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View Full Version : A question for Canadians and Belgians


Josh
May 19th, 2003, 11:39 PM
I was inspired to make this poll by a discussion I had with Lynx in another thread.

So what I wanna ask is this :

1) English Canadians, do you feel more related with your fellow countrymen/women, French Canadians or with your linguistic brothers and sisters, the Americans?

2) French Canadians, do you feel more related with your fellow countrymen/women, English Canadians or with your linguistic brothers and sisters in France?

3) Flemish Belgians, do you feel more related with your fellow countrymen/women, French Belgians or with your linguistic brothers and sisters in The Netherlands?

4) French Belgians, do you feel more related with your fellow countrymen/women, Flemish Belgians or with your linguistic brothers and sisters in France?

VOTE!

Josh
May 19th, 2003, 11:46 PM
Basically Lynx says that language is a more important link than sharing a history withing the same state.
I believe that a shared history withing a same state creates a common identity that is stranger than the linguistic ties with other countries.

Josh
May 20th, 2003, 12:20 AM
*Keeping this up*

Crazy Canuck
May 20th, 2003, 12:40 AM
I'm an English Canadian, and feel more related to French Canadians.

AjdeNate!
May 20th, 2003, 01:22 AM
*Keeping this up*
Stop talking dirty and stuff. :o

I won't vote (doesn't apply to me).... But I don't think many Americans feel too connected to anyone in Canada. I think they're pretty separated, except maybe near the borders.

Americans are snobs, well *some*, ok a lot, of Americans are. Some of us ( :wavey: ) have a more global view than is normally held.

Crazy Canuck
May 20th, 2003, 01:24 AM
Stop talking dirty and stuff. :o

I won't vote (doesn't apply to me).... But I don't think many Americans feel too connected to anyone in Canada. I think they're pretty separated, except maybe near the borders.

Americans are snobs, well *some*, ok a lot, of Americans are. Some of us ( :wavey: ) have a more global view than is normally held.
Not only that, but a lot of Canadians do NOT want to be associated with Americans ;)

AjdeNate!
May 20th, 2003, 01:27 AM
I agree that's completely true, too! Can't we all just get along? :)

Crazy Canuck
May 20th, 2003, 01:28 AM
We do get along ;)

AjdeNate!
May 20th, 2003, 01:35 AM
As long as there is that long imaginary line betwixt us. ;) I love Belgians. I love the Frenchies. I love Canadians (both English and French speaking), ... 'cept I have a hard time understanding their Candian-French when they speak. It's a different dialect than I can understand. I can get most of it... but not all. It's like extra 'uh's and 'eh's everywhere I swear. :)

Kiswana
May 20th, 2003, 02:51 AM
None of the above. I'm an English Canadian who is actually related to the English. Although America is close in proximity, I don't have an affinity for it at all. My family came originally from England and that is what I consider my second homeland. I've thoroughly enjoyed travelling throughout Quebec. It's a lovely province but I don't feel connected to it at all. I harbour no resentment towards the Quebecois, by the way. While I recognise them as fellow Canadians, I feel closer to the English I suppose cos of the language and my own family's roots.

Crazy Canuck
May 20th, 2003, 03:40 AM
None of the above. I'm an English Canadian who is actually related to the English. Although America is close in proximity, I don't have an affinity for it at all. My family came originally from England and that is what I consider my second homeland. I've thoroughly enjoyed travelling throughout Quebec. It's a lovely province but I don't feel connected to it at all. I harbour no resentment towards the Quebecois, by the way. While I recognise them as fellow Canadians, I feel closer to the English I suppose cos of the language and my own family's roots.
If I had to choose I'd say that I feel closer to the Brits than I do to Americans. Which I suppose is odd, seeing as I walk by McDonalds everyday ;)

King Lindsay
May 20th, 2003, 05:09 AM
don't feel at all connected to French Canadians. They can piss off and form their own country. ;)

carot
May 20th, 2003, 08:52 AM
Flemish Belgian, more related to French Belgian, and i don't feel related to the Dutch at all.

fleemke³
May 20th, 2003, 09:09 AM
I'm a Belgian, not at all dutchman :)

per4ever
May 20th, 2003, 09:11 AM
flemish belgian and I don't feel related to french belgian at all

Josh
May 20th, 2003, 09:47 AM
So you feel related to the Dutch?

per4ever
May 20th, 2003, 09:55 AM
yes, certainly with the dutch people in the south of the netherlands.

