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Old 10-06-2014, 12:34 PM
 
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Or do they 1) think of themselves as Belgian but merely speaking a certain language or 2) think of themselves as being distinct both from the other respective side of Belgium and France/the Netherlands?
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Old 10-06-2014, 01:53 PM
 
Location: Minsk, Belarus
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I am not Belgian but I think 2) is the most correct variant.
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Old 10-06-2014, 01:55 PM
 
Location: Gatineau, Québec
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My sense is that people in Flanders have a stronger regional identity as Flemings. This means they don't see themselves as Dutch, and many don't see themselves as being very similar to those Belgians who are francophones.

Also note that Flemish (vocabulary and accent) is quite a bit more different from Dutch than the variant of French spoken in Wallonia is from French in France.

Wallons tend to have a strong attachment to "Belgium" as opposed to just the region of Wallonia. They also feel fairly close to France culturally and there is even a "rattachiste" (opposite of séparatiste) movement there that would like to see Wallonia annexed to France. Though it's nowhere near a majority.

Another important point is that francophones in Brussels (85% of the population of the city) do not identify as Wallons as you might expect them to naturally. They identify as Bruxellois.

Flemish people living in Brussels (15% of the population?) by and large will still identify as Flemings and often consider Brussels to be a part of Flanders.
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Old 10-06-2014, 02:03 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Acajack View Post
My sense is that people in Flanders have a stronger regional identity as Flemings. This means they don't see themselves as Dutch, and many don't see themselves as being very similar to those Belgians who are francophones.

Also note that Flemish (vocabulary and accent) is quite a bit more different from Dutch than the variant of French spoken in Wallonia is from French in France.

Wallons tend to have a strong attachment to "Belgium" as opposed to just the region of Wallonia. They also feel fairly close to France culturally and there is even a "rattachiste" (opposite of séparatiste) movement there that would like to see Wallonia annexed to France. Though it's nowhere near a majority.

Another important point is that francophones in Brussels (85% of the population of the city) do not identify as Wallons as you might expect them to naturally. They identify as Bruxellois.

Flemish people living in Brussels (15% of the population?) by and large will still identify as Flemings and often consider Brussels to be a part of Flanders.
Interesting. In a way Belgium is a bit like Canada in the sense it's divided by language, and the identity is very complex.
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Old 10-06-2014, 02:10 PM
 
Location: Gatineau, Québec
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Originally Posted by valsteele View Post
Interesting. In a way Belgium is a bit like Canada in the sense it's divided by language, and the identity is very complex.
Indeed it is!
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Old 10-06-2014, 03:08 PM
 
Location: Groningen, Netherlands
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Flemings definitely don't see themselves as Dutch! We speak the same language and share the same history for the most part, but Dutch are not the most beloved in Belgium. But it is just friendly rivalry, no real hatred there.

On the other hand, many Dutch people consider Flanders as kinda Dutch and would probably support a reunification of the historical Netherlands (before 1830) if Belgium would collapse as a country. Many consider Flemings as very friendly people with a pleasant lifestyle.

Don't really know for Walloons. Wallonia is not that interesting.

Brussels is historically Flanders by the way. Even more, Brussels was capital of the Netherlands before Amsterdam!
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Old 10-06-2014, 03:22 PM
 
Location: Stockholm
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There is also a small German community in Belgium (German is one of Belgium's official languages). What does they consider themselves as??
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Old 10-06-2014, 03:35 PM
 
Location: San Diego, California Republic
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Originally Posted by MagnusPetersson View Post
There is also a small German community in Belgium (German is one of Belgium's official languages). What does they consider themselves as??
From what I've heard, they just consider themselves Belgians who speak German. This is interesting because that area (Eupen Malmedy) was ceded to Belgium after WWI from Germany.
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Old 10-06-2014, 03:40 PM
 
Location: Hong Kong / Vienna
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Originally Posted by MagnusPetersson View Post
There is also a small German community in Belgium (German is one of Belgium's official languages). What does they consider themselves as??
I assume they consider themselves as German speaking Belgians? Just like Austrians, Swiss, Luxembourgians, Liechtensteiners and South Tyoleans don't consider themselves to be Germans.
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Old 10-06-2014, 03:43 PM
 
Location: Paris
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Walloons don't think of themselves as French. At least the vast majority doesn't. They think of themselves as Belgians, probably more than Flemings overall. Not that the latter think of themsleves as Dutch more than Walloons as French, but they have a stronger regional identity.
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