In a brief departure from the darker corners of the NetBeans APIs, and to mark the upcoming World Cup Final between Holland and Spain, let me present you with some lesser known details pertaining to the historical and cultural overlaps between these two countries. And, of course, since I'm Dutch, the focus of this odd list of factoids is inevitably from the Dutch side of the coin.
  • Eighty Years' War. The Dutch War of Independence was fought from 1568 to 1648. It began as a revolt against Philip II of Spain, the overlord of the Habsburg Netherlands. The war ended with the Treaty of Westphalia. This revolt partly succeeded with the secession of seven provinces which formed the Dutch Republic. See Wikipedia for details. In other words, to cut a long story short, Spain was to Holland what England was to the American colonists.
  • Sinterklaas. The Dutch version of Santa Claus is named Sinterklaas. He arrives on a white horse every year on 5 December, together with his assistants/helpers/slaves (take your pick). But, in an odd twist, that white horse on which Sinterklaas is found is itself found... on a steamboat. And that steamboat, at least officially, comes from... Spain! Also, if you've not been a good little boy or girl, you get put in a bag and taken... to Spain!
    "Den Koning van Hispanje heb ik altijd geŽerd." Those are the words of the final line of the first verse of the Dutch national anthem, which you will hear at the start of the Holland/Spain match. What do those words mean? They mean, literally: "The king of Spain I have always honored!" Again, those words relate to the colonial rule of Spain over Holland in the 16th century. However, regardless of their origins, it will be a bit odd to start the Holland/Spain final with Holland vowing to always honor the king of Spain...
There are probably other weird connections like the above in relation to Holland/Spain. Feel free to share them here if you have anything to add... :-)


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