My Ethnicity- Dutch
There are many different ethnicities in America today. Everyone living here has ancestors that came from somewhere else in the world.
My ancestors are Dutch. They came from Rotterdam, The Netherlands. The Netherlands is a country in Europe that borders Belgium to the South, Germany to the East, and the North Sea to the North. The Netherlands has a moderate maritime climate with mild winters and cold summers. Clouds and winds are very common with unpredictable rainfall. The Netherlands is divided by three main rivers: Rhine, Waal, and Meuse. The Dutch countryside is flat with low hills only in the center and south.
Many of my family are still over in The Netherlands. My grandmother decided to come to America around 1953. She had an aunt and uncle who lived here that would visit her in the Netherlands and they wanted her to come visit. Originally she was only going to come to America for a year then move back to the Netherlands. According to my grandmother, she had always heard that America was the place everyone desired to move to. So, she wanted to find out for herself, she booked passage on a boat and headed to America. Once she was in America she really liked it and decided to stay living here. Later, my great- grandparents, her parents, moved here with her younger brother and my great- grandfather's brother and his family came along too.
The Dutch are known for their tulips. There are 1,700 varieties of tulips and about eighty percent come from the Netherlands. (Science Daily) Tulip growing would fall under the subsistence strategy of horticulture. The season begins in March with crocuses, daffodil, and the yellow narcissi. These blossom until mid May and in August starts the gladioli. The tulips grow well in the Netherlands due to the agreeable climate, cool spring temperatures. The largest flower garden is located between the two towns of Hillegom and Lisse, south of Haarlem. The glass greenhouses would be the technology used in growing these tulips. The glass greenhouses are used when growing tulips during the winter inside. Other technology used in growing tulips would be the fertilizer and organic material that is mixed into the soil when grown outside. The work for the indoors tulip growing would be done by the greenhouse workers. There is an owner of the greenhouse and the people that work for him.
Dairy farming is also very common in the Netherlands. The average Dutch dairy farm produces over 300,000 kilograms of milk annually. (Dairy Info) The majority of the dairy farms are family farms and the expertise and experience is passed on from generation to generation. Dairy farming would fall under the subsistence strategy of pastoralism. The different domesticated animals include chickens, pigs, cows and sheep, with the main one being the cow. The fences used to keep the cows enclosed would be an example of technology that helps with dairy farming. From April to October is the main time for cow grazing. On the dairy farms there are only a few full-time workers hired. Most of the labor is done by the farmer and his family members.
More than 27 percent of the total land area in the Netherlands is used for crop production. (Encyclopedia of the Nations) Much of the land in the east and southeast has very poor soil so the majority of the farming is done in the reclaimed polders. This type of farming would fall under the subsistence strategy of agriculture. Their main crops are sugar beats, potatoes, wheat, barley, and rye. Most of the farms are kept running by mechanical equipment which would be the technology used in farming. The labor is done by the Dutch planter and his family. During the colonial period, the slaves were the ones cultivating the crops but now the planter and his family are the ones doing the work.
A main factory in the Netherlands is called Chugoku Paints BV which is located in Heijningen, in the southwest of Holland. This is a factory that produces yacht paints. This has become one of the most reputable yacht paints in Europe. This would be an example of the subsistence strategy industrialism. This is a supply chain that most of the warehousing activities take place in van den Anker. The machinery used in the assembly lines would be considered the technology used to make this factory productive. Within this factory there is a variety of ways the labor is divided up. There is the owner of the whole supply chain of factories, there would be the owner of this specific plant and also there are the factory workers.
Like the United States, the Netherlands has ATM's. This would be an example of information technology. A person puts their ATM/debit card into the ATM and enters their pin. With this information exchange, the ATM will then give out the amount of money they requested if available in their account. Once the person enters their pin, the ATM is programmed to look into their database to see whether the account has the sufficient amount of money to cover the transaction. The information the database gives to the ATM, then the ATM relays to the customer is an exchange of information. The ability of the ATM to do this would be technology. The tools used are the actual ATM machine, the debit card, and the database that holds all of the customers' information. The labor would be divided up into two different ways. The customer standing at the ATM has to put their card in and enter a pin and the amount of money they wish to withdraw. On the other end of the ATM will be an employee at a 24 hour call center that oversees all transactions done.
