Country habits and customs - Bundle


Habits and customs per country

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    Dutch habits and customs: the good ones and the bad ones

    Dutch habits and customs: the good ones and the bad ones


    Dutch habits

    The Dutch have some unique customs and habits that may seem strange to foreigners.

    • Gezelligheid - Gezelligheid is an important concept in Dutch culture. It means cosiness: being together, having fun and relaxing. Gezelligheid kent geen tijd is a famous dutch expression. Gezellig he?
    • Oranje, oranjegevoel - Orange is the color of the Dutch. The Dutch wear orange on Kingsday and when the dutch football team is playing (high level only).
    • Zuinigheid - Fruitfullness, the dutch generally don't like to spend more than necessary and will watch de kleintjes (small coins).They pay close attention to their pennies and go dutch or send a tikkie (online share costs or pay back what someone has spent for you).
    • Complaining - The Dutch love to complain, and talk negative but that doesn't mean they are unhappy. It's more of a way to connect with each other. Most popular topic is the weather to complain about, it is often too cold, rainy or too hot.
    • Cycle - The Dutch cycle, in the rain, with children, doing groceries, everywhere. People sit at the back of the bicycle, with the legs on one side.
    • Directness - The Dutch are generally very direct in their communication. They say what they think and like honesty.
    • No small talk - The Dutch dislike unnecessary small talk and like to get directly to the point.
    • Kringverjaardag - It is a habit to celebrate ones birthday in a circle of chairs. One of my former collegues reminded me of this dutch habit. It goes like this, either it is a dutch party and you bring your own food and often a kring verjaardag. Th -ere is not much swapping of chairs and a lot of talking in the group, less individual talks perhaps with your neighbours sitting on the right and/or left side. 
    • Happy birthday - Is wished to everyone attending the kringverjaardag, not only meant for the celebrant.
    • Self-reliance - Dutch people are very self-reliant and like to solve problems themselves. Not to be dependent of another person.
    • Kingsday - It is celebrated the night before the 27th (birthday of the King) and the day itself. The Dutch wear orange and especially in Amsterdam and bigger cities it is celebrated on the streets. For the children in all kind of places there is the Vrijmarkt: second hand stuff is sold on the streets.
    • Broodje kaas - The Dutch often lunch with a cheese sandwich or other cold snacks. Hot lunches are less common. Pre-made sandwiches are made and put in a lunch box and that is what the Dutch have for lunch.
    • Beschuit met muisjes of hagelslag - Hagelslag (chocolate sprinkles) and muisjes (small anise seeds) are popular toppings for sandwiches. Round toast with muisjes is served when a baby is born in the specific colors of the baby's gender.
    • Drop is a salty licorice-like candy that many Dutch people like. Many foreigners do not like the  salty licorice, the sweet drop they like better.
    • Koffietijd - The Dutch love coffee and often drink it with cake or pastries or one cookie (not two or three) you can take out of the cookiejar and afterwards it closes.
    • Frikandel, kroket or bitterbal - A frikandel is a deep-fried meatloaf that is a popular snack or try a bitterbal: small fried veal, beef in a crunchy jacket.
    • Stamppot is a traditional stew of potatoes and vegetables, with kale (boerenkool), onion and carrot (hutspot), sourkraut (zuurkool), andijvie, spinach etc etc.
    • Birthday calendar or tiles- Many Dutch people have a birthday calendar hanging on the toilet so they never forget a birthday or a tile with Delfts blauw with a wisdom like sentence for example: Oost, west, thuis, best. East, west, home is the best.
    • Sinterklaas - Every year on december 5 children get gifts from Sinterklaas (kind of Santa claus) when they have been good children. The gifts are also given after Sinterklaas has entered the Netherlands and you put your shoe near the chimney, with a carrot for his horse and sing a song. The whole Zwarte pieten discussion is mentioned somewhere else.
    • Dutchies - As a slang term for cannabis joints or blunts, or a few different entities related to Dutch culture and travel. I am refering to this image, one of the Dutchies! Our mascotte.
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    Habits and customs in Argentina

