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Hans Mof
212753.  Sun Sep 23, 2007 2:01 pm Reply with quote

The oldest democratic entities still in existence can be found in the Netherlands. The Dutch water boards (waterschappen or hoogheemraadschappen or Frisian wetterskip) are decentralised government authorities charged with the supply of water and care of water levels. The creation of water boards actually pre-dates that of the nation itself. The first appeared in 1122 in Utrecht when 20 buurschappen (farmers settlements) formed a union to dam the river Kromme Rijn.

The administrative body of waterschappen consists of landholders, leaseholders, owners of buildings, companies and residents. Importance and financial contribution decide how many representatives each category may delegate. Certain stakeholders (e.g. environmental organisations) may be given the power to appoint members. The general administrative body is elected for a period of four years (as individuals, not party representatives). The government appoints the chairperson (dijkgraaf = count of the dike) for a period of six years.The water boards‘ borders don‘t (necessarily) coincide with municipal or provincial borders.

In the centuries to come many more water boards were founded all with the principal task of flood protection. In the 19th century there were about 3500 waterschappen (far more than municipals). Due to numerous rearrangements there are 27 waterschappen in the Netherlands today. The afore-mentioned oldest water board hoogheemraadschap van Lekwijk Bovendams merged with hoogheemradschap De Stichtse Rijnlanden. The oldset of today‘s existing water boards the hoogheenraadschap van Rijnland, founded in 1255.

Last edited by Hans Mof on Sun Sep 23, 2007 2:07 pm; edited 1 time in total

212754.  Sun Sep 23, 2007 2:06 pm Reply with quote

My uncle is a retired dijkgraaf (a "dike duke"). I've always found it a really cool title.

341983.  Thu May 22, 2008 10:51 am Reply with quote

Whilst researching family names I may have discovered the reason why the British sometimes call the NETHERLANDS Holland. Its steams from how the Danes describe the county, as a flat low laying area. Thus the Danes called it Hollow-land then later to Holland and for some reason the Brits adopted the name as well.

Hans Mof
341996.  Thu May 22, 2008 10:58 am Reply with quote

Sorry, but Holland derives from holtland (wood land). As mentioned before, the name Holland is used for historical reasons. While the Netherlands were quite happy to change their name every couple of decennia foreigners just kept the most comfortable one. Just like it's usual to refer to Britain as England (even though it's wrong).

342009.  Thu May 22, 2008 11:22 am Reply with quote

It may do in Dutch, we have number areas and towns which have the name Holland. I am sure these town names and area names are related to their geography more than some relation to the NETHERLANDS e.g areas of Lincolnshire called Holland

See source

Hans Mof
342022.  Thu May 22, 2008 11:53 am Reply with quote

Hmmm, I would be careful with that one.

Bailey is of opinion that the Danes who conquered Holland, so called it from an island in the Baltic of the same name, from ol, beer, drink. Why not from Hold land, the land taken and kept, held, governed?

For two reasons:

The Danes never conquered or held any part of the Netherlands.

There's an Öland in the Baltic Sea belonging to Sweden, and the North Frisian hallig of Oland (danish: Øland) in the North Sea. Both names mean (and are related to) island.

It's got nothing to do with beer (øl).

370089.  Sat Jun 28, 2008 6:59 am Reply with quote

Aaargh after hours of typing in the history of the several names for the Netherlands I click 'preview' and had to log in again. This resulted in the loss of everything I typed and translated.

So I'll just answer quickly:

Holland comes from 'holtland' or 'holdland' which means woodland. This was in the 9th century a way of describing a place of which the excact location was unknown.
[Oh Holland! That's in those woods somewhere.]

Holland was the name of a county and this name dates back to 1101. Holland was the governmental county from 1572 till 1814. After 1814 it became the most powerfull (political) province. To reduce this power the province was split into two parts (in 1840); the northern and southern part.

I'm Dutch and if there are errors in my grammar or spelling... please bear with me.

396200.  Fri Aug 22, 2008 5:33 am Reply with quote

Since there is more to the Netherlands than the possible origins of the name of a former county, here is a little text about quite a notorious but largely forgotten episode in the history of the Netherlands. We were not always as liberal as people think we are.

The mighty former cathedral in the Dutch city of Utrecht consists of a transept and choir on one end of a large square, and a gigantic 112 meters high, 13th century tower on the other side. There used to be a gigantic nave on the location of the square, but due to a lack of funds (most of it had gone into the construction of the tower) the nave was shabbily constructed and finally fell down during what is now thought to have been a tornado in 1674 CE.

Due to a lack of funds and a lack of interest, the ruins of the nave lay where they fell until well into the 19th century. The ruins eventually became a secret meeting place for homosexuals at a time when homosexuality was a capital offence. According to legend, the habit of visiting the ruins was probably first started by French and Italian politicians and diplomats who were in the city for the treaty of Utrecht (which ended the war of the Spanish succession).

This ended in around 1730 after the local government received a series of complaints from the sacristan of the former cathedral. A group of men were arrested and interrogated (and most likely tortured). From their confessions, it became clear that there were networks and meeting places for sodomites all over the republic.

