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What NOT to give your Chinese partner?

It’s spring and a good time to go on a business trip, to receive business partners or to give new friends and family a gift. If these new partners come from China, Taiwan, Singapore or Hong Kong then there are some gifts that you’d better not give.

There are few things that would be considered inappropriate in the Netherlands. In Asia, there is an unspoken blacklist of gifts that you better not give. Especially if you want to make a good first impression.

Many of these taboos come about because the pronunciations of certain words in Chinese are very close together, or because there is a cultural story behind them. This article lists some of the most famous taboos.

Of course, not everyone will equally be offended by a faux-pas. But at a formal first meeting is probably better to avoid these gifts. (more…)

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Blogs and Websites to Read About The Netherlands In English

10 English websites about the Netherlands

This post is for those who are interested in what is happening in the Netherlands, but don’t speak the Dutch language. There are are many blogs and facebook pages that track events as they occur in the Netherlands in English.

This post list ten of those blogs and news websites that regularly report on events in the Netherlands in English.

How to keep track of so many different news sources and avoid information overload?

You can for example add them to Feedly, which is a blog reader that shows you which news site have published new articles worth reading.

Listed in alphabetical order: (more…)

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Automatic Store

The Robot Store From 1963

As a web merchant, you are always aware that the future is now, and that you’d better keep up. But some ideas, such as this robot store, were so far ahead of their time that although they sounded fantastic, they have disappeared completely. Or have they?

In 1963 grocer AC van Beveren opened in the Dutch town of Boxtel a robotic Day & Night store that was open 24 hours a day and was fully automated.

A robot with the fabulous name “Neomaticc” offered a choice of 250 different products. (more…)

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Delfts Blauw Geboorte Bordje

A Delft Blue birth plate to celebrate the baby

Are you looking for a very special way to commemorate the arrival of a new baby in the family?

Delft blue birthplateThe Hollandwinkel offers a personalized Delft Blue birth plate that captures all the details of the birth and makes the perfect keepsake to put in the baby’s bedroom. It can be put on a small stand, or on the wall. The image on the birth plate shows an old Dutch children’s bedroom with a wooden baby bed and a grandfather clock.

The name of the baby, together with his or her birth-weight, length, and time of birth are painted into the plate by an artist and then baked into the glazing. The name, date of birth, length and weight are painted onto the edge of the plate, the time is indicated by the grandfather clock standing in the corner.

A short personal message of  a few words can also optionally be put on the back of the plate.

We send our birth plates to anywhere in the world, making it a great gift for grand parents and family living far, far, away.  And it is of course always possible to make similar birth-plates for the older brothers and sisters of the baby!

We started making the birth plates many years ago and have over the years added a little memory to baby bedrooms in every corner of this world.

The plates are carefully packed and wrapped before shipping and you receive from us a track and trace code with which you can follow your shipment.

It takes about two to four weeks to paint and glaze the birth plate. It is might therefore not be possible to deliver the plate before a certain date or event. Please order the birth plate well in advance!

You can order the birth plate in our web store.

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First month on the Job – Trial By Fire

Although Holland Winkel has been around since 2002, and I’ve been working in the background for years on the technical side of the store (I’m originally a programmer) I only really became a full time member of our family business starting last Christmas. This is my first month on the job.

The Holland Winkel (Winkel is Dutch for “Store”) started during a conversation on a terrace in Taiwan sometime in 2002. I was still living in the Far East, and my family often send boxes full of canned stew my way. It is possible to survive by eating only rice and noodles every day, but occasionally you want potatoes with cabbage and sausage. Those cans were nearly too convenient. Working in Asia means having little spare time each day, and the stew was quickly heated in the microwave. (more…)

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Why are the Dutch so tall?

The Dutch are among the tallest people in the world. Less well known is that just over 150 years ago they were among the shortest. So what brought about this change?

When visiting the Netherlands you will quickly come across people that are over 200 cm tall who stand out above everyone around them. With an average height of about 185 cm (5.9 ft) for men, and 168 cm (5.5 ft) for a woman it is clear that this is the place to look for houses with tall doorways and shoe stores that have a selection of extra large sizes. (more…)

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Boterham met oude kaas

Nostalgic delights: 10 foods the Dutch miss most when abroad

The Dutch are wedded to their very “own” favorite foods. So much so that when going for a long visit abroad they can hardly do without a supply of their favorite “heiwee” (homesick) delights. Although the food anywhere in the world can tasty and exotic, over time the Dutch will feel the need for more homely delights. But what are these products that the Dutch miss so much when abroad, but which are available in any decent supermarket in the Netherlands?

Below we show you the ten things that Dutch miss the most, from 10 to 1. (more…)

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https://flic.kr/p/7xbsbY

Ten reasons to learn Dutch

You are considering to learn Dutch, congratulations! Dutch is a language that is spoken by about 23 million people, or about 0,3% of the world population and most of us also speak English. Why would you even bother?

If you already understand English then coming to the Netherlands to learn Dutch can sometimes be a frustrating experience. No matter how hard you try to use your newly learned Dutch — the person you are talking to will  likely respond to you in English.

Of course, if you don’t speak English you won’t suffer from this particular annoying problem. In that case, it becomes more or less a must to learn Dutch. The other two languages the Dutch learn at school German (70% say they are confident enough to understand it, not speak it) and French (7%) are much less useful. [1]

In gathering these ten reasons, I assume you speak some level of English and that you have decided to live in the Netherlands (or Belgium!) for a longer period of time. (more…)

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