    Habits and customs in Argentina


    Habits and customs in Argentina

    • Tango is not just a dance to me. The tango is sensitive and it is based on improvisation. When going to tango events, I always wish to be more feminine in life. Dancing through life with high heels and a nice dress. In Buenos Aires they dance on the streets, like it is common to dance the salsa in Cuba on the streets. Can’t wait to join!
    • Asado - An Argentinan habit is to eat a lot of meat. Asado is a way of preparing, barbecue style.
    • Clap your hands, when you like to enter a house, most of the time there is no doorbell and even when there is, still clap.
    • A comedor is a small restaurant, where you can eat what the people in Argentina eat! Most of the time a huge traditional meal is served with bread. 
    • Gauchos - Who has not heard of the gauchos? The gauchos are a mix between cowboys and Indians. They travel through the country on a horse.
    • Mate with Yerba- More and more popular and well know in other countries besides Argentina is Mate with Yerba. It is a kind of tea drunk with a straw.
    • Merienda time- The time, it is the time when it is time for snacks! Snacks are regularly on the menu.
    • Polo- Polo is played in Argentina. It is hockey played on a horse. The best teams are from Buenos Aires
    • Round and round- A round with the dog, it is common on a Sunday to walk or drive in the car the same round in the village, to meet neighbors and friends on the same streets.
    • Wine - My favorite wine is Malbec. The roots of the wine are from France. Malbec is a huge success in Argentina and is now a days synonymous with Argentina. 
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    Habits and customs in Brazil

    Habits and customs in Brazil


    Habits and customs in Brazil

    • Brazilians are famous for their festive Spirit, especially Carnival, a pre-Lenten celebration known for its extravagant parades and costumes, combined with infectious samba music.
    • Brazilians love music - Beyond Samba, Brazil boasts a rich musical landscape with genres like energetic Forró, soulful Bossa Nova, and pulsating Axé.
    • Capoeira is an unique Afro-Brazilian martial art that blends acrobatics, dance, and music, is another famous aspect of Brazilian culture.
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    Habits and customs from Hungary

    Habits and customs from Hungary


    Habits from Hungary

    Hungarian habits are a blend of tradition and modern influences. Here are some interesting details...

    • When you greet, you shake hands. On official occasions, when you greet elderly you bow and give a kiss on both cheeks.
    • Paprika is the most prominent ingredient in many dishes, for example in goulash, paprika chicken or the pancake filled with meat and sauce. And I remember the mother of one of my good friends, who brought her whole trunk back from Hungary full with paprika. A paprika from Hungary is the one you look for, one paprika isn’t the other.
    • Toast on health before you start eating.
    • Hospitality and socializing with friends and family is a habit. Gatherings with food, red wine or coffee are favorite. It is rude to refuse an offer of food or drinks.
    • Hungarians are famous for the bath culture and saunas. Taking a thermal baths is a social activity and a good way to relax.
    • Most Hungarians are superstitious and have beliefs it is bad luck to walk under a ladder on Friday the 13th.
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    Scandinavian habits and customs

    Scandinavian habits and customs


    Why habits?

    For a while now, I am inspired by all kinds of ways of living... Hence this magazine about Scandanavian Habits. I wish you can add as well. You hear more and more about all kinds of Scandinavian habits. All kind of different habits or way of dealing with life, that are interesting. What do you think?

    Habits in Denmark


    • The danish word Hygge is impossible to translate, same as the dutch word Gezelligheid. What is the difference between Hygge and Gezelligheid, from my point of view? I think Hygge you are. It is a way of life, the way you live your life, instead of a way of making a sort of atmosphere. Gezelligheid can be made or the atmosphere is already with you, and thus as well a part of you. The dutch use the term Gezelligheid more of an atmosphere. It is not a reflection of you. Hygge is a mentality, a part of the danish identity. You will sit cosy at the couch with your thick socks, with a cup of Moon tea, in total harmony with yourself and the surroundings. You are, and you are not making an atmosphere. Not sure if I am right. What do you think?
    • "Hygge is een toestand die je ervaart als je in harmonie bent met jezelf, je echtgenoot, de belastingdienst en je ingewanden". - Tove Ditlevsen

    Habits in Finland

    Jokamiehen oikeudet

    • Jokamiehen oikeudet is common in Finland. They have a concept called ‘Everyman’s rights’, it allows everyone to roam freely in nature, camp, eat and pick berries and mushrooms anywhere in forests. How nice is that? As long as it all causes no damage or disturbance to nature or the landowner. 


    • Sisu is the national character of the people in Finland. It is determination, interior gutts that comes from inside. What else can it be, living in a dark and cold country? Does sisu also apply to where you are from?

