FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

There are some questions that a missionary get's asked all the time, so chances are the answer to your question is on this page.

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What is the difference between Holland and the Netherlands?

Essentially there is no difference, since they refer to the same country. The Netherlands is the official name for the country and is therefore more proper. In international commerce everything is shipped through Rotterdam (Holland's main port and the largest port of continental Europe), which is located in the province of South Holland. On the international market the Netherlands became synonymous with Holland.

 

Are wooden shoes still worn today and are they comfortable? 

Wooden shoes are still worn today by farmers and gardeners. Approximately 9 million pair are made every year and only 6 million are exported. That leaves 3 million that are bought and worn by the Dutch people. Wooden shoes work very well in muddy conditions (which you find very often in Holland), due to their rounded bottom, which does not create suction and so they don't stick in the mud like boots do. Since they are also made out of wood, they naturally protect against nails, glass, and other sharp objects that could be hiding underneath the surface of the mud.

Are they comfortable? Actually they are surprisingly comfortable. You buy them a size too big for your feet and then wear them with thick wool socks. You then get the rigid support from the wooden shoe and the comfort from the sock. You do have to learn to walk a little differently, since you cannot bend the wood at the toes like you can leather shoes.

 

Do windmills still work today? 

Most windmills in Holland can still work, but they have all been declared national monuments so that they no longer are used for work. Modern machines can do everything a windmill can do in a whole lot less time. Most windmills are set into motion every once in while to make sure all the moving parts stay lubricated and don't break.

 

What do the Dutch eat? 

The Dutch are a potato people. They have invented a host of varieties to the standard 'mashed potato' recipe, such as: mashed potatoes and cooked grated carrots, mashed potatoes and cooked red cabbage, mashed potatoes and endive and bacon. These dishes are called stampot or hutspot.

 

What kind of sports do Dutch like? 

Soccer! Other sports that Dutch people are known for is volleyball and water polo.

 

 

 

Did you know...

 
... that Holland and the Netherlands are the same place? 
 
... the Dutch claim that God created the world, but the Dutch created Holland?

the Dutch have claimed much of their land from the sea, thereby "creating" more Holland.

 
... Holland is smaller than most US states?

With a surface area of 16,034 square miles Holland is about the size of New Jersey. It measures 186 miles North to South and 124 miles East to West and can be crossed in less than 2.5 hours.

 

... half of Holland is at or below sea level? (see picture)
 
... sixty percent of the population lives at or below sea level? 
 
... the highest point in Holland is 1060 feet above sea level and is referred to as a mountain? 
 
... the lowest point in Holland is 23 feet below sea level? 
 
... Holland has more than 2640 miles of navigable rivers and canals? 
 
... Holland is essentially a delta for the Rhine river, one of Europe's largest rivers? 
 
... the Delta Project (a network of dams and storm barriers) is one of the Seven wonders of the modern world according tot he American Society of Civil Engineers?
 
... the prevailing winds from the North Sea give Holland mild winters and cool summers? 
 
... cloudless days and prolonged frosts are uncommon in Holland? 
 
... Holland is the third largest exporter of agricultural produce, trailing only the US and France? 
 
... only three percent of the population works in the agricultural sector? 
 
... most Dutch farms are smaller than 25 acres and yet produce some of the highest yields per acre anywhere in the world?

Holland's leading agricultural activity is dairy farming. Holland is famous for Gouda and Edam cheeses (available at your local grocer).

 
... Holland produces 3/4 of the world's cucumbers and peppers and 2/3 of the world's tomatoes? 
 
... the value of Holland's export generally exceeds that of its imports? 
 
... Rotterdam is the second largest port in the world? 
 
... Amsterdam is the nation's capitol and yet the government is located in another city (Den Haag)? 
 
... Amsterdam has 1,281 bridges and 42 museums and is known as one of the moest colorful cities of the world? 
 
... Amsterdam is built entirely on wooden piles because it is located on a marsh? 
 
... every Dutch person owns a bike and that there are twice as many bikes as there are cars? There are are designated bike parking lots and in Amsterdam they even have a bike parking garage (see picture)!
 
... Holland has no less that 9,000 miles of bicycle paths? 
 
... Holland still has around one thousand working windmills? 
 
... modern computers cannot improve upon the 17th century design and efficiency of the windmill given the materials that were available to the Dutch people of that time?
 
... the Dutch are the tallest people in the world?

With the nation's protein-rich diet and national health service, the average Dutchman now stand over 6 feet and women average 5'7", requiring the building codes to make door frames higher than average at 7'6.5" high.

 
... ninety percent of people live in cities? 
 
... Holland's literacy rate is 99 percent? 
 
... Holland always has a coalition government, so it is a land of constant compromise?

Dutch politics differs from US politics in that there are dozens are political parties to choose from, ranging from extreme left to extreme right and everywhere in between. In order to gain fifty percent of the electoral vote these parties will form a majority coalition in order to gain parliament.

 
... Hans Brinker sticking his finger in a dike and saving his village is folklore? 
 
... the Dutch have a national dog? the keeshond 
 
... the Dutch national color is orange?

Even though the flag is red, white, and blue, the royal family's surname is "of Orange." Therefore, orange is the national color.