Talk:Belgians

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Common culture[edit]

Can anyone add some clear and significant examples of the shared common culture? Preferably, things that are not shared with the neighbouring countries, just to make sure it's really something "Belgian" and not something Western-Europeans have in common. Thanks! Morgengave (talk) 18:21, 12 March 2011 (UTC)

The flag? ;) Aaker (talk) 18:57, 13 March 2011 (UTC)
Belgians are famous for their french fries(french is a about them being cut up, not a reference to france) and chocolate. Me being a flemish belgian do believe this page should exist, because i am belgian, flemish and european. Each is a part of me, but none i am completely, if that makes sense? --Maesschalck (talk) 23:49, 18 November 2011 (UTC)

If this is still usefull, Belgians in common are also famous for their beer, chocolat, waffels, mussels and sprouts. Me personaly; I seriously disagree with Maesschalck about this page, I think the things i Just mentioned belong i some thread about Belgian gastronomy. Being flemish as wel, I rather see our country split and this thread removed! But i do not want to mix my personal political opinion in this. Being a Belgian means no more than owning a little ID card that has Nationality: Belgian on it (for me personaly). There are to many differences between the flemish and the Waloon people to truly share a common feeling of nationality. The flemish are more closely related to the Dutch with whom they share their language and most of their culture. Same for the Waloons but with the French. Falco iron (talk) 21:44, 23 August 2017 (UTC)

Joke?[edit]

I proposed this article for deletion but user:MadGeographer disagreed on that matter, so let us take the discussion here. First, there is no such thing as a Belgian ethnic group. Belgium is inhabited by two major ethnic groups: Fleming and Walloons. Of course there are people with Belgian citizenship and there are people living in Belgium, but that's already mentioned in the article named Demographics of Belgium. This article can actually increase confusion because a lot of people outside Belgium are unaware of the country's ethnic split and also because there once was (thousands of years ago) a Celtic tribe called Belgae which could be translated into Belgians. Which are your arguments for keeping the article? Aaker (talk) 19:15, 13 March 2011 (UTC)

Belgians may or may not be considered an ethnic group, depending on the definition of ethnicity. But whether they are or not, they are still a notable group of people and it seems that the subject largely meets the notability criteria (reliable, third-party sources). Moreover, there are many Belgians living abroad and it's not mentioned in Demographics of Belgium (logically), so I really don't understand why it couldn't have its own article. mgeo talk 21:38, 14 March 2011 (UTC)

Belgians[edit]

I have re redirected the article to its original destination because, as the article states, "it's questioned what is the meaning of Belgian national identity". Explanation : the article as it is in the present is in an horrid state, it is full of dubious unsourced statements, if we remove all those questionable statements it's unclear why we should have this article at all??? The reason why it's in this horrid state is obvious: the Belgian identity is in question, because the country of Belgium is in fact three parts- Wallonia, Flanders and Brussels. Walloons exists, Flemings exist, if you can create an article about Brusseleers which would be the same quality as Swiss people, do it. 109.64.106.200 (talk) 00:35, 27 June 2011 (UTC)

Do not redirect the article without fully discussing it first on this page and making sure there is an agreed resolution. I've reverted it back for the time being. 000peter (talk) 10:02, 27 June 2011 (UTC)
if americans have a page, i consider it logical that belgians do to, and maybe to clarify, I am belgian, i am flemish and i am european, it's not because flemish exist i am only flemish, i am part of all three. Deleting this page, would be as deleting a part of me, just because another part of me exists.--Maesschalck (talk) 23:54, 18 November 2011 (UTC)

"Common Belgian culture"[edit]

Culture of Belgium does not state that "there remains a common Belgian culture that both share" it describes the distinct cultural groups and grounds their commonality in European/Western culture. HrafnTalkStalk(P) 17:25, 29 June 2011 (UTC)

Both articles need much work and improvement, especially concerning their references. Perhaps some of the talented editors from the featured Belgium article can lend their expertise to improving these. Veriss (talk) 03:55, 6 July 2011 (UTC)
I attempted to clarify certain aspects of being Belgian and restructure the article to encourage future contributions. Please feel free to comment or improve upon my initial suggestions. Sincerely, Veriss (talk) 06:52, 6 July 2011 (UTC)

Sources[edit]

I applaud Veriss1' good work in taking the topic forward. I don't want to jog his elbow as he works on the article so shall just suggest some relevant sources here as I find them:

  1. Iván Zoltán Dénes (2006), Liberty and the search for identity, 'Belgian' became a family name, and 'Flemish' and 'Walloon' were added as given names" (de Schryver, 1981, p. 32). Only after the Second World War did 'Walloon' and 'Fleming' become the most significant forms of identification. 
  2. Demetrius Charles de Kavanagh Boulger (1911), Belgium of the Belgians, ISBN 9780543906960  - extensive history of the country and its people up to 1910.

