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The Netherlands, commonly but incorrectly called Holland, is a state in Western Europe. Based on land recovered from the Spanish after the war of independence in the 16th/17th centuries, and also on land recovered from the sea.
The Netherlands is a geographically low-lying and densely populated country. It is popularly known for its traditional windmills, tulips, cheese, clogs (wooden shoes), delftware and gouda pottery, for its bicycles, its dikes and surge barriers, and, on the other hand, traditional values and civil virtues such as its classic social tolerance. An old parliamentary democracy, the country is more recently known for its rather liberal policies toward recreational drugs, prostitution, homosexuality, and euthanasia. -From Wikipedia (no, really)
In addition to the above information, The Netherlands are also known for spreading their colonialism in the biggest racketeering scheme in history (well, that's one way of looking at it).
Traditional stereotype: tulips, clogs, windmills, dykes.
Modern stereotype: drugs, tulips, windmills, clogs, the red lights district, cheese, Indonesians, Nazis, the other sort of dykes.
Common misconceptions: drugs are not 'totally legal' in the Netherlands.
According to Thande (or more likely MrP, verification needed ), the Dutch have preserved the body of former German emperor Wilhelm II., using a Golden Throne, keeping him in a state neither alive nor dead, and using his remanent psychic powers to prevent their dams from breaking… (á la Warhammer 40,000).
Leej was there for a while too until the incident involving the hooker and the Count of Anjou.
Alternate history clichés involving this country
Despite the Dutch coastline being constantly changing - one of its main provinces only having been made in the 20th century - in alternate history, it always looks the same for some reason. This also happens to the closure dike.
- gaijin (but lives elsewhere)