Come fly with me – but please abide by the rules!

KLM – the Dutch Royal Airways or Royal Aviation Company (tomato/tomatoe) its the Netherlands answer to British Airways but with groovy painted planes. From its founders in 1919 KLM is now the oldest running airline of all time.  Transporting 29 million pieces of luggage a day its a rather large operation  and aims not to loose your baggage although this can happen. With 29 million pieces what do you expect?! 

As published on the Dutch Review.

Continue reading Come fly with me – but please abide by the rules!

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Alles wat ik wil voor Kerstmis is dat je!

Over on the Dutch Review I have shared my ultimate Dutch Christmas Song Playlist. Its harder than it looks to find Christmas tunes that aren’t in English but I’ve come up with 5 favourites to get you in the spirit for festive cheer and other office party based frivolities.

So move over Mariah! Bog off Bing Crosby! Sayonara Shakin’ Stevens! Piss off the Pogues. Copping off in the stationary cupboard or photocopying various body parts is still optional at your Office Christmas Party but here are some of my favourites that you should have on your playlist.  

So crack out the Advocaat and fill your face with Kerstkransjes  and let’s get this party started!

 5. Kling klokje klingelingeling

[embedyt] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sOwrRyfKKIM%5B/embedyt%5D

A children’s song that is as catchy as it is angelic. ‘Klingelingeling’ translating to ‘bell ringing’ in English is a song about a clock counting down to Christmas. Loved by the masses and sang by 5 year olds everywhere Kling Klokke Klingelingeling comes in at Nummer 5!

 

4. Marco Borsato – Kerstmis

[embedyt] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=idbam7QRYe0%5B/embedyt%5D

There is magic, there is fake snow, there is Marco. Such a powerfully festive recipe right there. It’s a feel good movie song and they basicailly shout Christmas on nearly every other line of the song and I am totally fine with that.

 

3. De Jeugd van Tegenwoordig & Katja – Ho Ho Ho

[embedyt] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8uFkoUsA2Rs%5B/embedyt%5D

Get that grove on and feel Hip this festive season. Think The Fresh Prince, its 90s Hip Hop style and who doesn’t love a bit of rap every now and then?! Get those shoulders bouncing and be a Kerstballer with the rest of us! Ho Ho Ho is my nummer 3.

2. Nick & Simon – Vrolijk Kerstfeest

[embedyt] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B5karFyNtiU%5B/embedyt%5D

They are sickly sweet and devilishly handsome Nick en Simon always make it on to any of my Dutch singers’ lists. . This countrified tune will have your foot tapping and hips swaying from the intro. Be it the bells or just the tune Vrolijk Kerstfeest has got me right in the mood and comes in at nummer 2!

 1. De Toppers met Een heel gelukkig kerstfeest!

[embedyt] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VX0M_1Be7GU%5B/embedyt%5D

One of the first Dutch Christmas Songs I ever heard and learnt. It’s a tune that never leaves me throughout the Christmas period and the video to this one from Toppers is like the most cliché Christmas party ever. I hope my attempt at hosting family this Christmas plays out like this! That’s why Een heel gelukkig Kerstfeest just has to be my nummer 1!

 

the-office

To sing us out I’m going to leave you with the Helemaal Hollands’ Kerstmedley which has all of your favourite tacky Christmas songs to get you in the spirit of Christmas and have you dancing round like a buffoon in a festive sweater. I could have left you with the fabulous Simone Kleinsma’s Kerstmedley   but that felt far too sophisticated.

[embedyt] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bhuzKqeJPO4%5B/embedyt%5D

Old people dying for a bit of company

Dominating the news as of late across Holland is Euthanasia. The Dutch Government want to amend the current euthanasia law so that elderly people who think they have completed their lives, may end that life. A nice sentiment but one that comes with more than just a loaded gun. The sad news of parliamentarian Frans Jozef van der Heijden and his wife Connie’s joint suicide is more than a statement of will and whether you are for or against euthanasia it is an option taken up mostly by old people. With loneliness sighted as one of the leading reasons for self-chosen end of life the Dutch have looked at ways to tackle the problem.

If you were stuck for another way in which the Dutch have the right idea then allow me to add to your list. How many times have you visited your Gran or Grandad in the last month? Taken a coffee with Oma or talked politics with Opa this week? Well fear not, for they may have replaced you with a student.

As seen on the DutchReview.com 

Continue reading Old people dying for a bit of company

Improve your Dutch or pay the price!

New rules from the Dutch Government that came in to force earlier this year mean that people with poor language skills will be forced improve themselves by attending language classes or suffer the consequences.  This rule is for people claiming benefits in Holland. Those who refuse to improve themselves risk having their benefits cut. 20% for the first 12 months before being cut all together if no improvement is made.

It sounds like a harsh new rule but one I thought would harness debate. 

Continue reading Improve your Dutch or pay the price!

Dying to be Dutch – A Crime Against Humanity?

The full article can be found over at The Dutch Review!


Euthanasia. Assisted dying. Whatever you wish to call it, the end result is the same. End of life.

A Dutch documentary aired back in February  showed the story of a 68 year old woman with semantic dementia being euthanised. You can watch the full documentary here.

 

Suicide vs. Euthanasia (death without the paperwork?) 

The Dutch law allows euthanasia to take place if the person requesting it does not suffer from physical problems constituting unbearable and hopeless suffering. The Dutch law is a bit backwards in this way – only when in a situation of ‘unbearable and hopeless suffering’ would you ever consider assisted dying so you can’t make and wouldn’t really need to make that decision without the contributing factor of illness or hopelessness.

Right-to-die organisations across the Netherlands have made new calls more recently for a “last will pill” making assisted dying easier and more accessible specifically to those turned down by doctors but is that really what we need in this world?

Continue reading Dying to be Dutch – A Crime Against Humanity?