View Full Version : cultural divide?

Feb 27th, 2004, 06:02 PM
Belgians, I hoped you might help me better understand your country's unique situation with respect to your two tennis superstars, Kim and Justine.
Reading various media accounts from around the world much is made of the fact that one is from the francophone south and the other the flemish north, the implication being that this fact plays a larger part in their rivalry. My question is, is this something that you perceive to be true?
Does the North/South issue come into play or are they simply two competetive players striving to be the best?
Is the country divided in it's allegience to the players largely based on language and geography, meaning Kim is wildly more popular in the north, and Justine more so in the south, or is it fairly mixed?
Does the media in the different parts on the country treat the girls differently, or is the coverage even?
When they're not playing each other is the population largely rooting for both girls, or do most people seem to pick a favorite and then dislike the other?
Beyond tennis, how divisive are the issues of language and culture in your country? Do people tend to have friends and contacts across the divide or do the sides keep mostly to themselves.
I find the whole situation fascinating and would welcome any and all comments that might offer me an insider's perspective on how to sort it all out.


Mar 3rd, 2004, 09:37 AM
you're question is quite difficult to answer.
I don't really know if our language issues have a big influence on tennis, but kim is probably more popular in flandres and justine in wallony.
But the wole situation in Belgian is very difficult to understand. Language issues have been very important in our history, and they still are in politics. Our language issues are the reason why Belgium became a federal state in 1992, but a very particular one, which is organised in an unique way (nowhere else in the world you will ever find such a complicated structure).
So language issues are very important here, but that is if you talk about politics. Although flemish people will sometimes blame the frenchspeaking part if something bad has happened, and vice verse.
But if you really want to understand this situation, you should know our history,..., and that would mean that I would have to give you a course of a few 100 pages.