The “go Dutch” expression

[Tilburg] have you ever heard the “go Dutch” expression when you pay by yourselves your food on a date? That’s, that’s, I nod, really typical Dutch people. Based on a research taken in a village in the Netherlands in early 90ish, an ethnographer stated his findings by saying “the Dutch often invite each other for drinks but rarely for meals”. But why? The Dutch are indeed extremely conscious of expenses, so much so that one can remark in exasperation: “their most common expression seems to be: ‘It costs money'(het kost geld).” However, despite their preoccupation with being thrifty, the Dutch are geneorous, in a measured sort of way, as can be seen in the financial contributions they make to numerous charities. Yes they do. Another but, the Dutch are perhaps more generous (vrijgevig) than hospitable (gastvrij), they are (could be) generous to inferiors or strangers, whom one can keep at a distance, whereas hospitality necessarily entails spacial and social proximity, and sometimes even intimacity in which they practically avoid it especially with those they don’t get along quite well. Therefore, along the lines of Mauss and Lévi-Strauss, “to give something is to give a part of oneself.. a part of one’s nature and substance, while to receive something is to receive a part of someone’s spiritual essence.” In sum, if your boyfriend doesn’t pay you for the food on a date, he doesn’t have the willingness to “give part of himself” (possibly). Further, it could be even worse if he doesn’t spare you his (prime)-time, just leave him, come on. As Mauss and Lévi-Strauss emphasized, “to give is to receive”, subsequently, he doesn’t deserve your (prime)-time either. Strange? That’s totally my free interpretation. No hard feeling, dude. 😉



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