Rokjesdag
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Rokjesdag 2017

Today is the first "ROKJESDAG" of 2017. What is Rokjesdag or Skirt Day? It is officially the first day on which Dutch women wear skirts with bare legs. Every spring the men look forward to Rokjesdag, the day when the temperature is…
income tax return
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Prepare your 2016 income tax return with Blue Umbrella

Are you struggling with the Dutch tax office? Or are you having trouble calculating the tax you have to pay? Figuring out if you can receive refunds on your Dutch income tax can be confusing. Luckily, there are tax professionals out there who…
Rabobank Internet Banking
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Rabo Internet Banking

Online banking wherever you want secure online banking with your Rabo Scanner also via your tablet or mobile phone online household accounts book for better insight into your finances part of your banking package Rabo Internet…
Rabobank Opening a Bank Account
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Bank accounts

Open a bank account and decide for yourself what else you need. Opening a bank account At Rabobank, we want everyone to be able to arrange their banking as well and as cheaply as possible. You can open a bank account for just € 1.20…
FAQ
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Frequently asked questions

Mortgages explained and frequently asked questions Can I get a mortgage? Questions about student loans, the self-employed, help from parents, temporary contracts and starters You can also get a mortgage as a starter on the housing market,…
The 10 best points about a Rabobank Mortgage
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The 10 best points about a Rabobank Mortgage

A mortgage scores points on more than just its interest rate. Why choose a Rabobank mortgage? Who wouldn’t want low monthly mortgage payments? When comparing mortgages, you will undoubtedly be looking for one with a low interest rate. However,…
Mortgage refinancing
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Mortgage refinancing

See whether mortgage refinancing is an attractive option for you. Refinance your mortgage and lower your monthly repayments Refinancing a mortgage can be attractive if the current mortgage interest rate is lower than the interest rate you…
Eat at home
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Eat at home before going to a Dutch home.

It is 16:00 hours and I am at my future in-laws house having tea and two cookies. The conversation is flowing and we are getting along well. It is 18:00 hours and we are still having tea. I know this because I am hungry and I have just looked…
Confidence
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The KEY to awaken your confidence

Self-confidence is extremely important in almost every aspect of our lives, yet many people struggle to find it. How would you feel with more confidence? Studies have shown that people with more confidence feel more successful. They set…
Alternative Facts
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Alternative facts about the Netherlands

In the world of alternative facts I thought it would be helpful to show you the sides of The Netherlands you probably, maybe, very unlikely didn't know about this high land country.   Take a look at Leiden;     A…
Funny Dutch Words
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15 Funny Dutch Words

On your journey on learning Dutch (yes it is a journey, a rather large one) you will come across some ‘funny’ phrases and words. Why beat around the bush when you can be direct like a Dutch person? Here are 15 funny Dutch words I have,…
IVF
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26 Dutch women may have had their eggs fertilised with the wrong sperm during IVF

A Dutch IVF lab in Utrecht has launched an investigation after discovering that up to 26 women may have been fertilized by sperm cells from the wrong man. “Procedural error” between mid-April 2015 and mid-November 2016 was to blame, The…
Baby Names
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The most popular Dutch baby name list has been published by SVB

The popular names list is published every year by the social insurance bank, SVB. 88,494 boys and 84,286 girls in total were born in the Netherlands in 2016. Here is the list of the most popular names; TOP 10 Girl Names 2016 (with various…
National Tulip Day
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National Tulip Day

The start to Tulip season officially begins on Dam Square in Amsterdam.  The event is organised by Dutch tulip growers who build a unique tulip picking garden on Dam Square. Anyone can come and see the tulips and pick your very own, for…
Dutch Trains
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Dutch electric trains are fully powered by wind energy

The Dutch electricity company Eneco won a tender offered by the national railway company, NS. The two companies signed a 10-year deal setting January 2018 as the date by which all NS electric trains should run on wind energy. “So we in…
winter
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‘Real’ winter is coming

