“Are you from Holland or from The Netherlands?”
I have been asked that question so many times while traveling. And I have to admit, I can’t blame people for asking: even to us Dutch people (why ‘Dutch people’ and not ‘Netherlands people’ or ‘Holland people’?!) it is a bit confusing!
So why do some people call my country Holland while others call it The Netherlands?
The short and simple answer is this:
The Netherlands is often referred to as Holland. Nevertheless, the official name of the country is the (Kingdom of the) Netherlands. The Netherlands consists of twelve provinces. Two of them, North and South Holland, are the two provinces that together make Holland. Due to the maritime and economic power of these provinces in the 17th century, the Netherlands became known worldwide as Holland.
Internationally, ‘Holland’ is still often used to indicate the Netherlands and therefore I too call my own country Holland most of the time… it’s just easier! But now you know, officially I am from The Netherlands and the language we speak here is called Dutch, never to be confused with ‘Deutsch’ which means ‘German’ in German! Oh how confusing it can be…
Watch this hilarious video to learn a bit more about Holland vs The Netherlands and some of our weird habits…
Are you thinking about visiting this beautiful country?
You should! For more information about The Netherlands / Holland visit the country’s official tourism website Holland.com
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Featured image: houtenklompen.wordpress.com