In the Netherlands there is parliamentary democratic constitutional monarchy. The type of political organization used is centralized because there is a Queen. There are two different types of government used. They are monarchy and democracy. The Queen has limited powers and the people have the rest of the power. The Queen is hereditary and God-given and the people elect representatives. There are three political parties and they are Christian Democrats, Social Democrats, and Liberals. There are four different military branches which are Royal Netherlands Army, Royal Netherlands Navy, Royal Netherlands Air Force and Royal Military Police.
Negative reciprocity is used through their agricultural sector. It provides large surpluses for the food processing industry and exports which is where they make a good portion of their profit. The Netherlands makes $55 billion annually from these exports. (Wikipedia) Free market capitalist is the economic system used. The main economic sector in the Netherlands by far is tertiary/service. Service dominates the Dutch economy. Some other interesting information I researched about Netherlands is their inflation rate is 2.5% and their public debt is over half of their GDP, 58.2%. Their unemployment rate is at 4%.
The main religions practiced in the Netherlands are Roman Catholic and Dutch Reformed, which makes the religious belief monotheism. Today in the Netherlands, not many people are very religious. Only 39% are religiously affiliated and fewer than 20% visit church regularly. According to the Eurobarometer Poll in 2005, 34% of Dutch citizens “believe that there is a god”, 37% “believe that there is some sort of spirit or life force”, and 27% “do not believe there is any sort of spirit, god or life force”.
In the Netherlands they do a few holidays a bit different than we do here in the United States. Thanksgiving is not celebrated at all there. However, Christmas is still celebrated in The Netherlands over a two day period, on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. There are no present exchanges done during this time. On the night of December 4th, the Dutch put a wooden shoe outside for St Nick along with some carrots for his horses. It is said that he arrives in a ship in the harbor from Spain. On December 5th, everyone exchanges their presents, like we do on Christmas Day here in the United States. On Christmas Eve, it is a day for family time and going to church. Then on Christmas Day, they can spend time with their friends and do what they want to do.
On New Years Eve Day, my grandmother recalls my great-great- grandmother making oliebollen, which is a type of a Dutch doughnut. All the family would get together and play cards and drink, similar to what we do here. My great-great- grandmother would also make a drink called boeren jongens. It is brandy with raisins and from what my grandmother could remember, this was only made on New Years Eve. Once it was midnight, everyone would go out and hang around on the streets in the big city to have big bonfires. They would burn their Christmas trees in the streets once it hit midnight. The kids would also read the poems that they had made for their parents.
The type of marriage that is practiced in the Netherlands is monogamy, one man with one woman. Partners are chosen by love matches. My grandmother told me that parents did not tell them who they were to marry. They would choose for themselves and then bring the significant other home to meet their parents. Same sex partners were legalized in 1998 and they have the same rights that heterosexual partners have. Typically the married couple does not live with the bride or groom's family so the post-marital residence would be neolocal. They live in a new home together. The family type is nuclear however they often live close to their extended family. The descent used is unilineal, patrilineal, which means the descent is traced exclusively through the male line.
There are many interesting things about the culture of the Netherlands that I learned when talking to my grandmother. One of the interesting things that I learned was that on a really cold day, the coldest of the year speed skaters would skate on the frozen water through all the 11 provinces of the Netherlands.
Also, there is a day called Hemelvaarts dag that the Dutch celebrate. It is on a Sunday and everyone gets the next Monday off of work and school. This is the day that Jesus went to Heaven. It is a Christian holiday and my grandmother said they would go to church to celebrate this day.
Another interesting thing I found out while doing my research is that Netherlands has on average the tallest people in the world. The average male adult is 6ft 1in and the average female adult is 5ft 6in.
The education in the Netherlands goes right from elementary school to high school. There is no middle school. Children are in elementary for eight years, between the ages of four and twelve. MBO is after high school which is a middle level applied education. This lasts for one to four years. After this is completed people can continue on to HBO or enroll in the job market.
The Netherlands currently changed to a new health care system based on risk equalization. This means that everyone is offered insurance at a rate that is affordable to them.
Encyclopedia of the Nations. The Netherlands- Agriculture. http://www.nationsencyclopedia.com/economies/Europe/The-Netherlands-AGRICULTURE.html
The Holland Ring. Dutch Culture. http://www.thehollandring.com/duchculture.shtml
Holland.nl. Tulips. http://www.holland.nl/uk/holland/sights/tulips.html
Science Daily. Tulips! Tulips! Tulips! http://www.sciencedaily.com/videos/2006/0610-tulips_tulips_tulips.htm
Dairy Info Netherlands. http://home.wanadoo.nl/rijvers1/en-dairynl.html
Cornelia Hodgkins. Personal Interview Interviewed on: November 21, 2009.