What followed was a tsunami of aggression against (people suspected of being) sodomites.
Fuelled by religious fanaticism as well as more general superstitions, numerous men were tortured and murdered throughout the Netherlands. In Utrecht alone, 18 people were convicted and strangled. One particularly bitter example was a local ruler in the village of Zuidhorn (Rudolf de Mepsche, a “grietman”) in the province of Groningen, who (supported by a local priest) took the opportunity to rid himself of his political rivals by accusing 24 men in his village of homosexuality and having them tortured. 22 were convicted and murdered while the other two had perished on the rack before a confession could be acquired. Coincidentally a number of people who belonged to the political and cultural elite of the Netherlands suddenly felt like taking an extended holiday abroad for some reason.

The situation was not helped by the general situation in the Netherlands. A disease that had recently broke out amongst livestock and the dykes of the country were being threatened by shipworm. This proved to be ammunition for the numerous fundamentalist protestant preachers that infested the land and who had become quite popular in the somewhat dormant post-golden age Netherlands (1) and who were unleashing sermon after sermon upon the burgers about how the current problems were god's punishment for our sinful behaviour. They must have felt like the truly hit the jackpot when the news of the arrests in Utrecht spread across the land.

Currently a plaque in the pavement, on the location of the former nave, commemorates the men who were killed and proclaims that homosexual men and women are nowadays able to enjoy their sexuality in freedom and without fear of prosecution. …At least, in this particular city …at least, for the time being… and as long as you stay out of certain parts of the city.

(1): After the end of the exuberance and riches of the 17th century golden age and after the demise of the Dutch East India Company, the Netherlands entered a period of dormancy and introversion and with it came a type of ultra conservative Calvinism that, in a nutshell, preached that everybody is sinful and bound for hell and nothing you do will change that. To a certain extent, even fun and being happy were seen as sinful and frowned upon. The country gained some notoriety about this and the rural areas became popular among foreign adventurers, not only because of the famous light, but also for the strange habits of its villages, like one where visitors were required to take off their shoes before entering the village. Although the situation was by far not as bad as in the 18th century, even soldiers liberating the country after WWII were told not to tell jokes in the presence of the Dutch as this would be severely frowned upon. Even now the Netherlands possesses a bible belt where it is better not to use such evil words as “evolution”, “women’s’ rights”, “homosexual” and “Amsterdam”. Even in 2005 a number of Buddhist had the idea to create a mandela in the centre of Amersfoort (a notoriously religious city) and to give visitors a unique opportunity to see how such a work was created. The result was that the local pastors and their followers rose up in protest as this was an evil occult practice ant the customary destruction of the Mandela would certainly unleash demons that would drag the souls of those present straight into hell.

dr bartolo
753213.  Tue Oct 19, 2010 10:35 am Reply with quote

well, from what I know, the cantonese call playing cards "ho lan p'ai" -holland cards- does anyone know why so?
843106.  Fri Sep 02, 2011 12:51 pm Reply with quote

The English language also has no word for Deutsch/Deutschland, just like it has no word for Nederland/Nederlands, so Holland isn't an isolated case. There's no more country called Holland, but there's no need to adjust each language.

If ... then ... If the English language will ever be adjusted, then perhaps the new English word for Deutsch/Deutschland should be Dutch/Dutchland, while the current language Dutch is nothing more than "a" dutch language.

The English language can use The Netherlands, which refers to the Kingdom of the Netherlands (plurar) but not to the country Netherland (single). The name of the country in Dutch itself is Nederland (single), not Nederlanden (plurar).

Dutch people using Holland are, of course, wrong. It's simple to cheer for a country that doesn't compete (HHH: Hup Holland Hup, or Holland Heineken House). It's okay for foreign languages to use wrong words. Dutch examples are the use of Bangkok, or the use of their New Zealand, as long as it's clear what's meant.

An example were it went wrong is the "Dutch angle", which should be called the "German angle" instead of the "Deutsche angle".

Please note New Zealand is an example of a Dutch name (Zeeland), where the Dutch language didn't care to adjust the name to New Sealand, an English version.

Foreigners wanting to visit the country actually can visit, which basicly just means that this is t-h-e-i-r word for Netherland and it doesn't justify the use of Holland in Dutch.

No matter if Holland still is trying to be dominant and selfish, "in Amsterdam" can be heard daily on tv, it was also the main part facing the United Kingdom.

On the other hand it's clear what drunk people screaming "Hup Holland Hup" mean, so how wrong is it, and Dutch people are very good in not caring about that. Foreigners can use their own word for it, educated Dutch people not being drunk should preferably not use Holland, except phrases like "Made in Holland" because that's aimed at foreigners. But you may be called a git if you'll start to explain to Dutch people why they shouldn't use Holland.

Of course the main problem is at the historical English site, Dutch means duits/Deutsch. A related mistake is that Dutch people often assume German people "understand" the Dutch language. Try English instead, that'll work better. Dutch is hardly used as a second (or third) language. Oh, and don't call Dutch people Germans nor germans. You may get in trouble then, even if it's historically true ("ben ik van duitsen bloed").

