely true, and speaking from long experience of being an Englishman here in the Netherlands, this is so much part of our culture that it seems impossible to change; however much we might like to, or try hard to.

    • Greg Hiller
      Greg Hiller 7 months ago +3

      I feel that I have to add here, that Chinese people, and ethnic Chinese people from S.E. Asia, have this same aspect to their culture.

  • pearlswirl
    pearlswirl 2 months ago +2

    Thank you for this ❤🎉 you’re a gem!
    10:00 idk why but I’m crying after you explained the different parts.. i can’t wait to leave 🇺🇸

    • David Wen
      David Wen  2 months ago +1

      Thanks =) Where are you planning to go?

    • pearlswirl
      pearlswirl 2 months ago

      @David Wen you're welcome! London first then Croatia hopefully😊

  • wowowow
    wowowow 4 months ago +1

    once i started getting actual english classes at school, all the kids already spoke okay english. we actually expected other classmates to be able to hold long conversations in english. and the kids that didnt speak english, were kind of looked down upon (mean, i know). its mainly because of english entertainment on tv and media. i personally grew up watching english tv shows with subtitles. then eventually i completely skipped the subtitle part and knew a decent amount of english. thats the case for most kids here. and the kids who dont speak english well, are mostly brats because dutch youtubers suck... its true.

  • Ian N49
    Ian N49 Month ago +1

    Very well received. Was amazed how well you expressed both sides , and kept a fair comparison.

  • Claude
    Claude 7 months ago +8

    And Japan wins the "Let's not say that" competition again!
    I'm learning Japanese and it's very true. You have to learn at least three levels of polite speech, which is usually a completely different vocabulary, and when, where and how to use them.
    And how to say things without saying them.
    I think I might try to pick up a little Dutch next. It sounds interesting.

    • David Wen
      David Wen  7 months ago +3

      Haha thanks Claude. There's this book called "The Culture Map" which is all about cultural differences. You may like it.

    • Claude
      Claude 7 months ago

      @David Wen
      Thanks. I found it on Amazon and it does look interesting.

    • Gijzzz Farbridge
      Gijzzz Farbridge 5 months ago +2

      And a Funny fact is that the Dutch were the only European country that was allowed to trade with Japan in 1600s. Due to their directness and the fact that they came to trade without always wanting others to force to their beliefs like other countries did. The Dutch and Japan go way back more than 4 centuries.

  • João Marino
    João Marino 11 days ago +1

    As portuguese, i can say that i loved Netherlands. I worked and lived in Utrecht and Egmond-Binnen (near Amsterdam). It was in 2004, first i arrived there. For me, the best country in europe at least, and i also lived in france and belgium. I met people from many places. Netherlands is a beautifull country and very organized. I can say so mutch but i will say, Dutch people are the best people i met as persons. Netherlands is an exemple in the world.

    • David Wen
      David Wen  9 days ago +1

      Thanks João, I can relate. I just published a video about working in the Netherlands...would love to hear your thoughts if you have time time! clip-share.net/video/fw0gJgMhaqo/video.html

    • João Marino
      João Marino 9 days ago

      @David Wen of course, i will see and i'll leave feedback as well.

  • Mister Ivo
    Mister Ivo 3 months ago +3

    as a Dutchman this makes me proud! I like how you made this vid! thanks man :)

  • St Ner Abmot
    St Ner Abmot 6 months ago +7

    Hi David - thanks for your videos of the Nehterlands. I like them AND they were eyeopening to me.
    I'm actually dutch, living for 53 years in Germany now, never understood why my parents came from Rotterdam to Nordrheinwestfalen - these people here are so stubborn in many ways - well, especially in my town. Why I'm telling this: I'm still struggeling with the german culture of living, living with each other, talking to each other and never understood, why german people often were/are offended with my kind of direct speaking to them. Or I ask them "can you come to the point". "...,please."
    Well, now I know ... My dutch mentality is really different and I can't change my behavior. Also the efficiency of working, you're talking about.
    When I visit siblings of my mother and their children in the Netherlands it's the only time I really feel at home. And even if I'm 55 years old now after seeing your videos I'll consider going back to the Netherlands. I'm divorced and my children are grown up. I want to be myself and live like that.

    • David Wen
      David Wen  6 months ago

      Thanks so much for your sharing, it made my Sunday =) I have so many questions...but it's so interesting to hear how our cultures (and how we were raised) sticks with us for life-even after 50 years. From talking to people and doing research, I've learned how much our cultures/our parents/our childhoods influence us even as adults.
      After being in Germany for 50+ years...do you consider yourself more German or Dutch? Or both?
      I think that's so important...to be with people where you feel most "at home." I hope you can find it =)

    • MrTubularBalls
      MrTubularBalls 5 months ago +1

      You may be interested to hear that within the Netherlands, people from Rotterdam are considered to be the most blunt. They really don't beat about the bush, and they're short on patience too!

