Netherlands: Halbe Zijlstra

Article by Halbe Zijlstra, State Secretary of Education, Culture and Science: “Ain’t nothing like the real thing”, is what Marvin Gaye used to sing back in the sixties. And it is this line that instantly came to my mind when I was …


Koninginnedag: Queen’s Day in the Netherlands

Today the Dutch celebrate Queen Beatrix. Happy Queen’s Day to the Netherlands! Queen’s Day, or Koninginnedag in Dutch, is a national holiday in the Netherlands, Curacao, Sint Maarten and Aruba. Before Queen’s Day the Dutch celebrated ‘Princess Day’ on August 31st. …



5 December: Sinterklaas

Here in the Hague, the tension rises (and not just because we have the CCPA Annual General Meeting in Rotterdam tomorrow). According to Dutch tradition, on the evening of December 5,  Sinterklaas is delivering his presents to every child’s home.  Sinterklaas (or more formally Sint …



The Art and Life of Johannes Vermeer

It’s hard to believe that for two centuries Johannes Vermeer, whose painting Girl with a pearl earring is among the most famous art works in the world, was barely mentioned in any of the resources on 17th-century Dutch painting. He …