one of the most annoying aspects of the Netherlands is the profound love this society has for all things mediocre. this expresses itself in a large number of proverbs that warn against being not normal or raising your head above the ground-level.
One of the most unfortunate results of this cultural trait is what is known as ‘zesjescultuur‘ referring to the 6 points out of 10 that you need to score in an exam to pass, which are generally considered to be the optimum result of an exam since achieving any more points would require more work (and result in an undesirable deviation from the norm).
To me it is one of the big mysteries of this country how it can be that pretty much everyone agrees that the ‘zesjescultuur’ is bad and shameful and still nothing seems to change. Yesterday while sitting in a coffee shop (the starbucks type) i noticed this cover of the weekend women’s insert of the Telegraaf daily wihc effetively eradicates all hope that this will ever change:
Turns out that all the Tiger-mothers of the Netherlands aim for is that their kids score ‘better than a 6′. Guess it is time for some kind of ‘real tiger mothers’ stamp of approval…