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Proud Belgians

Li?ge, BE (View on map)
Posted 13 Dec 2007:

I arrived in Belgium today and will start my trip in the French-speaking part (Wallony) of the country. Today in Li?ge, I will visit Namur and Louvain-la-Neuve before entering Dutch speaking territory (Flanders). Today, I am asking the Belgians in Li?ge about national pride. Most frequent answer.. a big sigh. Some even start by listing things they are not proud of.... Read more

Belgians partying

Li?ge, BE (View on map)
Posted 14 Dec 2007:

Yesterday`s interviews revealed that Belgians are fond of laughing. It turns out that they are also big fans of partying, especially students. Their `party season` starts at the beginning of the academic year and ends.. at the end of it. The time between the end of the party season marks the beginning of a summer season, which is again full of festivals and local activities. A quick round up of the entire Belgian partying year:... Read more

Belgian music

Namur, BE (View on map)
Posted 15 Dec 2007:

Voted `Biggest Belgian ever` by the French-speaking community in 2005, singer Jacques Brel is one of the best examples of the export success of Belgian music. Brel, who died in 1978, was one of the very few Belgians who proved able to be successful in both Flanders and Wallony, recording songs in both Flemish and French. Only a handful of others after him managed to break through the language barrier to become successful in all of Belgium.... Read more

Strength through unity I

Louvain-la-Neuve, BE (View on map)
Posted 16 Dec 2007:

After three days in Wallony (the French-speaking South), I am traveling to Flanders (the Dutch-speaking North) today. From Louvain-la-Neuve to Leuven, two university cities separated by 30 kilometres and 1 language barrier, anchored in the Belgian Constitution. may even transform into a national border if Flemish separatist movements manage to push their independence project through. Before proceeding to the opinions about what is keeping all of Belgian occupied these days, here`s a quick background explanation of the language trouble in Belgium.... Read more

Strength through unity II

Leuven, BE (View on map)
Posted 17 Dec 2007:

After having provided a certainly oversimplified draft of the issue between the Wallon and Flemish community, I will now describe the different opinions I have collected over the last day. For the sake of completeness, I have collected these opinions in French-speaking Louvain-la-Neuve, Dutch-speaking Leuven and bilingual Brussels.... Read more

EU careers

Brussels, BE (View on map)
Posted 18 Dec 2007:

An international environment, with many young people around and plenty of career opportunities ? Brussels sounds like a perfect place for graduates who want to work for anything that`s got to do with Europe. The weather and the dog crap in the street seem to be the only disadvantages of Brussels life.... Read more

Sacrifice Day

Brussels, BE (View on map)
Posted 19 Dec 2007:

Today is just another ordinary day for most Belgians. They may be looking forward to Christmas, but they have nothing to celebrate on this 19th of December. For the Muslim community in Belgium and across the world, today is `Eid al-Adha`: Sacrifice Day.... Read more

Career choices

Ghent, BE (View on map)
Posted 19 Dec 2007:

`Man bijt hond` (`Man bites dog`) is a typical Flemish TV program that brings a mixture of social documentaries and `non-news`. It sends out reporters to ordinary people, to see what they eat for dinner, how they spend the day and what kind of, sometimes strange, hobbies they have. It is no surprise that many people in Belgium like to compare what I do to `Man bijt hond`. Enough a reason to ask people a question in the `Man bites dog` style: What did you want to become when you were younger?... Read more

Joining the Scouts

Antwerpen, BE (View on map)
Posted 21 Dec 2007:

Finland is one of the few European countries that stick to strict military conscription. Other countries struggle to find alternative constructions to force different layers of society to interact during at least one period in their lives. In Belgium, compulsory military service was abolished in 1994, but they have an interesting alternative to it. On a voluntary basis and without any aggressive undertone to it. Resembling Donald Ducks` cousins as `The Junior Woodchucks`, many Belgians spend at least one year of their life as members of the Scouting.... Read more

The low countries

Antwerpen, BE (View on map)
Posted 22 Dec 2007:

Another border crossing is on the way. Even though The Netherlands and Belgium may have a lot in common, language and large parts of history included, there are distinct differences between the two countries. Belgians have very little difficulty recognising their neighbours from up north and this is why:... Read more

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