How Holland Is Mourning Flight MH17

The Dutch Are More Comfortable With Intimate Remembrances Than National Calls to Arms

How the Dutch Are Mourning

A cultural conundrum that I struggled to comprehend during my six years of living in Amsterdam concerned the Dutch attitude toward celebrities. They are passionate about their own celebrities—far more than about Hollywood stars, which is fair enough—but in the midst of intensely gossiping about a homegrown film or sports personality they will suddenly turn blasé, as if the celeb were a mere family member who had started to become uppity.

The explanation is in the size of the nation. When you’ve got a total population of 16 million crammed into …

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