It seems more like it's still fall today but 'real' winter is on its way and will arrive tomorrow in the Netherlands. You can even pick up the skates out. Snow and ice at the end of the week Don't forget your gloves when you get on a…
New Year Resolutions
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20 New Year resolutions

The start of a year is also when people evaluate what they have done during the past year and what they should change in the upcoming year: the so-called New Year resolutions. Here are 20 very common ones, numbered but not intentionally ranked…
Epiphany
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Epiphany celebrations

Many Christians around the world annually celebrate Epiphany or Three King's Day on January 6. It is a public holiday in many countries and marks two events in Jesus Christ’s life, according to the Christian Bible. The first event was when…
New Year's plunge
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New Year's plunge

Those crazy Dutch! Once you survived Sinterklaas, Christmas and dodged the fireworks during new years eve you think you can finally relax. Well, guess again. How the tradition started I don't know but on the first of January masses of children,…
New Year
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Why New Year’s Eve is My Least Favourite Day of the Dutch Year

Those bangs you heard already in November? The ones that made you think for a split second that a gun battle had broken out in your Dutch neighbourhood? Those bangs are the reason I’ve always looked forward to a Dutch New Year’s Eve as…
festive season
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Help! I got the festive season blues

The festive season and end-of-year celebrations are supposed to be the most joyous time of the year: fancy dress, gourmet foods, decorations, lights, parties, music, gifts and an opportunity to spend time with family and friends. But this is…
Haarlem Jazz Wintereditie
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Haarlem’s Christmas carol singalong

Harlem Jazz & More Winter Edition with Christmas carols (Kerstsamenzang in Dutch) set against the backdrop of Haarlem’s historic buildings of the Grote Markt starts tonight at 19:00. The Christmas carol singalong at the Grote Markt…
Interview month
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Interview of the month December

In my goal to inspire people, I write these interviews, revealing expats’ personal journey’s. Arriving in a new country and feeling ‘’at Home’’ is a challenge.  So how do you integrate easily? This month I introduce you to…
Haarlem Connect 2016
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HAARLEM CONNECT 2016: THE EVE, THE MOVIE, THE PHOTOS

It was a night full of interesting speakers, performances, the Information Plaza and meeting other internationals. It was great to see you there. Here are the movie and the photos. Can't wait to see the movie or the photos? The Haarlem Connect…
Haarlem Winter Beer Festival 2016
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Haarlem Winter Beer Festival 2016

For the fifth time Winkeliersvereniging Raaks, Café Brilliant and Jopenkerk Haarlem join hands to organize the Haarlem Winter Beer Festival. The Haarlem Winter Beer Festival is this weekend, on Saturday 10 and Sunday 11 December, 2016.…
Kerstmarkt Haarlem (Photo: Haarlem Marketing)
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Overcrowded Christmas market Haarlem in the top 5 of the Netherlands

The Christmas market in Haarlem is one of the biggest in our country. And overcrowded. The municipality expects this weekend more than 200,000 visitors! You are warned.   In the second weekend of December the city centre is completely…
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My First Sinterklaas

This past weekend on the evening of December 5th, I celebrated my first Sinterklaas. I first learnt of the old Dutch custom earlier this year when moving to Haarlem with my Dutch boyfriend. As a Canadian new to the tradition, I would like to…
Sinterklaas
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Sinterklaas versus Santa Claus

They both work in the same sector, wear red, and have a big white beard. For Piet's sake: what's the difference?  The Big Day Sinterklaas: Sinterklaas' "heerlijk avondje" / delicious is 5 December, although Sint arrives with a steamer…
Sinterklaas 101
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Sinterklaas 101: The Festive Period Dutch Style

It's that time of year! Sinterklaas has arrived and with him many traditions. *ahem* some you may not like *ahem* Here is a basic break down of what this all means and what traditions you may want to take part in.  Sinterklaas 101. Sinterklaas…
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Hij komt. Sinterklaas arrives!

This Sunday 13 November, St Nicholas will once again be arriving on the river Spaarne to visit the city centre of Haarlem. The boat is on its way. Nearly half filled with presents, chocoladeletters and pepernoten but who and what will…