Holland or the Netherlands?

Halland and the Netherlands
[Map of the Netherlands with Holland highlighted]

It seems that some people and media institutions still don’t understand the Holland/Netherlands relationship. Technically Holland is a region within the Netherlands made up of the two provinces of Noord-Holland and Zuid-Holland. Saying Holland when you mean the Netherlands is like saying England when you mean Great Britain.

This is a distinction David Hasselhoff has not yet grasped when he appeared on Scottish television. Hasselhoff told GMTV presenter Jenni Falconer that he was “looking for a nice English girl“. She told him she was Scottish and Hasselhoff replied: “Well, that’s the same thing.” How not to win a Scottish heart – call them English.

So it is with Netherlands still being referred to as Holland. I noticed that while reading about the Euro 2008 qualifying matches. UEFA, the governing body of the Euro 2008 competition have Netherlands officially listed as competing. Some English language news sources though have referred to the Netherlands team as Holland (news.bbc.co.uk)

I would have thought that at least the British news sources would understand this distinction, as Great Britain or the U.K is never represented in football tournaments, but England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are. If Holland were playing (representing South and North Holland) then that would mean the other 10 provinces would be represented.

While looking for links for this article I have found that the Netherlands Board of Tourism & Conventions (NBTC) do not help in allaying this confusion by lumping all of the Netherlands travel information into The Official Holland Site.

Further References:
Netherlands vs. Holland
Holland and the Netherlands
Netherlands Terminology


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