netherlands01Gezellig means cosy, relaxed, informal - it means feeling comfortable with a group of friends.

The Flemish speaking region of Belgium also use the word, but in Flanders gezellig means feeling comfortable at home, with the family, having a quiet evening in. Dutch gezellig is more socially orientated; a combination of good atmosphere and close friends.

The 'polder model' means keeping your head down and avoid being conspicuous. A polder is a piece of low-lying land reclaimed from the sea; there is nothing lower than a polder; everyone stays at the same level thus avoiding disagreements and unnecessary provocations.

'Beste stuurlui staan aan wal' means literally, 'the best steersmen are ashore', and describes a Dutch trait of missing the forest for the trees.

A popular saying is 'doe maar gewoon, dan doe je gek genoeg', which means 'be crazy. Act normal.' ('If you're normal then you are crazy enough.')

A European business magazine survey (2006) revealed that Dutch managers were the most aggressive when it came to responding to a 'crashed computer'. The English were least aggressive (free time - make a cup of tea). The Swiss and the Norwegians went home.