Belgen mensen zijn niet chauvinistisch.

Belgen mensen zijn niet chauvinistisch  – when I first heard this phrase I thought it meant that Belgians aren’t chauvinists. I was confused, making the immediate association with male chauvinists. As obvious as this phrase sounds when converted straight into English, there’s a certain context here. It has nothing what-so-ever to do with women, bras, holding doors open for the ladies or employment ethics.

Correctly translated, the phrase means “Belgians are not patriotic”. Perhaps I still have a tainted foreigner’s view, but I find this phrase false or at least incomplete and misleading. I think the phrase should be elaborated on such: “Belgians are not patriotic like Americans.”

I think Belgians are deeply and privately patriotic but in a different, unique way.

Have you seen how the government’s made up? The general view of Belgians as far as I’ve been able to establish is that it’s a contrived or invented country with a royal family that had nothing or nowhere else to rule. This is mostly true, but it doesn’t make it any less legitimate as a country! As the lovely Mrs. Black so eloquently pointed out, it’s the chummy of Europe.

More explanation required? Yes, I think so. A chummy is a colloquialism for a friend where we’re originally from. A chummy is also the colloquial name for the useless (but very important) piece of meat that keeps your bum and fun parts apart. Without the chummy, your fun parts wouldn’t be that fun now would they? So yes, a chummy is completely useless and incredibly important!

Yes. Belgium is the chummy, the no-man’s-land of all those feuding, boiling lands in Europe. It divides and puts safe distance between Germany, France, The Netherlands and even though there’s a body of water to divide us from England, Belgium still seems to be a buffer of sorts to this land too.

A patriotic Belgian it seems!

A patriotic Belgian it seems!

So after this brief and cynical history lesson, let’s get to the Belgians. Most of them don’t know their national anthem. There’s the case of our Prime Minister, Elio Di Rupo, breaking into a lovely rendition of the French national anthem when asked to sing the Belgian one.

Most Belgians I’ve come across do not see any function for the Belgian Royal Family or the King. There is one Belgian who I believe did have an explanation – my Inburgering’s lerares.

She taught me that the king is the glue that keeps the political leaders of all the political parties and groups talking to each other. He is the mediator and the man who keeps the disagreeing political parties wheeling, dealing and compromising. He is also the man who signs all the (finally) agreed upon laws into power.

There are those Belgians that are chauvinistic about the royal family. Here’s proof.

A little royals shrine in a window.

A little royals shrine in a window.

As much as Belgian’s aren’t patriotic about Belgium, ask them about the piece of Belgium they’re living in and it’s a WHOLE different story! The Flanders (the Flemish that live in the north of Belgium and speak Flemish or Belgian Nederlands) consider themselves far superior to the Wallonian Belgians living in the South of Belgium and who speak French. Actually most Flanders don’t even consider Wallonia residences to be Belgian!

The Application:

I don’t know the French National Anthem and I’m not about to break into a rendition of the Belgian National Anthem because like our Prime Minister, I don’t know it!

I find it difficult to dislike my King and royal family or even be indifferent to them. I will therefore keep my tongue and try to keep my opinions to myself thereby portraying an air of indifference.

Inside I’ll love and cuddle them.

I will be (and am by blood as my mother was born and raised in Ardooie) , my emblem will be the lion of Vlanders and not the rooster of Wallonia.

Vlanderen Lion

Tot gauw.

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7 responses to “Belgen mensen zijn niet chauvinistisch.

  1. Living in Belgium I still need to come across real patriotic Belgians who are proud of their country. Proud people of their region we can come across more, but still they do not know enough of their region, nor do they know enough people of their region which were of some importance for their community or even for the world community. Belgians donot seem to have any pride in their own folks. It looks more like they have a lower complex and are afraid to show their proud of the works done in their community.

    • The only reason I picked Vlanders is that I live and have family history there but trust me when I say: Beyond anything and firstly I consider myself Belgian. I may well get hate mail and rude comments for this next statement but so be it: I think both Walonia and Vlanders have things to offer and separating the two would make Belgium less.
      I love Belgium more than it’s parts. I would not chop off my left arm even though my right arm does more work.

      • As you point out flanders and Wallonia do have to offer much and tearing them appart would not help them. The contrary deviding Belgium in four parts or less woudl make the so small and unimportant that they would not mean much on the worldmap. Together than keep themselves in balance, helping the one when he is in problems, and for sure that will conter many times. It would be better to eiterh just make them One Unit under one governement, saving lots of costs or makeing them confederate states, each having a sort ofindependance but unity under a federal governement whre the king would be mediator. Those people who would like a republic forget that is going to be more costly then a kingdom where the king reigns for a long time, while a president has a limited time, but gets paid a retirement fee after he or she is president off. After some decades their will be many ex presidents receiving an allotment, which would be more costly than paying one king.

  2. Pingback: Nationalisme slecht voor Vlaanderen | Marcus' s Space

  3. Sorry for the many faults in the previous posting. Would you mind changing this:
    Dividing Belgium in four parts or less would make the so small and unimportant that they would not mean much on the worldmap. Together than keep themselves in balance, helping the one when he is in problems, and for sure that will occur and counter many times. It would be better to either just make them One Unit under one government, saving lots of costs or making them confederate states, each having a sort of independence but unity under a federal government where the king would be mediator. Those people who would like a republic forget that is going to be more costly then a kingdom where the king reigns for a long time, while a president has a limited time, but gets paid a retirement fee after he or she is president off. After some decades their will be many ex presidents receiving an allotment, which would be more costly than paying one king.

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