733 ‘We have nothing to hide’ — Why Dutch people don’t mind you peering into their homes

Speech Materals

For many visitors to the Netherlands, one of the great discoveries when wandering through the streets of Amsterdam or other towns and cities is that you can often take a look inside people’s homes when it gets dark.

That’s because many Dutch people never close their curtains or blinds. Often, people don’t even have curtains or blinds.

At a time when coronavirus restrictions are confining people all over the world to their homes — with only a window for contact to the outside world — this national quirk seems even more intriguing.

The Dutch themselves don’t think it unusual. It’s so interwoven in their culture that researchers have struggled to figure out exactly why people in the Netherlands care so little about their privacy.

Those who look for an explanation for this rather curious exhibitionism quickly get caught up in major sociological tangles.

Is it an “I’ve-got-nothing-to-hide” or a “look-what-I’ve-got” mentality? Or both?

I – Word Understanding
Quirk – a strange habit or behavior
Exhibitionism – a behavior that attracts attention
sociological tangles – confusing things in the society

II – Have Your Say
1. Have you ever visited the Netherlands? What are some facts that you know about the country and its people?
2. From aesthetics to efficiency, windows are one of the most vital and interesting features of any building or home. They bridge the gap between our secure, indoor lives and the elements outdoors. What do you think about the “open” window” culture of Dutch people?
3. Window architecture and treatments had been evolving over years. What is the current trend for windows and window treatments in your country? What do you personally prefer for your windows?

733 ‘We have nothing to hide’ — Why Dutch people don’t mind you peering into their homes

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