Dizzy Miss Lizzy
May 20th, 2003, 10:54 AM
Flemish Belgian, more related to French Belgians

bis2806
May 20th, 2003, 10:59 AM
If I had to choose I'd say that I feel closer to the Brits than I do to Americans. Which I suppose is odd, seeing as I walk by McDonalds everyday ;)

hey Rebecca! i know we brits rule :D :D :D and i have to say this though... you are right coz sometimes i associate US with canada for some reason :confused:

rand
May 20th, 2003, 11:03 AM
flemish french-speaking belgian, feelm uch more related to french belgians than to dutch or franch people......

Mercury Rising
May 20th, 2003, 11:09 AM
flemish belgian and I don't feel related to french belgian at all
Ditto, maybe it's because I live much closer to the Netherlands than Wallonia. My French isn't so good, so I don't watch French-speaking channels. Coming to this board made me realise how little I know of the Walloons, it's certainly alot less than I know about the Dutch...

Maajken
May 20th, 2003, 11:13 AM
flemish belgian and I don't feel related to french belgian at all
ditto

Josh
May 20th, 2003, 02:00 PM
While language is certainly a very important form of communication, it's not necessarily the reflection of a shared mentality. It might be easier to communicate with people who speak the same language, the fact that they've grown up in a different country might make communication a lot more difficult than first thought.

per4ever
May 20th, 2003, 02:07 PM
mentality of french belgians is different then the flemish mentality imo.

Anyway..it probably has to do with where you live too :) I live at 2 km from the Netherlands...other people live on the border with wallonie.

Josh
May 20th, 2003, 02:09 PM
Can you give examples of those differences in mentality that would at the same time bring us closer to the Dutch mentality?

Lynx
May 20th, 2003, 02:20 PM
Hey Josh - you're campaigning :(. You should keep out of the polling booth! :p :D


BTW: almost fifty-fifty at the moment...

But like I said in the other thread, Josh: the situation in Canada is not comparable to the situation in Belgium.

The French Canadians have no neighbouring country - and France is way off, and long ago... so how they're gonna vote? They have no real choice... as is proven by the poll.

And some English Canadians would feel more related to the British, like I suspected. They have not as much common history with America as Flanders has with trhe Netherlands...


About this poll: you do realize that the cards are stacked in your advantage, do you? When living in the same country you inevitably have a lot of interests/concerns in common, like it or not: the politics of that country, the social system etc, etc... take that away, and your only bond is gone - while the bond of a common language stays.

Add to that common language bond a political unity, and you would get a real nation - like so many "normal" unilingual countries - where 99% (if not 100%) would feel naturally related to its own country...

Josh
May 20th, 2003, 02:28 PM
I'm sorry, but Flanders and The Netherlands together would not be a unilingual country. The differences have become too big, centuries of separation have caused this, while the French regions of our country have always undergone the same fate as what is now Flanders.

If you take away the link of the language, Flemings and Dutch would have NOTHING in common, except a brief period of unification in history. But other than that, the mentality has completely changed so poeple would NOT feel naturally related to that country.

Flemings should learn French and Walloons should learn Dutch and there would be almost no problems. Unite Flanders and The Netherlands and you'll get conflicts...guaranteed.

Maajken
May 20th, 2003, 02:30 PM
hmm..watching Temptation Island yesterday ;), i couldnt help thinking that this was actually an example of a collaboration between both flemish and dutch TV. and this is of course not the only programme, theres also 10 voor taal f.e.
on the other hand, there are virtually no walloon or flemish programmes that are also made for and around the other language group. this is one of the reasons, i think, flemish people may not feel more related to the dutch, but certainly, at least through this medium, have more contact with them.

JPV
May 20th, 2003, 02:37 PM
on the other hand, there are virtually no walloon or flemish programmes that are also made for and around the other language group. this is one of the reasons, i think, flemish people may not feel more related to the dutch, but certainly, at least through this medium, have more contact with them.
that's only due to the difference in language. It's hard to make a program in French & Dutch simultaneously. That might be possible in election-times, but only if you wanted a single chairman's debate.

