May 19, 2014

How Belgians Agree to Differ

Khaled Diab, New York Times

The Associated Press

As a naturalized citizen who has been a Belgian for nearly a decade, I find this slow disintegration a shame — partly because I appreciate the eccentric appeal of this country, which has an understated cool despite a reputation for being dull. Also, for people like me, of immigrant backgrounds, it is often easier to identify as Belgian because it does not carry the same ethnic baggage that Flemish or Walloon does. In fact, with some two-thirds of the population of Brussels being of foreign origin, the ethnic complexion of the capital has shifted substantially — as is exemplified on the soccer pitch. Take, for example, the Congolese-Belgian footballer Vincent Kompany. As at home speaking Dutch or French, he captains the national squad and acts as a unifying figure.

Read Full Article ››

TAGGED: Flemish, Flemings, Walloons, Flanders, Wallonia, Europe, Belgium

RECOMMENDED ARTICLES

Can anything nice be said about the plague? As it turns out, yes. A new analysis by Sharon DeWitte in PLoS ONE suggests a silver lining: Black Death survivors and their descendants were healthier and longer-living, meaning that... more ››
May 10, 2014
Europe's South Struggles to Rise Again
Paul Ames, Global Post
Just a few months ago, you could have raised chuckles from financial experts by suggesting this country’s finances might soon be healthy enough to break free from the straitjacket of austerity imposed by international... more ››
May 10, 2014
Europe's Lost Generation Is Still Lost
Max Tholl, The European
Five years after the outbreak of the European debt crisis, youth unemployment shows no signs of abating. Unless politicians find a remedy, a whole generation will be forced into exodus. A portrait. more ››
May 8, 2014
How French Leftists Learned to Love Austerity
A. Haldenby, Spectator
For years, George Osborne cut a rather lonely figure on the European stage. He was portrayed as the only major statesman who advocated austerity. But finally he has some company. Another European leader has burst away from the... more ››
May 8, 2014
In Europe, the Far Right Rises Again
Sonni Efron, Los Angeles Times
In both Greece and Hungary, the far right is clearly growing in popularity. The question now becomes the degree to which voters in these countries and across Europe are becoming accustomed to the rhetoric of the neo-fascist... more ››