Dutch skating in streets

Watch the Dutch skate and curl on their frozen roads after a winter storm

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If you’ve travelled to the Netherlands and had the good sense to sew a maple-leaf patch on your bag, you may have found that the Dutch were especially friendly. A few locals, particularly if they were old enough to remember Canada’s role in liberating Holland and hosting the Dutch Royal Family during World War II, might have even bought you a beer.

But the Canada-Netherlands camaraderie doesn’t end there. As this video shows, after a flash bout of freezing rain, we both like to lace up and take our skating to the streets.

What’s particularly interesting about this clip is that most of the skaters are wearing speed skates. For Canadians—especially men whose first name isn’t Elvis—“skates” refer to hockey skates. But in the Netherlands, where hockey isn’t as popular, people are more likely to skate for distance and speed than a good old game of shinny.

As for those without skates, a game of beer-crate curling will have to suffice:

Now what could be more Canadian than that?

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