Belgians are hugging in Leuven
22 November 2007, LEUVEN - On Wednesday some 400 Flemish and Francophone students hugged each other on a square in Leuven (Flemish Brabant) as a show of solidarity between the country's two main communities.
22 November 2007
LEUVEN - On Wednesday some 400 Flemish and Francophone students hugged each other on a square in Leuven (Flemish Brabant) as a show of solidarity between the country's two main communities.
The hug-in was staged on the Ladeuze square in this old university town. It was an initiative of the Flemish and Francophone universities of Leuven and Louvain-la-Neuve.
One of the organisers said that they didn't want to promote political ideas, just wanted to send a positive and warm signal in times of crisis.
The hug-in was staged under the slogan "Belgians are hugging" and was organised to show support for solidarity between the majority Flemish and minority Francophone communities in Belgium.
Most of the huggers were Francophones and many sported the button "I want you for Belgium".
The students also called on people to sign the trade union petition in favour of solidarity between Belgians.
Everybody taking part got a free pint of lager.
At the same time a group of Flemish separatists handed out flyers saying "Love is ...giving each other freedom".
Four killjoys who exploded balloons containing a nasty substance were detained by the police. The choice of Leuven is symbolic. In Belgium the student protests of the late 60's concentrated on turning Leuven University into an exclusively Dutch-language seat of learning.
Following the protests Francophones at Leuven set up a university of their own on the other side of the language border in Louvain-la-Neuve in Walloon Brabant.
[Copyright Flanders news 2007]
Subject: Belgian news