Gallia Belgica was the Romans' name for the northern part of Gaul, the northern limit of their empire. In early modern times, the name was used as an erudite synonym for the Low Countries. After the revolution and the establishment of an independent kingdom, Belgium became the official name of the country. Location and Geography. The country is located at the western end of the northern European plain, covering an area of 11, square miles 30, square kilometers ; the neighboring states are France, Luxembourg, Germany, and the Netherlands. The two main rivers are the Schelde and the Meuse, both of which begin in France and flow toward the Netherlands.
In there were about 3. Belgian farmers breed some of the finest draft horses in the world, including the famous Percherons.
Major Industries. Industry, highly developed in Belgium, is devoted mainly to the processing of imported raw materials into semifinished and finished products, most of which are then exported. Steel production is the single most important sector of industry, with Belgium ranking high among world producers of iron and steel. InBelgium produce tons of crude copper. The country also produces significant amounts of crude zinc and crude lead.
The bulk of metal manufactures consists of heavy machinery, structural steelwork, and industrial equipment. The railroad equipment industry supplies one of the most extensive railroad systems in Europe.
The textile industry, dating from the Middle Ages, produces cottons, woolens, linens, and synthetic fibers. The chemical industry manufactures a wide range of products, from heavy chemicals and explosives to pharmaceuticals and photographic supplies. Belgium is heavily dependent on trade, mostly with neighboring European countries 76 percent of exports and 71 percent of imports are with EU partners.
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More than half the energy is nuclear produced, which makes the country less dependent on imports of fossil fuels. Most of the trade, for imports as for exports, is in machinery, chemicals and metal products. An exception is the important place of cut diamonds in exports. In the past decade, an increasing number of spin-offs of universities has reinforced Belgian exports in high-tech products.
Division of Labor. Less than 60 percent of the population was employed as ofincluding The repartition in sectors is as follows: 73 percent in services, 25 percent in industry, and 2 percent in agriculture. People stroll around the botanical gardens in Brussels. Classes and Castes. There is a relatively even distribution of wealth, with 5 to 6 percent living close to the poverty line.
The majority of the population is middle class. The vast majority has equal opportunities for education and a professional life. There is a very inclusive social security system. Deep societal cleavages have led to the construction of "pillars," integrated social structures based on ideology.
Although "pillarization" is becoming less important in social life, its influence is clearly noticeable.
These pillars encompass every ct of societal life, including youth, sports and leisure movements, education at all levels, trade unions, health funds, newspapers, and political parties.
The three main pillars are the Christian-democrat pillar, the socialist pillar, and the liberal pillar. Until the s, the positions of these pillars were mutually agreed on and anchored through a complex system of "political nominations" in which people with a philosophical affiliation to one of the pillars were appointed to key societal positions as magistrates, top public officials, and leaders of state-controlled companies.
The public is turning against this ct of the pillars, but their influence and power are considerable, especially when their interests are challenged. The major cleavages are ethnocultural Flemish speakers versus Francophonesphilosophical the church versus liberals and economic.
The importance of these cleavages has changed over time, often leading to the establishment of new coalitions. Symbols of Social Stratification. Wealth is most often expressed through houses and cars. In general, there are few external behavioral class markers. The upper classes act discreetly, and people make little distinction between classes or social strata.
Exceptions sometimes appear in youth culture, where fashion can turn into a means of social distinction. Belgium is a federal state, consisting of its three language communities that are responsible for the control of culture and education, and its three regions that are responsible for controlling the economic development, infrastructure, and environment.
In Flanders, the institutions of the Dutch-speaking community and the Flemish region have merged, leaving the country with six governments and six parliaments. This complex structure has resulted from the increasing federalization of the country, which in turn has resulted from the demands The market square in Bruges.
There are numerous ethnic restaurants in Belgium, due to immigration. The political system is based on discussion and compromise between different interest groups.
The term "Belgian compromise" applies to solutions reached in this way: complex issues are settled by conceding something to every party. The resulting agreements often leave room for interpretation due to their complexity. Leadership and Political Officials. The major political parties are the Liberals, Socialists, and Christian-Democrats, complemented by regionalist parties as the VolksUnie and the extreme right-wing Vlaams Blok in Flanders.
In some communes on the linguistic border and in Brussels, Francophone and Flemish parties form cross-political union lists such as Union des Francophones UF or Samen.
The green parties entered the federal government coalition in All political parties with the exception of the regionalist partieshave evolved from unitary parties into a Flemish party and a Walloon party since the s.
Politicians often rise through the pillars, mostly in Flanders; in Wallonia and Brussels, on the other hand, politicians usually have a stronger local base, often as mayors. The few independent candidates with political potential are quickly recruited by the parties.
