Chips with everything for proud Belgians
21 September 2005, BRUSSELS – Eight out of ten Belgians are proud to be Belgian, according to a new Reader's Digest survey.
21 September 2005
BRUSSELS – Eight out of ten Belgians are proud to be Belgian, according to a new Reader's Digest survey.
The study, conducted as part of Belgium's 175th anniversary, shows that 35 percent of citizens see themselves as Belgian, above 20 percent who state their roots as a particular town and 17 percent as regional.
Around 55 percent of Belgians make point of marking 21 July as a national day.
Nearly half of those surveyed do not want to live in another country, citing the best advantages of living in Belgium as medical care (73 percent), social security (70 percent), living standards (64 percent) and education (62 percent).
Chips are seen as the most popular symbol of Belgium, with 22 percent citing fried potatoes as more symbolic than the national flag.
Beer, chocolate and the royal family each received a respective 14 percent, 12 percent and 11 percent of the vote.
Reader's Digest also concludes that simply being Belgian is what links the country's regions, more than common history, the royal family or sporting achievements.
Belgians believe that foreigners associate their country most with chocolate, beer and chips, although 41 percent still fear that their country is linked most with the infamous Dutroux child-killings.
When it comes to food, chips feature in most Belgian dishes, featuring alongside mussels and steak.
On sport, Belgians are most proud of tennis stars Justine Henin and Kim Clijsters and of former cyclist Eddy Merckx.
In the domain of culture, the artists Rubens and Magritte come out on top, with Jacques Brel and Toots Thielemans scoring highly for their musical skills.
For more than 54 percent of Belgians, Bruges is the most beautiful city, followed by Ghent and then Brussels.
Finally, 82.9 percent see the distinctive Atomium is seen as the most famous architectural symbol, and 38.6 percent the Brussels town hall.
[Copyright Expatica 2005]
Subject: Belgian news