Anyway, remember the other examples: the English language also has no word for Deutsch/Deutschland, and perhaps nobody in Netherland ever cared enough to change New Zealand to New Sealand.
843722.  Sun Sep 04, 2011 10:41 pm Reply with quote

[quote="BondiTram]I wonder if all the Dutch residents of the other 10 provinces get similarly worked up.[/quote]

No(t at all). If so, they'ld be wrong because it's just an English word for their Nederland. As a matter of fact, Dutch itself means Deutsch/Duits instead of Nederlands.

But it may be noted that you'll hear unneeded "in Amsterdam" on tv every day, and "The" Rijksmuseum (Amsterdam) is just one of the Rijksmusea. For example, try the Rijksmuseum Zuiderzeemuseum in Enkhuizen instead of the Japanese-attracting, selfish town of Volendam. Other than Amsterdam-name-dropping, the focus is often at Holland, or the west, or actually the Randstad (not just a company sponsoring the Williams F1 Team). The Randstad covers 4 provinces, which reduces your number of 10 provinces to 8, not counting areas near the Randstad also focussed at a Randstad area.

You're supposed to visit [url][/url] if you want to visit Netherland (single), their products are "Made in Holland", and the Dutch don't use Netherlands (plurar) except when using the rare context of the Kingdom of the Netherlands (Koninkrijk der Nederlanden).

Somewhat cozy, common people tend to use Holland. A popular tv-show is called "Ik hou van Holland" (after a song title), which perhaps should be called "Ik houd van Nederland" instead. If you want to cheer for the Dutch national footballteam, called "het Nederlands elftal", (drunk) people more often use Holland, as in "Hup, Holland, Hup". HHH. As also used in the Holland Heineken House, to be experienced in London in 2012.

Extremeties of the country, mainly the province Limburg, will complain earlier than other people. Another likely excepting is the province Friesland. Frisian is a true second language there, the flag is well-known, so it's more like e.g. Wales than any other part of Netherland.

Perhaps the most important thing is the context. Is it good to say in Scotland that you like the things the English government has done in the area? I'ld say no, because it shows a lack of awareness and a lack of interest. But don't go to e.g. Putten, province Gelderland, and tell 'em you really like Gelre. If they'ld know what you're talking about, you'ld be talking about one land of the Republic of the Seven United Netherlands.

Germany is yet another case. The Dutch are mistaken for 'em (like in the phrase "Dutch angle"). Germany is Deutschland, or Dutchland. In English the language is Germanisch instead of Deutsch.

So, in a way, the English language has no proper words for Germany (Dutchland?) nor Holland (Netherland?).

If you really want to be polite&safe, use the Netherlands everywhere. In Holland, which doesn't exist anymore since the year 1815, there certainly is no (former) national pride regarding 'em being referred to as Holland((er)s), and most Dutch people are very, very good in not caring. You'll find the most pride in Friesland, I'ld say. People complaining about the use of Holland can be found in the far south (and maybe near Groningen in the north), and the east tends to be far more relaxed with a regional orientation like Twente or the Achterhoek. O, and don't point out that they are duits/dutch.

Finally I think that people trying to tell you that 10 provinces will hate you if you use the name Holland are trying to be interesting, or are trying to bore the tourists. Consider it to be provinces indeed, it ain't independant countries with an own important, leading, distinct identity, maybe again with the minor exception of Friesland (in Frisian: Fryslan), mainly due to having 2 languages. But I'm sure an exported Frisian product will be "Made in Holland" too, for one because that's how foreigners call it too. Just like people in Germany don't speak Germanisch, but they'll know what you mean. If they want to know that, of course.
843727.  Mon Sep 05, 2011 12:49 am Reply with quote

By the way, an unusual point of view: mr. Fry compared the English use of Holland with the use of East Anglia by Dutchmen (series G), but this may be a better comparization based on comparable historical reasons:

London is a Dutch (Germanic) city in Saxony (Brittain, including England), like Groningen is a Dutch (Germanic) city in Holland (Netherland, including North-Holland and South-Holland).

883745.  Mon Feb 06, 2012 2:19 pm Reply with quote

'Dutch' can also refer to 'Diets' or 'Dietsch', which was spoken in the Netherlands as well. It's possibly a confusing term, but it isn't exclusively to do with Germany or its language. Fact is that the Dutch and German language are still very much alike and have been since at least the Middle Ages (which is also an inappropriate name I believe). Dutch is as much 'Nederlands' as it is 'Deutsch'.

883755.  Mon Feb 06, 2012 2:44 pm Reply with quote wrote:
By the way, an unusual point of view: mr. Fry compared the English use of Holland with the use of East Anglia by Dutchmen (series G), but this may be a better comparization based on comparable historical reasons:

London is a Dutch (Germanic) city in Saxony (Brittain, including England), like Groningen is a Dutch (Germanic) city in Holland (Netherland, including North-Holland and South-Holland).

Groningen is actually a Frisian city and its inhabitants don't claim Dutch as their native language.



Last edited by AlmondFacialBar on Mon Feb 06, 2012 6:05 pm; edited 1 time in total

883786.  Mon Feb 06, 2012 5:38 pm Reply with quote

Hi fnurk


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