Geertjan's Blog

  • July 8, 2010

Lesser Known Weird Highlights of the Spain/Holland Connection

Geertjan Wielenga
Product Manager
In a brief departure from the darker corners of the NetBeans APIs, and to mark the upcoming World Cup Final between Holland and Spain, let me present you with some lesser known details pertaining to the historical and cultural overlaps between these two countries. And, of course, since I'm Dutch, the focus of this odd list of factoids is inevitably from the Dutch side of the coin.

  • Eighty Years' War. The Dutch War of Independence was fought from 1568 to 1648. It began as a revolt against Philip II of Spain, the overlord of the Habsburg Netherlands. The war ended with the Treaty of Westphalia. This revolt partly succeeded with the secession of seven provinces which formed the Dutch Republic. See Wikipedia for details. In other words, to cut a long story short, Spain was to Holland what England was to the American colonists.

  • Sinterklaas. The Dutch version of Santa Claus is named Sinterklaas. He arrives on a white horse every year on 5 December, together with his assistants/helpers/slaves (take your pick). But, in an odd twist, that white horse on which Sinterklaas is found is itself found... on a steamboat. And that steamboat, at least officially, comes from... Spain! Also, if you've not been a good little boy or girl, you get put in a bag and taken... to Spain!

  • "Den Koning van Hispanje heb ik altijd geëerd." Those are the words of the final line of the first verse of the Dutch national anthem, which you will hear at the start of the Holland/Spain match. What do those words mean? They mean, literally: "The king of Spain I have always honored!" Again, those words relate to the colonial rule of Spain over Holland in the 16th century. However, regardless of their origins, it will be a bit odd to start the Holland/Spain final with Holland vowing to always honor the king of Spain...

There are probably other weird connections like the above in relation to Holland/Spain. Feel free to share them here if you have anything to add... :-)

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Comments ( 8 )
  • Jesse Glick Thursday, July 8, 2010

    Was the link to the Norwegian Nynorsk page in Wikipedia just to confuse the non-Dutch, or a typo? s/nn/nl/g :-)

  • Eduardo Pelegri-Llopart Thursday, July 8, 2010

    love the last one :-).

    Go Spain!

  • Lee Chuk Munn Friday, July 9, 2010

    Interesting fact about the national anthem. Nonetheless go Holland! This one is for Johan Cryuff! BTW the Dutch national anthem is 15 stanza long. Its like a whole opera. How long does one take to go through it all?

  • Geertjan Wielenga Friday, July 9, 2010

    @Chuk, now you know why only the first verse is ever sung... and Dutch people typically don't know more than the first verse, though other parts of it have been popular at various points of Dutch history, such as the 6th verse, which is about fighting tyranny, which was a popular verse during the war.

  • Antonio Sunday, July 11, 2010

    Some other interesting facts.

    \* Did you know that http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Johan_Cruyff Johan Cruyff (Amsterdam, 1947) played at the http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FC_Barcelona F.C. Barcelona team for a long time?

    \* Did you know that Johan Cruyff http://soccernet.espn.go.com/world-cup/story/_/id/807229/ce/uk/&cc=5739?ver=global tips Spain to beat Dutch?

    \* Did you know that http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cape_Town Cape Town was used by the Dutch East India Company as a big station for trading around 1652?

    \* Did you know that South African's http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Free_State Free State Province has its origins in the http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orange_Free_State Orange Free State with a big Dutch influence?

    \* Did you know that Spain is going to win the match? (Paul the Octopus says so: http://vodpod.com/watch/3992038-the-octopus-picks-spain-over-netherlands-for-world-cup )

    Go Spain!

  • Geertjan Wielenga Sunday, July 11, 2010

    Paul the Octopus traditionally predicts everything correctly, except the final match, Antonio! :-) And, yes, even if Spain wins, Holland will have won because Cruijff trained everyone who was ever any good in Spain, including the current Spanish coach!

  • Antonio Sunday, July 11, 2010

    Oh, well, in case Paul the Octopus is wrong we have some countermeasures, including this one: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polbo_%C3%A1_feira

    And Cruyff trained Guardiola (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Josep_Guardiola) (F.C: Barcelona's coach) but not Del Bosque (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vicente_del_Bosque) (Spain's coach).

    Anyway Spain's national team has lots of Barcelona players, so Guardiola's techniques are present in a great deal of Spain's techniques, so I assume Cruyff's techniques are in there somehow.

  • Geertjan Wielenga Sunday, July 11, 2010

    Funny countermeasure. :-) Yes, I think Cruijf prefers Spain because he agrees with its style, much more so than the new approach of the Dutch.

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