“”There are only two things I can't stand in this world. People who are intolerant of other people's cultures, and the Dutch.
|—Michael Caine, Austin Powers in Goldmember|Holland The Netherlands is a small, mostly urban, and very liberal European nation located west of Germany on the North Sea. Historically, it has been known for legal weed and hookers its vast trade wealth, ingenious system of land reclamation, Protestant theologians, and (in a similar vein) its staunch Calvinism. In the modern era it is noted, in varying degrees depending on what social philosophy you subscribe to, for its notoriously egalitarian social mores and its enviable standard of living and permissive abortion laws.
Although the country is commonly called "Holland", technically, Holland is only the name of two of the twelve provinces of the Netherlands, namely North and South Holland.
How the Dutch went from being one of the most dour people ever to walk the face of the earth to being as extremely liberal as they are today is probably a long story.
The Netherlands was a hodgepodge of cities and principalities until united under the Duke of Burgundy in 1433. When the Burgundian Duchy passed to Charles V the Holy Roman Emperor, so did the Netherlands. Charles was succeeded by his son Philip II of Spain, and so the Netherlands became a Spanish territory. Charles had been born in the Low countries city of Ghent, but Philip had only lived there 4 years and was uninterested in the area. When the reformation came to the Netherlands the resulting friction with Catholic Spain resulted in the 80 years war (1568-1648), and the independence of the northern provinces of the Netherlands as the Dutch Republic, more or less the same area of the modern Kingdom of the Netherlands. After Holland became independent, the majority of the Dutch people became Calvinists. The Dutch were tolerant of minorities and religious groups that moved there to escape persecution in their own countries.
Since the 1960s Christianity has declined in Holland. Only a minority today believe in a personal god. They allow euthanasia with safeguards, and they tolerate “soft drugs” which are not considered worse than alcohol. In 2001, Holland became the first country in the world to recognize gender-neutral marriage. In terms of religion and religious controversies, the Netherlands' most notable citizens include the anti-Islam campaigner Geert Wilders and the murdered filmmaker Theo van Gogh.
 Toeristische attracties
The Netherlands is a beautiful country with a rich heritage and much to see. It was the home of Vincent Van Gogh, Anne Frank and others, and has many miles of picturesque countryside, along with a great selection of museums and other cultural landmarks. You can spend many years in the Netherlands and still not see it all! But you're going there just to smoke weed, aren't you?
 Hollandaise sauce
- "They said, 'fly to Amsterdam', where the people laughed but the press went mad" - Complete Control, The Clash.
- Jools Holland is an English piano playing kind of musician, but pretty much a telly presenter these days.
- The Holland Tunnel goes nowhere near Holland, but it does go below sea level.
- Eggs Benedict.
- "In Amsterdam there lived a maid...who was always takin' a sailor's pay/I'll go no more a-roamin' with you, fair maid." Traditional (English) Morris Song
- Back of an envelope - H.O.L.L.A.N.D. - Hope our love lasts and never dies
- John Wayne's nickname was "Dutch" even though he was 'Mercan