Belgium

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Culture

Culture

  • Belgium consists of the main cultural communities of the French-speakers of Brussels and Wallonia, as well as the Flemish, and play a significant role in Western European culture. Belgian culture also includes such ethnic minorities as the Jewish community, which has greatly influenced Flemish culture, in particular Antwerp for over 500 years.
  • Belgium is the world's 3rd country with the most vehicles per square kilometres after the Netherlands and Japan. It has the highest density of roads and the highest density of railroads in the world.
  • Many well-known classical composers where born in Belgium, such as Cesar Franck, Henri Vieuxtemps, Guillaume Lekeu, Eugene Ysaye and Wim Mertens. Famous singers include Bobbejaan Schoepen, Jacques Brel, Johnny Hallyday, Arno and Maurane. The inventor of the saxophone, Adolphe Sax, was also born in Belgium.
  • The Flemish community shares its writers with the Dutch, while the French-speaking community does so with the French. Several French writers sought asylum in Belgium, such as Baudelaire, Apollinaire, Rimbaud and Verlaine, while top French-speaking writers often settled in Paris, such as Amelie Nothomb. It is sometimes difficult to put Belgian writers into a French or Flemish category because many Flemish writers have written in French, such as Suzzane Lilar, and have spent their lives outside Flanders and Belgium. Many French-speaking writers originally hail from Dutch-speaking families, such as Jacques Brel. Belgium is home to several well-known poets, including Guido Gezelle, Emile Verhaeren and Paul van Ostaijen, as well as such writers as Hendrik Conscience, Willem Elsschot, Louis Paul Boon and Hugo Claus.
  • Belgium produces 220,000 tonnes of chocolate per year. This amounts to 22 kg of chocolate per inhabitant annually, i.e. 61 grammes per day in average.
  • Popular sports in Belgium are among others football, cycling, tennis, table tennis, athletics, swimming, basketball, badminton, judo, hockey, motocross, auto racing, volleyball and running. Belgium has organized the 1920 Olympic Games in Antwerp as well as the 1972 UEFA European Championship and the 2000 UEFA European Championship along with the Netherlands.
  • Good cooking and fine beers are seen by many as part of Belgian culture. Although Belgian gastronomy is connected to French cuisine, some recipes were reputedly invented there as e.g. French-fried potatoes (despite the name), speculaas (a sort of cookie), Brussels waffles and others.
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    Sources: http://www.europe-cities.com/en/648/belgium/culture/
    www.wikipedia.org