segunda-feira, 8 de março de 2010

Neste aspecto, sinto-me em casa

One of my first observations about the Netherlands was how tall the Dutch are. Actually, tall doesn't do them justice. They are really tall. Damn tall. According to the staticians, the Dutch are currently the tallest people on the planet. The average height for men is 1,84m; the women come in at a respectable 1,71m. Cold averages, however, don't convey the entire picture. There are quite a few Dutch men, and even a few women, who are over 2,1m.

What is truly remarkable is that the Dutch are getting taller. While the average height in all first-world countries increased dramatically in the last century, this growth spurt has slowed down of late and seems to be leveling off. The increase in the average height of the Dutch, however, shows no sign of abating. It is in this context that height has taken on an interesting significance in Dutch society. Urinals are mounted sufficiently high on the walls to make it almost impossible to use them, unless you stand on your tiptoes. A Dutch friend was reading a magazine and said "That's terrible. There's a letter here from a mother whose daughter is only 12 years old and is already 1,83!".

Aside from the general improvement in the standard of living over the last half-century and the more even distribution of wealth in Dutch society, the best explanation I've come across for the remarkable growth spurt in the Netherlands is their diet. Specifically, the infant diet. In a laudable program, the government-subsidized consultatiebureau provides regular advice to parents about their children's health and nutrition through four years of age. The objective is to improve the well-being of newborns. The hypothesized impact on the height of the general population is apparently unintended. Alternatively, in a new twist t the age-old, nature-nurture argument, a few British once proposed a theory over beers in a pub. "It's all a simple matter of natural selection," they say. "How's that?" I asked- "What with all of those floods, only the tall could survive."

Adaptado do texto "They must be giants", de Steven Stupp na oitava edição do Holland Handbook, edições XPat Media.

6 comentários:

fd disse...

Vês? Pelo menos nesta perspectiva estás integrada. :)

Blondewithaphd disse...

Bem... falta-me o raio de um mísero centímetro para entrar na média. Is that good or bad, I wonder?

Gi disse...

Lembro-me de estudar na escola que as plantas que tinham falta de luz cresciam mais, embora ficassem menos coloridas.

Andorinha disse...

Só tu e a Tuxa do http://vidaemamesterdao.blogspot.com/
No sábado ao almoço eu explicava o quanto detestava sair à noite na Holanda pq só vejo costas. Depois os gajos ficam bêbados e levo cotoveladas ora no cachaço, ora na mona! DETESTO! Too tall!! É que não há cú! E ela dizia que aqui se sentia bem melhor q em PT nesse aspecto, porque pelo menos já não vê as carecas de toda a gente lol
Efectivamente: pontos de vista!!! :D

momentU disse...

Golden, é tudo uma questão de perspectiva...

Dünya disse...

o facto de serem todos tão altos incentiva-me a usar saltos :P
por outro lado é terrivel ir a um concerto neste país...apetece-me cortar-lhes as cabeças a todos :P