The Netherlands are a small European country, located between Belgium, Luxembourg and Germany. The three small countries of Belgium, Netherlands, and Luxembourg united much earlier than the rest of Europe, and abandoned internal borders in the middle of the 20th century. In a combination of their respective names they are called Benelux countries.
The country has its own language, but it is similar to the dialect spoken in Northern Germany and northern Belgium. Many words are from the English or French. Because the country is so small, the people learn many foreign languages, most of them speak at least English and German.
The northern border of the Netherlands is the North Sea. The whole country is very flat, so floods always tended to destroy huge parts of the country. On the other hand, the farmers of Netherland tried to get additional fields by catching earth and sand and thus heightening the flat tideland. They planted certain bushes which were able to grow in a salt rich environment and made fences on the tideland. To protect this new land, and of course the old one too, from flood and storm, they early started to build dams along the coast. Windmills were used to pump water out of the lowland, sometimes deeper than sea level, into the sea.
Today the Netherlands are important food producers. Famous are cheese (like Gouda) and vegetables. The tomatoes are legendary, as they are produced in glasshouses on hydroculture.
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