Tolerance in the Netherlands

English: Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands in V...

Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Last week a Dutch independent foundation (SIRE) launched a new campaign. The campaign aims to create awereness of a increasingly intolerant attitude among the Dutch and promote a more tolerant attitude. For the people that are not so familiar with the Dutch language I have taken the main points stated on the website and translated them for the international audience.

Frequently asked questions on the webstite:

Has the Netherlands become more intolerant?

The Netherlands is known for its liberal and tolerant values. Unfortunately the past two decades the Netherlands has become less tolerant. On many aspects it is still a very tolerant country, however there are also disturbing developments.

23% of the Dutch would object to the building of an asylum center in their town.

Only 46% feels that East-Europeans should be allowed to work in the Netherlands.

Almost a quarter of the Dutch thinks that wearing a head-scarf should be forbidden.

A third is in favor of a prohibition of building new mosques.

I have ordered tolerance but have not received a package. Did something go wrong with delivery?

Tolerance is not in a package. It comes from within. So you can start using tolerance immediately!

If I run out of tolerance, what do I do?

What you should not do is get angry at everyone and everything. Tolerance does not deplete. It could be that temporarily you feel less tolerant. What works well is take a deap breath, count to ten and have a quick moment of contemplation. After that you can respond more calm and nuanced.

Where can I use tolerance?

Tolerance works always and everywhere. Think about where you could use some tolerance. Try it in a traffic jam, at work, on the internet, on the football pitch or on the train. You will see that it works!

Does tolerance have side-effects?

Tolerance has side-effects, but only positive ones. It might happen that people start to like you more, which gives you a busier social life.

Go to the Dutch Tolerance website


I can only compliment the foundation with this initiative and support it completely. Many developed countries are dealing with a multi-cultural society and the problems related to a heterogene population. The ability of mankind for diversity among race, belief, culture, political views and general values should be appreciated, not seen as a problem. A world where everyone thinks and feels the same way about issues would be quite boring wouldn’t it?

Is there something similar like this campagin in your country? Please comment and share the promotion of tolerant behavior.

1 Comment

Filed under Europe

One response to “Tolerance in the Netherlands

  1. Pingback: Interesting features of education – Part 1: volunteers in the Netherlands « Learning and teaching English in the Netherlands

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