The Dutch are very good at congratulating themselves, and tradition tells them carefully to spend much time and energy handing out trophies, medals, ribbons and flowers for just about any occasion.
Here's a relevant example to illustrate what I mean. Once a year around Koninginnedag (the queen's birthday - well, not quite, but no one seems to care), a number of medals are handed out to those select few who have made special achievements during the previous year. I think that in theory this is a good idea, and certainly people deserve some kind of official recognition, especially from the queen herself. The only thing is that these medals do not go to a select handful of achievers, rather thousands upon thousands are rained down upon society in every single town and village.
Here's another interesting example. Recently I attended an open house one evening organized by the school, with music and ceremony and lots of that kind off stuff. There was a musical with theatrical skits inbetween. The only problem (for me) was that the second half was completely dedicated to patting each other on the shoulders, thanking everyone who took part, even those ever so remotely related to preparations, giving speeches with tears in their eyes, and hugging each other ten times over as each person received piles of gifts and/or flower bouquets.
I am probably just jealous, and don't want to admit it.