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23
July
2018

Living the Dutch life - August

August's best open-air events

Floating Flower Parade (Westland)

Admire the Floating Flower Parade,  a colourful spectacle on the water from 3-5 August in the Westland region. Boats decorated with flowers, plants, fruits and vegetables will sail different routes, passing through cities like The Hague, Delft and Vlaardingen. The mission of the parade is to present and promote local produce of the Westland region, famous for its glasshouse horticulture.

Various activities will be organised along the route, such as markets and music performances. It is recommended to visit the boat parade by bike, since the event draws over 500,000 visitors and the Westland region is equally as beautiful for cycling!

Sneekweek

Experience the largest inshore sailing event, the annual Sneekweek in the province of Friesland. This event, taking place from 4-9 August, attracts thousands of water sports lovers. The event kicks off with an opening ceremony, followed by a fleet show, traditional sailing competitions, fun fair, market and entertainment by local music bands.

Sailing Championships

The Skȗtsjesilen Sailing Championships, from 4-17 August, are also organised on the Frisian lakes. These spectacular competitions with historic flat bottom boats (skȗtsje sailboats) see the skippers fight for the honour and chance to gain the challenge trophy. It is a unique experience for both young and old and one of the top events for Dutch tourism.

International Fireworks Festival

Enjoy the exciting and famous International Fireworks Festival in Scheveningen from 10-11 August and 17-18 August. Each night, teams from around the world put on their most impressive displays from a pontoon at sea, whilst the audience enjoys the view from the boulevard and the beach of Scheveningen. In addition to being mesmerised by the light and colour of the sky, you can also enjoy music, jugglers and fire eaters on the boulevard. The festival is very popular and attracts up to 100,000 visitors, so it is best to plan ahead to avoid traffic.

Balloon Fiesta (Barneveld)

Visit the impressive hot air balloon festival in Barneveld from 22-25 August. The Fiesta is a unique experience, giving you the opportunity to view hot air balloons of all shapes and sizes prepare and take-off to the skies. The balloons will slowly drift towards the cities of Apeldoorn and Arnhem and then return to the festival ground for an evening of magical Nightglow. During this show the balloons will light up as lanterns and decorated with lasers which dance to the festival music, a breathtaking spectacle!

Music and more

10 – 19 August: Grachtenfestival Amsterdam

Classical music festival on the Amsterdam canals. The most unlikely spots will be transformed into stages for performances by young talents and established artists.

23 – 25 August: Jazz in de Gracht The Hague

Find yourself a spot along the canal to see the floating Jazz Festival pass by on characteristic flat bottom boats.

24 – 26 August: Uitmarkt Amsterdam

A richly varied programme offering the best arts and culture at different venues throughout the city. It is the largest cultural festival in the Netherlands and is free!

24 – 26 August: Jordaan Festival Amsterdam

Visit this typical Dutch event in the old folk district called the Jordaan. A must for those who like to sing along with traditional folk songs by Amsterdam’s famous artists.

25 – 26 August: OVG Veerhaven Concert Rotterdam

Discover Rotterdam’s maritime atmosphere at the Veerhaven while enjoying an open air concert by the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra. Arrive by boat or take a seat by the docks and enjoy the last days of summer.

 

 

Categories: Team Talk

25
June
2018

Denmark - a destination for highly skilled labour

 

At the end of May we attended a networking event with Erhverv Aarhus & Vestas in Aarhus. The focus of the event was how businesses function in globalised markets. and the difficulties it poses for them.

Many of our customers want to hire skilled foreign nationals to keep up with the rising demand for product development in the engineering industry. Understandably this is not as simple as it seems. The problem isn’t finding highly skilled candidates, but the candidates themselves questioning if Denmark is the right destination for them.

The ease and wealth of information available to today’s workforce mean news and current developments can be found at the click of a button. Before making the big decision of settling in Denmark, candidates will naturally research their options, ultimately asking if Denmark is the right fit for them.

The media tends to portray Denmark’s political climate in a somewhat harsh light. The stance on immigrants has toughened, directly affecting all businesses’ ability to hire foreign employees.

Our customers and businesses in similar positions experience many questions from potential candidates – highly skilled candidates that can choose to work anywhere in the world. ‘Why choose Denmark, if Danish people and the system don’t like foreigners?’

We just want to make it clear – in Denmark we welcome everyone.

