How to be Dutch
2nd revised reprint
After the success of his book ‘How to Be Orange: An Alternative Dutch Assimilation Course,’ Comedian Greg Shapiro now writes the questions that SHOULD be on the Dutch Citizenship Exam. How to Be Dutch makes you redefine the Holland you thought you knew. Shapiro examines the dialogue from Pulp Fiction to ask: how many ‘little differences’ have changed? And he asks pressing questions, such as: ‘If Holland is the Drug Capital of the world, why is it so hard to get antibiotics?’
An example of one of his proposed questions:
Question 25: You want to apply for the Dutch Stadsregister. What should you bring?
A Your passport.
B Your passport and work permit.
C Every form of documentation you’ve ever had and another three you never knew existed.
Shapiro also takes on serious topics, such as: why is there so much talk about immigration when the real problem is the emigration of the highly-educated? If, on the street, he gets into a fight with Dutch kids of Moroccan descent, does that make him racist? And how does Dutch society produce such independent thinkers, when the education system only encourages children to ‘not stick their neck out?’
For 20 years, Shapiro has catalogued his clumsy assimilation into Dutch culture with Boom Chicago Comedy Theater, with Comedy Central and VARA HumorTV. Now, he is a comedian, a columnist and an awkward Dutch-speaker.