Anwar’s column-NL

‘Dutch are too honest and then it hurts’

Honesty is a beautiful quality. It’s great if someone is honest and not cheating on you. With Dutch people I do not think honesty is such a good quality, because they are too honest and then it hurts. It has happened to me that I had cooked food for someone but he did not want to eat it. He did not like the look of the food, lifted his nose and said, “I can not eat this.” He did not want to taste it either. This kind of honesty hurts. In Syria you would say, “Sorry, I have already eaten.” If you ask a Dutchman if they come along, they are too fair. ‘I can not. This week, it really does not work.” In Syria, you avoid saying ‘no’. If someone asks you to come by, you say yes and then you’re looking for an option to say no, because if you say that immediately, it hurts. So you send a message with “Sorry, I already have an appointment. I can not come” For some people, this may seem like lying, but it is not. It’s a nice excuse to not hurt anyone else. I no longer ask the Dutch what they think of my new clothes. I know they will say without shame, “I do not like the pants, but the sweater is fun.” On the other hand, it is also good for Dutch people to be so honest. If a teacher asks why I did not do my homework and I say I was sick, then the teacher believes that. He also says “Are you feeling better?”. I think it’s better to like this, than to say I did not like doing homework. That’s not fun for the teacher. So I keep on using my good stories. Except as the Dutch ask me what I think of their clothes. I find that many people wear very beautiful clothes here, but wear the ugliest socks at the same time. Who is wearing a black suit with socks with the Frisian flag? There are beautiful black socks underneath. Only in such situations is I a Dutchman straight away and I will say: ‘Those socks are ugly. Do not walk next to me. “

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