The Basque Country is special. It is an own country in the country Spain and the people are proud the be different. Do not call them Spanish, they are Basque. Comparing to Holland there are a lot of big differences. The biggest ones are explained.
Social at the playground
The Basque people are always making a conversation with somebody else. On the streets you constantly hear Hola! Kaixo! Appa! People saying hello to each other and just ask how you are. Because they always come a cross somebody they know, a family member, friend, neighbour, acquaintance or their butcher.
But also after work the Basques are social. Just when they are home after a hard day of work they pick up their kids and go outside. On the playground the parents play with their kids but also meet the other neighbours with children. Just to talk about work, their children or the weather.
Opposite of the Basques are Dutch people. They tent to only have close contact with their friends. But after coming home from work they are tired and will do some shopping for dinner, cook and maybe go to the gym but that is it.
Fork, knife, spoon and…
Bread. In the Basque Country the cutlery is extended with bread. And the bread is not only to eat but also to scoop the food on the your fork or spoon. And if you are finished with your vegetables, fish, pasta, meat, soup or salad you can just clean you plate with you a piece of bread and eat all the sauce or dressing.
For the Dutch bread is also an important ingredient. Not to use at a cutlery but as meal. Dutch eat (brown) bread as breakfast and as lunch. And sometimes as a starter with herb-butter in a restaurant.
Relax, chill, take it easy, tranquilo! Basques are easy going, don’t fuss or stress, what can’t be done today can be done tomorrow. If you have to make two dresses you don’t make three right? The Basque don’t do more work then needed, they work and go home and have fun, drink a glass of wine or beer or go and work out.
In Holland it is the total opposite. Dutch work hard and lot. If you have to do two dresses but you have time left, you will just make an other one. What else could you do? Sit around and do nothing? People in Holland are very ambitious and want to have a nice and interesting job that has nice pay or have a good goal.
Eat, eat and eat
Of course the most important subject in the Basque culture couldn’t be forgotten: food. Basque people love their own food. The typical Basque food is a lot of meat and fish. The products that they use are seasonal and from the Basque nature like mushrooms, those are picked in the mountains.
And what about the pintxos? In the Basque Country you can’t find tapas but pintxos, little snacks with a wine or beer. This a special event the pintxo pote. Every week there is one evening you can buy a drink very cheap (around one Euro) and get a free pintxo. And every bar has a their own pintxo so you can taste a lot of different ones.
But except their own food, Basques don’t eat a lot of foreign food. You don’t see a lot of foreign restaurants.
In Holland there live a lot of different cultures together. And all those cultures want to eat your their own food. So you can find Dutch, Italian, Afghan, Moroccan, Turkish, Chinese, Indian, American, Portuguese, Spanish and a few others.
So as you see the Dutch and Basque cultures are very different but what is better? The Basques who love their own food, take their time and love to hang out with other people. Or the Dutch who love their work, like to taste different cuisines and eat a lot of bread. Who will say. The only thing that is clear that people love their own culture.