Not all dutch people (or: Dutchies) are alike of course. Still, there are a couple of common characteristics of Dutchies that you probably will recognize when you get to know them. We listed seven of these characteristics. Please note that this is not a 100% right guide to who all Dutch people are.


  1. The Dutch are overall very tolerant. A famous Dutch saying is ‘leef en laat leven’ (live and let live). They believe that everyone should make decisions about their own life and that people should not be criticized for their choices.
  2. A popular Dutch saying is ‘afspraak is afspraak’ (appointment means appointment). This means that when the Dutch make an appointment, they generally won’t cancel and they will be on time. The other way around, they also expect this from you.
  3. All over the world, the Dutch are known for their directness. Some people call it rude, the Dutch would call it being clear and honest. So you don’t have to be offended if someone is telling you very directly what he or she thinks of you. And you could even see this as a chance to tell people what you think of them.
  4. The Dutch really love free stuff. Especially free food is very much appreciated.
  5. Dutchies are known for their assertiveness. Take advantage of this, the Dutch probably won’t be too shy to talk to you.
  6. The Dutch interact relatively informal with each other because they believe that everyone should be treated equal. This is reflected in the use of the words ‘je’ and ‘u’. ‘Je’ is the informal way of saying you and ‘u’ the formal way. Even though sometimes you are expected to use the ‘u’ word, in a lot of companies the CEO is even called ‘je’ by his or her employees.
  7. The Dutch are also known for the ‘Poldermodel’. Officially, this word is used for the consensus-based decision-making between employers, unions and the government. In practice, we see that the Dutch people often strive for consensus-based decision-making.