Social Problems and Control. Policing and the judiciary are organized at the national level. After a major police reform inthere will be one police force with authority to operate in the entire nation. Delays in handling cases in Brussels are often related to a lack of bilingual magistrates. In recent years, civilian patrols without legal powers of intervention have come into existence, but their function is mainly to deter robbers.
Informal social control is much stronger in small villages and towns than it is in large cities. Organized crime is rare except in drug trafficking, prostitution, and illegal immigration. Organized crime is mostly controlled by foreign criminals such as the Russian mafia. There are relatively few murders and armed robberies.
The main religion in Belgium is Christianity, in particular Roman Catholicism, which is the largest religion in Belgium. About 58of the population adheres to the Roman Catholic Church. Members of the Protestant and Eastern Orthodox churches together constitute around 7%. Business meeting advice (if doing business in Belgium) First Meetings. May 27, Dating etiquette in Belgium. When it comes to dating etiquette, Belgium is fairly similar to other European countries. That said, there are certain cultural traits that are useful to know when dating as an expat. Making the first move. Generally speaking, Belgians tend to move slowly when it comes to showing their interest in a potential partner. Belgium and Canada always had a good economic, diplomatic and cultural relation. Intercultural Issues are intended to provide snapshots of the overall social and cultural norms as well as the workplace environment that a Canadian might face working in a specific country. For each country, two perspectives are provided: one by a Canadian and.
The most common crime is property theft. Military Activity. Belgium is a member of NATO, and its military forces have been completely integrated into the alliance. The military has to live with tight budgets, and military expenditure is seen as a necessity, not a source of national pride. The military is professional and separate from the rest of society and is subject to strong parliamentary control. A ministry of social promotion supports initiatives for the reduction of inequality.
Belgium hosts many international organizations and hundreds of lobbying-groups, but their presence has little direct impact on social life. The most influential organizations are the Catholic Church and its affiliates and social organizations related to the pillars, such as trade unions. Division of Labor by Gender.
The occupational gender gap is decreasing, particularly among younger generations In fact, the higher occupational rate of women is due to an increase in part-time jobs in services: less than 3 percent of men work part-time, but nearly 30 percent of women do.
The Relative Status of Men and Women. The unemployment rate in was slightly lower for men than for women. The wage differentials between men and woman are the lowest in the European Union, with women earning on average 91 percent of a man's salary.
There are no social or ethnic barriers to marriage, although proximity and social models influence the choice of a spouse. Young people marry and have children less often and later than former generations did. The divorce rate has increased to about one in three marriages. Domestic Unit. The domestic unit usually is composed of the parents and up to three children, although immigrants from North Africa often have more children.
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Women still do more of the domestic work, but this is perceived as a matter of negotiation by the couple. In the absence of a will, the children inherit equally from a deceased parent. However, if one spouse survives the other, he or she keeps the entire estate. The law limits the proportion of the estate that can be disposed of by will, depending on the number of children.
Kin Groups. The extension of the family group generally is limited to first cousins. However, there are a growing number of family associations in the upper and middle classes through which the descendants of an individual gather once or twice a year.
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Child Rearing and Education. The values parents attempt to transmit to their children are honesty, good manners, tolerance, and responsibility, but there are regional and class differences. Obedience and cleanliness are considered most important in Flanders and among workers, the unemployed, and shopkeepers; loyalty and courage are important in Wallonia; and independence and autonomy are more appreciated in Brussels and among university graduates, executives, civil servants and shopkeepers.
The trend, however, shows a weakening of these oppositions, most notably between religious and hard work values in Flanders and socialist values in Wallonia. Since all public and private schools have been supported by the state, and education is virtually free.
In theory, access to the best schools depends on grades, language, location, and social position influence parental choice. Children must remain in full-time education until age sixteen and in part-time until age eighteen. Higher Education. In arts, business, teacher training, and nursing, higher education is organized outside universities. Education is federalized and is conducted in the language of the individual region.
Although language education in generally very good, there are no official bilingual institutions. State universities are located in provincial towns. A high percentage of young people enter higher education there werestudents in higher education in There are not many interactions in the streets, as residential, working and leisure areas tend to be distinct.
Among young people, especially Francophones, A stone bridge crossing a canal in Bruges. The north part of Belgium consists of isolated farms between villages, while the south tends to contain larger groups of farms.
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Religious Beliefs. Catholicism is the main religious faith.
