Culture Shock! Belgium

Overview

CultureShock! Belgium is the definitive guide for anyone who wants to settle seamlessly into the country famous for its chocolates, mussels, frites, waffles, and beer. Though linguistic differences have divided the land into distinct regions, it is these same differences that have given Belgium much of its cultural diversity and its multi-faceted society. This book will provide you with much-needed knowledge about the three main languages-Walloon, Flemish, and French-and show you the importance of knowing which ...
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Overview

CultureShock! Belgium is the definitive guide for anyone who wants to settle seamlessly into the country famous for its chocolates, mussels, frites, waffles, and beer. Though linguistic differences have divided the land into distinct regions, it is these same differences that have given Belgium much of its cultural diversity and its multi-faceted society. This book will provide you with much-needed knowledge about the three main languages-Walloon, Flemish, and French-and show you the importance of knowing which one you should speak in which region of the country. But that is not all. Glean all the practical tips and advice that will make settling in a breeze plus other information such as how to socialize with Belgians. Learn more about the priorite a droite rule and what you should do if you are made Bob for the night or if a Gilles de Binche with tarantula headgear throws oranges at you. CultureShock! Belgium is the only guide you will need to understand Belgium and its people as well as fully enjoy your life in this delightful country.
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Product Details

Meet the Author

Mark Elliott

Mark Elliott has been visiting Azerbaijan regularly for the last 15 years and has driven, hiked, ridden and hitched back into virtually every corner of the country to research the fourth edition of this guide.

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Table of Contents


Note     vi
Acknowledgements     viii
Dedication     ix
Map of Belgium     x
First Impressions     1
What is Belgium?     4
Land and History     6
Weather     7
Regionalism     9
History     10
The Belgian People     25
Characteristics     26
Women's Issues     33
Attitudes to Medicine     33
The Monarchy     34
The Belgian Home     42
Law and Order     45
Heritage     47
Religion     49
Socialising and Fitting In     53
Regional Differences and Stereotypes     55
Belgium: Is It About to Split?     57
Belgium and the EU     60
View of Foreigners     61
Social Institutions and Customs     62
Sex and Prostitution     57
Homosexuality     68
Robbing the Cradle     68
Naturism     70
Pets     71
Settling In     72
Formalities     73
Finding a Home     75
A Citizen'sResponsibilities     78
Domestic Help     79
Utilities     79
What to Bring From Home?     81
Education     81
Banking     84
Taxes     86
Shopping     87
Health and Hospitals     89
Wills and Death Duties     91
Transportation     92
Leaving Belgium     104
Telecommunications     107
Food and Drink     111
At the Bakery     113
Cheese     115
Chocolate     116
Meat and Meat Attitudes     119
Vegetables     121
Seafood     122
Traditional Belgian Cuisine     126
Street Food     127
Regional Specialities     128
Dining in Belgium     131
The Land of Beer     136
Wine     144
Other Belgian Tipples     147
Soft Drinks     148
Water     148
Coffee and Tea     149
Bars and Cafes     149
Culture, Sport and Travel     156
Belgian Art and Artists     157
Cartoon Strips (Bande Dessinee/Stripverhaal)     162
Opera, Theatre and Dance     163
Cinema     164
Music     167
Television     172
Radio     173
Literature     174
Sports     176
Curious Alternative Sports in Rural Belgium     179
Festivals and Events     180
Non-annual Pageants     191
Going Abroad     193
Where to Go?     195
Overnight Accommodation     211
Information on Events     212
Language     216
Multilingual Belgians     218
Why Do They Speak English So Well?     219
Flemish and Nederlands     219
French-French versus Belgian-French     222
Using Francophone Computers     224
Translated Sayings     224
Walloon     225
Bruxellois     226
Belgian German     228
Names     229
Non-verbal Communication     232
Business and Work     234
Pay     235
Business Etiquette     236
Working Environment     236
Socialising with Clients and Colleagues      237
Bureaucracy     237
Unionism     238
Unemployment     239
Working 'In Black'     239
Corruption     239
Belgian Businesses     240
Currency and Money     241
Fast Facts     242
The Federal Government     246
Famous Belgians     253
Place Names     256
Acronyms and Other Belgian Catchphrases     259
Culture Quiz     265
Do's and Don'ts     270
Glossary     272
Resource Guide     278
Further Reading     286
About the Author     291
Index     292
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