(Previous unsigned post by: Warden (talk) 02:58, 7 July 2011])

Hi Warden, thank you for the encouragement. I appreciate very much that you found some references of potential use, unfortunately my time for serious research is currently extremely limited so I doubt that I can properly utilize them. I hope my attempts to restructure the article make it easier for other more knowledgeable and talented editors to contribute the much needed meat that perhaps your sources provide.
Don't worry about jogging my elbow - plunge in - I welcome all assistance to this article about a very unique and complex grouping of people who have developed very creative ways of trying to get along together. Having a technical background and mainly knowledge of contemporary developments, I don't really feel academically qualified to deal with the much needed historical foundations so I will probably focus more on recent developments in the relations between the Flems and Walloons as this article develops. Sincerely, Veriss (talk) 04:27, 8 July 2011 (UTC)

"and its historical predecessor states who share Belgian descent"[edit]

"and its historical predecessor states "? Was Margaret of Flanders Belgian? What about Matilda of Flanders? It seems absurd to consider people to be 'Belgians' who lived centuries before even the idea of Belgium or Belgian even existed. It is an absurd anachronism, and one that I would highly doubt has any WP:Verifiable support.

Also, I would suggest that "who share Belgian descent" is a meaningless qualifier. Belgian is a national identity, not an ethnic or cultural one. You become Belgian by becoming a Belgian citizen (whether by birth or by naturalisation) -- "descent" does not come into it. "and their descendants" might be appropriate to cover things like Belgian-Americans (assuming of course that they don't rather consider themselves to be Flemish-Americans or Walloonian-Americans). HrafnTalkStalk(P) 02:58, 4 August 2011 (UTC)

Now that it has been pointed out, I'm inclined to agree and remove those two phrases from the lead sentence as it is not clear exactly what is being stated and the assertions do appear to be dubious. The first sentence of the lead should be iron-clad and bullet proof without any disputed assertions (ideally the entire intro, in fact the entire article should be 100 steel-plated but we do what we can). I will take the liberty of editing the disputed phrases from the lead until it can be clarified and/or sourced. Veriss (talk) 03:19, 4 August 2011 (UTC)

"Kingdom of Belgium"[edit]

Why is it important to give Belgium it's "formal title", when even the latter article uses simply "Belgium" in preference. Do we commonly use the formal title of the "United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland" when referring to the UK for the first time? Is the fact that Belgium is a monarchy in some way critical to its national identity (if it became a republic, would thewy stop being Belgians?). The pipe appears to be both a WP:EGG and a pointless florish. HrafnTalkStalk(P) 03:43, 4 August 2011 (UTC)

1, The other article's title you refer to, Belgium, uses the most common name for the nation as its article title per Wikipedia naming conventions while that article immediately highlights and informs the reader of the correct name in bold text in the first sentence and in the title of the article's infobox. 2, The formal name is precise and precision is a virtue as long as it doesn't get in the way. 3, "Kingdom of..." is itself descriptive shorthand that denotes that the nation is a monarchy as are many of the other western European nations surrounding it. 4, "Kingdom of Belgium" is not nearly as long-winded as some other countries' formal names so using it does not slow down the casual reader nor is it an empty, excessive "flourish".
"Is the fact that Belgium is a monarchy in some way critical to its national identity"? Yes it is, please read the lead of the article. Your final question, "if it became a republic, would thewy [sic] stop being Belgians?", is unlikely speculation so does not have standing at this point in time and needn't be addressed. Veriss (talk) 05:40, 6 August 2011 (UTC)
(i) Actually no, that article states first that the topic is "Belgium", and only as an afterthought mentions that it is "officially the Kingdom of Belgium". It also appears to believe that the fact that it is a "federal state" (mentioned in the opening sentence) is more important than the fact that it is a constitutional (or any other form of) monarchy -- which is not mentioned until the 'History' section (though both facts are contained in the infobox). (ii) As to the fact that their monarch is 'King of the Belgians', that is a formalism that may or may not reflect an actual connection with the people (Mary Queen of Scots had little or no contact with the Scots people, spending much of her early life in France and much of her adult life a prisoner in England, and the King of the Romans very rarely saw Rome, let alone an Romans). HrafnTalkStalk(P) 06:04, 6 August 2011 (UTC)

WP:CFORK?[edit]

