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CultureShock! Belgium

Book Description

CultureShock! Belgium is the definitive guide for anyone who wants to settle seamlessly into the country famous for its chocolates, mussels, frites, waffles, and beer. Though linguist differences have divided the land into distinct regions, it is these same differences that have given Belgium much of its cultural diversity and its multi-faceted society. This book will provide you with much-needed knowledge about the three languages—Walloon, Flemish, and French—and show you the importance of knowing which one you should speak in which region of the country. But that is not all. Glean all the practical tips and advice that will make settling in a breeze plus other information such as how to socialize with Belgians. Learn more about the priorité à droite rule and what you should do if you are made Bob for the night or if a Gilles de Binche with tarantula headgear throws oranges at you. CultureShock! Belgium is the only guide you will need to understand Belgium and its people as well as fully enjoy your life in this delightful country.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
  2. Title
  3. Copyright
  4. About the Series
  5. Contents
  6. Note
  7. Acknowledgements
  8. Dedication
  9. Map of Belgium
  10. Chapter 1 First Impressions
    1. What is Belgium?
  11. Chapter 2 Land and History
    1. Weather
    2. Regionalism
    3. History
  12. Chapter 3 The Belgian People
    1. Characteristics
    2. Women’s Issues
    3. Attitudes to Medicine
    4. The Monarchy
    5. The Belgian Home
    6. Law and Order
    7. Heritage
    8. Religion
  13. Chapter 4 Socialising and Fitting In
    1. Regional Differences and Stereotypes
    2. Belgium: Is It About to Split?
    3. Belgium and the EU
    4. View of Foreigners
    5. Social Institutions and Customs
    6. Sex and Prostitution
    7. Homosexuality
    8. Robbing the Cradle
    9. Naturism
    10. Pets
  14. Chapter 5 Settling In
    1. Formalities
    2. Finding a Home
    3. A Citizen’s Responsibilities
    4. Domestic Help
    5. Utilities
    6. What to Bring From Home?
    7. Education
    8. Banking
    9. Taxes
    10. Shopping
    11. Health and Hospitals
    12. Wills and Death Duties
    13. Transportation
    14. Leaving Belgium
    15. Telecommunications
  15. Chapter 6 Food and Drink
    1. At the Bakery
    2. Cheese
    3. Chocolate
    4. Meat and Meat Attitudes
    5. Vegetables
    6. Seafood
    7. Traditional Belgian Cuisine
    8. Street Food
    9. Regional Specialities
    10. Dining in Belgium
    11. The Land of Beer
    12. Wine
    13. Other Belgian Tipples
    14. Soft Drinks
    15. Water
    16. Coffee and Tea
    17. Bars and Cafés
  16. Chapter 7 Culture, Sport and Travel
    1. Belgian Art and Artists
    2. Cartoon Strips
    3. Opera, Theatre and Dance
    4. Cinema
    5. Music
    6. Television
    7. Radio
    8. Literature
    9. Sports
    10. Curious Alternative Sports in Rural Belgium
    11. Festivals and Events
    12. Non-annual Pageants
    13. Going Abroad
    14. Where to Go?
    15. Overnight Accommodation
    16. Information on Events
  17. Chapter 8 Language
    1. Multilingual Belgians
    2. Why Do They Speak English So Well?
    3. Flemish and Nederlands
    4. French-French versus Belgian-French
    5. Using Francophone Computers
    6. Translated Sayings
    7. Walloon
    8. Bruxellois
    9. Belgian German
    10. Names
    11. Non-verbal Communication
  18. Chapter 9 Business and Work
    1. Pay
    2. Business Etiquette
    3. Working Environment
    4. Socialising with Clients and Colleagues
    5. Bureaucracy
    6. Unionism
    7. Unemployment
    8. Working ‘In Black’
    9. Corruption
    10. Belgian Businesses
    11. Currency and Money
  19. Chapter 10 Fast Facts
    1. The Federal Government
    2. Famous Belgians
    3. Place Names
    4. Acronyms and Other Belgian Catchphrases
    5. Culture Quiz
    6. Do’s and Don’ts
    7. Glossary
    8. Resource Guide
    9. Further Reading
    10. About the Author
  20. Index