People in Belgium live in two (or more) different worlds. Some even say they don't want to live in the same country with the rest of its population. Or is it only something the national media and some crazy politicians want us to believe? I admit that I didn't realise until now, during the current crisis, how deep the linguistic divide in Belgium actually is. Or is it? Why are media and politicians exaggerating things?
Some time ago, I wrote about the good and the bad in Brussels. Since then, I have spoken with both my Flemish and French speaking friends, and it is fascinating to hear what they say about their country, from their (often conflicting) point of view. But they all agree that politicians are riculous about this. I don't want to get too much into politics here, but let me make one thing perfectly clear: I don't take sides. I try to read both French and Flemish newspapers (as much as I can understand!), and I like Flemish and French culture. I go to work and associate with people from all around Europe, every day. Simple as that, for me.
There has been some interesting articles and comments lately on Mark Mardell's Euroblog: Divided Belgium and Flemish Flamenco. Obviously, coming from bilingual country like Finland, it's easy for me to say that languages make life richer. So what is the problem then? Money and power, obviously -- like always, everywhere. What a waste of time and energy.