Given that virtually the entire article is about Belgian linguistic communities, it would appear to be developing into a WP:CFORK of Languages of Belgium. Either a substantial rewrite is needed to give it a new and non-overlapping direction, or a merge should be contemplated. HrafnTalkStalk(P) 03:49, 4 August 2011 (UTC)

This is a very different subject. There is a cultural divide in Belgium (the depth of which is debatable) and that divide happens to be largely along the lines of what language the user speaks. This article is about the ethnic group/nationality, including its two subgroups and their cultures. Language is not at all the focus. Oreo Priest talk 17:11, 5 August 2011 (UTC)
Please point to the material that "is about the ethnic group/nationality" -- the vast majority of the article is about linguistic subgroups (which clearly overlaps Languages of Belgium), with a tiny amount about king & religion. HrafnTalkStalk(P) 17:24, 5 August 2011 (UTC)
@Hrafn, I disagree. You made major structural edits emphasizing linguistics differences and deemphasizing ethnic differences last night and then immediately proposed that the article overlaps with Languages of Belgium and requested that the article be merged. I find this strategy to be very disenginous and I struggle to maintain an assumption of good faith. This is not an article with a high volume of editing so I propose that the article be allowed a reasonable amount of time to develop. The Belgians have been around for centuries, the article should be given time to grow as well. Veriss (talk) 04:58, 6 August 2011 (UTC)
No. I gave titles that actually represent the material that is there -- which is virtually all linguistic: 'Flemish (Dutch-speaking)', 'Walloon (French-speaking)' & 'German-speaking community'. There is no "ethnic differences" (not explicitly subsidiary to linguistic differences) in the article to be 'deemphasized' -- NONE! Dressing up explicitly linguistic differences as faux-ethnic differences is quite simply misleading. HrafnTalkStalk(P) 04:50, 6 August 2011 (UTC)
In my experience, a post with lots of bold, CAPS, underlining and exclamation marks!! indicates that an editor needs to step away for a bit. I will not respond to your post for at least 48 hours to encourage a "cool off" period and suggest that you enjoy your weekend in the real world because I most definitely will be enjoying my weekend. Seriously, Veriss (talk) 05:20, 6 August 2011 (UTC)
And everything I'm reading is confirming that "ethnic" means "linguistic" in the Belgian context, to a profound extent. I very much suspect you would have great difficulty in finding any non-linguistic "ethnic" issue of any particular prominence. HrafnTalkStalk(P) 05:17, 6 August 2011 (UTC)

Question on population[edit]

The infobox says there are 9.4mio Belgians in Belgium. Belgium however has 10.8mio inhabitants. Does that mean that there are 1.4mio non-Belgians living in Belgium? That doesn't seem right. Morgengave (talk) 10:30, 29 August 2011 (UTC)

On 1 january 2010, there were 9,782,239 Belgians in Belgium, and 1,057,666 non-Belgians.[1]. Fram (talk) 10:35, 29 August 2011 (UTC)
Thanks, Fram! Morgengave (talk) 18:42, 5 September 2011 (UTC)

Question on ethnicity/nationality[edit]

Is "Belgian" an ethnicity (someone from Flemish, Walloon or local German ethnicity or origin) or a nationality (a citizen of Belgium). If it's the latter, the other countries in the infobox should be removed/reviewed, and if that's the case, we should include the many "Belgianized" immigrants (around 1 million people). Morgengave (talk) 18:42, 5 September 2011 (UTC)

It's a national identity not an ethnic one -- though I would point out that it is possible to be an expatriate Belgian (a Belgian national living in another country) so the other-country populations may be relevant. HrafnTalkStalk(P) 14:03, 23 December 2011 (UTC)

Pictures[edit]

I am not objecting to the persons currently shown, but it just strikes me that four out of five photo's are of francophone Belgians, while only two out of five Belgians are French-speaking. Can anyone add some notable Flemings to the box to bring the box to let's say a four-four situation? Morgengave (talk) 21:34, 17 May 2012 (UTC)

Any suggestions? Preferably some that would keep the situation balanced across different domains? (not too many athletes or artists for example) Oreo Priest talk 23:45, 18 May 2012 (UTC)
Just a few suggestions:

Morgengave (talk) 08:51, 19 May 2012 (UTC)