  • Mag Low
    Mag Low 7 months ago +11

    Hi David! Amsterdam sounds like a great place to live, work and play. Having gym classes in a church got me tickled - interesting to see how they maximize space. In Singapore, we are land-scarce and not much variety in weather as it is either sunny or rainy. People here do take all their annual leave (avg 4 to 5 weeks) to see the world. It is also quite competitive here and it’s nice to see a country like Netherlands offering a slower pace of living.

    • David Wen
      David Wen  7 months ago +2

      Hi Mag! Thanks for sharing again :) Oh yeah Singapore and the Netherlands…I do see the similarities if you are even able to compare East v West. Yeah pace of life here is definitely slower than Asia!

    • Joost Prins
      Joost Prins 7 months ago +5

      Amsterdam is not the Netherlands, be aware of that. The rest of the Netherlands we accept its there, but it stops there.

    • lars meijerink
      lars meijerink 6 months ago

      Didn't you listen? He wasn't talking about Amsterdam, but the netherlands. That church is in Maastricht, 2 hours by car from Amsterdam. Amsterdam is a extremely small part of the netherlands. The most nice places are far from Amsterdam. Ppl are that stupid to think they know the netherlands when they have only been in Amsterdam, its just a tourist place that has not much to do with the real NL

  • ilse
    ilse 5 months ago +1

    You can be a CEO..or a garbage collector...you do an honest days work?? You are both important..and both deserve respect!!
    The balans between family life and work is important to us!! We work to live ...not live to work!!
    No metal detectors at our schools!! No drills...for shool shooting incidents!! Parents..not having to worry about their child safetly at shool!!Children from a certain age.. can go to shool alone walking..or on a bike!! The young ones will be taken by a parent...no shool bus!!! Also playing outside alone without a parent supervision is possible from a certain age!! Mostly in groups.. depending on the age..
    If i have a problem..or something is bothering me about someone...i will let them know...not to be rude..to me that is the highest form of respect..then we can talk about it..straighten things out...if i do something that upsets you?? Talk to me..let me know!!
    no fake smiles ..how ya doing.( when i really don't want to know) i ask.. because i care...not to be polite!!
    To me loyalty is important..but it will always come second to integrity..i can love and respect you..but do not expect me to defent you when you are in the wrong just because we are friends..how will you learn anything if i would!!
    I will never hold back on calling you out on bullshit...not afraid on loosing a friendship..because if the friendship can't hold up....due to me.being honest to a friend..i have to evaluate if that frienship has any value!! I do not tell you..what you want to hear...but what you NEED to hear!!
    I know...that is just me..but i think..many of these things will apply on many dutch people aswell!! Know your worth...but a little modesty never hurts anyone!!
    Ohh and don't go all "eddy murphy" on me..... because i i might be tempted to ask you for your number( in case my granddaughter has a birthdayparty and i need a clown!!) Yep..big red nose..some flappy shoes..and you will do just fine!! Act normal..that is crazy enough!!

  • Geennaam
    Geennaam 6 months ago +3

    Even though we have bad weather most of the time, the seasons really are different from eachother and you can really notice if its like autumn or spring

    • David Wen
      David Wen  6 months ago

      I do enjoy the seasons. I can now truly appreciate nice weather :)

  • andy krishnaputra
    andy krishnaputra Month ago

    Hi Dave, watched a couple of your videos . They are great, clean and informative ! I am Indonesian but did my master and worked in Holland for 4 years. And due to the Dutch occupation in Indonesia for 3.5 centuries, my grandma, my mom they all speak Dutch and thus my love for the language. Now my daughter will study in Holland as well in September....
    Btw I studied in Toronto for 4 years and I can relate to both of your North American perspective and the Dutch ones as well. Goed gedaan hoor ! Cheers, Andy

    • David Wen
      David Wen  8 days ago

      Thanks Andy! Glad you could relate. I also have some Indonesion roots too. Good luck to your daughter...I'm sure she will enjoy it

    • andy krishnaputra
      andy krishnaputra 8 days ago

      @David Wen What's the story with the root ? 😀

  • Lynott Parris
    Lynott Parris 8 months ago +14

    Let's not forget about directness that the multi layered read between the lines communication requires training and exercise, starting from a young age, and therefore functions as a form of class distinction. It allows people to identify another as 'not one of us' by spotting the errors and faux pas. So the directness is in fact inclusive allthough foreigners might not experience it that way immediately.
    The 6 culture in education is not free from criticism, but the idea behind it is that the bar is set quite high but a level you can manage, and you don't have to show off by going much higher because the education system is about your development rather than showing you are smarter than others. The US system is based on finding the best students, see who comes out on top in a highly competitive environment, it's demand driven. The Dutch system is supply driven, we have all these kids, they can't all be the best so let's develop them well so they will be able to clear this bar. It's more about developping talents, also the modest ones, than showing and measuring it.

