Summer is always a special time in the Netherlands. First of all, you never know what you could expect. That is why initially, many Dutch people tend to deny that Summer in Holland could exist.
A popular joke goes like this: de zomer valt dit jaar op een zaterdag (The Summer falls this year on a Saturday, this year, Summer will be on a Saturday)… You may think that there is some truth in it. If you are really looking forward to it, then chances are high that you will be disappointed.
And yet… as you may have noticed for yourself, a Summer in Holland can feel really hot! Not so many days ago it was almost 40C and in Holland this feels really hot! As Holland is close to the sea, the air is quite humid. That means that only 30C can be really suffocating!
The truth is also that no matter what happens, Dutch people will always complain about Summer. It seems to be a national sport. If it rains, then the complaining is obvious, but even if the sun shines, then some people might argue that now the sun shines too much and that life is really unbearable…
Last year people complained about the fact that it was actually too dry! Farmers complained that it had a negative effect on their crops and newspapers mentioned many times that if the ground was too dry, it could even have distrastous effects for your house…
Then, when it is hot, there is often a zomerkledingdiscussie, a discussion about Summer clothes, certainly at work. Are you allowed to wear shorts for example? Although short and thin clothes are much cooler and easier to wear, they also tend to reveal more of your body and not every Dutch worker is happy to discover new things about their colleagues. There is certainly that discussion whether men should be allowed to wear shorts, because somehow it seems that women have a bit more freedom when it comes to choosing their own outfit for the Summer….
You can already imagine that this zomerkledingdiscussie is not always objective… It seems to play a big role if others find you physically attractive or not. The more attractive and younger you are, the less clothes you are allowed to wear, according to many colleages. But… the opposite may also be true. If you are in perfect shape, you may make your colleagues feel very jealous and then they also prefer that you will hide your natural beauty 🙂
Last but not least, a couple of language things… Did you notice that you don’t write zomer with a capital letter? It is a typical English thing, because also in other languages you write zomer with a small letter.
Zomers is special word that means like Summer or Summerlike… Zomers weer is weather that looks and feels like Summer and you can have it – in theory at least – any time of the year. Een zomers feest is a party that suggests Summer, just like een zomers T-shirt which is a T-shirt that reflects Summer…
Then we have zomeren, and this is a word that you can sometimes use as a verb and that means that you enjoy Summer. Although you do not use this word all the time, you can use it now and then. We zomeren op het strand (we enjoy Summer on the beach makes perfect sense… Certainly in combination with na (after), nazomeren you will hear it a lot. Certainly during the last days of Summer in September and sometimes even in October you can hear it quite often. It simply means that you enjoy a Summer like weather at the end of Summer….
So… what do you think? Do you think that Summer exists in the Netherlands? How would you describe it? Feel free to share your thoughts here!