Are Common Stereotypes About The Dutch True Or False?

When I first moved to the workers paradise commonly known as the Netherlands, I had very little knowledge about the country or its people. In fact, what I really knew, or at least, thought I knew about the Dutch and Amsterdam in particular, were really common stereotypes about the Dutch.

Which brings me to the subject of today’s post.

After twelve years of living in the land of ‘doe maar gewoon.’ I’ve drawn my own conclusions about which stereotypes of the Dutch are true and fair and which are as false as the puffed up lips that one often sees on young ladies in Amsterdam, sitting in hipster cafes, shouting and slurping down grass and kale smoothies with organic mouse droppings.

mouse eating nuts

Fairtrade organic nut fed mouse, produces healthy droppings for hipster smoothies


“Can I have a thinner straw, please?”

So here in no particular order, is a list of the most common stereotypes about the Dutch and my ratings of whether they’re true or false.

If you disagree, remember, don’t shoot the exceptionally well-dressed messenger.

The things I do for my readers!


1. The Dutch are high all the time!


As a teenager growing up in London. I’d often hear about Amsterdam and how it was legal to buy weed there. This led to my friends and I believing that the Netherlands must be a pot heads paradise. “How do the Dutch get anything done? They must be high all the time!”

This stereotype is actually false. The Dutch are not big consumers of drugs. Yes, they might be the world’s leading producer of XTC, but like the advice given to Scarface, they don’t get high on their own supply.

In fact, the Dutch only ever consume drugs on the following occasions:

  • At festivals
  • Concerts
  • Nightclubs
  • At Weddings
  • During or after a bad first date
  • During Dutch circle parties of death (which is understandable)

If you’ve ever been in a coffee shop and witnessed a Dutch person buying something to smoke, it was probably for an expat friend or a Moroccan or Turkish person.

another of the common stereotypes about the Dutch that they smoke weed all day

2. The Dutch are fiscally conservative (tight as an ants v*g*na)


This is one of the most common stereotypes about the Dutch because it’s true!

You can’t sell anything to consumers in the Netherlands without mentioning the magic words, ‘korting’, (discount) or ‘gratis’, (free). Just watch Dutch TV for thirty minutes, and count how many adverts mention these words. Even the red light districts have signs saying, “twee halen, een betalen.” (Take two pay for one).

Dutch men, in particular, are famous for their fiscal prudence. They possess razor-sharp minds that can make complex financial calculations faster than a supercomputer when it comes to the minutiae of who consumed what while on a date.

For my non-Dutch speaking expat female readers, if after a date with a blue-suited, brown shoe wearing Dutch gentleman, you receive a text message with the title, ‘hoi schatje betaalverzoek.‘ He’s not asking you for a second date.  Several Dutch banks realizing how tight-fisted their customers are have developed add-ons to their mobile banking apps that allow their customers to send a text message containing a link with bank account details to request payment for part of the bill.  Lekker romantic!

I’ll also add that the Dutch apparently give the most money to charity in Europe.  There, I said it, so don’t send me any messages pointing this out. Dank u wel!

common Dutch stereotypes mean with money

Betaalverzoek from Jeroen for seven euros forty-two cents?

a common Dutch stereotype being that they are mean with money

3. The Dutch are the most tolerant people in the world!


The Dutch are super tolerant as long as you don’t annoy them by pointing out some awkward facts about the high unemployment amongst Dutch immigrants from a non-western background. Or mention the increase in attacks on homosexuals throughout the country. Which are often conveniently blamed on Muslims. Yes, I’m talking about you Mark Jellyfish Rutte.

If you avoid discussing the items above and refrain from pointing out Zwarte Piet’s purely coincidental resemblance to historical American minstrels and blackface characters then yes, the Dutch are tolerant.

Dutch tolerance is a lovely thing to claim, when in fact, they are no more or less tolerant than most nationalities.  They simply have a better PR agency that’s done an excellent job of pushing the message that the Netherlands and its people are the most tolerant IN THE WORLD! If you don’t agree with this, “ROT OP NAAR JE EIGEN LAND.” (Go back to your own country).

changing zwarte piet

Rot op met je political correctness black is beautiful!


4. The Dutch wear clogs


Replace clogs with white sneakers and brown shoes and you’ll be nearer the truth. I’ve seen people actually wearing clogs, in a small Dutch village. I was afraid for my personal safety and departed the area faster than a Dutchman picking up a five euro note left on the street. (See stereotype number two).

Common stereotypes about the Dutch are that they wear clogs

The modern equivalent of Dutch Clogs


5. The Dutch are bloody tall


When I first moved to Amsterdam, I found a few blogs written by lovely, cuddly, huggy, super sweet expat mummies who were practically having orgasms writing about the hitherto unknown erotic joys of owning a bakfiets, and of course pointing out the bloody obvious, “the Dutch are so tall.” An expat friend of the Shallow Man once made this brilliant joke, “why is it good to date a Dutch woman? You get a long lie in.” Ok, perhaps the joke isn’t that great, and maybe you had to be there, but it still makes me laugh. So yes, the Dutch are tall.

When discussing this fact with Dutch people, don’t mention genetically modified crops, or the fact bitterballen were originally invented as part of an experiment in a nuclear power plant. The Dutch are naturally tall which gives us expats something to look up to.

Common stereotypes about the Dutch are that they're all tall

The Dutch are tall but at least you get a long lie in


6. The Dutch are addicted to cheese (one of the most common stereotypes about the Dutch)


The US has a crystal meth epidemic. In the Netherlands, a large part of the population is addicted to cheese. There are cheese shops practically on every corner. In areas of the country where this is not the case, dodgy looking young men wearing hoodies and often with pit-bulls, hang around on street corners saying, “pssst, do you want some oude kaas?”.

It’s so sad when late at night I’m approached by young women saying, “do you have any Edam cheese for me? Perhaps with some roggebrood? Ja? Goed schat, ik will met je neuken.”

Only buy cheese from shops, never from street dealers.


No organic poo producing mice were hurt during the writing of this post.

Until next time, if you hate people, get a job in HR. You’ll fit right in.