Typical Dutch

Festival? Beer!

Dutch people have a great enthusiasm for beer. No matter who, – girls, guys, ladies, gentlemen –, no matter when – Fridays, Easter, while playing darts –, the Dutch always come up to you with a beer in one hand. And when the weather is sunny, you will always see Dutch students sitting outside on…

Illustration Henk van Ruitenbeek

One of the funniest things happened to me when I told my Dutch supervisor: ‘Hey Mike, today is Mid-Autumn Festival’. For an Asian, especially a Chinese person, the first thing that springs to mind when people mention the Mid-Autumn Festival is moon cake, because it’s so typical and special, just like Dutch oliebollen at New Year. But Mike replied: ‘Oh, then you are going to drink beer tonight!’

Beer is very important to the Dutch and to them, any festivity is a good reason to drink it

Two months later, I still can’t help laughing out loud when I think of that answer: it is just hilarious. We would never combine beer and Mid-Autumn Festival because they just don’t go together. But I can really understand why Mike does make the connection. Beer is very important to the Dutch and to them, any festivity is a good reason to drink it.

Jiajia Ling, an MSc student of Environmental Sciences, from China

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NL: Biertje?!

‘Vandaag is het midherfstfestival’, zei Jiajia Ling op een dag tegen haar begeleider Mike. ‘Oh, dan ga je vanavond bier drinken!’ antwoordde deze. JiaJia moet maanden later nog steeds hartelijk lachen om dat antwoord. Chinezen associëren deze feestdag absoluut niet met bier, vertelt ze. ‘Maar ik snap wel waarom Mike die verbinding legt. Bier is heel belangrijk voor Nederlanders en ze zien elke festiviteit als een goede gelegenheid om het te drinken.’ Net als elke zonnige dag trouwens. Of elke dartwedstrijd. Of elke vrijdagmiddag…

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