Windmills and Wooden Shoes

If you haven’t guessed yet I’m talking about the Netherlands, or more widely known as Holland. Theres more to this country than windmills, tulips, and wooden shoes. For intense there are 12 different provinces, but we’ll get to that in a moment. The reason I wrote this post is for challenge 5, for this challenge we had to write about our ethnic background so I choose my grandparent’s heritage. My grandparents lived in two different provinces Limburg and  North Brabant, I choose North Bradant to write about so I hope you enjoy this!



During the twentieth century tourism has become an important part of North Brabant. This may be because of the beautiful forests and quiet atmosphere. Many people also enjoy the large peaceful cites. Another tourist destination is

Efteling which is theme park. This theme park is located in the town of Kaatsheuvel. The park has 5 roller coasters and 4 water rides. Did

You can easily see North Brabant in green.

You can easily see North Brabant in green.

I mention that this is one of the oldest parks in world being opened in 1952? Some of the main crops people grow in this province are wheat and sugar beats, many pigs and cows are raised here as well. Yet another employment in North Brabant is the automobile industry among electronics, textiles, and shoes. As you can see tourism is a large part of this province.


 North Brabant is 4970 square kilometers with a population of 2.3 million which is 15% of Holland’s total population. On the province’s south border there is the country of Belgium and on the province’s east border there is another province of the Netherlands, Limburg. Most of the land is flat. Near the northern border there is fertile soil but almost anywhere else there is only sandy health land. Most of the land is above sea level so there are not many canals. You can also find naturally raised areas, dunes, healthlands, and forests in this area. While most of the population lives in urban communities there are small villages scattered through out this province. The capital city of this province is ‘s Hertogenbosh which is shown on the map to the left.


Many different festivals take place in North Brabant each year especially in a city named Tilburg. Some of the festivals that the city holds are Festival Mundial which is a world culture fair, Stranger Than Paranoia a jazz fest, Incubate is a multidisciplinary arts festival that includes visual arts, music, film, and dance. Heres a little more about the Incubate festival. This fair has been celebrated since 2005, though from 2005 to 2008 this fair had not been named Incubate but instead called SXSW. The name was changed because of a request made by an Austin USA based festival that had the same name. There for the name was changed to Incubate on June 16th 2009. This fest

This is the flag for the province of North Brabant!

This is the flag for the province of North Brabant!

has changed greatly from being a one day fair for 3 years to a week long festival since 2009. This ever growing fete also has an expanding international audience. This is only one of many festivals in the province of North Brabant.


In Brabant there is a haute cuisine which means it is a high class or gourmet cuisine. Some main foods in this southern cuisine are premium cut meats usually pork or beef, thick stews and simple pastries. A few main courses that are served in restaurants are Biefstuk, Varkenshaas, Ossenhaas,  like I said before these are premium cut meats of generally pork or beef. These cuts are normally accompanied by a variety of sauces and some double fried potatoes which are fried in the traditional Dutch manner. A couple stews are Waterzooi or Hachee these are stews of

This is an old Dutch windmill

This is an old Dutch windmill

onions, beef and a think gravy. These are very flavourful stews that take hours to prepare. Those famous vegetable soups are made from richly flavoured broth, typically small meatballs alongside an assortment of vegetables. Pastries are very abundant in this area, often pastries are filled with rich cream, custard or fruit. A cake native to this area is Bossche bol which is a profiterole pastry filled with whipped cream and glazed with melted chocolate.(doesn’t that sound amazing?) Not all desserts are the sweet kind some are savoury. The most popular is a worstenbroodje which is a roll with sausage or ground beef. My favourite Dutch food is the vegetable meatball soup its just so good!


  • January 1; New Year’s Day Nieuwjaar
  • March/April Easter Pasen The Dutch celebrate two days of Easter.
  • April 30 Queen’s day Koninginnedag Originally, Koninginnedag was celebrated on the birthday of the queen, Queen’s day is now celebrated on the birthday of the current queen’s mother, as this gives better weather.
  • May 4 Remembrance of the dead Dodenherdenking Remembrance of those who died during the Second World War.
  • May 5 Liberation day Bevrijdingsdag Celebration of the 1945 capitulation of German forces in World War II.
  • 40 days after Easter Ascension Day Hemelvaartsdag
  • 7 weeks after Easter Pentecost Pinksteren The Dutch celebrate two days of Pentecost.
  • December 5 Saint Nicholas’s Eve Sinterklaas A predecessor of Santa Claus, Sinterklaas gives presents to the children.
  • December 25, December 26 Christmas Kerstmis The Dutch celebrate two days of Christmas.

These holidays refer to the Netherlands as a whole not just North Brabant.

Fun Facts:

  • The national sport of the Netherlands is football or how Canadians say soccer.
  • This is the second largest province in area at 4790 square kilometers.
  • The third largest province in population in Holland is North Brabant.
  • The currency of Holland is euros.
  • The emergency phone number is 112 instead of 911 that Canada has.
  • Klompens or wooden clogs are healthy for the wear’s feet.
  • Most people only wear their klompens for working in the garden or farm.
  • Almost no one wears klompens for everyday use.

I hope you learned a lot about the Netherlands’ province of North Brabant! I know a lot more now than before I wrote this page.

Info, flag and map from wikipedia/North_Brabant.

Windmill photo from

This has been Challenge 5 in the student blogging challenge.


2 thoughts on “Windmills and Wooden Shoes

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