I’m an English expat living in Holland and from an English point of view I’ve found that the Dutch can often behave in a way which appears to be rude. It is however, considered entirely normal within the Dutch culture.
I am therefore faced with momentary decisions on how I should react to the locals. Do I ‘retaliate’ with behaviour or language which although is fitting to the local culture, I consider to be rude? Or do I behave politely only to have my head bitten off?
Ironically, the difficulty really is literally in my own head – when I don’t hear the “Please” or “Thank you”, my instinct is to interpret the sentence as rude, when in reality it really is not meant to be so.
But what about my children? How should I raise them in a culture which from an English perspective grates on my nerves when my guard isn't up?
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