Talk: Why the Dutch are Different

Join us for talk with Ben Coates about Why the Dutch are Different: Into the Hidden Heart of the  Netherlands. Ben Coates wrote a book about contemporary Dutch culture and the Netherlands. Ben was stranded at Schiphol airport on his way home from Cuba so called up a friendly Dutch girl he had met a few months earlier to take her out for dinner. He stayed over at her place. Actually, he stayed for good. Why the Dutch are Different is a personal account of a changing country and an adopted home. It takes us from Britain’s rocky relationship with the Netherlands through to Carnival, exactly why the colour orange is so important and the changing Dutch political atmosphere.

To many it has a reputation as a beacon of liberalism, tolerance and prosperity and should be used as a template for the UK. But is its reputation still justified?

We will move beyond the clichés of clogs, bicycles and the red light district to understand what really lies at the heart of the country. Not only do the Dutch earn more money for working less hours, the Netherlands is ‘happier than Britain, more efficient than France, more tolerant than America, more worldly than Norway, more modern than Belgium and more fun than Germany.’

The Netherlands is literally a self-made country; decades of struggle and ingenuity wrested the land from the water using windmills, dykes and canals, and made it safe to live on. This has shaped the people’s attitude towards the environment. Constant danger of flooding and a terrible disaster in 1953 means that to the Dutch, nature is an disruptive force to be conquered and contained. Which leads us to another surprise: the Dutch are surprisingly fond of rules. Signed copies will be available for a special price of £10.

Ben Coates was born in Britain in 1982, and during his career has been a political advisor, corporate speechwriter, lobbyist and aid worker. He now lives in Rotterdam with his Dutch wife and works for an international charity. He has written articles for numerous publications including the Guardian, Financial Times, and Huffington Post.

Event details

  • Date: Tuesday 13 October 2015
  • English spoken
  • Time: 7.00 pm
  • Doors open: 6.30 pm
  • Tickets: £10. Students: £5
  • Location: Dutch Centre, 7 Austin Friars, London EC2N2HA
Past Events

Event details

  • October 13, 2015
  • Tuesday, 12:00 AM to 12:00 AM

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Talk: Why the Dutch are Different

Tuesday, 12:00 AM to 12:00 AM
October 13, 2015

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Talk: Why the Dutch are Different

Tuesday, 12:00 AM to 12:00 AM
October 13, 2015

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