This famous Dutch proverb (literally translated here), basically expresses our Dutch egalitarian society. With our curtains open we look at our neighbours’ car to see if they are not showing off. It is deeply ingrained in our calvinistic society to not ever talk about the money we make, or to brag about the great job we have.
We Dutchies, however, have found a much subtler way to show how succesfull we have been in our lives. Ever since 1952 KLM has been giving out little porcelain houses filled with Bols genever to its business class customers. And it’s business class travellers only.
When visiting Dutch friends, it will serve you well to comment on the beauty of these little houses, as you notice them subtly arranged on your hosts mantle piece, or on top of a book case.
Don’t be fooled by their flippant reaction: ‘Oh yes, KLM has been giving them out for years’. Know that you have made your host very, very happy by noticing.