Hidden Holland

A “plantsoen” in the town of Sliedrecht (© Foto RPAS Donk/Sliedrecht 24)

This programme was part of a series on lesser noticed aspects of life in the Netherlands. In this episode, a British national discusses with anthropologist Harie Hoetink what has struck her about this country during the first five years she has lived here. Of course, there is the obligatory coffee and cookie that no newcomer can fail to notice, but what about the Dutch notoriety for being tight-fisted? And our love for loud intense discussions that makes outsiders think we’re arguing or being rude? And why is it that in a typical Dutch town, every few hundred metres or so, you run into a Dutch institution called a “plantsoen”—a perfectly groomed little patch of green, accentuated with something resembling sculpture?

Producer: Anne Blair Gould

Broadcast: 1992