• Slovakia!

    Slovakia: Tatra Mountains. Go Now!

    Slovakia
    The Tatra Mountains (pictured) form the backdrop of this rural country, whose culture is rooted in this beautiful landscape. Go Now!

  • 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!

  • 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!

  • Finland!

    Finland: Finnish Sauna. Go Now!

    Finland
    Unlike its neighbors, the Finns are unique ethnically & linguistically, but are wholly European in many other ways. Begin Your Journey!

Social Life in Belgium

Behavior

The Belgians are very well aware of the world around them as well as the differences in opinions and behaviors. Because of this they are quite understanding of various cultures and foreigners so odd behaviors are generally accepted (but not encouraged).

Your behavior should begin with modesty as being loud, rude, showing off wealth, or dressing provocatively will get you stares. Likewise, placing yourself above others or boasting is viewed negatively, whether that be in your attitude, talking about finances, making others wait for you at a meeting, polluting their environment, or even in personal relationships. Putting others down gets the same reaction; Belgians view men, women, minorities, and people of all sexual orientations as equals and not doing the same can be very offensive.

As a visitor to Belgium, try to follow the lead of the locals by being modest, dressing in like manner (see below for details), dining in the local etiquette (see our Belgium Dining & Food Page), and avoiding sensitive conversation topics such as politics, finances, and business unless initiated by your local counterpart.

Dress

The traditional dress in Belgium is quite diverse, particularly since the people are somewhat diverse, being divided essentially into the Flemish and the Walloons. These people wore differing traditional dress, but there were many similarities as well. For the Flemish, most women wore long dress with long sleeves. The top often contained a bodice and often an apron was worn over the dress. The men generally wore pants and shirts, much as most of Europe did throughout various times in history. For the Walloon men and women, the dress was very similar, but often times the Walloons had more patterns and decoration in their dresses.

Today the people of Belgium, no matter their ethnicity, wear modern western-styled clothing. In general, the Belgians dress on the more formal side, this is especially true in Brussels during the work week since the European Union Commission is based here and many members spend Monday through Friday here. As a visitor, just try to dress for the occasion, but try to error on the side of formality and more conservative dress.

This page was last updated: November, 2013