The Dutch United Provinces declared their independence from Spain in 1579; during the 17th century, they became a leading seafaring and commercial power, with settlements and colonies around the world. After a 20-year French occupation, a Kingdom of the Netherlands was formed in 1815.
In 1830, Belgium seceded and formed a separate kingdom. The country was a founding member of NATO and the EEC (now the EU) and participated in the introduction of the euro in 1999. In October 2010, the former Netherlands Antilles was dissolved and the three smallest islands - Bonaire, Sint Eustatius, and Saba - became special municipalities in the Netherlands administrative structure. The larger islands of Sint Maarten and Curacao joined the Netherlands and Aruba as constituent countries forming the Kingdom of the Netherlands.
Temperate; marine; cool summers and mild winters
Dutch 75.4%, EU (excluding Dutch) 6.4%, Turkish 2.4%, Moroccan 2.4%, Surinamese 2.1%, Indonesian 2%, other 9.3% (2021 est.)
It is polite to introduce yourself in a group; the lack of an introduction can be seen as standoffish or rude.
Stamppot — potatoes mashed with sauerkraut, endive, kale, turnips, or other vegetable and cooked in a pot; usually served with smoked sausage on the side
high-income European economy; core EU member; chemical, oil, and machinery exporter; some age-based income inequality; substantial amount of independent contractor employees; manageable public debt; key international aid funder.