Wednesday, 19 September 2012

What do the Dutch miss when living abroad?

If you want to get to know a country and it's people it may be interesting to discover what kind of things the Dutch miss when they live abroad. As a child I remember liquorish (drop) and chocolate sprinklers (hagelslag) were the products which we missed most. Occasionally visitors would brings us some drop or hagelslag. So if we had the chocolate sprinklers we were only allowed to eat them on our bread on Sundays. Those were special moments.

A survey has been done by the Dutch television station BVN to discover what the Dutch miss most when they live abroad. Did you know that the herring is on the top of the list!

The 10 things the Dutch expats miss most:
  1. Herring (9%)
  2. Kroketten (8,6%), croquette
  3. Cheese (8%)
  4. The household goods chain "de Hema" (8%)
  5. Family and friends (6,7%)
  6. Cycling (6,5%). In the Netherlands we have many bicycles. 13,5 million Dutch people have 1 or more bicycles. We have more than 29 thousand kilometres of cycle paths. For more figures on cycling check the website of the Fietsersbond.
  7. Dutch bread, cakes and biscuits (2,7%)
  8. Gezelligheid ( 2,2% there is no good English translation for this word: coziness)
  9. Sinterklaas (2%)
  10. The things to eat on your bread (2%)
The Flemish people miss their Belgian fries (17%) most and they miss shrimps, beer, chocolate, humour and being able to go to the market. Here's a short film all about the survey and what the Dutch and Flemish miss abroad. Has this helped you a little to understand the Dutch and Flemish people?


  1. A good translation for gezellig is a cozy, inviting atmosphere, so coziness for gezelligheid. I love that it's of such cultural importance here.

  2. Thanks Linda, I added the word "coziness" to the post. It is interesting that gezelligheid is of cultural importance.