The one thing I can get very fed up with is saying “Holland” instead of “The Netherlands” when talking about the whole of the country.
Although we gave up on the fact to educate the world and forcing them to say “The Netherlands” instead of “Holland” (we named our national tourism website www.holland.com), I think it’s still important to remind the world what is what.
To be honest, I sometimes say “Holland” as well and I always hate myself for doing so. The fact is that when you talk about Holland, you only talk about the inhabitants of two of the twelve provinces we have: Noord- and Zuid-Holland (North and South Holland). In numbers they are to most inhabited provinces of the country, but still it isn’t fair to only view those two provinces as the whole country! So those people we call “Hollanders” and the rest of the Dutch people we call Dutch. A bit strange maybe, but now you see where the confusion between “Holland” and “The Netherlands” comes from.
Making things easier, or not
If this isn’t confusing enough, it can get even worse. The Netherlands has overseas territories as well, which are part of the “Kingdom of The Netherlands”. So you have The Netherlands, a country with twelve provinces, that is part of the Kingdom of The Netherlands, which consists of The Netherlands, Aruba, Curaçao and Sint-Maarten. Those last three countries you’ll find on the other side of the globe in the Caribbean. We don’t call them “Hollanders” do we? Besides that, we even have three “special cities” in the Dutch Caribbean. Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba. So even on the other side of the world, there is still some Dutch territory which also makes that part European territory!
It can all be very confusing, I get that! Luckily, my good friend from CGP Grey made an animated YouTube video that explains the same things I told you in a more captivating way.
Watch and learn!