Skip to Content

Stroopwafels, a favorite Dutch food. Photo: Iamsterdam

Dutch and Flemish remain attached to their roots

Dutch and Flemish nationals who emigrate to other countries keep their Dutch roots: they continue to speak their native language and celebrate traditional festivals such as Sinterklaas, Zwarte Piet and Kings Day.

Published: November 19, 2019, 9:09 am

    According to research by language agency Taalunie and the Meertens Institute, Dutch people stick to their own language and culture. This is evident from the very first worldwide inventory of the preservation or loss of the Dutch language, culture and identity. The finding is striking because earlier research had shown that Dutch and Flemish people who had left for Canada or Australia in the last century often gave up their language quite soon in order to integrate.

    Of the almost 7 000 Dutch-speaking emigres who took part in the research project, 97 percent spoke Dutch weekly and 85 percent saw the language as a key part of their identity.

    Emigrants still prefer to read Dutch books, read news in Dutch on a daily basis, and Dutch-language television and films online.

    An estimated one million Dutch nationals live abroad and the people in the survey lived in 130 different countries. More than half lived in Australia, the US and France and half were members of a Dutch or Flemish group in the country they lived in. The stroopwafel was the most often mentioned Dutch food liked by emigrees, They hanker after it or buy it in their new country. The caramel biscuit is followed by two other favorites only found at home: drop and hagelslag.

    Their eating habits – such as gingerbread, liquorice, croquettes, stew, Waterzooi and Indonesian Nasi Goreng and other cultural traditions – are maintained through Dutch-language schools or Dutch and Flemish associations in their place of residence, they say.

    Dutch immigrants maintain ties with their home country thanks to various communication tools in Dutch, such as social media and Skype, online newspapers, digital television and Dutch-language education. They say, they would like more advice about how they can continue to teach their children Dutch.

    According to the researchers, a digital or physical information center providing information on the Dutch language, culture and education can strengthen and perpetuate the involvement of emigrated Dutch people and Flemish with their country of birth.

    It complements the research into the State of Dutch, which focuses on the choice of language in the Netherlands and Flanders and which, also commissioned by the Taalunie, was carried out in 2017 by the Meertens Institute and the University of Ghent.

    Keep ​your language polite​. Readers from many different countries visit and contribute to Free West Media and we must therefore obey the rules in​,​ for example​, ​Germany. Illegal content will be deleted.

    If you have been approved to post comments without preview from FWM, you are responsible for violation​s​ of​ any​ law. This means that FWM may be forced to cooperate with authorities in a possible crime investigation.

    If your comments are subject to preview ​by FWM, please be patient. We continually review comments but depending on the time of day it can take up to several hours before your comment is reviewed.

    We reserve the right to del​ete​ comments that are offensive, contain slander or foul language, or are irrelevant to the discussion.

    • Rentia Diedericks

      That is why is it not realistic to believe that Islamists will assimilate

    Europe

    Report: Norway is facing increasingly high immigrant crime rate

    OsloA wave of gratuitous violence has rattled inhabitants of the capital Oslo. The publication of a controversial report, which documents the correlations between criminality and the country of origin of criminals, raises a number of concerns.

    Doping agency WADA bans Russia from international competitions

    The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) informed the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) that Russia will be banned from major sporting events for four years.

    Mild sentences for ‘youths’ who tried to torch policemen

    Thirteen young adults - all from migrant backgrounds - appeared in court in the French department of the Essonne, to receive only soft sentences for their heinous acts.

    Is transgender child Spain’s new Greta Thunberg?

    He says that he has been transgender since the age of four: "Elsa" has been invited to convince a Spanish regional assembly to pass laws for the LGBT community.

    Turkey gives German tanks to jihadists

    German newspaper reveals that Turkey has transferred German-sold Leopard 2 tanks to a Turkish-backed "rebel group" in Syria. This is in violation of the end-user terms of the sales agreement and German law regarding arms exports. The rebel group is made up of radical Islamists who want to introduce an Islamic state under Sharia law and have previously committed repeated war crimes. Intelligence sources now warn of the consequences of training jihadists to use an advanced tank, which is the main weapon in several European armies.

    In Italy’s legal Roma camps almost no one pays municipal taxes

    RomeThe complaint of the councilor of the League, Silvia Sardone was made public: "It is the umpteenth shame for a left that continues to be mocked by the nomads."

    NGO rescue vessel Alan Kurdi entered Italy by evading controls

    The ship of the German NGO has been in Italian waters since late afternoon on Tuesday, well before Rome's authorization arrived to give the vessel the green light.

    Brussels launches new struggle against ‘Afrophobia’

    BrusselsThe EU watchdogs have a new favorite enemy: the perpetrators of "Afrophobia". The notion has been at the basis of a resolution adopted by the European Parliament in March in order to afford privileged protection to the "fundamental rights of people of African descent in Europe".

    NATO needs a billion dollars to keep AWACS in the air

    BrusselsIt was NATO secretary Jens Stoltenberg himself who reported that a billion dollars would be needed to extend the operational life of the AWACS. AWACS is the acronym for the US Airborne Warning and Control System, an airborne alarm and control system.

    London Bridge: one of ‘heroes’ a murderer, victim pro-immigration

    LondonConsidered a "hero" by the media, James Ford strangled and killed 21-year-old Amanda Champion in 2004: her body was found near her home in Kent, in the UK.

    Go to archive