A dutch way of life

| 28 Sep 2011 | 02:18

    SUSSEX COUNTY-"Going Dutch" isn't just a catch phrase for local author Marc Resch, but a way of life. The author's first book, Only in Holland, Only the Dutch, based on his extensive knowledge of the Netherlands and his experiences of living and working there, delves into the psyche, culture, history, values and distinctiveness of Holland and its people. While in Holland, Resch resolutely explored every facet of the intriguing Dutch culture. He partook in the festivals, cheered on the local football - soccer - teams, shopped the local markets, drank beer and coffee with locals in the numerous cafés and became as Dutch as he possibly could. Using a combination of firsthand experiences and intense research, Resch delivers a captivating portrayal of Dutch culture in his first book. Year after year, millions of people visit Holland from all parts of the world for various reasons. Holland offers something for everyone, from rich culture, tumultuous history, and charm to a permissiveness unlike any place in the world. Resch says that Holland and the Dutch possess an aura of fascination and peculiarity that leaves visitors and expatriates both perplexed and stimulated. Only in Holland, Only the Dutch sheds light on the mysteriousness that both permeates the country and explains the working and social behaviors of the Dutch. The book explores the pervasive liberalism and tolerance of the Dutch by exploring their history, the impact of the military regimes that attempted to oppress them and their perpetual struggles against raging waters due to their homeland being submerged below sea level. The book takes an often humorous look into the many unique characteristics and idiosyncrasies of Holland and those who call it home. Such Dutch unique traits that are explored include their reliance on bicycles instead of cars, their political incorrectness, their openness towards public nudity, their penchant for tolerance of just about everything, their consensus-building decision-making process and their legendary reputation for frugality. The book also explores the juxtaposition of the fairy-tale images - wooden shoes, windmills, tulips, cheese, cheerful girls with pigtails milking cows - with that of a seedier side that includes red light districts, live sex shows and legalized marijuana cafés. The author discusses the joys and frustrations of being an American living and working in Holland and dealing with the unique cultural characteristics of the Dutch. Only in Holland, Only the Dutch also looks at the enormous impact the industrious Dutch had on all corners of the globe, especially the New York and New Jersey region of the United States. That area was originally called Nieuw Nederland, paying homage to the Dutch homeland, and Manhattan was once called Nieuw Amsterdam. The impact of the early Dutch settlers is still evident in the region through Anglicized versions of original Dutch names, including Harlem (Haarlem), Brooklyn (Bruekelen), Hoboken (Hoboken), Wall Street (Vaal Straat), Sandy Hook (Sant Hoek), Staten Island (Staaten Eylandt) and the Catskills (Kaatskill). Old Mine Road, the first commercial highway in North America, was built by the Dutch to transport ore from the numerous copper mines along the Delaware River. Although useful to visitors, the book is not a travel guide. It does, however, offer an insider's perspective on the intricacies and fascinating facets of the Dutch culture. The book is not just for people of Dutch heritage, expatriates or world travelers, but for anyone with an interest in cultures throughout the world, especially unique ones. The book offers comparisons and contrasts of societal attributes of many world cultures, including a look at how many American "conservative" social policies contrast with Holland's "progressive" ones, such as the legalization of prostitution, marijuana, euthanasia and same-sex marriages. Resch is a graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point and served as an U.S. Army officer in Europe and the United States. He received a Masters in Business Administration from the University of North Carolina and a Masters in Science from Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken. He currently resides in Sussex County. For more information, visit onlyinholland.com or call 1-800-247-6553.