Country Index: Holland

Country Index: Holland

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Wars and Treaties

Aix-la-Chapelle, Treaty of (2 May 1668)
Anglo-Dutch War, First (1652-1654)
Anglo-Dutch War, Second (1665-1667)
Anglo-Dutch War, Third (1672-1674)
Arnhem, attack on
Compiegne, treaty of, 10 June 1624
Devolution, War of (1667-68)
Downs, battle of the
First Coalition, War of the (1793-97)
First World War, 1914-1918
Napoleonic Wars (1799-1815)
NFR 90
Northern War, First (or Second), 1655-60
Scanian War, 1675-79
Second World War (1939-1945)
Thirty Years War (1618-48)
Westphalia, Peace of, 24 October 1648


Antwerp and Scheldt Estuary, battle for, 4 September-8 November 1944
Arnhem, battle of 17 - 27 1944
Bergen, battle of, 2/12 August 1665
Boxtel, battle of, 14-15 September 1794
Bresken Pocket, battle of, or Operation Switchback, 6 October-3 November, 1944
Charleroi, sieges of, 30 May-25 June 1794
Downs, battle of the (Naval battle), 21 October 1639
Dungeness, battle of, 30 November 1652
Elba, battle of, 28 August 1652
Fleurus, battle of, 29 August 1622
Fleurus, battle of, 26 June 1794
Fontenoy, 11 May 1745 (Belgium)
Four Days' Battle, 1-4 June 1666
Gabbard, the/ Nieuwpoort, battle of, 2-3 June 1653
Goodwin Sands, battle of, 19 May 1652
'Holmes's Bonfire', 10 August 1666
Infatuate, Operation/ Battle of Walcheran, 1-8 November 1944
Kentish Knock, battle of, 28 September 1652
Kijkduin, battle of the, 11/ 21 August 1673 (or Texel)
Laeffelt, battle of, 2 July 1747
Landguard Fort, attack on, 2 July 1667
Landrecies, siege of, 17-30 April 1794
Leghorn, battle of, 4 March 1653
Lowestoft, battle of, 3 June 1665 (O.S.)
Maastricht, siege of, 23 February-3 March 1793
Maastricht, siege of, 19 September-4 November 1794
Market Garden, Operation September 17 - 27 1944
Maubeuge, siege, mid-September-17 October 1793
Medway, Dutch raid on, 19-24 June 1667
Menin, battle of, 13 September 1793
Nevis, battle of, 19 or 20 May 1667
Oudenaarde, battle of, 11 July 1708 (Belgium)
Plymouth, action off, 16 August 1652
Portland, battle of, 18-20 February 1653
Ramillies, battle of, 23 May 1706
St. James's Day Battle (or North Foreland or Two Day's Battle), 25-26 July/ 4-5 August 1666
Scheveningen, battle of, 31 July 1653
Schooneveld, first battle of the, 28 May/ 7 June 1673
Schooneveld, second battle of the, 4/14 June 1673
Sluys or L'Ecluse, siege of, 28 July-25 August 1794
Solebay, battle of, 7 June 1672
South Beveland, battle of/ Operation Vitality, 16 October-1 November 1944
Switchback, Operation, or the battle of the Breskens Pocket, 6 October-3 November, 1944
Texel, battle of, 11/ 21 August 1673 (or Kijkduin)
Vitality, Operation/ Battle of South Beveland, 16 October-1 November 1944
Walcheran, battle of/ Operation Infatuate , 1-8 November 1944
Wattignies, battle of, 15-16 October 1793


Weapons, Armies & Units

Curtiss-Wright CW-21 Demon
Curtiss-Wright CW-22/ Curtiss SNC Falcon
Fokker T.VIII-W
Hawker Hunter F.Mark 4
Hawker Hunter F.Mark 6
Hawker Sea Hawk
NFR90 Frigate


FREE Dutch Genealogy Searches

There are many free records online for Dutch genealogy research to trace your Netherlands ancestors.

