I moved to Grand Rapids back in 2007 to start working at a radio station.

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A few years later I ended up meeting my wife Lindsey and she taught me the way of the Dutch people.

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Credit: Big Joe Pesh / Canva
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If You're Not Dutch You're Not Much

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Credit: Amazon
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I never heard the saying "If you're not Dutch you're not much" until I started dating my now wife Lindsey. In the 10 years we've been together I've heard it more times than I can count. I've yet to think of a fun saying to give back to hear about being Polish.

Stroopwafel

One more I saw Lindsey putting something on top of her coffee and asked her what it was. She informed me it was something called a Stroopwafel.

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Credit: grooveland designs via unsplash
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A stroopwafel is a Dutch cookie that consists of two thin, crispy waffles with a layer of warm caramel syrup in between.

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Credit: vinicius amnx amano via unsplash
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The wafer layers are made from a stiff dough of flour, butter, brown sugar, yeast, milk, and eggs that has been pressed in a hot waffle iron until crisped.

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Credit: sonja jan via unsplash
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It is a well-known Dutch treat that has been eaten in the country for centuries.

Oliebollen

My wife Lindsey told me one day that we were going to a family event called "Oliebollen" After scratching my head for a few moments, I asked her "What's Oliebollen?"

Credit: Bern Fresen via Unsplash
Credit: Bern Fresen via Unsplash
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Lindsey explained that it's a traditional Dutch pastry that is similar to doughnuts.
It is typically made from fried dough and filled with raisins, currants, and apples.

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Credit: Canva
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Turns out her family gets together once a year and makes a bunch of tasty Oliebollen along with having a big family meal.

Klumpen

After moving to Grand Rapids I heard about this thing called "Tulip Time".

Tulip Time
Tulip Time
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One of the first things I noticed besides all the beautiful flowers was Adults and Kids in the parade wearing these strange wooden shoes on their feet, turns out they have a name.

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Credit: Canva
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Klompen is whole-foot clogs made of wood that are strongly associated with the Netherlands and are considered a national symbol of the country.

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Credit: Canva
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They have been used in the Netherlands since medieval times and are sold throughout the country, with around three million pairs made each year.

Some Dutch people, particularly farmers and market gardeners, still wear them for everyday use.

Dutch Bingo

This is not like the typical bingo game you might be thinking of.

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Credit: Canva
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Lindsey ran into someone one time in public and they knew someone in common and went on to play the game the Dutch people of West Michigan call "Dutch Bingo".

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Credit: Canva
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Dutch Bingo is a game played by people of Dutch descent to figure out how they know each other or how they are related. It involves naming relatives and friends until they find a way to connect themselves.

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Credit: Canva
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The term "Dutch Bingo" is an in-joke that started in the 1840s when groups of people from the Netherlands immigrated to the United States.

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