My boyfriend Chris and I come from two completely different cultures. He is American and I am Dutch. However, there is one thing that we have in common culture wise: we are both known to the world as ‘Cheeseheads’. Let me explain myself a bit more:
Dutch people are often referred to as ‘Kaaskoppen’, literarily meaning ‘Cheeseheads’ in English. Unfortunately the term nowadays is often used as a racial slur against ethic Dutch people. When I came to the USA for the first time friends and family proudly told me about them being nicknamed ‘Cheeseheads’. As you may understand I was very surprised to hear this. “But that is the nickname for people from my country?!,” I replied.
Most likely the Dutch and/or Germans took the nickname with them to Wisconsin, the dairy state of the USA, during the time that it wasn’t seen as a racial slur yet. Also Wisconsin cheese is famous throughout the whole country. It is funny to see how in The Netherlands ‘kaaskop’ is now more known as a racial slur, while in the USA it is a lighthearted nickname for Wisconsinites. Wisconsin’s football team – the Green Bay Packers – are even nicknamed The Cheeseheads. At games you will often see Packer fans wearing Cheesehead hats!
From now on I think I will just take the American approach and be proud of being a Cheesehead! I mean, it even makes things easier for when we have children (if we do). No identity crisis (am I American or Dutch?!). Just refer to yourself as a Cheesehead kiddo and you’ll be right either way haha!