In the vast and fascinating lands of Europe, lies a beautiful country called the Netherlands. The Netherlands is a northwestern European country. Its neighbors include Germany in the west, Belgium in the south, the North Sea in the northwest, and United Kingdom through maritime borders. It has twelve provinces and is sometimes Dutch People refer it as Holland.
The Official and National language of the Netherlands is Dutch, a Germanic language. It has several dialects and evolved from Frankish in the 3rd to 5th centuries. In the Dutch language, the Netherlands is called “Nederlands”. The Netherlands is often considered a part of Scandinavia and even the Nordic countries when in reality, it is not true.
Just because it lies to the south of these countries, people misinterpret Netherlands as a Nordic or a Scandinavian country. In this article, we will very carefully and very clearly put some light upon history and facts that would help us disregard all of these false theories. Step by step, we will introduce you to the Netherlands in detail.
We will define to you the terms “Nordic” and “Scandinavia” and will help you put aside all your doubts about the Netherlands. Being a Nordic or even a Scandinavian country, we want you to stick around with us while help you get rid of all your ambiguities and all your uncertainties.
The residents of the Netherlands are called Dutch or “the Dutch people” sometimes. They are very kind people and they show a very welcoming attitude towards the immigrants. Especially, the residents of Amsterdam, the capital city of the Netherlands, possess a very socialistic attitude. During World War 2, many Jews fled from Germany to the Netherlands.
At this point in history, the Dutch people showed a very welcoming attitude towards the refugees. The Dutch people played a major role in the rights of animals, by starting notable movements and passing laws in favor of animal protection. Let us take a wide glance at the serene country of these warm-hearted people.
Introduction to the Netherlands
As we have already informed you of the basic information about the Netherlands, let us go through the details about the above-mentioned country. The word “Netherlands” means a low-lying country. The Netherlands is a country rich in history and culture. Its history dates back to 250,000 years ago. The oldest canoe in the world was found in Drenthe, the Netherlands.
The life expectancy in the Netherlands is very high with an average of 74 years for males and an average of 85 years for females. It possesses an area of about 41,545 km sq including all the water bodies and a land area of 33,481 km sq. The Republic of Netherlands was at its peak during the Dutch Golden Age in the 17th Century when its art, architecture, trade, science, and military were the most acclaimed in the World.
The Netherlands is a low country, with about 26% of its area under sea level, and is considered a flat country. Due to its low elevation, it is sometimes considered a Nordic country. The seat of the government is in the city “The Hague” while Amsterdam is the capital of the country. The Netherlands has a population of about 17.5 million and ranks 69 in the world, in terms of Population. It uses Euro as its official currency and there is no official state religion of the country.
Introduction to the Term “Nordic”
The Nordics is a cultural and geographical region in the north of Europe. It comprises the Sovereign states of Norway, Sweden, Iceland, Denmark, and Finland. The word Nordic originated from the loan word Nord of Old English which translates into “North”. The Nordic is a term that describes the population or anything related to any of the five mentioned countries.
The term Nordic is sometimes also called Norse, and North Germanic as all of these Nordic countries lie to the North of Germany and are direct or indirect descendants of the Germanic people. The languages of all these countries are collectively referred to as Nordic languages.
What is Scandinavia?
Scandinavia or sometimes called the Scandinavian Peninsula is a strong sub-region in the North of Europe that has strong linguistic, historical, traditional, and cultural ties. The term Scandinavia is used to refer to the three countries of Norway, Sweden, and Denmark.
The Scandinavian Peninsula has low and flat areas with many lakes and moraines which date back to the Ice Age, which already ended about ten millennia ago. Scandinavia has one of the most populous regions. It has a temperate climate in most of its regions.
Difference between Nordic and Scandinavia
People commonly misuse the terms Nordic and Scandinavia as a single term. To be clear, the term “Nordic” refers the five sovereign states of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden. While the term “Scandinavia” refers the three sovereign states of Norway, Sweden, and Denmark only.
The Nordics and Scandinavia are two different terms that collectively describe two different groups of countries. Somehow, the Nordic Council formed in 1952 aims for the collective defense and progress of all the five Nordic countries, three of which are also part of Scandinavia.
Is The Netherlands A Part of Scandinavia?
It is usually confusing for a non-European resident to tell whether the Netherlands is a part of Scandinavia or not. To be honest and factually correct, the Netherlands is not one of the fellow members of the Scandinavian countries. It does belong to the Scandinavian Peninsula either.
The Dutch culture and the Dutch languages indeed contain influences from the Scandinavian culture and language. But if we trace back to the history of the Netherlands or any of the Scandinavian countries, we find no evidence of any territorial ties between the Netherlands or any Scandinavian language.
Is the Netherlands a Nordic Country?
People that do not belong to the Netherlands or any Nordic country, sometimes also miscategorized the Netherlands as a Nordic country just because it geographically lies to the South of other Nordic Countries.
The Netherlands is considered a Nordic country neither currently nor even in the past if we see it historically. Though it is considered as one of the Low countries along with Belgium and Luxemburg. All three of these low countries are collectively termed as Benelux.
If we thoughtfully reminisce, we would get to know that Scandinavia is a smaller part of the Nordics. Actually the term “Nordic” refers to five different countries, three of which are already term as Scandinavia. So if the Netherlands is not considered a member country of the Nordics or the Nordic Council. Then it would not be termed as a Scandinavian country as well.
Honestly, it should not matter if the Netherlands is a Nordic country or a Scandinavian country. While in reality, it is not from either Scandinavia or the Nordic. All that should be considered is how being smaller in size than other European, Scandinavian, or Nordic countries. It somehow still managed to progress at a much faster rate and is one of the developed countries of the civilized World.