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`Man bijt hond` (`Man bites dog`) is a typical Flemish TV program that brings a mixture of social documentaries and `non-news`. It sends out reporters to ordinary people, to see what they eat for dinner, how they spend the day and what kind of, sometimes strange, hobbies they have. It is no surprise that many people in Belgium like to compare what I do to `Man bijt hond`. Enough a reason to ask people a question in the `Man bites dog` style: What did you want to become when you were younger?

Posted by Bruno

Sacrifice Day

Today is just another ordinary day for most Belgians. They may be looking forward to Christmas, but they have nothing to celebrate on this 19th of December. For the Muslim community in Belgium and across the world, today is `Eid al-Adha`: Sacrifice Day.

Posted by Bruno

EU careers

An international environment, with many young people around and plenty of career opportunities ? Brussels sounds like a perfect place for graduates who want to work for anything that`s got to do with Europe. The weather and the dog crap in the street seem to be the only disadvantages of Brussels life.

Posted by Bruno

Strength through unity II

After having provided a certainly oversimplified draft of the issue between the Wallon and Flemish community, I will now describe the different opinions I have collected over the last day. For the sake of completeness, I have collected these opinions in French-speaking Louvain-la-Neuve, Dutch-speaking Leuven and bilingual Brussels.

Posted by Bruno

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

Euro-visions

Which place is more suitable to ask people about the future of the European Union than Luxembourg? I am heading for the building of the European Commission today to interview some of the people who work for or with the EU. Despite being sent off at first approach – I need an authorisation even to people smoking outside about their personal expectations of a European future ? I do have success at my second attempt. Upon explaining my project at the reception desk, I manage to get an entrance badge. I exploit my admittance to talk to some people who, like me, spend a lot of energy on thinking about Europe.

Posted by Bruno

Euro-skepticism.FR

EU co-founder France sent a shock wave through Europe when its citizens rejected the proposed European Constitution in 2005. Three days later, The Netherlands also cast a negative vote on the plans, sending the whole project back to the design stage. Since then, a group of wise men has been working on a new 300-paged document which will be integrated within existing EU treaties. They thereby avoid having to consult their citizens before being allowed to sign the deal. How does France feel about European integration in the meantime?

Posted by Bruno