Interesting facts about Belgium

# I love finding out less-popular information about countries and cultures. Therefore, during #NaBloPoMo, I’ll research and post about a couple of them. Feel free to suggest me some countries/cultures you want to know more about or are worth spreading the word about. Promise to do my best and write about them 😉

Lovely Belgium is the starter of this series.

Food & Drinks

Among the first things we get to know about Belgium, are beers, chocolate and fries.

  • there are around 800 different labels of beer produced here
  • worldwide, there are 8 Trappist beers, 6 of them being in Belgium (one just across the border and one in Österreich). [For those into beers, here’s the list: Chimay, Orval, Rochefort, Westmalle, Westvleteren, Achel (Belgium) , La Trappe (The Netherlands) and Stift Engelszell (Austria)]

    trappist

  • There are ~220 000 tones of chocolate produced per year and, unexpectedly, the biggest selling point is Brussels National Airport!

People & Society

  • Belgium has more comic makers than any other country in the world, even Japan!
  • In 2007, Belgium was ranked as the best country in the world for children’s educational well-being [UNICEF report]
  • There are 2 Manneken Pis in Belgium: the famous one in Brussels, and a similar one in Geraardsbergen
  • The town of Spa is the one that gave the name ‘spa’ for a health resort. History says ancient Romans enjoyed the springs at Spa and this is how it all started.
  • Almost 90% of raw diamonds in the world are negotiated, distributed, and polished in Antwerp, second largest city in the country
  • Do you know Tintin? In 70 years of existence nearly 220 millions of copies of “Adventures of Tintin” have been sold.
  • The name of the euro currency was proposed in 1992 by a Belgian, while the design by another Belgian, Alain Billiet.

Law & Government

  • There are 3 official languages : Flemish, French and German
  • Belgium has legalized gay marriage in 2003 and euthanasia in 2002
  • Belgium is one of the few countries where education is compulsory until 18 years old
  • One can legally possess up to 3 grams of cannabis
  • Belgium comes first, after Canada, in granting the most new citizenships per capita
  • Do you know some others?
    Would be happy to hear them 🙂

    [Sources]
    [1] http://www.eupedia.com/belgium/trivia.shtml
    [2] http://www.express.co.uk/fun/top10facts/392918/Top-10-facts-about-Belgium
    [3] http://journeyaroundtheglobe.com/2012/02/14/10-fun-facts-about-belgium/
    [Image] http://beerdock.co.uk/index.php/trappist-beer-case.html

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2 responses to “Interesting facts about Belgium

  1. Nice. I also have to say that the whole social part is very good in Belgium. Our experience with hospitalization is quite good ( http://www.outnumbered.be/parenting/nasal-polyp-surgery-kids/ )

    I guess you need something to put in balance with the “great weather” Belgium has 🙂

    • Thank you, Angela for sharing your experience. I guess “weather in Belgium” is worth of a separate post 😉 I’ll make some research and give it a more scientific approach 🙂

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