Category: Netherlands

Zwarte Piet-   Tradition or Racism?

  In many countries around the world, Santa Claus has helpers.  We have discussed Krampus ( in a previous post.  However, in the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Belgium, Aruba and Curaçao, SinterKlaas or St. Nicholas has a different helper- Zwarte Piet or Black Pete.  Zwarte Piet is depicted as a “blackamoor” from Spain dressed in a colorful […]

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The Dutch Tulip Bubble

Anyone who follows the stock market or survived 2008 knows what a bubble is.  What may surprising is the first one was not in housing or gold.  What was this amazing commodity?  Tulips.  I can hear your disbelief through the computer screen.  Tulips?  Those things my mom plants around the sidewalk to the front porch? […]

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The Floods of 1287

On December 14, 1287 a strong storm tide caused a dike to break and decimate parts of the Netherlands and Northern Germany (the day after St. Lucia Day), killing between 50,000 to 80,000 people. Land was permanently flooded in an area now known as the Waddenzee and IJsselmeer. It especially affected the north of the […]

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