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…
Illustration: 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

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