Us Europeans

Archives for Us Europeans

Strength through unity I

After three days in Wallony (the French-speaking South), I am traveling to Flanders (the Dutch-speaking North) today. From Louvain-la-Neuve to Leuven, two university cities separated by 30 kilometres and 1 language barrier, anchored in the Belgian Constitution. may even transform into a national border if Flemish separatist movements manage to push their independence project through. Before proceeding to the opinions about what is keeping all of Belgian occupied these days, here`s a quick background explanation of the language trouble in Belgium.

Posted by Bruno

Belgian music

Voted `Biggest Belgian ever` by the French-speaking community in 2005, singer Jacques Brel is one of the best examples of the export success of Belgian music. Brel, who died in 1978, was one of the very few Belgians who proved able to be successful in both Flanders and Wallony, recording songs in both Flemish and French. Only a handful of others after him managed to break through the language barrier to become successful in all of Belgium.

Posted by Bruno

Belgians partying

Yesterday`s interviews revealed that Belgians are fond of laughing. It turns out that they are also big fans of partying, especially students. Their `party season` starts at the beginning of the academic year and ends.. at the end of it. The time between the end of the party season marks the beginning of a summer season, which is again full of festivals and local activities. A quick round up of the entire Belgian partying year:

Posted by Bruno

I arrived in Belgium today and will start my trip in the French-speaking part (Wallony) of the country. Today in Liège, I will visit Namur and Louvain-la-Neuve before entering Dutch speaking territory (Flanders). Today, I am asking the Belgians in Liège about national pride. Most frequent answer.. a big sigh. Some even start by listing things they are not proud of.

Posted by Bruno

Personal reflections (4/12)

It took me four months of traveling to get to my favourite European city: Paris. I will take this achievement as an excuse to dedicate the fourth edition of `personal reflections` to ? my own project. Many people have been asking me what, how, where and why questions about `Us Europeans`, and upon completing one third of my itinerary, I feel confident giving some insight in it. Here`s the Us Europeans FAQ, I hope you will find it interesting reading material.

Posted by Bruno

Personal reflections (3/12)

After three months of travelling, I have now covered 25% of my itinerary. I am happy and grateful that I have the possibility to get to know so many different people, different places and different habits. I think Europe is unique in the endless diversities it offers on such a small piece of land. So many languages, philosophies, cuisines, landscapes all within a few hours reach. But so many gaps to bridge if you all want them to work together in a sensible way.

Posted by Bruno

Personal reflections (2)

I`ve been on the road for about two months now. On the first monthiversary of the Us European trip, I chose to write about regional and international conflicts and how each country seems to have its own problem between different layers of the population, whether the reason be in language, religion, ideology, history, nationality or something else. These conflicts seem to have a significant influence on the way people organise their lives. During my stay in Estonia and Finland, I came across another element that seems to be decisive in the mentality of people wherever they live: nature.

Posted by Bruno

Personal reflections (1/12)

Instead of interviewing people today, I thought it would be a nice idea to write about what I have seen so far. It`s the first of September, and I am planning to write similar reports again on the first of each other coming month.

Posted by Bruno