Gay marriage, clogs, van Nistelrooy, cows, red light district, mills, cheese, flat landscape, Sinterklaas, soft drugs, bicycles, rain, peculiar language, and of course us; the Dutch. For many foreigners, this is the Netherlands in a nutshell. Being Dutch, for me the Netherlands has always been about diversity, curiosity, humor, and (Brabantse) ‘gezelligheid’.
Unfortunately, over the past years some less joyful features have joined the list. Paralel to global sentiments of islamofobia, insidious racism, and populist politics Dutch public opinion, debates and foreign policy increasingly focus around fear and stereotypes. A long-term stay in the Middle East especially gave me a clearer view on these developments.
No longer wanting be a passive witness to this process I will use this page as a modest tool; addressing stereotypes, racism, flawed politics, corrupting interests and double standards that have been embraced by a few too many.