We have a great social atmosphere, a unique sense of humour (once you get the hang of it), a safe society with low crime rates and fantastic work-life balance with the possibility of enjoying one or more hobbies after work. Most importantly, you are welcome here, and we have great programmes and communities that can help you settle in well, whatever your background or situation.

Before allowing the media and news to adversely affect your decision to move to Denmark, try to learn more about Denmark and your new employer. Speaking to current employees is a great way of finding out about a company’s work culture, and also the social life available outside of work. Reading up on an employer’s mission and values is also a great reflection on the company and a way to work out if you would fit in there.

- Emilie Falk

Categories: Team Talk

25
June
2018

Living the Dutch life - July

Have fun this summer

Amsterdam Roots Festival

Experience an exciting musical journey through the most diverse cultures and styles during the Amsterdam Roots Festival from 1 until 8 July. It is the leading festival of non-western music and includes fado, zouk dance, hip hop, Latin-jazz and rumba. In the 35 years of its existence it has grown in diversity and evolved from what used to be just the Africa Roots Festival. Now the performers come from all corners of the world, from the Caribbean and Cape Verde to South Africa and Mongolia. The highlight of the festival takes place in the Oosterpark where you will be able to enjoy over 40 performances. At other indoor venues, such as Carré and the Melkweg, there will also be a series of lectures and performances.

North Sea Jazz Rotterdam

Enjoy star-studded performances by the best international jazz, soul, blues, funk and pop artists at the North Sea Jazz Festival in Rotterdam from 13 until 15 July. It is the largest indoor music festival in the world and known globally for its multitude of music styles and exciting line-ups. Although the number of visitors has reached up to 70,000 in recent years, each stage has an intimate atmosphere as the performances are spread across different floors in Ahoy. The event is a must for every jazz lover who wants to see internationally renowned jazz legends perform or discover upcoming talents.

Funfair Tilburg

Visit the biggest funfair of the Benelux region in the city of Tilburg from 20 until 29 July. This enormous fair, offering some 250 attractions and rides, covers the entire city centre to create a fairground of 4.5 kilometres long. It is a unique event with lots of festivities and spectacular fireworks on the last night of the fair. Pink Monday also takes place at the fair, one of the biggest gay emancipation and integration events in the country, attracting thousands of visitors and making it the busiest day of the fair.

Rotterdam Unlimited

Celebrate the summer with a five-day cultural and tropical festival during Rotterdam Unlimited taking place from 24 until 28 July. It is one of the biggest free street festivals in Europe offering a mix of live music, dance, theatre and carnival parades. The vibrant atmosphere will make the festival a trip to remember with a colourful and spectacular street parade and a battle of drums as the main events. Furthermore you will find music and food from all kinds of different cultures representing the cosmopolitan diversity of the city.

Gay Pride Amsterdam

Join Amsterdam’s celebrations around diversity and acceptance for all sexual orientations and genders during Gay Pride from 28 July until 5 August. It is a well-known event in- and outside the Netherlands and attracts more than 500,000 visitors each year. The festival offers a cultural programme with a range of exhibitions and movie events throughout the city. The biggest spectacle is the Canal Parade, with decorated boats sailing along the canals carrying costumed dancers and often statement-making messages. 

Categories: Team Talk

06
June
2018

Living the Dutch life - June

The festival season has started!

Open Garden Days Amsterdam

Take a look behind Amsterdam’s impressive canal-side homes during the Open Garden Days from 15 until 17 June. It is the perfect opportunity to get to know Amsterdam and to see some of the most beautiful gardens that are normally hidden. This year’s theme is Garden Design and gardens will boast both classic and contemporary designs by renowned landscape gardeners and designers. A ticket will allow access to more than 30 gardens on all three days.

 

Flag Day Scheveningen

Taste the first New Dutch herring of the season on Flag Day in Scheveningen on 16 June. The event celebrates the first herring catch of the year with a festive programme that offers something for everyone. There will be music, boat trips, miniature ships, traditional clothing, Old Dutch children’s games and of course herring and other sorts of fish! The first edition of the festival dates back to 1947, although its history goes back to as far as the 18th century. Originally the celebration occurred around the departure of herring ships out to sea, but now the festival simply celebrates the return of New Dutch herring.

