Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Expatica Article: Dutch Proverbs


“I was goofing around one afternoon with a colleague. Let's just say that he didn't expect me to bite and pull his leg in return. He complained, ‘Heb je vandaag een klap van de molen gekregen?’

Huh, what do you mean?

Literal translation: were you struck by a windmill today?

Translation: a person is not being himself or herself today.

And here is my favorite saying of the country, ‘God schiep de aarde, de Hollanders schiepen Holland.’

Literal translation: God made the earth, the Dutch made Holland.

Translation: the Dutch are known for its pioneering technology in water defense and land reclamation.

Here's an apt story about this...

When I was a kid, I read about the legend of the brave little Dutch boy called Hans Brinker. He allegedly saved his whole town from the devastating flood waters by inserting his finger into the small hole of the dike to stop the waters gushing through.


Since it's a typical Dutch story, I assumed my in-laws knew Hans Brinker. Upon giving my enthusiastic review of the tale, I was met with blank stares, instead of hearing the familiar nods and “oh yes” from them. On a positive note, they welcomed the story with great interest.

I realized later that the brave little Dutch boy was just a figment of a creative imagination by a non-Dutch fiction writer. The story actually never existed in the Netherlands.”


To continue reading the article, please click: Expatica - Dutch Proverbs or click the Dutched Pinay logo on the side bar just below the shoutbox.

Tags: -20C and Dutch Cabarets (03/2005), Learning the Gargoylic Dutch (04/2005), Expatica Main, Expatica Netherlands, Netherlands Expat Blog

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