Portal:Netherlands

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Introduction

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The Netherlands (Dutch: Nederland [ˈneːdərlɑnt] (About this sound listen)), often referred to as Holland, is a country located mostly in Western Europe with a population of 17.2 million. Together with three island territories in the Caribbean (Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba), it forms a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. The European portion of the Netherlands consists of twelve provinces and borders Germany to the east, Belgium to the south, and the North Sea to the northwest, sharing maritime borders in the North Sea with Belgium, the United Kingdom, and Germany. The five largest cities in the Netherlands are Amsterdam, Rotterdam, The Hague, Utrecht (forming the Randstad megalopolis) and Eindhoven (leading the Brabantse Stedenrij). Amsterdam is the country's capital, while The Hague holds the seat of the States General, Cabinet and Supreme Court. The Port of Rotterdam is the largest port in Europe and the world's largest outside Asia.

"Netherlands" literally means "lower countries", influenced by its low land and flat geography, with only about 50% of its land exceeding 1 metre (3 ft 3 in) above sea level. Most of the areas below sea level are artificial. Since the late 16th century, large areas (polders) have been reclaimed from the sea and lakes, amounting to nearly 17% of the country's current land mass. With a population density of 414 people per km2 – 510 if water is excluded – the Netherlands is classified as a very densely populated country. Only Bangladesh, South Korea, and Taiwan have both a larger population and higher population density. Nevertheless, the Netherlands is the world's second-largest exporter of food and agricultural products, after the United States. This is partly due to the fertility of the soil and the mild climate as well as its highly developed intensive agriculture. The Netherlands was the third country in the world to have elected representatives controlling the government's actions; it has been administered as a parliamentary democracy and a constitutional monarchy since 1848, organised as a unitary state. From the 19th century the country installed a system of pillarisation where societies and institutions were segragated between Catholics, Calvinists and socialists - most of this system no longer exists, but some traces remain. The Netherlands has a long history of social tolerance and is generally regarded as a liberal country, having legalised abortion, prostitution, and euthanasia, while maintaining a progressive drug policy. The Netherlands abolished the death penalty in 1870 and had women's suffrage introduced in 1917. Regarding the LGBT community, it became the world's first country to legalise same-sex marriage in 2001.

Selected article

The Golden Film is a film award recognizing domestic box office achievements in the Netherlands. The Golden Film is awarded to films from the Netherlands once they have sold 100,000 tickets. The award is an initiative by the Netherlands Film Festival and the Netherlands Film Fund to increase media attention for Dutch films. For each awarded film there is one trophy for the film crew and another for the film cast.

When the Golden Film was introduced in 2001, it was awarded to films once they had sold 75,000 tickets. In the following years, the public's interest in Dutch films in the Netherlands had increased. In 2003, the audience criterion was increased to 100,000 tickets in an effort to further stimulate the Dutch film industry. Since its introduction, the Golden Film has been awarded to 52 films.[i]

While the cast and crew have considered their receiving films to be successful, critics have said that films that sold only 75,000 or 100,000 tickets cannot be considered a commercial success. For this reason the fact that Dutch newspapers report about this award is also criticized.

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Selected biography

Nico Rienks
Nicolaas "Nico" Hessel Rienks (born 1 February 1962) is a former rower from the Netherlands and two-time Olympic gold medallist.

Rienks won the gold medal in the men's double sculls at the 1988 Summer Olympics, alongside Ronald Florijn. At the 1996 Summer Olympics, he repeated his gold medal performance winning the eight with coxswain event with the Holland Acht (Holland Eight). He also competed at the 1984 and 2000 Olympics but finished outside the podium.

With Henk-Jan Zwolle he won the gold medal in the double sculls competition at the 1991 World Rowing Championships. He also won three silver medals at the world championships in 1989 (double sculls), 1994 and 1995 (eights).

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