Life in NL

5 cultural differences between PT & NL

Monday, May 22, 2017


Later this year, it will be 6 years since I have been living in the Netherlands; time is flying by like an F16 but so much has already happened...

It has also been enough time to realize a few cultural differences between Portugal and the Netherlands. There are more than the ones I am pointing out today, but I thought this would be nice to share with you.

Are you ready??

1. Birthdays
In the Netherlands, people wish a happy birthday to the person celebrating his/hers birthday but also to his/her parents, sister/brother, wife/husband, girlfriend/boyfriend, son/daughter, grandparents or anyone in the "inner circle"... Very generous people, these Dutchies.
In Portugal, we wish a happy birthday to the person itself and only in very rare case to the parents, like 1% of the times... haha

2. Warm meals
In the Netherlands, you have one warm meal a day and that's dinner.
In Portugal, we have two, lunch and dinner.
I am that person that keeps having two warm meals a day, no matter what or how many weird looks I get from non-Portuguese people.

3. Public trash containers
In Portugal, every street has its container so people can throw their trash away, any day of the week, any time of the day.
In the Netherlands that does not exist! Trash is collected once a week, and you put your bags on the street the night before.
EDIT: This is how it works in the city that I live; it may differ in other cities.

4. Christmas & Easter
The Dutchies have two Christmas days and two Easter days, but we in Portugal have just one of each.
An extra day off school/work is welcome but I'd say one Christmas/Easter day is more than enough though.

5. Postcards
If you are Portuguese, born prior the 00's, you'll remember that back in the day, everyone would send postcards when it was Christmas.
Well, the Dutchies still do that! But more, actually.
They send cards for birthdays, Christmas, new house, new job, best wishes, graduation, someone's death, etc...
Let's just say: they send cards! 😄

I promise you that the list could go on and on but for now, I figured these would be nice to share with you.

How is it in your country regarding these subjects? Are you on the Portuguese side of the fence or on the Dutch side? None is also a possibility but then, share with me how it is! I would be glad to know.

See you soon!

Next Post: May 25th @ 9am CET

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  1. Ahahah! This is super cool! You know, I lived in the US for most of my childhood, I shoul do a post like this too ;)

    TheNotSoGirlyGirl // Instagram // Facebook

    1. Glad you like the post and please go ahead and make own about the US and where you live now. Got me curious! :)

  2. Não estou a ver como seria cá se o lixo fosse recolhido 1x por semana. Seria caótico...

    1. haha Pois a mim tambem fez confusão ao inicio, mas já me habituei. Mas ao que parece, a situação não é igual em todas as cidades (pensava que era... haha)

  3. Ao sei em que parte da Holanda mora, mas o lixo que nós fazemos em casa não é posto em sacos na rua uma vez por semana, o lixo e posto em contentores no caso de apartamentos e as casas têm caixotes de lixo maiores e com rodas para as pessoas puderem por o contentor na rua para os lixeiros. O que é posto uma vez por semana na rua e em sacos plásticos são os sacos para reciclagem de plástico. Moro desde de 2003 cá e nunca vi uma saco de lixo na rua. L

    1. Ah que interessante! Aqui na cidade onde moro, também existem esses contentores (kliko) mas é para recolha de folhas e outros compostos orgânicos. O lixo normal tem que ir em sacos da câmara e é posto em zonas próprias. Quem puser sacos digamos não certificados não será recolhido e leva multa.
      Nem na recolha do lixo estes Holandeses são unânimes. ��

    2. Os contentores tem para recolha de composto, outros para recolha de lixo, outros ainda para cartão e papel. Já morei em 5 cidades diferentes em nenhuma delas eu vi o lixo normal em sacos da câmara certificados.
      Não duvido do que diz de forma alguma. Beijinhos