Friday, November 09, 2007

From the Social Integration Textbook, page 23 and 24

Did I mention that this course is for people who either work or own their own business here in Belgium ... and that this is the English speakers course.

Today's gem is as follows and people are welcome to make the necessary corrections. The Spanish are missing from the history and I'm looking forward to reading this aloud to Gert.

Short history of Belgium

The territory that is now Belgium, has always been part of other countries in the past.

In 1830, Belgium became an independent country.
Flanders has never been independent.

- Around 2000 years ago, the Romans were here (a race in Italy).
- The Romans called the local residents "Belgians".
- After the year 300, most of the people became Christians.
- A part of the people spoke the language of another race, the Germans (later Dutch). These are the origins of the linguistic frontier.

- After the Romans came the Franks (a race of France).
On 11th July 1302, the Flemish people won a battle with the king of France. This battle is called "the Battle of the Spurs". Therefore, 11th July is the Holiday of the Flemish Community.

- Around 600 years ago, the Burgundians came (Burgundy is now part of France).
We still say that Belgians are "Burgundians". This means that they love to eat and drink exuberantly, that they enjoy life.

- Emperor Charles the Fifth (1500) was an important emperor of Spain and Austria.
Flanders was a part of his empire.
In that period there was a war going on between the Catholics and the Protestants (both Christians).
Afterwards, Belgium only belonged to the Austrian empire. It was a calm period.

-Under emperor Napoleon, Belgium was a part of the French empire.
The French lost the battle of Waterloo near Brussels in the year 1815.
French then did become the most important language.

-After the French domination, Belgium became a part of the Netherlands.
They wanted Dutch to be the official language. They were Protestants.
The Catholic Church and French-speaking upper class protested.
There was a revolution.

In the year 1830, Belgium became an independent kingdom.

I'll save the rest of the history for another post, allowing you to digest the complexities of this particular lesson.


Manictastic said...

After the Romans came the Franks (a race of France).

That must be the biggest mistake in that brief historical overview of Belgium.
Everyone who does a Wiki-search knows that the Franks where a Germanic tribe who invaded the Roman province Belgica and they then spread out towards entire Gaul(France).

Di Mackey said...

Clearly the author didn't read Asterix, eh wot.

But where are the Spanish, Manic.

Manictastic said...

The Spanish never technically ruled here. Flanders, and the rest of Belgium, was independent under the throne of Carlos the 5th and Felipe 2 (don't know english name, is his spanish name) and yes, they used Spanish soldiers to beat the protestantism out of us, but they also used Italians(which was also part of the kings' empire).
But their historical overview is just too short and too undetailed to be close towards accurateness. The history of the Low Countries is just so very complex, since it existed out of lots of small little parts, like the County of Flanders, Duchy of Brabant(that's you), Bishopric of Liege, etc.

For more information, browse Wikipedia and have "fun" for hours.

Di Mackey said...

Dank u wel, Manic.

The book is so badly written that it completely undermines any authenticity the text might have and makes me doubt everything.

V-Grrrl said...

But the book doesn't cover the Kiwi colonization of Antwerp, nor the Gay Games.

It's certainly missing some VERY important historic bits.

Di Mackey said...

If any talk of 'kiwi colonisation' got out, I'd be out ... I imagine that all this integration stuff is about me forgetting the place that I come from ;)

Hmmm, I wonder if it does cover the Gay Games. It's over 300 pages long. I've only just scratched the surface.