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A “Bug” is an insect that has sucking mouth parts.

The oldest active synagogue in Europe is in Prague. It is called the Old New Synagogue.

Humans and elephants are the only animals with chins.

The Lord Ponsonby of Shulbede and Baron Soulsby of Swaffham Prior are actual titles in the English Peerage.

Australia was discovered by the Chinese. The Dutch were the first Europeans to discover it. William Dampier was the first Englishman to discover it.

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The charango, a unique musical instrument found only in Bolivia, is made from the shell of an armadillo.

Every year about 98% of the atoms in your body are replaced.

For every American killed by terrorism in or outside the U.S., more than 1,000 died from firearms inside the U.S. during the recent decade.

One in four Dutch smokers does not reach their pension-age.

The 1919 Treaty of Versailles explicitly forbade Germans form calling their sparkling wine ‘champagne’, so they called it by another, informal name: ‘sekt’ (from the Latin siccus, ‘dry’).

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Gymnologize [Verb.] To debate whilst naked.

The sound of a wave breaking is actually that of hundreds of millions of air bubbles bursting at the shoreline.

Martin Luther believed the mentally challenged were the work of the devil.

Archaeological evidence suggest that the earliest known purposefully fermented drink, specifically beer, was made all the way back in the late Stone Age around 10,000 BCE, making it one of the earliest known prepared food substance along with bread, which also dates back to around 10,000 BCE. The earliest references to wine being made are found in Egypt around 4000 BCE.

As a Dutchman, you are almost 10 times more likely to commit suicide than to be murdered.

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Vrijvenster


In the Dutch village of Staphorst a so-called vrijvenster is a small window into a girl’s bedroom where a boy as potential suitor can enter through at regulated hours to try and impregnate her.

Nederlands: Staphorster farmhouse in authentic...

A traditional Staphorst farmhouse; a vrijvenster would have looked like one of the small top windows, however, as vrijvenster they would have been located on the ground floor for easy access

Literally translated, the word vrijvenster means coupling window or copulation window. These small windows were used as a loophole for pre-marital sex. Strangely enough, with parental consent, as the use of the vrijvenster was a regional tradition.

In most cases it was customary that a girl invited a boy to call upon her. Traditionally, this was done by giving a bag or pillowcase to the boy who the girl wished to come and visit. There have been cases however, where girls lost their pillowcase to a cheeky boy who had pinched the piece of bed linen from their hands and doing so earned the right to have intercourse. These windows also created opportunities for the more forceful boys who simply entered the girl’s bedroom without being invited and forced the girl to have sex.

The boys who were allowed to enter the girl’s bedroom were supposed to see if they could get the girl pregnant. If a girl was easily impregnated, she was considered to be fruitful and a possible candidate for marriage. Sadly, if a girl was not able to become pregnant she was in danger of being publicly humiliated.

This tradition was only common among the orthodox and fundamentalist Christians – usually reformed – in the area of Staphorst, a village which is part of the Dutch bible-belt. Today, the village is still widely known for its highly conservative Christian population. Nowadays however, the tradition is no longer practiced publicly.

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