May 25, This handy guide includes information on Belgian business culture, hierarchy, negotiations, and business etiquette in Belgium. Hierarchy in Belgium. In Flanders, organizational structures tend to be flat and procedures are easily comprehensible. Things like job title and size of office are likely to be of less importance than a good salary. keitaiplus.com is a free Belgian dating site where you can make friends or find true love online. Join our community and meet thousands of lonely hearts from various parts of Belgium. If it is wrong to be interested someone this age in Belgium? Dating culture and norms with boyfriends and girlfriends in Belgium. Cheers x. 48 comments. share. save hide report. 62Upvoted. Log in or sign up to leave a comment log in sign up. Sort by. best. level 1. 22 points 2 months ago.
The government financially supports the Catholic and Protestant churches as well as the Jewish and Muslim faiths. The Catholic Church controls an important network of schools with 70 percent of the pupils in secondary education and two main universities. Religious beliefs and practice declined during the twentieth century, but approximately 65 percent of Belgians believe in God.
Many people who say they do not believe in God take part in religious rituals for major events such as baptisms, weddings, and funerals. Minority faiths include Muslims, Jews, and Protestants. There is a modern health system with state, university, and private hospitals. Health insurance is mandatory and is paid for by employers.
Self-employed people must have insurance for major risks and pay according to their income. Many important secular celebrations are linked to the ethnic identity of the Flemish and the Francophones. The National Day on 21 July commemorates the taking of an oath of fidelity to the Constitution by the first king, Leopold I - Mardi Gras is celebrated in several cities.
Support for the Arts.
Aspiring artists and musicians receive training in evening schools that are free of charge and accessible in most of the country. At the postsecondary level, there are many state-supported conservatories and art schools. An extensive network of art galleries supports avant-garde and traditional artists.
Museums in the main cities also support artists by buying some of their work and making it known to the public. Sometimes it is denied that there is a Belgian literature, with only Flemish and Walloon or French and Dutch writers who happen to be Belgian citizens.
However, authors such as Charles A typical farm in West Flanders. Livestock raising is the most important sector of Belgian agriculture. Another important Francophone writer from Flanders was the symbolist Maurice Maeterlinck. Flemish and Francophone writers contributed to important literary movements such as symbolism, surrealism, and magic realism. Important themes are the hardness of life, the questioning of the nature of reality, and the quest for original ways to get through life.
The distrust of authority was present in one of the oldest Flemish tales, Reynard the Fox, in which the small fox outsmarts the larger animals. Graphic Arts. Hellofirst of all thanks for visiting my profile.
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I am open-minded. Should you be looking to travel, live, relocate or do business in the sovereign state, we will give you a helpful head start on understanding the country and its cultures. Brussels, the capital of Belgium is geographically speaking also located at the heart of Europe, and it is also considered to be the capital of million Europeans. The country consists of three separate regions.
Dutch is mainly spoken here. Wallonia is located in the South and French is mainly spoken here.
Brussels, the capital, is the home of the European Union and its officially recognised as being a bilingual region. Traditional Belgian styles for men and women are modeled after the French clothing style, which was influenced by the French occupation during World War II.
The smock and beret are popular and worn by men, and the classic huntress dress is favored by Belgian women. Worn as a wedding dress today, the costume features Celtic-edged trimming on the sleeves and ties that are decorated with colorfully hued beads. The official languages of Belgium are French, Dutch and German.
English is widely spoken throughout Belgium as a foreign language.
All these are spoken across the border in the Netherlands as well. Some sub-dialects may be quite distant from standard Dutch and not be readily intelligible for other Dutch-speakers. The Dutch language uses the same alphabet as the English Latin alphabet, although the names of the letters are pronounced differently. Hard work and an appreciation for culture are important values to Belgians.
Jul 13, Belgium and the political entities that preceded it have been rich with historical and cultural associations, from the Gothic grandeur of its medieval university and commercial cities and its small, castle-dominated towns on steep-bluffed winding rivers, through its broad traditions in painting and music that marked one of the high points of the northern Renaissance in the 16th century, to its. Belgium dating norms connotes dirt, it connotes filth, and it connotes deception and degrading yourself. However, mud belgium dating norms also be therapeutic. There good speed dating topics lots of therapeutic mud baths that are great for the skin. The Dead Sea mud is world-renowned for giving a person a sense of rejuvenation. Belgium is one of the most urbanized and densely inhabited countries in the world with about 97 percent of the 10 million inhabitants living in cities in Brussels, the capital, has approximately 1 million residents, and the second city, Antwerp, has half a million. The textile industry, dating from the Middle Ages, produces cottons.
Belgians tent to think of themselves as Europeans first, Walloons or Flemings second, and Belgians third. Strong family values are vital to Belgian society. Extended families live in separate homes, but often settle in or near the town where they were raised.