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When it comes to Thanksgiving, most of us don't think of the Netherlands. Let's get to know the Netherlands -- where they are, the character of the people, and the role they played in our American Thanksgiving. 

Keep your research fun and simple to create a quick study!

Getting to Know Netherlands 

Where is it? {and other interesting facts...}

"A small, low-lying country the size of Maryland, the Netherlands is frequently referred to as “Holland.” 
(Holland is actually a region in the central-western part of the Netherlands which includes the provinces of North Holland and South Holland). Almost half of the Netherlands lies below sea-level. Low lying areas reclaimed by the sea are called polders. Polders are protected by dikes and are continually being drained by mechanical pumps. The capital city of Amsterdam is built on a polder. The Netherlands along with Belgium and Luxembourg, form the area of Europe known as “The Low Countries.”
"The flag of the Netherlands is a red, white, and blue horizontal tricolor. Originally the colors were orange, white, and blue to honor William of Orange, the first ruler of the Dutch Republic. During the 16th and 17th centuries the dye that was used for orange eventually turned red, so in the mid-1600s, the orange stripe was officially made a red stripe."
"The Netherlands is world famous for its tulips, a member of the lily family. The name tulip means “turban” or “Turk’s cap.” The Dutch take horticulture very seriously and a new type of tulip is often the result of decades of experiments. Introduced in the 16th century, tulips became such a craze that outrageous prices were being paid for a single bulb. The market grew so wild in the 17th century—people were going bankrupt from stock speculation—that the government stepped in and regulated the industry."

Getting to Know Netherlands - Who are they {unique characteristics of the people}

 From I Am Expat

  • Statistically, Dutch are among the tallest people in Europe.
  • Eye contact and criticism are to be expected when chatting with a Dutch.
  • The Netherlands has the highest number of part-time workers in the EU (four out of 10 employees).
  • One out of three Dutch belongs to a sports club.
  • Almost all Dutch people can swim, skate and ride a bike.
  • The Dutch always consult their agenda and do not appreciate "surprise" visits.
  • They are the world's second biggest coffee drinkers.
  • The Dutch are not conversation-starters. However, they will respond immediately and rather eagerly when addressed.
  • Dutch citizens take their own bags to the supermarket to pack their groceries.
  • When you introduce yourself, always state both first and last name and shake hands with everyone in the room.
  • Dutch ladies have to get kissed three times (right-left-right) on the cheek. Expats may get by with shaking hands though.
  • The Dutch enjoy one of the longest average life spans in the world.
  • Congratulating your Dutch friend for his / her birthday is more than expected.


Freebies {coloring pages and maps}

 Country of Netherlands Coloring Pages


The Netherland's Impact on America's Founding

While all of that is interesting and you can learn a lot about the geography of the Netherlands, you might be asking yourself, "What does this have to do with Thanksgiving?"

 "The United Provinces of the Netherlands, the forerunner of nations in religious tolerance, were, from the origin of their confederacy, the natural friends of intellectual freedom. "

Hall, V. M. (1976). The Christian history of the American Revolution: consider and ponder (p. 278). San Francisco: Foundation for American Christian Education.
America's Founding and celebration of Thanksgiving began, in a way, long before in the hearts and minds of freedom loving people who would one day come to these shores. The Netherlands was a model of religious tolerance and intellectual freedom- two prerequisites to our Founding. 


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