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The Dutch are famous for a couple of things like tulips, windmills, directness and liberal Amsterdam. I would like to add to this the Dutch talent for making up expressions nobody understands - but nevertheless seem to make sense - coupled with the urge to speak up and give our uninvited opinion.
One of the greatest talents inventing expressions was undisputedly Johan Cruijff - known as fabulous football player - adding to the Dutch heritage with: “Je ziet het pas als je het door hebt” - You see it when you get the point, or “Ieder voordeel heeft z’n nadeel” - Every advantage has its disadvantage.
Recently I came to know that very familiar sayings in Dutch can be quite unfamiliar in our nearest neighboring countries like Belgium and Germany. In the light of our European integration I voluntarily share my Dutch cultural background introducing anecdotes and expressions we use at home in trainings and workshops I am facilitating.
The most intriguing one in the eyes of my participants is the one the Dutch use to express that you only know the right decision in hindsight. As we say: “Achteraf kun je een koe in de kont kijken” - In hindsight you can look a cow in the ass.
Commented by one of my participants with “What has a cow to do with that?”
Honestly I am not sure about why the cow and not a horse for example. This said, I am sure about one thing: if you never give things a try, you will never get any better. Or giving my best invention to the Dutch expressions heritage:
You cannot Win, if you do not Play
About the Autor: Marja van Soest has been working as a director, trainer, consultant and coach in international Sales, Service and Leadership for over 25 years for a diversity of companies and audiences. Parallel to her business career Marja is a sports trainer specializing in In and Outdoor Cycling. Combining her passion for sports, groups, individual and organizational performance Marja developed a highly effective model on Motivation and Engagement to Activate People and Business: Engage, Empower, Perform, Enjoy. Using this model to empower leaders to build a culture of trust is her inspiration for both business and sports practices.