Dutch people have a great enthusiasm for beer. No matter who, – girls, guys, ladies, gentlemen –, no matter when – Fridays, Easter, while playing darts –, the Dutch always come up to you with a beer in one hand. And when the weather is sunny, you will always see Dutch students sitting outside on the Forum steps having a beer.
Illustration Henk van Ruitenbeek
One of the funniest things happened to me when I told my Dutch supervisor: ‘Hey Mike, today is Mid-Autumn Festival’. For an Asian, especially a Chinese person, the first thing that springs to mind when people mention the Mid-Autumn Festival is moon cake, because it's so typical and special, just like Dutch oliebollen at New Year. But Mike replied: ‘Oh, then you are going to drink beer tonight!’
Two months later, I still can't help laughing out loud when I think of that answer: it is just hilarious. We would never combine beer and Mid-Autumn Festival because they just don't go together. But I can really understand why Mike does make the connection. Beer is very important to the Dutch and to them, any festivity is a good reason to drink it.
Jiajia Ling, an MSc student of Environmental Sciences, from China
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