By Hunt Janin
A Survival consultant to Customs and Etiquette
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Extra resources for CultureShock! Netherlands: A Survival Guide to Customs and Etiquette
NON-WORKING MOTHERS Compared to the USA, the UK and many other developed countries, there are still relatively few mothers working full-time in the Netherlands. In fact, only 25 per cent of Dutch women think that having children and a career can be successfully combined. There seem to be four reasons behind the large number of stay-at-home mothers: Certainly the most important is the very strong Dutch tradition of a familial society—a society where family life is extremely important and where the mother’s constant presence in the house is seen as essential for the proper upbringing of the children.
The Dutch response—practicality here on a truly vast scale—was to build a network of huge dams (the Delta Works) to protect the south-western coast and its inland areas. Perhaps it is this practical, no-nonsense approach to water management which gives the Dutch some of their less adorable characteristics. To be sure, they can be helpful and friendly but they can also be painfully direct, outspoken, stubborn and blunt—as implied by the term ‘Dutch uncle’, a well-meaning but, when the occasion calls for it, an unrelenting critic.
His political skills, however, were less pronounced. In 1830, the Brussels Revolution led to the independence of Belgium and Overview of Land and History 25 in 1840, he abdicated after announcing his intention to marry a Roman Catholic countess. A constitutional revision of 1848 had sharply curtailed royal power but a later king, William III, found it hard to accept these limitations. He clashed repeatedly with the parliament but in the end was soundly defeated and had to accept that henceforth Dutch rulers would only be the symbols of the unity of the Dutch people, rather than the bearers of any political power.
CultureShock! Netherlands: A Survival Guide to Customs and Etiquette by Hunt Janin