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Thread: Dutch Directness

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    Dutch Directness

    Are the Dutch rude? the German historian and journalist Christoph Driessen asks in an essay for NRC Handelsblad. “For me, as a German, it would be impolite to answer this question with a yes. Let me just say: the Dutch are direct - much more direct than other people.” To Driessen, Pim Fortuyn’s “I say what I think” - and bugger anyone who thinks differently - sums the Dutch attitude up nicely. “Of course everyone should be able to say what they think, but it matters how you say it.”
    Professor Paul Schnabel of the university of Utrecht takes things one step further.
    “Courtesy, willingness to please, and good manners are not national virtues in the Netherlands,” he writes. “To a certain extent we are even proud of this fact. We like to say that this is because we are so honest and straightforward. Anyone born or raised outside our borders would say that the Dutch are mainly blunt and rude.”
    Continued: http://weblogs.nrc.nl/weblog/discuss...#comment-20379

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    Interesting. I've certainly noticed this in various "run-ins" with the Dutch.

    I've tended to conclude that it's a cultural thing, and that they don't intend offense by it. Could be wrong though.

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    A stereotyping...

    People are people, I dont think you can base an opinion on an entire ethnicity.

    Some are rude, some not.

    There is aswell regional differences, for example between Frisians, Limburgians and Amsterdam.

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    Rude ? no, but i do want them to be more straightforward.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rhydderch View Post
    Interesting. I've certainly noticed this in various "run-ins" with the Dutch.

    I've tended to conclude that it's a cultural thing, and that they don't intend offense by it. Could be wrong though.
    Some explain it from a need to go straight to bussiness. But yes sometimes it can come across as rater rude.

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    A stereotyping...

    People are people, I dont think you can base an opinion on an entire ethnicity.

    Some are rude, some not.
    True, but I think the basic point is that if one could somehow get an average, Dutchmen would be shown to be "ruder" (or blunt/straighforward, whatever it is) on average than other nationalities.

    But yes sometimes it can come across as rater rude.
    Come to think of it, I'd be interested to know this from your perspective. Do you, as a Dutchman, find the bluntness of your fellow countrymen somewhat offensive sometimes, or is it only outsiders who are offended by it?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rhydderch View Post
    Come to think of it, I'd be interested to know this from your perspective. Do you, as a Dutchman, find the bluntness of your fellow countrymen somewhat offensive sometimes, or is it only outsiders who are offended by it?
    First of al, I am raised in such an enverimont. So to a certain level I am used to such a thing. But sometimes the getting down to bussines aditude does get a bit anoying under certain circumstances.

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    Interesting point.
    If you look at our expressions of Dutch culture, one often sees, especially cabaret/stand up comedy, a very direct, sometimes blunt and an uncompromising aproach to subjects. In our corporate businesses its pretty much the same. Hands on mentality but often with lack of "finesse".

    If you look at the countries surrounding The Netherlands, people tend to be more diplomatic, caring and less straight forward. I think this has to do with our schoolsystem. From an early age we Dutchmen are brought up with calling our teachers by their first name, treating the teacher like an equal instead of someone you have to look up to and thus have to respect. The same goes for the upbringing. Let alone how kids can treat people nowadays which they don t know at all.

    But what Groenewolf wisely said, that doesnt count for all the Dutchmen. Mostly upper middleclass is not very different from the countries surrounding us.

    I am curious why no one finds the French rude. Or worse yet, the Americans (especially those visiting Europe). What are your thoughts on that?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mjolnir View Post
    I think this has to do with our schoolsystem. From an early age we Dutchmen are brought up with calling our teachers by their first name, treating the teacher like an equal instead of someone you have to look up to and thus have to respect.
    Most explain going it a bit further back in time. And I think that of the schoolsystem is something form the middle of the 20th century. I do not call it getting down to bussines for nothing.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GroeneWolf View Post
    Most explain going it a bit further back in time. And I think that of the schoolsystem is something form the middle of the 20th century. I do not call it getting down to bussines for nothing.
    What are your thoughts on it than? I can t explain it in a historical sense, also I am not aware that the Dutch have been knwon for ages as being rude and uncompromising.....

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