I started to add a daily coping tip to the SQLServerCentral newsletter and to the Community Circle, which is helping me deal with the issues in the world. I’m adding my responses for each day here. All my coping tips are under this tag.
Today’s tip is to find out about the values or traditions of another culture.
I’m going to Belgium today. I’ve been in Cambridge all week and my wife is flying over this morning. We’re meeting at Heathrow for the trip over to Brussels. We’ll be spending the weekend somewhere in Belgium. Last fall we were in Brussels for a few days. This time, I think we might travel a bit.
A few things I learned last year:
- French and Dutch are spoken there. More French near Brussels, more Dutch closer to the Netherlands.
- They love chocolate and make some great treats.
- The beer is amazing there. It’s thick, rich, and even my wife drank some (she typically doesn’t like beer).
- Comics are respected, and Tintin is from Belgium. I read that as a kid.
- Lots of museums, arts, and some great architecture in their cities.
I was reading a few different articles on culture and history (Britannica, Wikipedia, Everyculture).It seems that gastronomy, comic strips, painting dominate their cultural arts. It also seems that different parts of Belgium hold onto their own culture, based on language. Different sections of the country educate their children in their language.
It’s also the diamond capital of the world. I remember scenes from Snatch. Perhaps we’ll do a little window shopping there.
Belgium in some sense seems like a European city. Lots of walking and biked, industry that imports raw materials, produces finished goods, and trades with the rest of the EU. An old area that has been through rule by various different groups before getting their independence in 1830. Not that long ago. However, much of the country feels older, with a rich history of architecture and art. They value the arts and have free training in night schools for artists and musicians. I wish we did more of that.
- In Binche, people don wax masks and pelt the crowds with oranges.
- They have a second Santa, Black Pete
- Trick or treating on Old Year’s Day.
- Fish in wine in Geraardsbergen at the Krakelingen festival.
- Malmedy bakes a giant omelet every August, with 10,000 eggs.
I really enjoyed my last trip and am looking forward to this one.