Dutch Genealogy Research

Netherlands Birth, Marriage, and Death

Dutch Genealogy Databases

Dutch Archives

Church registers to 1811: Baptism, Marriage, and Burial
Registry Office beginning 1812: Birth, Marriage, Divorce, Death
Years Available: 1575 to 1953

  • 't Woudt
  • Abtsregt
  • Akkersdijk en Vrouwenregt
  • Biesland
  • Delft
  • Groeneveld
  • Hodenpijl
  • Hof van Delft
  • Hoog en Woud Harnasch
  • Hoogeveen
  • Maasland
  • Nieuweveen
  • Nootdorp
  • Pijnacker
  • Rijswijk
  • Ruiven
  • Schipluiden
  • Sint Maartensregt
  • Vrijenban

Church Registers to 1811
Registry Office starting 1811: Birth, Marriage, Divorce, Death Years: 1575 - 1952

  • Aalst
  • Aarle-Rixtel
  • Asten
  • Beek en Donk
  • Bergeijk
  • Best
  • Blaarthem
  • Bladel
  • Borkel
  • Borkel en Schaft
  • Breugel
  • Budel
  • Casteren
  • Deurne
  • Dommelen
  • Duizel
  • Duizel en Steensel
  • Eckart
  • Eersel
  • Eindhoven
  • Gastel
  • Geldrop
  • Gerwen
  • Gestel
  • Hapert
  • Heeze
  • Helmond
  • Hooge en Lage Mierde
  • Hoogeloon
  • Hoogemierde
  • Hulsel
  • Knegsel
  • Lage Mierde
  • Leende
  • Lierop
  • Lieshout
  • Luyksgestel
  • Maarheeze
  • Meerveldhoven
  • Middelbeers
  • Mierlo
  • Nederwetten
  • Nederwetten en Eckart
  • Netersel
  • Nuenen
  • Oerle
  • Oirschot
  • Oost-, West- en Middelbeers
  • Oostelbeers
  • Reusel
  • Riethoven
  • Schaft
  • Soerendonk
  • Someren
  • Son
  • Son en Breugel
  • Steensel
  • Sterksel
  • Stiphout
  • Stratum
  • Strijp
  • Tongelre
  • Valkenswaard
  • Veldhoven
  • Vessem
  • Vlierden
  • Waalre
  • Westelbeers
  • Westerhoven
  • Wintelre
  • Woensel
  • Zeelst
  • Zesgehuchten

Church Registers to 1811
Registry Office starting 1811: Birth, Marriage, Divorce, Death Years: 1575 - 1952

About Us

Founded in 1929 in Holland, Mich., Holland has long been recognized for delivering the most next-day service lanes in its territory and annually records one of the lowest claim ratios in the industry. Originally committed to serving the central United States, Holland has expanded farther into the Southeast and Midwest where it continues to provide on-time reliability. Its dedicated employees have earned the prestigious Quest for Quality award from Logistics Management magazine since the mid-1980s.


Holland provides full-state regional delivery in 12 states and 2 provinces: Illinois Indiana Iowa Kentucky Michigan Minnesota Missouri North Carolina Ohio South Carolina Tennessee Wisconsin Ontario and Quebec, Canada. We provide direct, regional delivery in large markets in 9 states: Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Kansas, Nebraska, New York, Pennsylvania, South Dakota and West Virginia. Holland also provides service to additional points in the Northeastern United States through a partnership with its sister company New Penn and to additional points in the Western United States through a partnership with its sister company Reddaway.


The classic economic model describing Dutch disease was developed by the economists W. Max Corden and J. Peter Neary in 1982. In the model, there is a non-tradable sector (which includes services) and two tradable sectors: the booming sector, and the lagging (or non-booming) tradable sector. The booming sector is usually the extraction of natural resources such as oil, natural gas, gold, copper, diamonds or bauxite, or the production of crops, such as coffee or cocoa. The lagging sector is usually manufacturing or agriculture.

A resource boom affects this economy in two ways:

  1. In the "resource movement effect", the resource boom increases demand for labor, which causes production to shift toward the booming sector, away from the lagging sector. This shift in labor from the lagging sector to the booming sector is called direct-deindustrialization. However, this effect can be negligible, since the hydrocarbon and mineral sectors tend to employ few people. [3]
  2. The "spending effect" occurs as a result of the extra revenue brought in by the resource boom. It increases demand for labor in the non-tradable sector (services), at the expense of the lagging sector. This shift from the lagging sector to the non-tradable sector is called indirect-deindustrialization. [3] The increased demand for non-traded goods increases their price. However, prices in the traded good sector are set internationally, so they cannot change. This amounts to an increase in the real exchange rate. [4]

Resource-based international trade Edit

In a model of international trade based on resource endowments as the Heckscher–Ohlin/Heckscher–Ohlin-Vanek, the Dutch disease can be explained by the Rybczynski Theorem.