    • dutchladylover
      dutchladylover 7 months ago

      Well said! 👍

    • David Wen
      David Wen  7 months ago

      Thanks for sharing! Very insightful

    • smurfiennes blue
      smurfiennes blue 7 months ago +1

      Exactly! If everyone wanted their kids to become doctors, who would repair their broken pipes if there were no plumbers?

    • Arcilla Steehouwer
      Arcilla Steehouwer 7 months ago

      @Lynott: Don't become paranoid about our directness. It's pretty bit farfetched imo how you see and obviously feel it....

    • Lynott Parris
      Lynott Parris 7 months ago

      @Arcilla Steehouwer No, I think it's from a tradition of equality and egalitarianism. In countries like the UK and France speech becomes more polite and complicated the higher the class. So it's more difficult to get in as someone from humble beginnings, or as a foreigner.

  • Kaybe
    Kaybe 2 months ago +1

    Good to see you have been enjoying a lot of different parts of the Netherlands like Maastricht.

  • Neo I am
    Neo I am 2 months ago +4

    Direct but in a civilized manner! 👍🏻
    I’m member of the Worker Council of a company. We have meeting with the Management members board every two months. Communication is on the same level likes close friends together. 😊
    I think A good Government is the key!
    With good regulations with Unions & workers council for companies.

    • David Wen
      David Wen  2 months ago +1

      Thanks! I’ve been working on a video about Dutch Directness…would love to hear your thoughts soon!

  • NinjaEagle [Devil's Taxi Driver]

    As someone who hasn't been outside the US, I agree, lol. When I save enough money, I dream of moving to the Netherlands.

    • David Wen
      David Wen  4 months ago

      Hopefully one day, best of luck to you!

  • Shadow
    Shadow 7 months ago +8

    As a dutch person I completely agree, hope you'll stay here for much longer !

    • David Wen
      David Wen  7 months ago

      Thanks...me too! Let's see where life takes us...

  • Sevn6 Two.mmeter.
    Sevn6 Two.mmeter. 2 months ago +1

    David appreciate your video it puts things back in perspective us as Dutch people how blessed we actually are living here. Maybe you could come visit Eindhoven some time? I would love to show you around in what we call ‘’the lightcity’’ and where they manufacture the chips for the whole world at ASML, maybe one of the most important companies in the world. So hit me up brother and maybe I’ll zie you soon 😉

  • costernocht
    costernocht 3 months ago +3

    I visited the Netherlands in 1969, when I was ten, and never stopped loving it, despite never having returned. I'm so grateful for your channel, David.

    • David Wen
      David Wen  3 months ago

      Thanks for the kind words. Would you ever consider returning for a visit?

    • costernocht
      costernocht 3 months ago +1

      @David Wen Indeed I would. It feels like a matter of 'unfinished business'.

  • Jannette Berends
    Jannette Berends Month ago

    I also studied in Maastricht, and worked some time as docent. In Maastricht it always feels a bit you’re on holiday I think. And they have the best carnaval.
    An interesting thing is that in Sweden they also have something like ‘doe normal’, I heard a Swedish actress telling that.
    Not long after that I heard a story about a group of hunter/gatherers that was very egalitarian. The researcher gave as example that when a boy had performed well at the hunt, the elder people in the group start talking to him that he was nothing special, that it was just luck, and so on.
    And I thought by myself: that’s our and the Swedish ‘doe normal’. Don’t ever, never think that you are better than the others just because you achieved something.
    Apparently it’s the motto of the egalitarian society. Interesting isn’t it.

    • Jay Simoes
      Jay Simoes Month ago

      Being down to Earth and not bragging is basically something seen al over Europe. Other things mentioned here like a lack of hierarchy is typical for The NEtherlands, Denmark (these two are also very direct) and Sweden and NOrway. In Belgium and Germany for instance, we see a much stronger hierarchy and less directness. It is a Scandinavian thing basically.

    • David Wen
      David Wen  8 days ago

      Oh interesting, didn't know this about the Swedish 'doe normaal.' Thanks Jannette. Haha yeah, I was just talking to a friend about Maastricht. I miss it.

  • Carlos314
    Carlos314 4 months ago +1

    Very nice subject. Cross outlook between cultures is a big part in the marvel of living ! ❤