Culture_of_the_Netherlands

Culture of the Netherlands

Dutch culture or culture of the Netherlands is diverse, reflecting regional differences as well as the foreign influences thanks to the merchant and exploring spirit of the Dutch and the influx of immigrants. The Netherlands and Dutch people have played an important role for centuries as a culturally liberal and tolerant center, with the Dutch Golden Age regarded as the zenith.

Language

The main language is Dutch, while West Frisian is also a recognized language and it is used by the government in the province of Friesland. Several dialects of Low Saxon (Nedersaksisch in Dutch) are spoken in much of the north and east and are recognized by the Netherlands as regional languages according to the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages.

Another Dutch dialect granted the status of regional language is Limburgish, which is spoken in the south-eastern province of Limburg. However, both Low Saxon and Limburgish spread across the Dutch-German border and belong to a common Dutch-Low German dialect continuum.

Religion

Calvinism became the theological system of the majority in the Netherlands during the Dutch Revolt in the Eighty Years War. Other religions were tolerated, but could not practice their religion in public. The Netherlands today is one of the most secular countries in Europe. An estimated 49.6% of the population (2007) call themselves non-religious. The remaining are 15.7% Protestant, 27% Roman Catholic, and 5.3% Muslim (data CBS 2005, 2007). In former ages, Protestantism used to be the largest religion in the Netherlands, but there has always been a high percentage of Roman Catholics, who were strongly predominating in the southern provinces, but also considerably present in the northern ones. However, over the past century the older Protestant churches have been in decline. Islam has begun to gain a foothold and mosques are being built. The Netherlands is also home to a significant Hindu minority, mostly made up of migrants who came from former colony Suriname after its independence.

Science, technology and research

Most important and internationally awarded scholars and scientists are:

15th Century:

16th Century:

17th Century:

18th century;

19th century:

20th Century:

Literature

Some of the most important and internationally awarded writers are:

16th Century:

17th Century:

19th Century:

20th Century:

Architecture

The first significant period of Dutch architecture was during the Dutch Golden Age roughly beginning at the start of the 17th century. Due to the thriving economy cities expanded greatly. New town halls and storehouses were built. Merchants who had made a fortune ordered new houses built along one of the many new canals that were dug out in and around various cities and towns (for defense and transport purposes), houses with ornamented facades that benefited their new status. In the countryside new country houses were built, though not in the same numbers. Some well known architects of the period were Jacob van Campen (1595–1657), Lieven de Key (c. 1560–1627) and Hendrik de Keyser (1565–1621).

At the end of the 19th century there was a remarkable neo-gothic stream or Gothic Revival both in church and in public architecture, notably by the Roman-Catholic Pierre Cuypers, who was inspired by the Frenchman Viollet le Duc. The Amsterdam Rijksmuseum (1876-1885) and Amsterdam Centraal Station (1881-1889) belong to his main buildings. During the 20th century Dutch architects played a leading role in the development of modern architecture. Out of the early 20th century rationalist architecture of Berlage, architect of the Beurs van Berlage, three separate groups developed during the 1920s, each with their own view on which direction modern architecture should take. Expressionist architects like M. de Klerk and P.J. Kramer in Amsterdam (See Amsterdam School). Functionalist architects (Nieuwe Zakelijkheid or Nieuwe Bouwen) like Mart Stam, L.C. van der Vlugt, Willem Marinus Dudok and Johannes Duiker had good ties with the international modernist group CIAM.

A third group came out of the De Stijl movement, among them J.J.P Oud and Gerrit Rietveld. Both architects later built in a functionalist style.

During the '50s and '60s a new generation of architects like Aldo van Eyck, J.B. Bakema and Herman Hertzberger, known as the ‘Forum generation’ (named after a magazine called Forum) formed a connection with international groups like Team 10.

From the '80s to the present Rem Koolhaas and his Office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA) became one of the leading world architects. With him, formed a new generation of Dutch architects working in a modernist tradition.

Art

{[See also|List of Dutch painters}}

Flemish or Dutch

Until 1830, the Dutch and Flemish were generally seen as one people. Due to religious wars and the Eighty Years War, a split slowly started to take place. Therefore, historical Flemish and Dutch art are hard to separate. Most artists of the period (like Bruegel) are described as Flemish, even though they might have been born in the present day Netherlands. Some of the most famous indisputably Dutch artists from before the 17th century are Hieronymus Bosch, a painter, and the brothers de Limbourg, three miniaturists who are most famous for their work for the Duke of Berry.

Golden Age

In the late 16th century, many painters from Flanders fled to the Northern Netherlands, for religious reasons and because the Netherlands were growing economically. Both regions had a golden age of painting in this period. The most famous Dutch painter was Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn, but other painters such as Johannes Vermeer and Frans Hals are nowadays world famous as well. Some more great Dutch painters of the 17th century are:

19th and 20th century

The Dutch artists of the 18th century are less well-known. The most important paintings were the land- and seascapes (or marines). Only at the end of the 19th century did an internationally very important painter, Vincent Van Gogh, appear.

