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episode 111: Food for thought
In the current turbulent climate of division and friction between regions, nations, independent states, or whatever stance and its respective preferred nomenclature you wish, any reinforcement or celebration of unity is very much welcome. The recent international event, organized by the International Department here in UEV on the 27th October had precisely the commendable aim of presenting the country of Belgium, home to many of our incoming Erasmus students, and how an apparently divided country regionally, is at heart a strong unified one.
Open any news site and Belgium’s European administrative quarter will be staring you in the face, so although geographically it is a small country, Belgium is undoubtedly a European heavyweight. With this in mind, a small number of our Belgian Erasmus students gave a talk with an engaging insight into Belgian life, and not only delighted the audience with the more folkloric aspects in the guise of Belgian chocolate, beer and how the Manneken Pis now has a female counterpart, but also provided us with a personal perspective of how the Belgians acknowledge and respect the cultural, political and social melting pot they have learned to live in, becoming a unified one when the occasion calls for it. Food for thought. And as we are on the subject of food, the talk was followed by a spread of gaufres, cuberdons, and speculoos, some home-baked (thanks Jennifer Leroux!).
Really, the only division evident in the whole event was a liking for either the Brussels or the Liege waffle. Thanks to all that participated.
Dr. Lynn Summerfield