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Lesson Transcript

Mies: Welcome back to DutchPod101.com. All About Lesson 8, Top 5 Things You Need to Know About Dutch Society! I'm Mies!
Jacob: Hallo Ik heet Jacob
Mies: In this lesson, we're going to tell you more about life in the Netherlands.
Jacob : Yes, and we are very qualified for that.
Mies: Yes, we have our Dutch expert, Jacob, here, and our pseudo-Dutch expert, me!
Jacob: Now the Netherlands is such a diverse country, so there are many aspects to society.
Mies Yes, so it's difficult to know where to begin.
Jacob: So why don't we start with city life, Mies?
Mies: Yes, after all, most of what you and I know is life in the big city.
Jacob: Dutch cities are not too different from your average European city.
Mies: Other than its own culture, food, and personality!
Jacob: Well, let's start with my hometown Amsterdam, a city I love!
Mies: Yes, Amsterdam!
Jacob: Beautiful Amsterdam, and it used to be a small fishing village back in the 12Th century.
Mies: Yes, the name Amsterdam is derived from the city’s location.
Jacob: A dam in the river Amstel.
Mies: Yeah and having a port was the reason that the city was doing very well in the Golden Age.
Mies: Nowadays it is the largest city in the Netherlands in terms of population.
Jacob: The population of Amsterdam is 783,365
Mies: Haha, wow you know your numbers !
Jacob: Amsterdam is located in in the province called “North Holland,” it's the west side of the country.
Mies: Yes, and North-Holland is one of the 12 provinces the Netherlands counts.
Jacob: Amsterdam attracts a lot of tourist – 3.6 million annually.
Mies: Yes, because there are many tourist attractions.
Jacob: Yeah, like the red light district and the coffee shops?
Mies: Uh well yeah but there is lots and lots more, like the 17Th centuries canals. Anne Frank’s House…
Jacob: And the Van Gogh museum, which of course houses the artist’s work
Mies: Yeah, or the Rijksmuseum or Stedelijk museum
Jacob: A lot of culture there for you to experience!
Mies: Let's move on to the next city!
Jacob: Okay, well we can't leave out Rotterdam.
Mies: Yes, Rotterdam is the second largest city in the Netherlands, and it's the capital of the province South-Holland
Jacob: And also a very multicultural city.
Mies: Yes, Rotterdam has the highest percentage of foreigners from non-industrialized nations
Jacob: I heard 46% of the population is of non-Dutch origins or has at least one parent born outside the country
Mies: Yes, there are 80,000 muslims, 13% of the population of Rotterdam. The mayor, Ahmed Aboutaleb, is of Moroccan descent and is a practicing muslim.
Jacob: How about the name of the city – do you know where it comes from?
Mies: Well that actually is not too difficult to figure out…I think even you can do this!
Jacob: Huh? You think so?
Mies: Well just like Amsterdam being a dam in the Amstel, Rotterdam is a dam in the…
Jacob: Rotte !!!
Mies: See I knew you knew!
Jacob: Lets move on to something else.
Mies: Okay, the second aspect of Dutch society we want to talk about is…
Jacob:..family life.
Mies: Sure. You grew up in the Netherlands right? So you are the expert here.
Jacob: Haha, yeah, I guess so.
Mies: Tell me something about your family, how many brothers and sisters do you have?
Jacob: I have one older sister who lives and works in Groningen.
Mies: Is she married?
Jacob; No she lives together with her partner and they have 2 children, two cute little boys, I love them.
Mies: Nice, yeah, I hear Dutch families tend to be small, often only two children
Jacob: Yeah that's right and also often couples decide not to get married but go for The Registered Partnership.
Mies: And it’s possible in the Netherlands for gay people to get married.
Jacob: Indeed, in 2001, the Netherlands became the first nation in the world to grant same-sex marriages.
Mies: You were saying that your sister is working in Groningen. That gets us to the third aspect of the Dutch society: work. What is it like to work in the Netherlands?
Jacob: Well, we are fast!!
Mies: All like supermen and women?
Jacob: Exactly, we prefer to get down to business quickly and cut out the small talk.
Mies: seems to me you don’t have any problem with the small talk.
Jacob: Hey you are being very Dutch there…. being this direct.
Mies: Yeah I prefer people being direct but I often hear people say they think the Dutch can be a bit blunt.
Jacob: Aaah, I don’t think it’s too bad.
Mies: Now lets move on to the fourth aspect of the Dutch society.
Jacob: Politics.
Mies: So who is your prime minister these days, Balkenende?
Jacob: No that was our previous prime minister. The current prime minister is Mark Rutte.
Mies: And what is up with this Orange family you have ?
Jacob: Ah you mean the Queen.
Mies: Yeah, Queen Beatrix, she seems to be a nice person
Jacob: Yeah most people in the Netherlands are quite fond of her.
Mies: “Lang leve de koningin”, long live the queen.
Jacob: Yeah as long as she keeps riding her bicycle.
Mies: Riding a bicycle is something for all generations
Jacob: That brings us to the fifth aspect of the Dutch society: Generational trends
Mies: Well cycling is basically for all generations in Holland
Jacob: Though you see differences in every generation.
Mies: Indeed, students ride very very old and often decorated bicycles.
Jacob: Very different from the bicycles people ride when they are 65.
Mies: Yes, my parents just bought electrical bicycles.
Jacob: So did mine!
Mies: It seems like the whole retired generation of Holland is racing around on their electric bicycles.
Jacob; Haha yeah…watch out!
Mies: Well it’s not a bad way to travel, that is for sure.
Jacob: I love it!
Mies: Well that was our glimpse into the Netherlands of today.
Jacob: We hope you know us a little better now!
Mies: Yes, and get to know more on the next "All About Dutch" series at DutchPod101.com.
Jacob: See you next time.
Mies: Bye!
Jacob: Dag!