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One of the most useful Dutch words for all foreigners to learn the language has to be “gezellig”.  It seems, sounds and means cozy, close, comfort, accompanied, warm, etc. This “gezellig” is embedded deeply in the Dutch culture, so you can hear it often on many occasions.  For example, if you ask someone to join you for coffee, he or she will reply “gezellig”!

Compared to other European countries’ strict measures against corona, such as Italy and France, the Netherlands is very proud its innovative and intelligent lock down measures. It means that people are allowed to walk outside of house without any essential reasons, but with social distancing of 1.5 meter. Kids are allowed to play in the park for example. This new lockdown policy is somehow on the opposite of the essential Dutch gezellig culture. For this reason, today the government launched a new campaign, called “samen alleen”, which is translated as “together alone”. In this 30-second message, the audience can feel the united mental energy, people are still together regardless of the physical distancing.

On the daily news you still can hear people help each other as they always do, many flower shop owners donated the flowers to the hospitals; restaurant owners handout the meal boxes to the seniors for free, etc.

Samen allen




2020 March 25

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Thank you for sharing

Dear Xiaolan This is such a nice way to share with us the cultural response to the change in people's lives in the Netherlands. And to remind us of the kindness among people during tough times.


Samen Alleen/We are Together


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