That would have been nice, watching Di Rupo trying to speak Dutch & VanHecke French :D ;)

Brαm
May 20th, 2003, 03:38 PM
I'm Flemish & I feel much more related to the Dutch! :)

Brαm
May 20th, 2003, 03:39 PM
I've just asked my family and they said the same. Language is more important than the borders of a country IMO.

Lynx
May 20th, 2003, 03:51 PM
I'm sorry, but Flanders and The Netherlands together would not be a unilingual country. The differences have become too big, centuries of separation have caused this, while the French regions of our country have always undergone the same fate as what is now Flanders.

If you take away the link of the language, Flemings and Dutch would have NOTHING in common, except a brief period of unification in history. But other than that, the mentality has completely changed so poeple would NOT feel naturally related to that country.

Flemings should learn French and Walloons should learn Dutch and there would be almost no problems. Unite Flanders and Wallonia and you'll get conflicts...guaranteed.
I suppose you meant to say: "unite Flanders and the Netherlands and you'll get conflicts..." ???

"I'm sorry, but Flanders and The Netherlands together would not be a unilingual country."
Whyever not? Of course they would.

"Flemings should learn French and Walloons should learn Dutch..."
What can I say to that, other than it's a prime example of wishful thinking? It's not gonna happen, is it? Unless you want to see the whole of Belgium speaking French, and French only? Even in the Flemish municipalities where Flemish people have given French-speaking Belgians the time and the opportunity to learn the language and to integrate (the so called "facilities", which were never meant to be forever), the French speaking Belgians didn't any of the sort, did they? On the contrary. (And like I said in another thread months ago: I don't even blame them. I wouldn't learn Dutch if I was French-speaking, that's for sure...)
Well, maybe you don't feel that as an injustice and an insurmountable problem - but I do, and with me the majority of Flanders... or we still would have only one federal government. You see, I don't want to give up my own language. When Dutch and French speaking Belgians meet, they almost always will talk French, you cannot possibly deny that. To have a working marriage, both sides have to give... and I can't see it happen, not when it didn't happen in the last 170 years.

"If you take away the link of the language, Flemings and Dutch would have NOTHING in common, except a brief period of unification in history."
A brief unification in history? Together we have been "the low lands near the sea" since ages. It's the separation which was forced and unnatural... because of foreign rulers. But in spite of this separation, which indeed lasted several centuries, the language on both sides of the border didn't evolve too far apart - in fact, it stayed remarkably similar. Afrikaans in South-Africa, for instance, is now almost a different language... and that took less time. (Close to the borders there is even less difference: compare the West-Flemish people from the north to Zeeuws-Vlaanderen...)

Anyway: that's the heart of our little disagreement, isn't it? You cannot "take away the link of the language"... because that's a natural link (it would mean forcing a whole people to speak another language - which the Belgian French-speaking establishment has tried in vain) while you can easily take away the rather arbitrary link of a boundary which defines a nation. A common language is the living proof of the fact you evolved and belong together... while the boundaries of nations change with the whims of rulers.

What strikes me as very, very odd is that you (and others here) empathically deny those natural bonds, claiming we couldn't possible form one nation with people who speak the same language and share the same cultural background (from literature to pictural arts), while on the other hand maintaining that we could and should form a multi-cultural society (and I agree with THAT from the bottom of my heart).
How you're gonna form a multi-cultural society when you think it impossible to form a political unity with your closest neighbours (and your most natural partners) is beyond me.

But don't worry: it's not very likely we'll ever form a political unity with the Netherlands, more is the pity. I don't think the Dutch people care one jot (why should they? They haven't any problems in their unilingual country... [see EDIT]) - while a lot of Flemish people obviously don't want to, looking at the Dutch as "arrogant", and nursing all those little prejudices which are uninevitably found among close relatives.