I at the moment there are altogether too many athletes. There are 2 soccer players, 2 tennis players, a cyclist and an IOC bureaucrat out of 12 total, making a full 50% sports related. I think a list of 8 was enough, but if we're going to do 12, then surely we should be replacing many of these with people notable from other domains. Thoughts? Oreo Priest talk 17:12, 14 February 2014 (UTC)
I agree. What about Andreas Vesalius, Hendrik Conscience or a Flemish artist? They also seem extremely biased toward people of contemporary importance... In my view, one footballer is enough. -Brigade Piron (talk) 21:38, 14 February 2014 (UTC)
What do you think about the total number? Conscience sounds good, but it's possible that people will think Vesalius doesn't count, because he wasn't alive while Belgium was independent. We could also do Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor. I also think we only need one tennis player. Oreo Priest talk 17:39, 15 February 2014 (UTC)
How about Father Damien? Really well known in Belgium, if not outside, and certainly different from the others... [edit: sorry, already included above!]Brigade Piron (talk) 08:59, 19 February 2014 (UTC)

Just some other thoughts - how about Adolphe Sax? Brigade Piron (talk) 11:53, 11 April 2014 (UTC)

Good idea. I've replaced Hazard with him. (3 athletes was too many!) Oreo Priest talk 17:30, 5 December 2014 (UTC)

Languages[edit]

Should Walloon and other minor languages be mentioned in the "languages" section of the infobox? Historically they were quite important so even though they're of course very much a minority now (and could be expressed with the <"small"> bracket?) but still deserve a mention for completeness...--Brigade Piron (talk) 08:21, 28 June 2013 (UTC)

Sure, dialects and local variants could be mentioned, or we could simply mention that there are variants. Something like "Dutch, French, German (and local dialects)". Oreo Priest talk 19:59, 3 July 2013 (UTC)
Walloon is a language, not a dialect of French... Morgengave (talk) 10:58, 4 July 2013 (UTC)

Belgians[edit]

User:Brigade Piron If that is your opinion, you should know Stormae was added without discussion to begin with. He is not very relveant, there are 48 more important Belgian singers, one of which is already here. A Belgian Revolution figure like Charles Rogier would make a nice addition. I also propose making the collage 5x3 and adding a few more notables: Paul Van Himst (used to be two football players, should at least be one), Hergé (most famous European cartoonist), Adolphe Sax (inventor of saxophone). --Steverci (talk) 21:01, 27 September 2015 (UTC)

Well, for what it's worth, I think Stromae is more relevant. Rogier, though certainly important to the revolution, is hardly an internationally-known figure. —Brigade Piron (talk) 07:07, 29 September 2015 (UTC)
Not really a matter of just being internationally famous, otherwise someone like Kim Kardashian would be more important than Mozart. And pop star celebrities are hardly relevant to begin with and are one of a handful. --Steverci (talk) 03:02, 30 September 2015 (UTC)
I agree it's not the only criteria, but it is a start. I think fame is enough in some circumstances (Elvis?) but you're certainly right that cultural/historical importance is also important. Yet Rogier is someone most Belgians will not even have heard of - one of about 10 important figures in the Revolution and someone who didn't have a massive legacy in any sense...—Brigade Piron (talk) 08:31, 30 September 2015 (UTC)
He seemed like the most important figure in my opinion and I thought it would be important to add someone as representation. If not him, how about Adolf Daens? --Steverci (talk) 05:00, 1 October 2015 (UTC)
Can I just point out we have a ratio of 1 woman to 14 men in the infobox currently? —Brigade Piron (talk) 09:00, 11 November 2015 (UTC)
Notability isn't established or destablished by affirmative action. Would be good to add one more woman though, if she's notable enough. Steverci (talk) 06:43, 17 November 2015 (UTC)
It isn't a question of affirmative action - we don't need exactly 50:50 representation, but when we had a smaller sample size it was less egregious. One lone woman for all Belgian history is pretty poor though, even you must see that? —Brigade Piron (talk) 09:25, 17 November 2015 (UTC)

Why all the negative energy?[edit]

There's a citation needed at the part where it's said many people in Belgium have family members from other ethnic groups. I'm from a Flemish family and my family has multiple Walloon members including my grandma's mom, grandpa's grandma and a Walloon guy that married my aunt. I know this doesn't count as a citation but I'm sure if you ask any Belgian they'll be in a similar situation, just in case people wondered if there's any truth to that sentence that needs a citation. Also I wonder why so many people are cynical about the idea of a Belgian culture or Belgian people. Yes there's a cultural difference between Walloons and Flemish but that's mostly lingual, there's also a similarity that's mostly cuisine related, art related (Belgian music and film), "behavior" related (similar ways of celebration), just like there's a similarity between Swiss people, Canadian people, Czechs and Slovaks, that shit happens when you're in the same country. I'm sorry for the purists out there but people have sex and hang out with other cultures, America is a prime example. I'm really wondering if these negative people have ever been to Belgium. --Dapperedavid (talk) 21:12, 3 October 2016 (UTC)

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