    Habits in Iceland

    • Loud Sniffing - Sniffing in Iceland is not unusual, it's considered normal there. Blowing your nose is seen as impolite.
    • Dining etiquette - Talking with your mouth full, reaching out to the other side of the table, on top of someone else’s plate, eating quickly, using toothpicks is considered as normal dining etiquette. Same as obtaining a second without being offered is normal. Leaving the table before everyone is done, and bringing your plate to the kitchen is also normal.
    • Soaking in hotsprings - Icelanders take full advantage of their abundant hot springs. Public pools and hot tubs are a common sight, and soaking naked is a daily social activity for many.
    • Strong Naming Traditions - Icelanders have patronymic surnames, meaning their last name reflects their father's name.You either have the family name with -son or -daughter (dóttir) behind it.

    Habits in Norway


    • Frilufsliv is the concept of an outdoor lifestyle. Rejuvinate in nature. Go on a date in nature. Walk, hike up the mountain, ski before work. Walking on sundays is a common habit. You get the point. 

    Helgefylla, Julebord, Afterski

    • Drinking alcohol in Norway is very expensive. So Norwegians specify the time, when alcohol is being consumed. The specific time in the weekends is known as Helgefylla. During holidays, at a Christmas party is Julebord, or after a day of skiing the so called Afterski. We call it Apresski, the drinking after skiing, but can be every day, we don't go skiing that often.... In Norway when it is alcohol-time, a lot goes down the throat. 


    • Coffee is the popular. Norway has a high number of amount of coffee drunk per person every year. Coffee in the morning, coffee in the afternoon, coffee in the evening. Coffee, coffee and coffee. With or without a cinnamon bun.

    Kos or koselig

    • What is kos? How is it done? It is like hygge, it can be practiced alone or with others. Inside your home or outside your home. In your bed, beside a fire place, on the couch, in a cafe, in the forest, on the beach. Actually anywhere cosy. Add a good book or movie, cookies and a few candles and you are totally koselig.

    Habits in Sweden


    • Have you heard of the ritual Döstädning? It is called death cleaning. Cleaning everything up, before you die, so others won't be hassled with your mess. It is a good way of saying goodbye to things, to share memories and to give away stuff which are important to you to others you love and share the story behind things. 


    • The Swedisch term Fika is having coffee or tea is a phenomena. It is part of life, an important time of day. Hanging out with friends and get to know each other. A common time to fika is 10 am or 3 pm. You can have tea or coffee or even something else. And a cinnamon bun is part of the deal. Different right? For me, a cinnamon bun is a whole meal. In the Netherlands we have cake when it is someones birthday, or eat a cookie together. Homemade cookies are still special, since not everyone has time to bake. What is your take on Fika?

    Fredags mys

    • Friday cosy or fredags mys is a popular concept in Sweden. It is eating comfort food, like pizza and chips. Wow, such a nice concept it is the dutch borrel, might be a little the same?


    • Just read a whole book about the concept of lagom. It is the Swedish way of life. Lagom is a balancing act, it’s a desire for the good doing everything just right. Lagom is an experience, art and a lifestyle. It is the design, interior decoration, architecture and nature.
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    Turkish habits, customs and lifestyle

    Turkish habits, customs and lifestyle


    Turkey is a beautiful country, where a visit to the country will be more than worthwhile. Like all other countries, Turkey is also known for many things. Perhaps good to know before you visit the oh so beautiful vacation country!


    Asking for photos

    Don't be surprised if in Turkey you are asked for a nice picture. In many places in Turkey there are mainly people of Turkish origin and therefore they find it quite special, as soon as someone with a different origin walks past them.


    Unexpected visit

    In Turkey, receiving unexpected visitors is very normal. In Turkey, the inhabitants are very hospitable and receiving visitors is something they hold in high esteem. You are not seen as a stranger, but as family. For that reason it is not common that they often indicate that they want to come along. Whether the visitors come super early in the morning or stay until late at night, this is all normal. Often they even offer to stay the night and this is not something strange to be surprised about.


    Turkish tea

    Something that can't be missed in Turkey is drinking Turkish tea. It is sometimes seen as rude if you refuse to drink Turkish tea (for example when visiting). Keep in mind that the locals often don't stick to one cup and will refill your cup despite your indication that you don't want any more. Putting your teaspoon on the cup is a sign that you really do not need to fill it up again, this is an often used tactic to indicate in a polite way that you do not want to drink any more.


    Deceive customers

    Currently, the economy in Turkey is not doing well and many locals see only a way to cheat people in order to provide a (good) income. As soon as they notice that you are from abroad, you need to be extra careful. Often the prices are not mentioned on the product and you have to ask how much it costs. If you come from abroad, you will be asked a much larger amount. Try to take someone with you who speaks the language and/or avoid these kinds of stores and only buy in stores where the prices are already listed.


