5 april 2012
Hold the door open please
After one year of studying in Wageningen I have just realized one nice custom observed by Dutch people. It is a simple thing that they normally do and which they call a form of politeness.
Here, if you want to walk through a door and there is someone in front of you, he or she will keep the door until you walk through. At first I didn't think this custom was such a big deal until one day a Dutch guy who was walking with me through the toxicology lab told me jokingly, 'You know what, sometimes I feel confused about whether I have to close the door directly or have to wait for someone five metres behind me'. Maybe he told me this joke because he had to hold the door open for about two minutes to wait for me to walk through it. Then suddenly I remembered an incident when one of my Indonesian friends got scolded by an old lady when she forgot to keep the door in the train open for her. The old lady ran up to my friend and said that her nose was almost hit by the door.
So from now on if you go through a door just keep in mind not to forget to look behind you and hold the door open for anyone who is following you. Not only for the sake of politeness but also for the safety of someone behind you.
Yuni Kuswanti (from Indonesia) MSc Food Safety