Sunday, July 22, 2007

Happy Independence Day Belgium!!

Today we celebrate Independence Day in Belgium. After many years of territorial wars and religious disputes, Belgium gained independence from the Netherlands on July 21, 1831. Leopold I was chosen by the people as their ruler and a constitution was drawn up to recognize the newly independent land. Belgium was involved in World War I and World War II, but has remained an independent country. The current leader is King Albert II.

Belgium was occupied by Germany during World Wars I and II. It has prospered in the past half century as a modern, technologically advanced European state and member of NATO and the European Union. Tensions between the Dutch-speaking Flemings of the north and the French-speaking Walloons of the south have led in recent years to constitutional amendments granting these regions formal recognition and autonomy.

I find it interesting that in the Flemish areas of Belgium if you try to speak French you are frowned upon! The mutually accepted language is English! YAY!!!! Oh and by the way...I am about to start taking French again! Bon jour!

Happy Independence Day!!!!

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