f you intend to travel to Belgium for either a short vacation or semester, you must be well versed on the culture and lifestyle of the Belgians! RocApply dedicates this guide for your information!
The culture of Belgium is vibrant and unique; it was formed over thousands of years, combining the traditions and customs of the peoples who at various times inhabited the territory of modern Belgium.
The traditions reflecting the multinational nature of Belgium are present in its music, dance, applied arts, language, cuisine, and clothing.
Any attempt at a general glimpse of Belgian culture will fall short of the reality, due to the division of the little country into three linguistic groups and the cultural influxes cutting across its borders from the Netherlands, France, Germany, and Luxembourg.
The official languages here are German, Dutch, and French, although thirty-three percent of the inhabitants speak the old tongue of Walloon and a variant of Dutch, Flemish, is spoken by at least sixty percent.
Within the three regions of Wallonia, Flanders, and Brussels-Capital, individual cultures flourish, each with their own culture, folklore, gastronomy, and priorities.
Family values take a central position in the lives of most people here for whichever province they call home, as do the values of appearance and cleanliness, both in personal and property-related matters. As a result, Belgium is a refreshingly tidy and clean country.
Although friendly and welcoming, Belgians are somewhat formal and reserved in their greeting, with brief handshakes the norm until a friendship or business relationship is completely established.
A small gift is expected when you’re invited to a Belgian home for whatever reason, and punctuality shows respect. If a toast is given, stand up, and it is kind to eat all you are offered, never mind how full your plate is.
All natives here are extremely proud of their local cuisine, making praising your meal a must. Belgium’s incredibly packed artistic tradition extends from its artworks to its architecture, music, literature, and traditionally authentic folkloric ceremonies, with all forming a strong part of the people’s cultural awareness in the present day.
Museum and art gallery visits are very popular, and the many medieval old towns are a great source of architecture. Even the famous Belgian craft beers have a cultural signature, especially those from the six Belgian Trappist monasteries which are allowed to brew strong ale.
Dining out is popular here and there’s a huge choice of cuisines available at all price points. Belgian cuisine has its regional variations and is filling and delicious, with seafood a favorite and mussels a delicacy.
Lovers of chocolate know full well that the Belgian version reign supreme, with impossible-to-resist chocolate shops on nearly every street.
Each region of the country has its own unique shades as well, which are most clearly manifested in national dress and local dialects. To get acquainted with such richness and diversity, you must make sure to visit around the whole country, but the festivals of Belgium are a great events for those who want to see the whole palette of culture in this country in one piece.
The festivals attract creative souls from all regions of the country, and here that you can see the full blend of Belgian dances, music, applied arts and many other cultures.
" Its a place to be" - Martin from Canada