The Dutch are always seen as being a romantic people. Maybe it’s the vibrant tulips, bursting with flirty colour. Or perhaps its the world famous Netherlands escorts that men travel from far and wide to see. The Amsterdam spirit is certainly one of freedom and liberation, exploration and excitement. The common portrayal is one of laughter and happy go lucky spirits with thick accents speaking broken English with an excitement that few other non native speakers can muster. Cafes lining the river and fresh, hot coffee with various pastries: it sounds like a scene from Milan, where amorous Italians would dine beside the Naviglio Pavese, or the smoky streets of Paris. Surely this is the setting for some great romance, a love story of epic proportions as well as the home of many happy relationships.
And yet... The event doesn’t make it into the top 20 holidays in the Netherlands. Only 25% of men were looking forward to it, a dismal reflection of what should be a time of love and passion mingling in equal measure. You could maybe argue that traditional gender roles would dictate that a woman is much more likely to be excited, given the typical preponderance of females being showered with gifts whilst men receive a card and a token present. Then you see that 60% of women share this indifference to what is supposedly one of the most important day of the year for most couples. A staggering 60% of the Dutch people don’t celebrate at all. So where did it all go wrong? When did this nation of free spirits become a bunch of dour killjoys whose romantic urges are more than a little lacking?
Despite popular media presentations of the nation and its people, it’s not actually that much of a liberal place. There was certainly a liberal movement through the capital after the war but it was never this country of open shirts and flowing hair. Despite the popularity of Netherlands escorts, they are very much the exception. In general the Dutch have been considered to be a bland people, much like their iconic clogs they were functional rather than stylish. The lowlands were far from the ideal European charm before the glamorizing of the liberal movement and in truth much of that came from the availability of marijuana and the Total Football that seemed so swashbuckling and brave after the catenaccio of the 60’s. In reality, the Dutch have never been as utterly accepting as they were portrayed, and now the country is beginning to lean towards right wing politics that seem to be so at odds with their image.