Us Europeans

Archives for Us Europeans

Royal Reflections (5/12)

The Hague, NL (View on map) I`m a few days ahead of schedule, inserting another `personal reflections` article into the Us Europeans archive. The reason is fairly simple and straightforward. I have been following the news in The Netherlands quite closely while travelling, and am quite worried about what`s happening. Politicians are messing around with… » read more

Posted by Bruno

With compliments

The Hague, NL (View on map) Look up the word `Dutch` in an English dictionary and the explanation `inhabitant of The Netherlands` will be followed by a list of unflattering proverbs. Most of them refer to the Dutch being rude, which is a well-established stereotype about the Dutch in adjacent countries. The Dutch prefer to… » read more

Posted by Bruno

Christmas 2007

The Hague, NL (View on map) In many European countries, the celebration of Christmas is spread out over two days. Some countries choose to include Christmas Eve (24 December) or Boxing Day (26 December). The Netherlands has some midway alternative. Read on and learn more about this year`s Christmas trends in The Netherlands. 24 December… » read more

Posted by Bruno

In The Netherlands

The Hague, NL (View on map) Many of the people I met during the past few months said they would impatiently wait for the reports about my home country. Well, I am back in The Netherlands, trying to find out what is going on at the moment. The Netherlands is a small country with 16… » read more

Posted by Bruno

The low countries

Antwerpen, BE (View on map) Another border crossing is on the way. Even though The Netherlands and Belgium may have a lot in common, language and large parts of history included, there are distinct differences between the two countries. Belgians have very little difficulty recognising their neighbours from up north and this is why: Stef… » read more

Posted by Bruno

Joining the Scouts

Finland is one of the few European countries that stick to strict military conscription. Other countries struggle to find alternative constructions to force different layers of society to interact during at least one period in their lives. In Belgium, compulsory military service was abolished in 1994, but they have an interesting alternative to it. On a voluntary basis and without any aggressive undertone to it. Resembling Donald Ducks` cousins as `The Junior Woodchucks`, many Belgians spend at least one year of their life as members of the Scouting.

Posted by Bruno

Career choices

`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