Typical Dutch: Say cheese

Anyone coming to the Netherlands knows the country is famous for its cheese. But there is a lot more to experience of course: the scenic countryside, the old-world charm of the cities and their canals, and great beer amongst other things! My family and friends back home were waiting to see what I have been…
Illustratie: Henk van Ruitenbeek

Anyone coming to the Netherlands knows the country is famous for its cheese. But there is a lot more to experience of course: the scenic countryside, the old-world charm of the cities and their canals, and great beer amongst other things! My family and friends back home were waiting to see what I have been up to through my pictures and Instagram posts. But every time I pulled out my camera, I noticed the Dutch are quite shy to say ‘cheese’

‘Every time I pulled out my camera, I noticed the Dutch are quite shy to say cheese’

When I got to Wageningen, I soon joined some running groups. After one of the runs in the Bos, the very friendly group I was a part of had organized hot coffee and cake for everyone. It was a really nice setting on the edge of the forest with the happy post-workout vibes. Instinctively, I pulled out my phone and asked my host if I could take a picture of the group. I was expecting a cheery ‘yeah, of course!!’, but instead noticed a bit of hesitation and a cautious ‘ok with me, but maybe we need to ask everyone else’. Well, I was quite new to the group and didn’t want to disturb the friendly banter going on, and so eventually took a picture of just my host and me smiling with our coffee and cake! On many other occasions I noticed that the Dutch are quite camera shy and consent for a picture is taken seriously! I am more cautious now, and also there is no dearth of beautiful countryside to take pictures of. So I haven’t stopped pulling out my camera! 😀

Arjuna Srinidhi PhD candidate from India – WSG chair group, WIMEK

NL: ‘Say cheese’

Wat is er leuker dan foto’s naar je familie sturen van al je avonturen in het buitenland? Of om op Instagram de mooiste beelden te delen van je jezelf met je nieuwe vrienden? Arjuna, phd’er uit India, grijpt regelmatig naar zijn camera om alles vast te leggen wat hij meemaakt, maar hier bleek dat opeens niet zo makkelijk. Nederlanders zeggen niet graag ‘cheese’ voor de camera. Zelfs zijn hardloopgroepje liep weg voor de lens.

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