Flower Festival Aalsmeer

Go on a cultural outing amid the most beautiful flowers during the Flower Festival in Aalsmeer from 16 until 17 June. Aalsmeer is the heart of the flower-growing region and also hosts the largest flower auction in the world. The festival takes place at a former flower auction venue as well at the horticultural museum. There will be demonstrations, workshops and special exhibitions taking place, allowing you see flowers and plants in ways you have never seen before. Think of flowers integrated into art installations, colourful flower masks or edible flowers!

Festivals

As soon as June begins, many festivals start to kick off  in the Netherlands. We’ve rounded up a few of our favourite festivals taking place this June. 

1 – 10 June: Oranjewoud Festival

A unique classical music festival, with the greatest international musicians taking place on the beautiful greens of Oranjewoud in Heerenveen. Enjoy classical music like never before, from a swimming pool, a hammock or in a gigantic plastic bubble.

7 June – 1 July: Holland Festival

For over sixty years this festival has been popular for its broad scope of international performing arts. It offers a mixture of theatre, dance, music, opera, literature and more at different locations in Amsterdam. Each year shows innovation in art and exploring new forms of theatre.

15 – 17 June: Pinkpop

Pinkpop is Holland’s biggest open-air festival and is sold out almost every year. It is a multiday event taking place in Landgraaf, and has previously featured musicians such as Bruce Springsteen, Fleetwood Mac and Red Hot Chili Peppers. 

15 – 24 June: Oerol

Since 1982 Oerol has grown to become a true phenomenon on the island of Terschelling. It is one of the most fun and exceptional theatre festivals in Europe, with ten days of street theatre, dance, art and music at many exceptional locations. 

 29 June – 2 September: De Parade

This travelling festival is a theatre, circus, carnival and funfair all in one. In June through to September it hits Holland’s four main cities – Rotterdam, The Hague, Utrecht and then Amsterdam.

22 – 24 June: Parkpop

The biggest free pop festival in Holland is held in The Hague - the number one pop city! Tens of thousands of music lovers gather in Zuiderpark to enjoy many top musicians and upcoming talented bands.

Categories: Team Talk

08
May
2018

Living the Dutch life - May

Head outside for May's festivities

 

North Sea Regatta

Admire the yachts and enjoy the unique atmosphere during the North Sea Regatta from 8 until 20 May. One of the most exciting events of the year for competitive Dutch sailors takes place at the harbour of Scheveningen and includes various sailing races, music and plenty of food and drink. Thousands of watersports fanatics are drawn to this annual event; however non-sailors of all ages are more than welcome too!

Flower Market Leeuwarden

Visit the largest market of the Netherlands on 10 May when the city of Leeuwarden holds their annual traditional flower market. Each year thousands of visitors come to the market to shop the most beautiful flowers and plants. There are more than 200 stalls across the city’s centre creating a sea of flowers as far the eye can see! Besides the flower market Leeuwarden has much more to offer. This year the city won the title of Cultural Capital of Europe and has lots of events and activities coming up. You can find out more on the city’s website.

Asparagus Market Arcen

Taste the juicy White Gold of the Provence of Limburg during the asparagus market in Arcen on 10 May. Due to the large amount of vitamins, minerals and nutrients asparagus is really healthy and therefor often called the queen of vegetables. You will be surprised by their versatility and find various unique asparagus products on the market, such as asparagus liqueur! The market takes place at the Raadhuisplein from 11:00 till 18:00. During the harvest months of the asparagus, from April until June, the Limburg region offers many other activities within this theme.

Open Farm Days

Experience the real farm life during the Campina Open Farm Days on 11 May and 21 May. Various dairy farmers and family farms throughout the country will offer informative and fun activities for the whole family! Farm tours, tasting Campina’s dairy products, obstacle courses and skippy cow races are a selection of what will be taking place for children. The farms can be visited from 10:00 till 16:00 after online registration.

National Mill Days

Visit the Netherlands’ iconic and historical heritage during the National Mill Days on 12 and 13 May. More than 950 mills will open up to the public and the millers will explain everything about the type of mill, it's history and their trade. Various fun activities will also be organised by the millers, such as pancake baking, cycling tours and fairs. Mills have always played an important role in the Netherlands, however they now barely have an economic value as most are not operating anymore. During the Dutch Mill Days you will be able to see most of the mills turning and might even be asked to give the miller a hand!

Day of the Castle

Discover the magical history of centuries-old castles, country estates and ruins during the Day of the Castle on 21 May. This year’s theme is Hidden Stories Told, which will bring castles to life with intriguing tales and stories of recent happenings. In addition guided tours, expositions, theatre performances and demonstrations will let you relive the past and also teach how people live and work in a castle today. All across the Netherlands there will more than 120 locations to visit on this day.

