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Carisa and I were taking a stroll in Amsterdam, Holland, a couple of years ago. We didn’t have that much time there, only 24 hours. However, we couldn’t help but notice these lovely shutters on random row houses as we passed by.
We didn’t understand its utility; it seemed more of a hassle than merely using curtains. You would have to step outside on a practically non-existent balcony and then reach out on either side with the skill of a high wire artist to close them shut.
Then again, perhaps, that is the point. It’s not supposed to be easy to close. As I understand it, the Dutch aren’t shy types and prefer the freedom of using these out-stretched shutters instead of curtains that deprive them of precious sunlight. However, I could see that some residents were using Dutch lace in some of the windows.
The prevailing notion is that it stems from the Dutch’s Calvinistic roots to leave your windows bare to prove that you have nothing to hide.
That’s in stark contrast to my fellow Americans whose belief in privacy is almost synonymous with their faith in a higher power.
Whatever the reason for this delightful accouterments, it was a joy to see just the same.