Having said this, I withdraw from this discussion: I'm obviously not going to convince you, and you're not going to convince me. Let's agree to disagree. :)


EDIT: (why should they? They haven't any problems in their unilingual country...) - that's not true of course: they have loads of problems. But before somebody attacks that point, let me clarify: I only meant they have no language-issues :)

XMan
May 20th, 2003, 05:00 PM
I think that language is the first reason why two communities can feel related to each other. Historical and cultural connections between the two communities of people will strengthen this feeling. Examples are Great Britain and USA, Germany and Austria, Flanders and The Netherlands. In fact, the fact that two nations speak the same language mostly means that there is or was a (cultural or historical) connection between both nations. Other examples are the disagreements between different communities in one nation (eg. the Bask, the catalan versus the other spanish people in Spain)

cunnihingis
May 20th, 2003, 07:36 PM
i'm english canadian and i feel canadian. not english canadian, not french canadian, not american. just canadian.

i understand the correlation you're trying to make between belgium and canada but no offence to quebec, i don't feel our country is as divided as belgium is between flanders and wallonia. growing up in saskatoon, my world was very canadian. humour and sensibility 100% english-speaking canadian. many tourists, americans primarily, will say they can't tell the difference between the north american neighbours but canucks can. when i was at university (many years ago) and living in residence, an exchange student from montreal tried to joke that we (english canadians) were americans with faux scandinavian accents and i had to laugh cos french au pairs that i met at that same time said they couldn't understand the french spoken in quebec. some of the preference i think stems from a bit of prejudice. i think the french canadiens prefer france cos of not only the commonality in language but they want to distance themselves from anything english speaking. it may be the same case in belgium. i know there's friction amongst the low countries so some flemish belgiums may actually feel closer to the french belgiums cos of their dislike for the dutch.

Josh
May 20th, 2003, 07:45 PM
Well I'd say that Canada is actually mored divided than Belgium is. I mean, there's never been a referendum about separation and parties that support a seperation have never won the elections.

But yeah, the comparison between both countries is certainly not perfect. I just added it because it's similar.

The Crow
May 21st, 2003, 01:00 PM
Flemish Belgian and I don't feel related to Dutch people or French Belgians. "Feeling related" is way overrated imo :p

JPV
May 21st, 2003, 07:13 PM
aan de poll te zien lijkt me het logisch waarom er geen Walen in de FC komen... (was daar ooit de vraag)

english translation:
When looking at the poll, no one wonders anymore why there aren't any french speaking tennisfans in the FC (belgian thread)...

(someone was arguing this was due to the fact they don't wanna come there)

Monique
May 22nd, 2003, 02:02 AM
Originally posted by Rand:
Flemish French-speaking Belgian, feel much more related to French Belgians

ditto, even though I admit that Brussels feels overwhelmingly French for a Flemish person...

When looking at the poll, no one wonders anymore why there aren't any french speaking tennisfans in the FC (belgian thread)...

that might not be the whole reason for that, don't forget that even the French thread, where the Walloons would supposedly post in, is very slow compared to the FC...

Anyway: that's the heart of our little disagreement, isn't it? You cannot "take away the link of the language"... because that's a natural link (it would mean forcing a whole people to speak another language - which the Belgian French-speaking establishment has tried in vain) while you can easily take away the rather arbitrary link of a boundary which defines a nation. A common language is the living proof of the fact you evolved and belong together... while the boundaries of nations change with the whims of rulers.

What strikes me as very, very odd is that you (and others here) empathically deny those natural bonds, claiming we couldn't possible form one nation with people who speak the same language and share the same cultural background (from literature to pictural arts), while on the other hand maintaining that we could and should form a multi-cultural society (and I agree with THAT from the bottom of my heart).
How you're gonna form a multi-cultural society when you think it impossible to form a political unity with your closest neighbours (and your most natural partners) is beyond me.

if after 170 years, we are still discussing about which people or culture we feel the most related to, then we are definitely not ready to embrace the European Union... if we are still pondering if we feel closely related to our countrymen and closest neighbour, how can we be ready to belong to a Community where certainly common social and business interest will take precedence over language affinities?