Volatility Edit

Using data on 118 countries over the period 1970–2007, a study by economists at the University of Cambridge provides evidence that the Dutch disease does not operate in primary commodity-abundant countries. [ why? ] [5] They also show that it is the volatility in commodity prices, rather than abundance per se, that drives the resource curse paradox since the negative impact of commodity terms of trade volatility on GDP per capita is larger than the growth enhancing effects of commodity booms. A study of the resource-rich Australian and Norwegian economies has shown that a booming resource sector can have positive effects (or 'spillovers') on non-resource sectors, which have not been captured in previous analysis. Construction and services, and to a lesser extent manufacturing benefit from these spillovers. [6] [7]

Simple trade models suggest that a country should specialize in industries in which it has a comparative advantage so a country rich in some natural resources would be better off specializing in the extraction of those natural resources.

However, other theories suggest that this is detrimental, for example when the natural resources deplete. Also, prices may decrease and competitive manufacturing cannot return as quickly as it left. This may happen because technological growth is smaller in the booming sector and the non-tradable sector than the non-booming tradable sector. [8] Because that economy had smaller technological growth than did other countries, its comparative advantage in non-booming tradable goods will have shrunk, thus leading firms not to invest in the tradables sector. [9]

Also, volatility in the price of natural resources, and thus the real exchange rate, limits investment by private firms, because firms will not invest if they are not sure what the future economic conditions will be. [10] Commodity exports such as raw materials drive up the value of the currency. This is what leads to the lack of competition in the other sectors of the economy. The extraction of natural resources is also extremely capital intensive, resulting in few new jobs being created. [11]

There are two basic ways to reduce the threat of Dutch disease: slowing the appreciation of the real exchange rate, and boosting the competitiveness of the adversely affected sectors. One approach is to sterilize the boom revenues, that is, not to bring all the revenues into the country all at once, and to save some of the revenues abroad in special funds and bring them in slowly. In developing countries, this can be politically difficult as there is often pressure to spend the boom revenues immediately to alleviate poverty, but this ignores broader macroeconomic implications.

Sterilization will reduce the spending effect, alleviating some of the effects of inflation. Another benefit of letting the revenues into the country slowly is that it can give a country a stable revenue stream, giving more certainty to revenues from year to year. Also, by saving the boom revenues, a country is saving some of the revenues for future generations. Examples of these sovereign wealth funds include the Australian Government Future Fund, Iranian national development fund, the Government Pension Fund in Norway, the Stabilization Fund of the Russian Federation, the State Oil Fund of Azerbaijan, Alberta Heritage Savings Trust Fund of Alberta, Canada, and the Future Generations Fund of the State of Kuwait established in 1976. Recent [ when? ] talks led by the United Nations Development Programme in Cambodia – International Oil and Gas Conference on fueling poverty reduction – point out the need for better education of state officials and energy CaDREs (Capacity Needs Diagnostics for Renewable Energies) linked to a sovereign wealth fund to avoid the resource curse (Paradox of plenty). [12]

Another strategy for avoiding real exchange rate appreciation is to increase saving in the economy in order to reduce large capital inflows which may appreciate the real exchange rate. This can be done if the country runs a budget surplus. A country can encourage individuals and firms to save more by reducing income and profit taxes. By increasing saving, a country can reduce the need for loans to finance government deficits and foreign direct investment.

Investments in education and infrastructure can increase the competitiveness of the lagging manufacturing or agriculture sector. Another approach is government protectionism of the lagging sector, that is, increase in subsidies or tariffs. However, this could worsen the effects of Dutch disease, as large inflows of foreign capital are usually provided by the export sector and bought up by the import sector. Imposing tariffs on imported goods will artificially reduce that sector's demand for foreign currency, leading to further appreciation of the real exchange rate. [13]

It is usually difficult to be certain that a country has Dutch disease because it is difficult to prove the relationship between an increase in natural resource revenues, the real-exchange rate, and a decline in the lagging sector. An appreciation in the real exchange rate could be caused by other things such as productivity increases in the Balassa-Samuelson effect, changes in the terms of trade and large capital inflows. [14] Often these capital inflows are caused by foreign direct investment or to finance a country's debt. However, evidence does exist suggesting that unexpected and very large oil and gas discoveries do cause the appreciation of the real exchange rate and the decline of the lagging sector across affected countries on average. [15]

The Real Story Behind the 17th-Century ‘Tulip Mania’ Financial Crash

In 1636, according to an 1841 account by Scottish author Charles MacKay, the entirety of Dutch society went crazy over exotic tulips. As Mackay wrote in his wildly popular, Memoirs of Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds, as prices rose, people got swept up in a speculative fever, spending a year’s salary on rare bulbs in hopes of reselling them for a profit.

