When your life has been divided between living in The Netherlands and living in Australia, it seems natural to notice the cultural and general differences between the two countries. Some are interesting, some insightful and some just plain funny! A few differences are obvious, others more subtle. Many are common to any observer but there are also those based on purely personal perceptions.
So I’ve decided to start a list of DUTCH AUSTRALIAN DIFFERENCES….in no particular order.
- Bread: when we lived in Australia, my Dutch husband complained regularly about not being able to get “decent” bread (apart from places like Dutchy’s Bakehouse on the Sunshine Coast!)
- Bikes: Of course stereotypical, but there are bikes everywhere!
- Language one of the most obvious, with the official language in Australia being English and Nederlands in The Netherlands…most Dutch people speak English but only very few Australians speak Dutch! (which would be different if the Dutch settled when they first discovered “New Holland”)
- School uniforms: children often wear these in Australia but not in NL
- School lunchtimes: It’s common for parents to pick up their children for lunch on school days. You can arrange for them to stay at school, but this costs money!
- Pillows: The European sized pillow is larger and hard to get a smaller one
- Top sheets: It’s common to buy sheet sets in Australia with a fitted bottom sheet and a top sheet. In the Netherlands it’s pretty much a fitted bottom sheet and then the quilt cover, I’ve been searching for 2 months and not yet found a flat top sheet.
- Queen bed: this sized mattress is available but, it seems very common to instead buy two single mattresses and place them together. Apparently one of the main reasons is that it’s easier to get two single mattresses up and down narrow stairs.
- Philladelphia Cream Cheese: I cannot find this anywhere in NL to make my Toblerone cheesecake! There is actually the Philadelphia brand but it’s a softer spread, not the more solid cream cheese suitable for cheesecakes.
- Economy: Australia is a resources based economy while the NL is service based
- University prices a university education is heavily government subsidised in NL
- Driving on the left side of the road in Australia and right side in NL
- Drivers licences are much more difficult and expensive to obtain in NL
- Landscape: Though it varies widely, I’d describe the Australian landscape more wild and natural whereas the Dutch landscape is flat and organised
Shortly I will also write blog posts on some of these and you’ll be able to click through. Feel free to contribute your own observations via the contact form or comment below.
I guess, I should also write about DUTCH AUSTRALIAN SIMILARITIES soon too, can you think of any between the two countries?