In the 20th century, the Netherlands produced many fine painters and artists, including Piet Mondriaan, a noted contributor to the De Stijl art movement, who was also among the vanguard of non-representational painting. The 20th century also produced some of the members of the COBRA movement, including Karel Appel and Corneille.

Music and dance

The Netherlands have multiple musical traditions ranging from folk and dance to classical music and ballet. In the 21st century people with an African or Middle Eastern background have also had a profound effect, most notably in hip hop and rap. Much more so than most non-English speaking European countries, the Netherlands has remained closely in tune with American and British trends ever since the 50's.

Aruba and the five main islands of the Netherlands Antilles are part of the Lesser Antilles island chain. Their music is a mixture of native, African and Dutch elements, and is closely connected with trends from neighboring islands like Barbados, Martinique, Trinidad and Tobago and Guadeloupe, as well as the mainland former Dutch possession of Suriname, which has exported kaseko music to great success on the islands. Curaçao and Bonaire likely have the most active and well-known music scenes. Curaçao is known for a kind of music called tumba, which is named after the conga drums that accompany it.

Cabaret

The Dutch also have their own distinct version of cabaret.

Media

The media of the Netherlands consist of several different types of communications media: television, radio, newspapers, magazines. It is characterized by a tradition of pillarization, and increasing commercialization.

Film

Some Dutch films have received international distribution and recognition, such as Turkish Delight ("Turks Fruit") (1973), Soldier of Orange ("Soldaat van Oranje") (1975), Spetters (1980) and The Fourth Man ("De Vierde Man") (1983) by director Paul Verhoeven. Verhoeven later went on to direct such Hollywood fare as Robocop and Basic Instinct.

Other famous Dutch film directors are Dick Maas (De Lift), Fons Rademakers (The Assault), Jan De Bont (Speed), documentary maker Bert Haanstra and Joris Ivens. Film director Theo van Gogh achieved international notoriety in 2004 when he was murdered in the streets of Amsterdam.

Internationally famous Dutch film actors are Jeroen Krabbé, Rutger Hauer, Derek de Lint and also a few female stars like Sylvia Kristel, Famke Janssen and Carice van Houten.

Comics

The Dutch have a distinct comic tradition as well. Even though there is an abundance of Flemish, Franco-Belgian, and American comics, they also created their own tradition, with a more literary kind of comics. The most prominent author was Marten Toonder and his creations Tom Poes and Heer Bommel (Tom Puss / Oliver B. Bumble series).

Cuisine

Dutch cuisine is characterized by its somewhat limited diversity; however, it varies greatly from region to region. The southern regions of the Netherlands for example share dishes with Flanders and vice versa. Dutch food is traditionally characterized by the high consumption of vegetables when compared to the consumption of meat. Dairy products are also eaten to great extent, Dutch cheeses are world renowned with famous cheeses such as Gouda, Edam and Leiden. Dutch pastry is extremely rich and is eaten in great quantities. When it comes to alcoholic beverages wine has long been absent in Dutch cuisine (but this is changing during the last decades); traditionally there are many brands of beer and strong alcoholic spirits such as jenever and brandewijn. The Dutch have all sorts of pastry and cookies (the word "cookie" is in fact derived from Dutch), many of them filled with marzipan, almond and chocolate. A truly huge amount of different pies and cakes can be found, most notably in the southern provinces, especially the so called Limburgish vlaai.

Traditions

One of the most characteristic festivities in the Netherlands is the feast of Saint Nicholas or Sinterklaas. It is celebrated especially in families with little children. In the United States the original figure of Dutch Sinterklaas has merged with Father Christmas into Santa Claus. In the Netherlands, gift-bringing at Christmas has recently gained some popularity too, but Sinterklaas is much more popular.

Another characteristic festivity in the Netherlands is the feast of Saint Maarten. The day is celebrated in the evening of November 11 in some parts of the Netherlands. Children go by the doors with paper lanterns and candles, and sing songs about St. Martin and about their lantern in return for a treat. Often, a man dressed as St. Martin rides on a horse in front of the procession. In some regions the paper lantern is replaced by a self made lantern, made from a hollowed out sugar beet (suikerbiet).

References

  • Ad Welschen, 2000-2005: Course Dutch Society and Culture, International School for Humanities and Social Studies ISHSS, Universiteit van Amsterdam.

External links

See also

Search another word or see Culture_of_the_Netherlandson Dictionary | Thesaurus |Spanish
Copyright © 2014 Dictionary.com, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature
FAVORITES
RECENT

;