Mackay dubbed the phenomenon “The Tulipomania.”

𠇊 golden bait hung temptingly out before the people, and one after the other, they rushed to the tulip-marts, like flies around a honey-pot,” wrote Mackay. “Nobles, citizens, farmers, mechanics, sea-men, footmen, maid-servants, even chimney-sweeps and old clothes-women, dabbled in tulips.”

When the tulip bubble suddenly burst in 1637, Mackay claimed that it wreaked havoc on the Dutch economy.

Tulip price index from 1636-1637. The values of this index were compiled by Earl A. Thompson in Thompson, Earl (2007), "The Tulipmania: Fact or artifact?", Public Choice 130, 99� (2007).

“Many who, for a brief season, had emerged from the humbler walks of life, were cast back into their original obscurity,” wrote Mackay. “Substantial merchants were reduced almost to beggary, and many a representative of a noble line saw the fortunes of his house ruined beyond redemption.”

But according to historian Anne Goldgar, Mackay’s tales of huge fortunes lost and distraught people drowning themselves in canals are more fiction than fact. Goldgar, a professor of early modern history at King’s College London and author of Tulipmania: Money, Honor and Knowledge in the Dutch Golden Age, understands why Mackay’s myth-making has endured.

“It’s a great story and the reason why it’s a great story is that it makes people look stupid,” says Goldgar, who laments that even a serious economist like John Kenneth Galbraith parroted Mackay’s account in A Short History of Financial Euphoria. 𠇋ut the idea that tulip mania caused a big depression is completely untrue. As far as I can see, it caused no real effect on the economy whatsoever.”

The problem, says Goldgar, is the source material that Mackay used. In 17th-century Holland, there was a rich tradition of satirical poetry and song that poked fun at what Dutch society deemed to be moral failures. Out of that tradition came entertaining pamphlets and poems that targeted the alleged folly of the tulip buyers, whose crime was thinking that trading in tulips would be their ticket into Dutch high society.

“My problem with Mackay and later writers who have relied on him—which is virtually everybody—is that he is taking a bunch of materials that are commentary and treating them as if they’re factual,” says Goldgar.

To get the real scoop on tulip mania, Goldgar went to the source. She spent years scouring the archives of Dutch cities like Amsterdam, Alkmaar, Enkhuizen and especially Haarlem, the center of the tulip trade. She painstakingly collected 17th-century manuscript data from public notaries, small claims courts, wills and more. And what Goldgar found wasn’t an irrational and widespread tulip craze, but a relatively small and short-lived market for an exotic luxury.

In the mid-1600s, the Dutch enjoyed a period of unmatched wealth and prosperity. Newly independent from Spain, Dutch merchants grew rich on trade through the Dutch East India Company. With money to spend, art and exotica became fashionable collectors items. That’s how the Dutch became fascinated with rare 𠇋roken” tulips, bulbs that produced striped and speckled flowers.

First these prized tulips were bought as showy display pieces, but it didn’t take long for tulip trading to become a market of its own.

“I found six examples of companies that were set up to sell tulips,” says Goldgar, “so people were quickly jumping on the bandwagon to take advantage of something which was a desired commodity.”

Tulip prices spiked from December 1636 to February 1637 with some of the most prized bulbs, like the coveted Switzer, experiencing a 12-fold price jump. The most expensive tulip receipts that Goldgar found were for 5,000 guilders, the going rate for a nice house in 1637. But those exorbitant prices were outliers. She only found 37 people who paid more than 300 guilders for a tulip bulb, the equivalent of what a skilled craftsman earned in a year.

But even if a form of tulip mania did strike Holland in 1636, did it reach every rung of society, from landed gentry to chimney-sweeps? Goldgar says no. Most of the buyers were the sort you would expect to be speculating in luxury goods—people who could afford it. They were successful merchants and artisans, not chambermaids and peasants.

A Satire of Tulip Mania, painted by Jan Brueghel the Younger circa 1640.

