From today’s edition of the Radio Netherlands Press review:
The Dutch St Nicholas holiday, which sees presents given on the evening of the 5 December, is the number one Dutch tradition.
According to a survey conducted by the Centre for Dutch Culture, the centre made a list of the 100 most-cited traditions. The Sunday edition of De Telegraaf had a photograph of Queen Beatrix hanging up a typical Dutch tea towel on a clothesline with the logo for “The Year of Traditions 2009”.
De Telegraaf writes: “It’s probably been quite some time since she hung up the wash herself. But yesterday that’s how the queen officially opened the Year of Traditions. Afterwards pupils from Hilversum followed her example and hung up 100 tea towels with the name of the tradition written on each one.”
Among the top ten traditions are Queen’s Day, eating raw herring, and serving doughnut balls on New Year’s Eve.
In the survey, people were not given examples but were asked to fill in their own ideas of what Dutch traditions are. The end of Ramadan – the sugar feast or Eid al-Fitr -came in 14th place, showing the influence of immigration in this country.
Further down the list are the Muslim Feast of Sacrifice and the Jewish day of repentance, Yom Kippur.
The tradition of cycling comes in 34th place, reading e-mails in 56th and, last but not least, the 100th top Dutch tradition is watching the 8 pm evening news.
Source: Radio Netherlands, 3 November 2008
Also: Islamic Festival Named as Dutch Tradition
The Sugar Feast, which marks the end of the Islamic fasting month Ramadan, comes 14th on a league table of Dutch traditions. The list was drawn up by the Dutch Centre for Folk Culture.
The centre (Nederlands Centrum voor Volkscultuur, NCV) asked several thousand people to put forward traditions that they considered important for themselves or for the Netherlands as a whole. No shortlist of options was drawn up in advance. The results, a top 100, were announced at the opening of the Year of the Traditions by Queen Beatrix in Hilversum.
Number one in the top 100 is the feast of Sinterklaas. This Dutch precursor of Santa Claus, celebrated each year on 5 December, is followed on the list by the decoration of a Christmas Tree. In third place is Queen’s Day on 30 April.
The Sugar Feast is surprisingly number fourteen on the list, apparently due to contributions from Muslims. Also, the circumcision of boys, which does not traditionally take place in the Netherlands, is number 74. Also surprising was the fact that the national anthem, the Wilhelmus, did not occur in the top 100.
Source: NIS News, 4 November 2008