Country Series

Country Series – Belgium, The Battlefield of Europe

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In the spirit to strengthen our knowledge and understanding about nations and its people, we drew this blog series about countries in the world. Knowing other nations and its people could enhance the social cohesion and raise a better cultural relation to this world community.

When you heard the name “Belgium”, what crosses your mind? Are you thinking of waffles, chocolate or beer? Have you ever heard about the battlefield of Europe? Yes, its the nickname of Belgium. But have you ever wondered how Belgium got its nickname? Belgium is also called “the battlefield of Europe” because it is where the largest number of European battles have taken place in history. In this blog we will share some more facts about Belgium!

Belgium is a country in northwestern Europe. It is one of the smallest and most densely populated European countries, and it has been, since its independence in 1830, a representative democracy headed by a hereditary constitutional monarch. Belgium is a heterogeneous country straddling the border between the Romance and Germanic language families of western Europe. Belgium is divided into three communities or specifically language communities (Dutch, French and German). In addition, Belgium was divided into three states: Flanders, Wallonia, and Brussels. Flanders and Wallonia are each subdivided into five more provinces and each province is further subdivided into gemeente or municipalité (city or municipality).

Culinary

Afterwards, we talked about the History of Belgium. Now, let’s explore together about its cuisine. Belgium has long been known as the most famous chocolate-producing country in the world. Because of its popularity, the country located in the western part of the European continent is dubbed the Country of Chocolate. Not only known for its chocolate, apparently Belgium also has a many must try dishes!

Stoemp

This dish is made from a mixture of potatoes which is then mixed with minced beef, carrot pieces, pepper, nutmeg and cream. The stoemp dough will then be baked and served along with grilled sausage and vegetable salad.

Belgian Waffle

Belgian and waffles are two things that can’t be separated. Made from a sweet dough, Belgian waffles will be crispier, brightly colored and square in shape.

Pâté

This dish is made from a mixture of minced meat, wheat flour, wine or brandy, salt and pepper. After that, the dough will be molded into an elongated box, then steamed until cooked. To serve it, pate dough that has been steamed, will be thinly sliced, and then arranged on a plate along with French fries and vegetables.

French fries

The history of French fries from a Belgian entrepreneur named Fritz. After tasting it, the British soldier gave the name “French” because at that time the Belgian army used French as its official language but Belgians think the word ”fries” is wrong. the correct one is ”Belgian fries”.

Belgian chocolate

Belgian chocolate is the best chocolate variant in the world. Belgium is famous for its delicious chocolate, which has been produced since the 19th century. At that time, chocolate was the main commodity in Belgium.

Tourist Attraction

After talking about Belgian food, we want to move forward to talk about the tourist attractions in this country. Here are some must visit places when you are in Belgium:

Royal Palace of Brussels

This palace is a royal palace whose real name is Palais de Bruxelles. This palace is also used as a work space as well as some of the rooms are open to the public in summer or autumn. The palace that still looks like an ancient British royal building is very classic.

Atomium

As for the name “atom”, there is a monument that looks like a series of atoms. This tourist spot is located north of the Belgian capital.

Gravensteen Castle

This castle is located in Ghent. This castle has been built since the 1100s, therefore the building model is still very old but looks magnificent because of the classic elements

Things NOT TO DO in Belgium 

Never say ’’French fries’’ to say ’’ fries’’

Belgians are a bit offended by the word ’’French fries’’. The reason are Belgians think that fries are from Belgium and their typical food, not from France. So they think the word “French fries’” is wrong. the correct one is ‘’’Belgian fries’’

You can’t take a picture and record whatever and whoever you want!

Never take a photo of children and don’t point your camera to children even though we don’t take a photo of them. If you want to take a photo of children, you have to ask permission from their parents’’ 

Don’t speak Dutch inn Wallonie regions & don’t speak French in Flander regions

 Wallonie is a region where its people speak French, meanwhile Flander is a region where its people speak Dutch-Flemish. Even though there are 3 official languages in Belgium, it doesn’t mean that Belgium is able to speak 3 languages. Don’t speak Dutch or Flemish in Wallonie regions, and don’t speak French  in Flander regions. If we are in Wallonie regions, we better speak French to its people to respect their culture and most Wallonies can’t speak other languages. Also, if we are in Flemish regions, better we speak Flemish to its people. 

We have already talked about ’’Facts about Belgium’’ After reading this, are you interested to travel to Belgium? In the next few blog posts, we will talk about other countries in this “Countries Series”, stay tuned!

References:

https://farahuyun.travel.blog/2016/12/05/10-tempat-wisata-terbaik-di-belgia/https://www.britannica.com/place/Belgium

Written by: Nada Nadya