The Netherlands, also referred to as the ‘Kingdom of the Netherlands' or ‘Holland', is a relatively small but dense populated country. On the area of 35,000 square kilometers it has more than 16 million inhabitatnts. It is also one of the most prosperous countries in Europe. The Netherlands is subdivided into twelve provinces. The capital is Amsterdam.
The basis for the country's welfare was laid in the seventeenth century, when the Dutch merchant ships sailed the seas of the world, discovering one ‘new' country after the other. For example the Dutch were the first to open up the route to ‘the East'.
In modern times, the Netherlands remains a prosperous trading nation. Because of that trading background, the Dutch have always been able to deal with change. They are good at languages, and do business with all parts of the world. In general, the Dutch are regarded as somewhat introverted, with a touch of Calvinism. ‘Just behave normally, that's crazy enough.'
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