Fine Art Images/Heritage Images/Getty Images

“I only identified about 350 people who were involved in the trade, although I’m sure that number is on the low side because I didn&apost look at every town,” says Goldgar. “Those people were very often connected with each other in various ways, through a profession, family or religion.”

What really surprised Goldgar, given Mackay’s tales of financial ruin, was that she wasn’t able to find a single case of an individual who went bankrupt after the tulip market crashed. Even the Dutch painter Jan van Goyen, who allegedly lost everything in the tulip crash, appears to have been done in by land speculation. The real economic fallout, in Goldgar’s assessment, was far more contained and manageable.

“The people who stood to lose the most money in the tulip market were wealthy enough that losing 1,000 guilders wasn’t going to cause them great problems,” says Goldgar. “It’s distressing and annoying, but it didn’t have any real effect on production.”

While tulip mania and the ensuing crash didn’t flatline the Dutch economy as Mackay asserted, there was still some collateral damage. From court records, Goldgar found evidence of reputations lost and relationships broken when buyers who promised to pay 100 or 1,000 guilders for a tulip refused to pay up. Goldgar says that those defaults caused a certain level of 𠇌ultural shock” in an economy based on trade and elaborate credit relationships.

Even if the tulip craze came to an abrupt and ignominious end, Goldgar disagrees with Galbraith and others who dismiss the entire episode as a case of irrational exuberance.

“Tulips were something that was fashionable, and people pay for fashion,” says Goldgar. “The apparent ridiculousness of it was played up at the time to make fun of the people who didn’t succeed.”

Dave Roos is a freelance writer based in the United States and Mexico. A longtime contributor to HowStuffWorks, Dave has also been published in The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times and Newsweek.

Standard Of Living By Country 2021

The standard of living refers to the level of wealth, comfort, necessities, and material goods available to a particular geographic area. Quality of life is the standard of health, comfort, and happiness experienced by a group.

The Quality of Life Index presented here is based on eight indices:

  • Purchasing Power
  • Health Care
  • Property Price to Income Ratio
  • Traffic Commute Time
  • Pollution
  • Climate

These eight factors provide overall quality of life index and rank.

On this page, safety, health care, pollution, and climate are featured.

The safety index considers how safe someone feels walking alone at night, concerns about robberies, car theft, and other crimes, and how prevalent drugs, property crime, violent crimes, and corruption and bribery are.

The health care index estimates the overall quality of the health care system, health care professionals, equipment, doctors, cost, and staff at health care facilities.

The pollution index is an estimation of the overall pollution in the country. Air pollution is given the most significant weight, followed by water pollution/accessibility to clean water.

The climate index is the climate likability of a given country. Countries with a climate index of 100 have moderate temperatures, low humidity, and no significant weather events or conditions.

Based on these indices, the ten countries with the highest quality of life are:

The table below has each country’s index score for safety, health care, pollution, climate, and the overall quality of life index score.

Country Index: Holland - History

Discover the fascinating history of Holland

Capital: Amsterdam
Provinces: Groningen, Friesland, Drenthe, Overijssel, Flevoland, Gelderland, Utrecht, Noord-Holland, Zuid-Holland, Zeeland, Noord-Brabant and Limburg.

Population (estimate): 16,590,027
Area, total: 41.52 sq km (16.03 sq mile)

Language: Dutch, Frisian (in the province of Friesland)

The Netherlands is located in Western Europe, bordered by Germany, Belgium and the North Sea. The country is divided into 12 provinces: Groningen, Friesland, Drenthe, Overijssel, Flevoland, Gelderland, Utrecht, Noord-Holland, Zuid-Holland, Zeeland, Noord-Brabant and Limburg.

The country is officially named "The Kingdom of the Netherlands", but is often called Holland after the provinces North and South Holland. Amsterdam is the capital city of The Netherlands the government is situated in The Hague (Den Haag or 's-Gravenhage). Rotterdam is a major city and the biggest port in Europe.

The Netherlands, Holland, and the Dutch: Why some countries have so many different names

A person from Germany walks into a room. So does a person from Allemagne, a person from Deutschland, a person from Saksa, a person from Tyskland, and a person from Niemcy. At least how many people are in the room?

