The story of Belgium
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17-02-2011, 03:03 PM (This post was last modified: 19-02-2011 04:42 PM by Observer.)
The story of Belgium
Hello?
Helloooo?
Anybody?
Do you know we are out here? Do you know who we are?

We are Belgium. And we are situated somewhat here.
/*irony/
Today we finally made it. We broke a record!!
We broke the record of 250 days without a federal government. The opposition was tough. We took the record from IRAK (of all places). Not that anarchy rules here in Belgium. We still have 5(!) lower governments left to rule our country of 11mil citizens. (That tea-party idea for less government makes my laugh and cry at the same time)
/irony*/

Lady's and Gentlemen. I present to you Belgium. Mostly known for Beer, Chocolate, waffels and "heidekneutermenthaliteit". "What’s that?" you say... I tried to explain here. Feel free to add a contribution.

Formed artificially in 1830 to act as a buffer state between France, Germany and Holland the borders where drawn rather crude. In the north there is Flanders (Dutch speaking) and in the south there is Walloon (French speaking). The commission forming the state thought, as French was a dominant language at the time, that those Dutch speaking peasants in the south would want not other than to be part of the rich French culture.(imagine a country speaking half Swahili half English nowadays: what language would you choose to talk?) That worked smooth for a while.

Enter the first world-war.

Since Belgium acted as the buffer-state it supposed to be it was thoroughly shot to pieces, raped and mutilated like the supreme leaders of that day had hoped it would (Assholes are from all times) and France slowly started to loose it’s importance in the world theatre with a final blow after world war 2. The story goes that Dutch speaking soldiers died in the trenches because they did not understand the French commands. In those days a sort of Flemish nationalism was born.

After world war 2 Flanders, lacking a historical culture of their own, started to turn more to the Anglo-Saxon culture and way of life. While Walloon remained French. We started to differentiate more and more.

Between 1960 and 2003 They established a "language-border", split up the provinces and media, established sub-governments and so on. This was all done by the use of horrible constructions like compromises on compromises, hybrid institutions and "waffleiron-politics" (one bridge for you, one bridge for me (I don’t really need it but I place it anyway watch Example picture))

A fatal mistake was made in the political alchemy. In an attempt to make a compromise they allowed French talking politicians to appear on Flemish voting-lists. This turned out a law against the constitution of Belgium. This could have been a minor problem if it didn’t had been for the voting lists on the only city worth the name city in Belgium. Brussels. I's Flemish territory, mostly French speaking and host to all major governmental, financial and economical institutions. The apple of discord!! (Imagine New-York being inhabited by Canadians)

After the elections of 2007 they could not agree on how to split these voting lists. Since then, not a major thing can be done without politicians starting to argue an this subject. The end of what was achievable with a compromise was reached. They would have to reform the state yet again.
In 2010 the plug was pulled on the government of 2007 and elections came. The south chose for the classic Belgian socialism, the north for Right-winged Flemish nationalism making a compromise as good as impossible.

And here we are.
What do we Belgians have left? Not much, Not only did we not manage to change the world with our waffles, beer, and chocolate. we don't even managed to change our country.


Then again... with all our "heidekneutermenthaliteit" All this change, arguments and disagreements happened without 1 drop of blood being shed. I am pretty sure that we are the envy of country like, Israel/Palestine, north Ireland, and Shiites/Sunnites. I hope that one day the little Belgian hobbits would understand this and erect a sign for all other earthlings to see...

Welcome to Belgium. Country of beer, waffles and peace!

Observer

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17-02-2011, 11:30 PM
RE: The story of Belgium
Quote:In the north there is Flanders
Stupid Flanders...
[Image: stupid-flanders-150x150.jpg]

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17-02-2011, 11:39 PM
RE: The story of Belgium
(17-02-2011 03:03 PM)The_observer Wrote:  Today we finally made it. We broke a record!!
We broke the record of 250 days without a federal government.
I had no idea. I may have to keep an eye on this to see what happens though.

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18-02-2011, 12:29 AM
RE: The story of Belgium
Yes peace is always discussed in the same sentence as beer. Thanks for the description of your country, sadly there are many such places in the world caused by foreign interference. Glad to know all the vicious arguments from each side turn into nothing all that important. I think our closest word in english would be hypochondria which is an illogical fear that complicates simple medical matters. Mainly has to do with people who see a drop of blood, and think they're going to die, or bruise their skin and expect amputation.

Sadly the US doesn't have such a wonderful word because we get the same definition by saying normal.

By the way I'm not a drinker can I have my peace without the beer or will that ruin the flavor?

I'm not a non believer, I believe in the possibility of anything. I just don't let the actuality of something be determined by a 3rd party.
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18-02-2011, 12:57 AM
RE: The story of Belgium
(18-02-2011 12:29 AM)Lilith Pride Wrote:  By the way I'm not a drinker can I have my peace without the beer or will that ruin the flavor?
Have a chocolate... They're delicious...

Observer

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18-02-2011, 04:28 PM
RE: The story of Belgium
Ah, Belgium. Gateway to France, as my Großvater called it.

All that hate's gonna burn you up, kid.
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19-02-2011, 04:41 PM
RE: The story of Belgium
I found this interesting article which is much better written.

Observer

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19-02-2011, 04:45 PM
RE: The story of Belgium
249 naked people? I agree this story is a bit more edgy than yours =p

I'm not a non believer, I believe in the possibility of anything. I just don't let the actuality of something be determined by a 3rd party.
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20-02-2011, 06:04 AM
RE: The story of Belgium
(19-02-2011 04:45 PM)Lilith Pride Wrote:  249 naked people?
That "naked" stuff was something the reporters made up to attract readers.
It was fun to watch though...
[Image: frea.jpg.h380.jpg.568.jpg]

Observer

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20-02-2011, 11:56 AM
RE: The story of Belgium
I know =p I just felt like saying it =p

I'm not a non believer, I believe in the possibility of anything. I just don't let the actuality of something be determined by a 3rd party.
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