Dutch Customs and Etiquette - Body Language

Body Language

  • Compared to most cultures, the Dutch are reserved in public and do not often touch each other or display anger or extreme exuberance.
  • The Dutch expect eye contact while speaking with someone. Looking away or staring at the ground is considered impolite and may be perceived as disinterest or lying.
  • The Dutch tend to be reserved in using hand gestures. However, having your hands in pockets or arms crossed might be interpreted as a sign of disinterest.
  • The crazy sign is made by tapping the centre of your forehead with your index finger. This gesture is considered rude.
    • NB the sign indicating someone is smart or intelligent is made by tapping the area around temporal bone (just above the ear) with the index finger.
    • NB the crazy sign can also be made by twisting your index finger around the temporal bone. However, there is a slight distinction: This particular gesture indicates insanity, whereas tapping the forehead usually indicates stupidity.
  • Winking at strangers will generally be perceived as a sexual advance and is unlikely to be appreciated.
  • Using the middle finger for pointing something out (like on a map) is not considered rude, but it does draw attention.
  • When yawning, coughing or sneezing, the mouth should be covered with a flat hand or fist.

Read more about this topic:  Dutch Customs And Etiquette

Famous quotes containing the words body and/or language:

    I know that I have the body of a weak and feeble woman, but I have the heart and stomach of a king, and of a king of England too.
    Elizabeth I (1533–1603)

    in every language even deafanddumb
    thy sons acclaim your glorious name by gorry
    by jing by gee by gosh by gum
    —E.E. (Edward Estlin)