• Bulgaria!

    Bulgaria: An old Turkish bridge. Go Now!

    Bulgaria
    The isolated mountains of Bulgaria hide cultural gems around every corner, including this old Turkish bridge in the Rhodopi Mountains. Explore Bulgaria!

  • Italy!

    Italy: Rome' historic buildings. Go Now!

    Italy
    Crumbling buildings in Rome (pictured) only add to the atmosphere in a country where old is redefined and western civilization begins. Explore Italy!

  • Portugal!

    Portugal: Palace of Pena. Go Now!

    Portugal
    Although next to the seas and made famous by trade, Portugal boasts dynamic landscapes and architecture, including the Palace of Pena (pictured) near the town of Sintra. Go to Portugal!

  • Denmark!

    Denmark: Landscape. Go Now!

    Denmark
    From cities like Copenhagen to islands, beaches, and vast fields (pictured), Denmark offers incredible history, architecture, scenery, and more. Begin Your Journey!

  • Czech Republic!

    Czech Republic: Astronomical Clock in Prague. Go Now!

    Czech Republic
    The Astronomical Clock in Prague (pictured) makes every tourist list, but the towns, including Cesky Krumlov, and the mountains offer a change of pace. Go Now!

  • Armenia!

    Armenia: Noravank Monastery. Go Now!

    Armenia
    With a unique language, foods, architecture, and identity, Armenia is a fascinating country and culture unlike no other in the world. Begin Your Journey!

Ethnicity, Language, & Religion of Belgium

Ethnicity

About two thirds of the people living in Belgium are Flemish, but the Walloons make up a significant minority group (nearly a third of the population). The Flemish people are identical, ethnically and linguistically, to the Dutch in the Netherlands, but identify quite differently due to cultural and political differences. The Walloons are a people a little more difficult to define; they are French-speaking and nearly identical to the French genetically, but claim a distinct ethnicity. These people have lived in this region of Belgium for a long time and identify as Walloons, a definition primarily based on cultural and historic differences, not genetic differences, although they do exist.

Language

Belgium has three official languages: Dutch, French, and German. The Flemish generally speak Dutch, which is sometimes referred to as Flemish, the Walloons speak French and a very small minority in the east speaks German. Dutch and German are similar in that they are both Germanic languages, but Dutch has many similarities to English. French is a Romance language and is more closely related to other Latin-based languages, such as Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, and Romanian.

Most people in Belgium grow up learning all three official languages as well as English. It is not uncommon for the people to be fluent in all four languages.

Religion

Most of the people in Belgium are Catholic; nearly all the Walloons are Catholic and most of the Flemish are also Catholic, although a minority group of Flemish adheres to Christian Protestant religions.

Catholicism is a Christian religion that is one of the first Christian religions (founded after the death of Jesus in about 30-33 AD). Catholicism believes that there is a single God who created everything, a savior, the son of God, Jesus Christ who is the forgiver of sins, and there is the Holy Spirit, which makes up the last part of the Holy Trinity. Catholics follow the teachings of the Bible, consisting of the Old and New Testaments. Much of the faith is based on the life and teachings of Jesus, which is found in the gospels (in the New Testament).

Continue reading on Safari the Globe to Learn the Catholic Church's doctrines, liturgy, symbolism, traditions, & hierarchy

This page was last updated: May, 2014