    Ice Cream Man

    Want to get some ice cream from the ice cream man? Then be ready for a fight with the ice cream man, because you don't always get that ice cream just like that! The ice cream men in Turkey often play pranks, this is what they are known for. Once you want to take the ice cream, this does not always go as you had hoped. On YouTube you can find nice movies of how people, often children, are fooled by the ice cream man. 1 thing is certain: being an ice cream man in Turkey cannot be seen as a boring job!


    Point system (school, study & profession)

    In Turkey they do not have the luxury of being able to make many choices regarding their school, study and profession themselves, it is all based on a points system. You score an amount of points when you take an exam, based on the number of points scored, you are offered a number of options of educations that you may study. After choosing an education, you often end up in a draw first: it is not certain whether you can take that education. Even if you succeed in being admitted to the education, you are not there yet, because within the education there are also exams based on points that determine the direction you may/must take within the education. A small example is if you are training to be a 'police officer', you are not allowed to just stand everywhere like a cop. The more dangerous your position as a police officer is, the more points you need for this. In addition to the fact that you can't just choose an education and pursue a particular profession, you also don't have the option to choose a school or the location of your work. You give a number of preferences, to study and/or work in certain cities in Turkey and then they will look to see if there is a place there for you as a student and/or employee desired. Many students find the whole points system to be poorly work and unfortunately this is reflected in practice. Finding work is incredibly difficult, so much that even many students who have completed university are retracing a new university education in the hope that they will be able to find work that way. At a young age, children already live with a great deal of stress because there is nothing but uncertainty about studying and working in Turkey.



    Family is incredibly important, specifically when it comes to parents. People spend a lot of time with family and everyone has a lot of respect for each other. There are no flaws in caring for the parents and older people in the family, as they deserve good care from the family members and this cannot be handled loosely. They feel it is important that their honor is not affected and they contribute to this together.



    Cats are very popular animals in Turkey, they are also seen as beautiful animals in Islam. You will often see residents giving cats something to eat, often you will see trays with food and water ready for the cats. You can also pet them, they often do nothing and love to be loved.


    The bus

    Want to catch the bus? Then keep in mind that sometimes the buses drive off with the doors open. Do not stand near the door and pay close attention to this as well.


    The army

    It is mandatory for men in Turkey to enter the army for a certain number of months. By doing this, you get a salary and the great title of "soldier" for this. Being a soldier, is seen as something honorable and important. Parents are therefore prouder than proud. Once their son enters the army, they proudly calling themselves 'the parent of a soldier'.


    Going out in the evening

    In Turkey, it is not the case that it is better to stay at home during the evening hours due to safety concerns. Due to the heat that is least tolerable during the day, many locals tend to congregate outside only after sunset. Until the beginning of the night you see that everywhere is full with many families sitting together. Moreover, there is also a different kind of fine ambiance in the evening hours, therefore do not feel withdrawn to try this out.


    The weather

    The weather in Turkey can be quite different. Winter is known for being colder than cold, there is so much rain and snow that there is often severe weather. There are small annual floods in various places and some people can't even leave their homes because of the height of the snow that has fallen on their doorstep, which can be meters high! The summers on the other hand are often very hot, with temperatures around 40/45 degrees. It is not recommended to walk outside in the afternoon, because the sun is at its strongest. The three most important things to pay attention to are sunscreen, avoiding the sun as much as possible and drinking enough water.


    Throwing garbage on the street

    Don't be surprised if you see people throwing trash on the street instead of in the trash can. Throwing trash on the street is seen as normal and certainly not as the end of the world. Sometimes, when asking for a trash can in the neighborhood, people will even indicate that you can just throw it on the ground somewhere.



    If you become unexpectedly ill while in Turkey, you can expect to receive a serum when you visit the hospital. In Turkey, a serum is often administered directly in the hospital as a first resort. This serum is intended to make you feel well again as soon as possible, preferably within an hour of being administered.


    Production of food

    Every province/city in Turkey is known for producing something to eat. For example, the city of Malatya is known for the best dried apricots. Around summer time, if you visit this city, you can find apricots everywhere, openly dried on the ground under the sun. This total work usually takes about three/four months of time, this is then sold in the market and/or to big suppliers for abroad. Many people do not have the opportunity to work and see this as their chance to make money, annually for several months they are busy all day with heavy physical work under the sun. This is also the money they have to live with for the year, but don't underestimate this: this often yields a lot of money!

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