Holland? Netherlands? : I Have a Confession to Make

Update: Yikes, the game is over and I won’t give myself too much credit, but I hope I didn’t jinx Netherlands.  I can be quite a jinx at times.  Anyway the goal and the offside remark by the commentator had me so confused at the end.

Please forgive me for the various posts.  I am trying to stay awake while waiting for the 2.30 am World Cup finals to start.  If I go to sleep now I know I will not be able to wake up.  I feel a bit like a zombie, but posting photos is keeping me awake.  Most of what I write here may sound like gibberish, but please bear with me…

I haven’t watched a single game so far, but since I posted about Mani the parakeet, I have made a bet with B who is hoping that Spain will win. He is supported by Paul the Octopus.  I am going with Mani and have chosen Holland, although there have been reports that Mani has been fickle.  Never mind that, I have made my choice.  I hope the orange team wins even for the superficial reason that I love their orange jerseys which are so cheery – the prettiest among the lot.  The blue Italian jerseys come in second for me.  Yup, I’m the annoying football novice, who is more interested in the drama than soccer techniques. I am sure there loads of female World Cup watchers like me, who just wanna join the rest of the world in the frenzy and excitement in South Africa via tv, internet streaming and large screen at pubs or coffeeshops, and not be left behind.

A confession here.  I was initially confused about The Netherlands and Holland in a way that would make my Geography teacher and the European continent cringe.  It was not as bad an error as people thinking Singapore is in China, but I guess my blunder falls somewhere in between.  Ok I wasn’t sure whether Holland was just a place in Netherlands or its capital. I just found out, red-faced, that Amsterdam is the capital of Netherlands.  The people are known as Dutch (that, I knew).  Holland is a region in the western part of Netherlands and is frequently used to refer to the whole of Netherlands and hence the confusion….phew!! so I’m not the only one.

Here are some Fun facts about Holland…and I’m crossing my fingers Netherlands will win tonight!


  • The windmills which are synonymous with Holland are mainly a tourist attraction, no longer used for milling as they are quite primitive
  • People in the other provinces are unhappy that Holland is used to refer to the whole of Netherlands (I guess it’s like for instance Bukit Timah being used to refer to the whole of Singapore)
  • The Dutch are the tallest in the world
  • There are 16 million bicycles in Holland, which works out to one for every inhabitant
  • You’ll find a bunch of flowers in almost every living room
  • People of 200 nationalities live in Amsterdam
  • When your plane arrives at Schiphol, it lands 4.5 metres below sea level (pumps drain 20% of the land, to keep it dry)
  • New York was once Dutch
  • One in every three Dutch people belong to a sports club
  • With almost 1,000 museums, Holland has the highest museum density in the world

About bookjunkie

Blogging about life in Singapore helps me survive the mid-life crisis
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