A Blog by International Students at Leiden University
My latest trip to home made me think about how different the breakfast cultures of Turkey and the Netherlands. Before listing some of the main differences and similarities as for the content, I would like to explain and underline the two different meaning of breakfast.
What I have observed so far in my almost a-year long stay in the Netherlands, breakfast is just another meal for Dutch people, the whole point of which is, well, to fill your stomach. You probably are asking what else can be expected from breakfast or why it would be any different than lunch or dinner. For me, as a Turkish person, however, this is a striking difference between the two cultures.
Breakfast is a social gathering for families and friends, rather than just being another meal. If you haven’t seen a friend and want to catch up with them over a couple of hours meeting, going out for breakfast is a perfect choice. There are streets or neighbourhoods in each city, known for its several cafes specialized in breakfast.
Sunday breakfasts are an important time for families to have breakfast together, without the rush of anywhere anyone needs to be. Even though quicker and simpler breakfast, which I could call Dutch-type for the purposes of this article, is normal for weekdays when you are in the morning rush, people take their time and effort to prepare delicious breakfasts with more than 10 items to enjoy it, when they can.
Another point is, if it is possible, you would wait for everyone, contrary to what I have observed with Dutch families of everyone having their own breakfasts, depending on their own schedules or what time they wake up, even on the weekends. As efficient or logical it is, having this time where everyone gets together before starting the day, is something I miss about being home. Luckily for me, I got to chance to ease this longing during my time in Tukey this time, both with my parents and at my brother’s who lives in a different city with his wife.
In the next part of my article, I will share the differences between the content of two types of breakfasts, which is another big difference even though I can still spot some similarities.
Does breakfast have a special place in your culture? Share in the comments!