Updated at 2022-03-10
Handmade klompen are an extremely typical Dutch handicraft. They can be regarded as a national treasure of the Dutch people. Half of the land in the low-lying Netherlands is below sea level. The Dutch people began wearing klompen 500 years ago to coexist with this unfavorable geographical condition. They carved wood into thick, boat-shaped shoes, and filled them with straw. The klompen was not only waterproof, but also kept the feet warm. Although most Dutch people no longer wear klompen, they still regard the shoes as a symbol of good blessings and love. The klompen in the image are decorated with windmills and tulips. The trio is collectively known as “the three treasures of the Netherlands.”
Flag: the Dutch flag is rectangular with a horizontal triband of red, white, and blue from top to bottom. It is the oldest tricolor flag in continuous use. The red band symbolizes valor, the white band symbolizes blessings, and the blue band represents loyalty towards the motherland.
National day: April 27
Languages: Dutch and West Frisian are the official languages, but the majority of the Dutch people are fluent in English. There aren’t communication difficulties in using English when traveling in the Netherlands.
Area: 410,543 square kilometers (33,893 square kilometers of land, 7,650 square kilometers of territorial waters)
Population: 17,475,908 people (January 2021)
Government: the Netherlands is a constitutional monarchy. The current head of state is King Willem-Alexander. The king is the nominal head of state and the symbolic representative of the country. The Netherlands has a cabinet responsibility system with an institutional separation of powers. The States General of the Netherlands has legislative authority and the monarch and the cabinet have executive authority, but the actual power lies in the cabinet.