To hold grudges or suspicions against your fellow Flemish, French or German-Belgians is to insulate oneself into a smaller community, and goes against the very definition and shape of Belgium as a unified country... I want both Kim and Justine to do well when they play, for me they represent the same country in spite of obvious differences... I think a better comparison could be made with Switzerland instead of Canada... I've talked to innumerous Swiss-Germans who think their French parts do not make the effort to learn another language... it might be a French thing :p , but from what I've heard from the French-Swiss is that they feel their language and culture is threatened by a much larger and stronger German speaking community, and in case they result to speaking German, their franco area will be quickly assimilated into a Germanic culture...But they are all proud to be Swiss, and never identify themselves as being German or French... maybe the Walloons fear the same... Flanders is a much larger and economically powerful area than Wallonie... maybe the Walloons think that if they have to speak Dutch in their daily routine, their individual identity will be lost in no time....

angele87
May 22nd, 2003, 02:53 AM
I voted French Canadian and feel more related to English Canadians but I had to really think about it a lot. Although I'm not even sure this poll really applies to me because I'm not Quebec French, i'm Acadian french :p Culture wise, the people I feel most related to are the Cajuns in Louisiana but that wasn't an option in this poll lol... but just being surrounded by english canadians and having a lot of english friends and doing a lot of things in english ( reading, watching tv, listening to music etc...) has made me feel closer to english canadians than to the french :)

Barrie_Dude
May 23rd, 2003, 09:57 PM
Well,. I am Canadian and grew up in the States, so I am comftrable with Americans


:kiss: @Angele ;)

autoharp
Jun 12th, 2003, 12:52 PM
I'm a french spoken belgian, even if I speak flemish too, cause I used to go to a flemish school.

First thing I want to say:

- It's not because we speak french, that you have to call us the french belgians, you don't call yourself dutch belgian, hu?!

Second thing:

- I feel very close to flemish people, certainly cause I still have a lot of flemish friends, and I don't understand sometimes the "hate" between flanders and wallonia, it's so ridiculous, we're all belgians, the only difference is that we live in the otherside of the border.

I hate when people call us french, sorry people, but I don't really like frenchpeople, they are so pretencious, arrogant, and, always joke about belgians, so, of course, I feel closer to flemish people, there's no doubt.

If we could speak the same language, it would be so easier!!!!

Anyway,

Dag iedereen, au revoir tout le monde....

xxxx

¤CharlDa¤
Jun 12th, 2003, 04:41 PM
Well I am a french canadian...And I can't relate on many people...We are a class of opur own :p

Randy H
Jun 12th, 2003, 05:33 PM
I'm English Canadian and I feel I can relate to both Americans and French Canadians to some degree.

I relate to America mainly because American life is shown in English Canadian media more than French Canadian life is IMO - I think this is really sad. The shows on t.v. are mostly American shows, half of the stations are American so we get a lot of American news. There are hardly any French Canadian stations.

On the other hand, I still feel I can relate to French Canadians because the area I am from is one of the few parts of Ontario that still has somewhat of a French and English culture, and even though we are very different in many ways, I feel like Canadian patriotism sort of brings us all together somehow lol. Even though each province you go to is very different from the next, we are still together and try to embrace those differences.

So overall, I would have to say I feel more related to French Canadians :)

Zamboni
Jun 12th, 2003, 07:01 PM
yes, certainly with the dutch people in the south of the netherlands.
:kiss: ;)

Zamboni
Jun 12th, 2003, 07:06 PM
I'm sorry, but Flanders and The Netherlands together would not be a unilingual country. The differences have become too big, centuries of separation have caused this, while the French regions of our country have always undergone the same fate as what is now Flanders.

If you take away the link of the language, Flemings and Dutch would have NOTHING in common, except a brief period of unification in history. But other than that, the mentality has completely changed so poeple would NOT feel naturally related to that country.

I do not completely agree with you. By this redenation people in Limburg and other parts of the Netherlands should feel more, or at least as connected with Belgium (or Flanders, if you wish) as with the Netherlands - and I don't think that's the case!

About the language thing, the differences are not as big as they seem at first glance. Someone from Groningen would have equal trouble with understanding my mom as with understanding you!

*JR*
Jun 12th, 2003, 09:35 PM
Not only that, but a lot of Canadians do NOT want to be associated with Americans ;)
As a certain Boi would say about Canada: yuo=owned! :p