Dutch Beer Week

Taste the greatest possible variety of Dutch beers during the Dutch Beer Week from 24 May until 3 June. All over the Netherlands beer-related activities will be organised with the Dutch Beer Tasting Festival in The Hague and the Dutch Brewery Days as the two main features. The three day Dutch Beer Tasting Festival takes place from 24 until 26 May in the Grote Kerk (church). Visitors can enjoy at least 250 types of beers in combination with tasty food. On 1, 2 and 3 June hundreds of Dutch breweries will open their doors for public for the Dutch Brewery Days. Expect brewing demonstrations, beer tastings and presentations. Since the Netherlands is a country strongly associated with beer brewing, the Dutch Beer Week is a great way to learn more about the Dutch culture!

 

Categories: Team Talk

26
March
2018

Living the Dutch life - April

Discover Dutch traditions

Alkmaar Cheese Market

Visit the world-famous tourist attraction where Dutch cheese is sold the traditional way! The Alkmaar Cheese market is a folkloric spectacle filled with thousands of stacked cheeses, cheese-hauling carriers and scales. It is a trading tradition that is centuries old - the market has been around since at least 1593! The market is held on Friday mornings from 30 March until 28 September and in July and August the market will also be held on Tuesday evenings. Around the market you will find stalls with other typical Dutch products, such as poffertjes (small fluffy pancakes), herring and clogs. More about the history of Dutch cheese making can be explored in the nearby Dutch Cheese Museum.

IamExpat Fair Amsterdam

Learn all about life in the Netherlands at the leading fair for internationals on 7 April. The IamExpat Fair takes place twice a year, this time in Amsterdam, and is designed to connect and support the expat community in the Netherlands. It offers information about a wide range of topics, such as housing, career, education and leisure. There will also be free workshops and presentations to attend and entrance to the fair is free if you register online.

Get into the Greenhouse

Take the opportunity to see what is happening in the Dutch greenhouses from 7 until 8 April. Get into the Greenhouse (Kom in de Kas) is the largest horticultural event in the Netherlands and allows visitors to discover the world of vegetables, flowers and plant cultivators. There will be fun activities for all ages, such as tasting products, robots watering plants and cooking workshops with information on healthy nutrition. Find out where you can visit a greenhouse on the website or ask a local tourist information office.

National Museum Week

Discover the artistic treasures and unique show pieces of Holland during the National Museum Week taking place from 9 until 15 April. Around 400 different museums will open up their unique collections and hold special exhibitions, guided tours and children activities. This year the National Museum Week aims to make museums interesting for people that wouldn’t usually visit museums.

Flower Parade

Enjoy the spectacular sight and perfumes of dozens of decorated floats and cars during the Flower Parade on 21 April. The parade follows a 42 kilometre route through the so called Flower Bulb area, from Noordwijk to Haarlem (passing the Keukenhof), and draws hundreds of thousands of visitors each year. In order to get a good viewing spot it is advised to arrive early. The day after, on 22 April, the floats will remain on view in Haarlem. To see how millions of flowers, such as hyacinths, tulips and daffodils are pinned to the floats by hundreds of volunteers, the hall of De Leeuw Flowerbulbs in Sassenheim can be visited three days prior to the parade.

Springsnow Amsterdam

Celebrate the magic of Amsterdam‘s spring by viewing its signature elm trees unleash their seeds in a flurry of white blossoms. There is no other place in the world where so many elm trees can be found – the trees have been defining the cityscape for centuries. During Springsnow, the Amsterdam Spring Celebration which takes from 21 April until 21 May, a variety of activities and events take place. For example, catch the spring snow on the eight-kilometre-long elm route or visit a spring snow photo exhibition at Amstelpark.

King’s Day

Join the biggest Dutch street party of the year in which everyone is covered in orange to celebrate the King’s birthday on 27 April. The entire country will be celebrating on the streets and canals (often with music), and there will be flea markets, fun fairs and many children’s activities. The capital city will be crowded with people and certainly has the most exuberant celebrations. Traditionally the party starts the night before with King’s Night, of which the city of The Hague is most known for. With any luck you might also see the Royal family, as each year they visit one of the municipalities in the Netherlands during the celebrations. Learn more about King’s Day traditions by reading these fun facts!

Categories: Team Talk

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