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The Netherlands: Why Everyone Should Try Their Lifestyle

People in the Netherlands live quite differently than we do in the U.S. And as a result, they seem to be much less anxious and stressed than we are. Here are ten reasons why everyone should try the lifestyle of the Netherlands.

1. They always say hello

In the Netherlands, it is customary to say “hello” to, or at least acknowledge everyone you encounter, whether it’s walking into a store or walking by someone on the street. In general, people tend to be happier and more outgoing because of this practice.

2. Marijuana use is accepted

The practice of buying and using marijuana is accepted in the Holland region of the Netherlands. This includes the capital city of Amsterdam. Because of this, tourists have flocked to the city, and there is much less crime.

3. Prisoners are treated like humans

The prison facilities in the Netherlands emphasize the importance of treatment and use a point system. Detainees are able to earn points by building up their responsibilities at the prison and making accomplishments, such as cleaning, cooking and doing laundry. These points can be used as money to buy shampoo, soda, cigarettes, etc. Because of the treatments done in prisons and clinics for detainees with mental illness, there is a much lower rate of recidivism.

4. Healthcare is always offered

Everyone in the Netherlands pays significant taxes, but they go towards providing healthcare for everyone, despite being registered or not. Everyone can be treated, despite who they are and what insurance they have. It’s a much more collectivist society.

5. Fresh air

The majority of the Netherlands is below sea level. When the country was being expanded, canals had to be built to contain the excess water from fields. These fields are extremely rich in minerals, not to mention the air quality is pristine.

6. They waste less

Water and food are not wasted in the Netherlands. It is an extremely green country, using windmills and water for power in some places. When a portion of food is taken, one should consider the amount that they will be able to eat and should avoid waste.

7. They take breaks

In Spain it’s considered a siesta; in England it’s high tea. But in the Netherlands, it’s a glorified coffee and smoke break. At three in the afternoon every day, workers all around the Netherlands take a break for coffee. This is taken very seriously and in some jobs, it is required.

8. There are no stray dogs

In the Netherlands there are strict breeding rules for dogs in order to eliminate the amount of stray dogs. There are essentially no stray dogs, and dog mistreatment is taken as a serious crime.

9. They don’t have homework

Netherlands primary school systems do not assign homework. This is because they want children to be able to focus throughout the school day, specifically on work. When they go home, it is time for play. This creates a much more focused environment in school and allows less stress and more time to play when home.

10. They care about each other

The Netherlands culture is a collectivist society. This means that most things that are done to improve society are done for the improvement of everyone. No individual situations are considered. Therefore, everyone works together to create the country and society system that they have. In turn, they respect and care for one another.

I'm Mel, a hockey playing, musical performing, cat lover from Connecticut. An aspiring broadcast journalist, I hope to post content that captures the essence of emerson, while also encouraging others to make differences within their community.
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