Germany is one of several countries that have completely different names in different languages. In French, Germany is Allemagne in German, it's Deutschland in Finnish, it's Saksa in Danish, it's Tyskland in Polish, it's Niemcy. Why is this? And what other countries have this quirk? It's all a story of tribes, dynasties, foreign domination, and rivers…

GermanyA long time ago, when people in part of what is now Germany spoke what we call Old High German, their word for "popular" or "of the people" was diutisc. This has been handed down over history, altered by the general sound patterns of different languages, as the modern German Deutsch, the Danish (and other Scandinavian) Tysk, and the Italian tedesco. Quite a few languages have names for Germany based on this, including most Germanic languages, as well as Korean, Chinese, and Vietnamese.

But not everyone who had contact with the Germans felt inclined to call them what they called themselves. The Gauls, a Celtic people who were in France before the Romans arrived, called their neighbors to the east Germani, which seems to come from a Gaulish word meaning "neighbor" or another meaning "noisy." Think of the Germans as the noisy neighbors of the French. Many languages use a name based on this foreign term.

But the French don't. They call it Allemagne, which comes from Allamanni, which was the name of a Germanic tribe. Other tribes included the Saxons, from which the Finns made Saksa. The Slavic languages, on the other hand, use a word based perhaps on the river Neman, which is near the western boundary of Russia. This is near the border between Poland and Russia, and yet the Polish word for "Germany" is Nemcy — a country on their west named after a river on their east.

Nearly every language in the world uses a word for Germany based on one of those five origins, and you can generally tell which origin the name comes from by the first letter: D/T, G, A, S, or N.

The NetherlandsMeanwhile, there's another place that also gets one of the D/T words: people from the Netherlands are Dutch. You will surely recognize the resemblance to Deutsch. So, why are Hollanders Dutch?

It goes back to the Middle Ages, when the national boundaries were not tidily drawn and Dutch was seen as a kind of Low German ("low" because of the area's low elevation — that's also what the nether in Netherlands means). The label stuck, even as Germans who moved to Pennsylvania came to be called Pennsylvania Dutch, because at the time they got that label, the distinction had still not been firmly made.

But did you notice how I called people from the Netherlands Hollanders? Holland used to be what English speakers normally called the Netherlands. Holland is actually just part of the Netherlands, one that lies along most of the coast and includes the country's three largest cities. So the Dutch people that English traders met were typically from Holland, which is how the name came to be generally used. But people from the rest of the country didn't like that so much, so we don't normally call it Holland anymore.

ChinaOne of the world's great airlines is Cathay Pacific. What is Cathay? Another name for China. And what's China? The English name for Zhongguo. You know, the country the Russians call Kitai.

Here's how that all came to be. About a thousand years ago, a nomadic people called the Khitan started a dynasty in northern China. They were ultimately overthrown and pushed westward, but the name stuck as a term for northern China and spread to a few languages — it's where the Russian Kitai comes from, and the word Cathay too. Marco Polo helped spread it.

Another dynasty, the Qin (formerly spelled Chin), gave us the word China, which shows up in slightly differing form in many languages, from Norwegian Kina to Afrikaans Sjina, as well as the Latin Sino that shows up in terms such as Sino-Tibetan relations.

But in Mandarin Chinese, the country is called Zhongguo (pronounced like "jong gwo"), which translates to "Middle Country" or "Middle Kingdom" — reasonably enough, since from where they're sitting, it's the center of everything.

IndiaThe Greeks used the name India for the place they had to cross the Indus River to get to — the name Indus comes from Sanskrit Sindhu, passed through Persian and Greek. Most of the world knows the country by a version of India. A few call it by another name that's used in India, especially for the north of the country: Hindustan. But the official name for the country in Hindi is Bharat. That is generally thought to have come from a king, who in turn took his name from the Sanskrit word for "carry, bear" — in fact, it's related to the English word bear (as in carry, not as in animal).

JapanJapan is another country where people in the country call it one thing and almost everyone else calls it another. In Japanese, Japan is Nippon or, more informally, Nihon — which means "where the sun comes from." Why do we call it Japan? Because Marco Polo (him again!) encountered some Chinese traders who called it by their words for "country where the sun comes from," which he wrote down as Cipangu. That got trimmed and changed a bit to make a word that first showed up in English as Giapan. Most of the world now calls the country Japan or something similar.

KoreaWe know that Korea is currently two countries, North Korea and South Korea. But did you know that in Korean, they use two historically different names? In North Korea, the country name is Choson in South Korea, it's Hanguk. Why does everyone else call it Korea or something similar? It comes (does this sound familiar?) from a dynasty that ran the country a millennium ago — the Goryeo.

