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Belgium. This post may contain affiliate links, which means that we may receive a small commission, at no cost to you, if you make a purchase through a link. More info: Disclosure. Best known in the world for its waffles, chocolate, and beer, Belgium is as fascinating and as diverse as its food and drinks! In this article, I want to show you a lighter, fun side of this beautiful country that I now call home.
So here are some of the typical things that make Belgium unique. Things that Belgium is famous for, but also some weird facts that you probably never heard of. Some of these facts and habits might seem very strange at first sight, but once you get to know and love this country, you cannot imagine it any other way. Belgium is a constitutional monarchy.
We have a King and 6 governments — a federal government and 5 regional governments. Belgium has proven time and again that the country can function without a federal government. Once, it took days for a government to be formed and people found it totally acceptable.
Some things just take time, they say. Update: During the most recent government formation inBelgium broke its own world record. This time, it took days for a federal government to be formed in Belgium.
The reason for this is that political views are very different in Flanders and Wallonia. Belgium has three official languages and none of them is called Belgian. People speak Dutch, French, and German in different parts of the country. In the Dutch-speaking schools, kids start to learn French Amazing fun girls only 25 Belgium 25 the 5th grade at the latest. So the majority of Flemish people also speak French.
Most Flemish people also speak English. Kids often learn English from the TV long before they learn it at school. When this article was first published, the Belgian national team was 1 in the world on the FIFA ranking and the country was as united as never before. Football soccer is the only thing that can unite all Belgians and make them forget all the differences and disagreements, even if for a short while. You can find more than 30 types of different waffles in an average Belgian supermarket yes, I counted. The Brussels waffles are airier and not as sweet, whereas the Liege waffles are very thick, rich, and full of pearl sugar.
Giving foreign chocolate as a present might be taken as an insult by Belgians. After all, they are the ones who have the very best chocolate in the world. The truth is that Belgian chocolate is very good; much too good actually, and they are absolutely right to be proud of it. Usually, he is not dressed and foreigners always find it amusing. But the little guy also has hundreds of different costumes for all kinds of occasions and somebody takes the trouble of changing his clothes two to three times a week. If you are interested, you can learn all bout Manneken Pis and see a part of his impressive wardrobe at the GardeRobe MannekenPis museum in Brussels.
Belgium has some of the best music festivals in the world. Tomorrowland, Rock Werchter, I Love Techno — these are just a few examples of the music festivals attracting thousands of people from all over the world. In addition, Belgians love parades. There are so many traditional parades all over the country! Some of them happen every year, but there are also traditional historic or religious parades that only take place every so many years. Especially in summer, Belgium turns into one huge festival terrain. Belgians say that they invented French fries. And to give them credit, the fries in Belgium are indeed better than in France or anywhere else for that matter.
You probably heard that Belgians eat fries with mayo.
You can drink a Belgian beer every day for 4 years and never have the same beer twice. There is some uncertainty about the exact of different Belgian beers.
But according to most sources, there are at least 1, original Belgian beers brewed in Belgium. On top of that, there are many different types of beers under the same name. Every single Belgian beer has its own special glass. We are just an average half-Belgian family and our basement is filled with all kinds of different beer glasses. We hardly ever use most of them, but — to my Belgian husband — it would be unthinkable to serve a beer in the wrong glass. Belgium is world known for comic strips.
The most famous are probably the Smurfs, Tintin, and Lucky Luke. There are more than registered Belgian comic series. Pretty much everyone I know here in Belgium owns hundreds of comic strip books. I am so used to it by now that I only understand how spoiled we are when they switch the lights off or when we travel to other countries. You can make friends in Belgium just by talking about the weather.
Belgians are obsessed about the weather and so you always have an easy conversation topic available. In any case, enough to give us something to talk about. So if you meet a Belgian for the first time and are looking for a way to start the conversation, just say something about the weather. Cooking books top book bestsellers lists in Belgium for years.
Belgians love to cook. And to eat. Belgians love the Burgundian lifestyle, fine food, and drinks. If you are going for dinner at a restaurant in Belgium, count at least hours. Belgian favorite pastime is shopping or going to the seaside. An ideal weekend is spent in Knokke, the posh seaside resort with many luxury boutiques on the Belgian coast. Come weekend and Belgians flock to shopping malls and seaside resorts.
All self-respecting Belgians try to buy or build a house as soon as they can. Belgians are pretty open and will talk about pretty much anything, except money. Belgium has one of the highest personal income tax rates in the world. In addition, you have to pay social security taxes of Belgians make carpets from flowers and they are really good at it. Sinterklaas travels on a white horse and with the help of Black Peters enters the houses via the chimney. Kids put their shoes at the fireplace on the evening of December 5.
They also leave some carrots and sugar for the horse and drawings for Sinterklaas. Here you can about the Sinterklaas celebration in Belgium. Belgium has some beautiful historic cities, like Bruges, Ghent, Antwerp, or Leuven. In addition, we have many smaller towns, but there is one that Belgians are particularly proud of — Durbuy. In the early 14th century, the Count of Luxembourg gave the town the rank of the city.
When talking about the things that Belgium is famous for, people often forget that we have great universities and lots of scientists in Belgium. Belgian computer scientist Robert Cailliau together with his English colleague Berners-Lee, invented the hypertext system for accessing documentation, which eventually led to the creation of the World Wide Web.
Did you know that the saxophone was invented by a Belgian named Adolphe Sax? Belgium is multicultural and multilingual to its core and you will notice it in all kinds of details every single day. Here is my favorite example and something that took me many years to get used to — the same city will have different names in Flemish, Walloon, or German-speaking parts of the country.
I had a map with me, but road s were pointing to places that were not on the map. I ended up driving around for several hours. I remember asking people for directions and they looked at me as if I was from another planet. It took me several weeks to realize that Gent is actually the same place as Amazing fun girls only 25 Belgium 25. Belgium is world-famous for its chocolate, waffles, beer, and its national football team, the Red Devils.
The majority of people in Flanders speak English very well. However, as a tourist, you should have no problems finding someone who speaks English to help you out.Amazing fun girls only 25 Belgium 25
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25 Interesting & Fun Facts About Belgium (That You Probably Didn’t Know)