‘Living abroad x embracing two cultures…’ Heidi Los
When you live in another country, you are most likely trying to get to know the new culture. Do you feel integrated in the Dutch culture? You know that you are successfully integrated if: • You are not surprised to have 4 seasons in 1 day • You decorate yourself, your face, your house, your street orange, or red, white and blue on King’s day • You are aware of Dutchies having an opinion about a huge variety of topics • You hear yourself (and everybody around you) talking about the weather all the time • You can list the most famous Dutch painters as Rembrandt, Vermeer, Steen, Van Gogh and Mondriaan • You have tried stroopwafels, kroketten and Bossche Bollen • You use your bike for multiple reasons (preferably at the same time) • You are showing up in time (the exact time as agreed on) • You know what a Brabants Kwartiertje is • You know why some houses are decorated with a flag and a school bag at the end of each school year • You know that cursing and talking about sex is normal in the media • You speak up, even to your boss • You know that Vincent van Gogh made ¼ of his artwork in Brabant, Nuenen • You don’t calculate the currency anymore • You have a parttime job, or want one (highest rate of parttime contracts in Europe) • You look people in the eyes when you talk to them • You know it is likely that you live under sea level (6,76 meters below sea level is the lowest point) • You drink tap water, no matter where you are • You are being perceived (too) confrontational by your family members back home • You are not surprised by direct (negative) feedback anymore This list is not complete. Feel free to share your experiences. Contact Heidi firstname.lastname@example.org if you have (cultural) issues at work or if you find it difficult to integrate at all.