Welcome to the great nation of Holland, where the tulips grow, the windmills turn, the breakfast is chocolaty, the people are industrious and the sea tries to drown it all, except this country isn't Holland. It's time for the difference between Holland and the Netherlands, and a whole lot more.
The correct name for this tulip-growing, windmill-building, hagelslag-eating, container ship-moving, ocean-conquering nation is the Netherlands. But confusion is understandable. The general region has been renamed a lot over a thousand years, including as the Dutch Republic, the United States of Belgium and the Kingdom of Holland.
But it's not just history that makes this country's name confusing, because the Netherlands is divided into twelve provinces: Groningen, Drenthe, Overijssel, Gelderland, Limburg, North Brabant, Zeeland (which by the way is the Zeeland that makes this Zealand new), Friesland (with the adorable little hearts on its flags), Flevoland, Utrecht, and here's the confusion—Noord (North) Holland and Zuid (South) Holland.
These provinces make calling the Netherlands "Holland" like calling the United States "Dakota." Though, unlike the Dakotas, which are mostly empty, save for the occasional Jackalope, the two Hollands are the most populated provinces and have some the biggest attractions, like Amsterdam and Keukenhof.
Chances are, if it's Dutch and you've heard of it, it's in one of the Hollands. Even the government's travel website for the country is Holland.com, officially because it sounds friendlier, but unofficially, it's probably what people are actually searching for.
Confusion continues because people who live in the Hollands are called Hollanders, but all citizens of the Netherlands are called Dutch, as is their language. But in Dutch they say, "Nederlands sprekende Nederlanders in Nederland," which sounds like they'd rather we call them Netherlanders speaking Netherlandish.
Meanwhile, next door in Germany, they're "Deutsche sprechen Deutsch in Deutschland," which sounds like they'd rather be called Dutch. This linguistic confusion is why Americans call the Pennsylvania Dutch "Dutch," even though they're Germans.
To Review: This country is the Netherlands, its people are Dutch, and they speak Dutch. There is no country called Holland, but there are provinces of North and South Holland.
Got it? Great, because it's about to get more complicated.
The Netherlands is part of a kingdom with the same name: The Kingdom of the Netherlands, which is headed by the Dutch royal family. The Kingdom of the Netherlands contains three more countries, and to find them we must sail from the icy North Sea to the Caribbean and Aruba, Curacao and Sint Maarten. These are no territories, but self-governing countries within the Kingdom of the Netherlands. And as such they have their own governments and their own currencies.
Geography Geek Side Note here: While Aruba and Curacao are islands, Sint Maarten is just the southern half of a tiny island also named Saint Martin, the other half of which is occupied by France and also named Saint Martin. So despite being separated by Belgium on the European map, The Kingdom of the Netherlands and the French Republic share a border on the other side of the world on an island so nice they named it thrice.
這是給地理狂熱者的頁邊註解：儘管Aruba(阿魯巴)和Curacao(庫拉索)是島嶼，但Sint Maarten(荷屬聖馬丁)只是一個也叫作聖馬丁的小島的南半邊，其另一半邊被法國人占領，也名為Saint Martin(法屬聖馬丁)。所以儘管在歐洲地圖上被比利時分開，尼日蘭王國和法蘭西共和國在世界的另一邊，一個太棒了以至於他們將其命名三次的小島上，共享邊界。
But why does the Kingdom of the Netherlands reach to the Caribbean anyway? Because: Empire. In the 1600s the Dutch, always looking to expand business, laid their hands on every valuable port they could. For a time, America's East Coast was "New Netherland," with its capital city of "New Amsterdam." There was New Zealand, as mentioned previously, and nearby, the king of the islands, New Holland.
Though the empire is gone, these three Caribbean nations remain. And while four countries in one kingdom isn't unheard of, it doesn't stop there, because the country of the Netherlands also extends its border to the Caribbean and three more islands: Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba. These are not countries in the kingdom but are cities in the country of the Netherlands, and they look the part.
Residents of these far-flung cities vote in elections for the Dutch government just as any Hollander would. Though weirdly they don't belong to any province, and they don't use the Dutch currency of Euros. They use dollars instead. It's kind of like if Hawaii wasn't a state, but technically part of the District of Columbia, all the while using yen.
These cities of the country of the Netherlands and these countries in the Kingdom of the Netherlands are together known as the Dutch Caribbean. And their citizens are Dutch citizens, which, because the Kingdom of the Netherlands is a member of the European Union, means that these Dutch Caribbeans are also Europeans.
So in the end, there are six Caribbean islands, four countries, twelve provinces, two Hollands, two Netherlands, and one kingdom...all Dutch.
- 「除了...之外」- Save For
Though, unlike the Dakotas, which are mostly empty, "save for" the occasional Jackalope,
- 「有可能」- Chances Are
"Chances are", if it's Dutch and you've heard of it, it's in one of the Hollands.
- 「冀望、期待」- Look To
In the 1600s the Dutch, always "looking to" expand business, laid their hands on every valuable port they could.
- 「染指、傷害」- Lay (Put) Hands On
In the 1600s the Dutch, always looking to expand business, "laid their hands on" every valuable port they could.
- 「看起來頗適合這個角色」- Look The Part
These are not countries in the kingdom but are cities in the country of the Netherlands, and they "look the part".
- 「總是、始終」- All The While
It's kind of like if Hawaii wasn't a state, but technically part of the District of Columbia, "all the while" using yen.