On the Front Lines of Dutch Minds
It’s time for 2nd Opinion. A newsletter with films, capturing the breadth (or narrowness) of Dutch perspectives in culture, politics and business.
Written without fear or favour, I look for the most insightful, revealing or just quirky stories in print or online — whether the action is local or further afield.
One topic per post, generously defined. One or two posts most weeks.
A note on editorial: I’m Mark, an Englishman in Amsterdam and an ex-foreign correspondent still yoked to the old standard of objectivity. What I report here is de manier waarop de kranten het zeggen, the way the newspapers put it. Then I’ll also stir my own research into the mix. Above all, I try to find what’s pittig: the spicy, sweet or sour. Nutritious or not.
Each article includes links to the source publications and short excerpts from the original Dutch. Whether you are a capable Dutch speaker or a novice, they'll help you to decipher the contradictions of life in the Netherlands - with all its depths and shallowness.
Insights from 2nd Opinion can help you to lift the lid on this sometimes beguiling, often opaque, open/closed, metropolitan/parochial, direct/indirect, in-your-face/reticent and always many-faceted culture.
These articles might just help you to make friends too. Or just occasionally, to impress colleagues and neighbours with your commitment to cross-cultural understanding. In a small way, 2nd Opinion aspires to make the attributes of living in, or alongside, Dutch culture feel more rewarding.
Please help this foray in cross-cultural understanding. Feel free to comment, critique and point me in the right direction. When I miss something useful or telling, send it my way.
A paid subscription will sustain this custom brew of entertainment, information and perhaps even a little indulgence during your coffee break. For consistency, the rate is pegged to the asking price for just one Pumpkin Spice Frappuccino — but surely the bigger contribution to cultural diversity.
Or for a flavour of what’s to come, just read on.
Met vriendelijke groeten,
Why subscribe? Subscribers get full access to the newsletter, archive, all our short films and the Opinionated Dutch Almanac, a real-time web app updated throughout the year. Plus bonus material - interviews, galleries and films. Every new post from 2nd Opinion goes directly to your inbox.