FinlandLest you think it's just an East Asian thing for a country to be called by something other than what its own people call it, Finland has the same problem. Well, OK, the name Finland comes from Swedish, and Swedish is one of the two national languages of the country — for the same reason that English is one of the national languages of Ireland: They owned the place for a while and there are still lots of them there. But in Finnish (or Suomea, as they call their language) the name of the country is Suomi. Only a few other languages call it something based on Suomi. The rest go with versions of Finland.

EnglandWe know that it can be a nuisance to look up England in an index, because it could be under United Kingdom (of which England is part) or Great Britain (the island England shares with Scotland and Wales). But add to that the fact that in Celtic languages, England is something else altogether: Sasana (Irish Gaelic), Sasainn (Scots), Bro-Saoz (Breton). Why? Well, England was colonized by the Angles and the Saxons (they took over from the Celtic Britons, some of whom fled to northern France). We take England from the Angles the Celts took their names from the Saxons. Except for the Welsh — they have their own word, Lloegr, which is something they called that part of the island long before the Angles and Saxons showed up.

Does anyone else use a word based on Saxon? Yes — scroll back up to the top of the story: the Finns do (so do the Estonians)… but they use it for Germany, which is where the Saxons came from in the first place.

Talk [ edit ]

The national language in the Netherlands is Dutch. It's a charming, lilting language punctuated by phlegm-trembling glottal gs (not in the south) and schs (also found, for example, in Arabic). Dutch, especially in written form, is partially intelligible to someone who knows other Germanic languages (especially German and Frisian), and you might be able to get along at least partially in these languages if spoken slowly.

Besides Dutch, several other languages are spoken in the Netherlands, in the eastern provinces of Groningen, Overijsel, Drenthe and Gelderland people speak a local variety of Low Saxon (Grunnegs or Tweants for example). In the southern province of Limburg the majority speaks Limburgish, a language unique in Europe because of its use of pitch and tone length to distinguish words (for example: 'Veer' with a high tone means 'we', while the same word with a low tone means 'four').

Officially, the Netherlands is bilingual, as Frisian is also an official language. Frisian is the second closest living language to English. Despite its status as official language, it is spoken almost exclusively in the province of Friesland. Other forms of Frisian are also spoken by small minorities in Germany. When travelling through Friesland you will come across many road signs in two languages (similar to Wales and South Tyrol). This is also the case in southern Limburg. Everybody speaks Dutch, but the Frisians are so protective of the minority language that ordering a beer in it might just get you the next one free.

"They all speak English there" is quite accurate for the Netherlands. Education from an early age in English and other European languages (mostly German and to a lesser degree French) makes the Dutch some of the most fluent polyglots on the continent, and the second most English-proficient country in the world where English isn't official (after Sweden 90% of the population speaks at least some English). Oblivious travellers to the major cities should be able to make their way without learning a word of Dutch. Dealing with seniors or finding yourself in a family atmosphere, however, will probably require learning a bit of the native tongue.

In areas bordering Germany, German is widely spoken. However, outside of the eastern provinces, a good amount of people (especially amongst the younger generation) can also speak basic German too. French will be understood by some as well, especially the older generations. Immigrant languages are prominent in urban areas, they include Turkish, Berber, Sranan-Tongo (Suriname) and Papiamento (Netherlands Antilles).

Foreign television programmes, films and are almost always shown in their original language with subtitles. The same is true for segments in locally/nationally-produced programmes that involve someone using a foreign language. The major exception is children's programmes, which are dubbed into Dutch.

Please note that culture is defined as the collective mental programming of the human mind which distinguishes one group of people from another. This programming influences patterns of thinking which are reflected in the meaning people attach to various aspects of life and which become crystallised in the institutions of a society.

This does not imply that everyone in a given society is programmed in the same way there are considerable differences between individuals. It may well be that the differences among individuals in one country culture are bigger than the differences among all country cultures. We can, nevertheless, still use such country scores based on the law of the big numbers, and on the fact, most of us are strongly influenced by social control. Please realise that statements about just one culture on the level of “values” do not describe “reality” such statements are generalisations and they ought to be relative. Without comparison, a country score is meaningless.

The scores used for the fifth dimension are based on the research of Michael Minkov as published in the 3rd and the latest edition of Cultures and Organizations, Software of the Mind (2010), pages 255-258.