The is Manneken Pis
from Brussels and this is Manneken Pis
from Geraardsbergen. Which statue was first?
Who is this boy? Why is he wearing clothes?
Why does it bother the Belgians so much? Does it really bother the Belgians?
Who are the Belgians? We have a lot of work today.
Let’s get to it. Outside of the Auditorium In this series, we are trying to understand
the culture, the customs, and the nature of the European countries. At least those that are participating
in the Eurovision…. this year. But as opposed to most of the countries
that have one single national group and one main language and culture,
in Belgium, the situation is… a little complicated. History Lesson (a quick one) Let’s keep it simple.
In Belgium there are 2 main groups: The Flemish community
that speaks Dutch and the Wallonia community
that speaks French. These are their two symbols. The regions populated by these communities were a battleground of the ruling forces in Europe
for many years. Let’s see how it looks on the map. The Romans conquered them.
Then Germanic tribes, the Spaniards, and later on,
the Austrians from the House of Habsburg, and for decades to follow,
the French as well. After Napoleon was defeated
in the beginning of the 19th century, the forces decided to unite the Belgian lands
with Holland to create a large buffer state
between France and Germany. But the Flemish and Wallonians,
who are both Catholic, quickly tired of the Protestant King of Holland and with the help of the French, decided to withdraw from Holland
and create an independent state. So easy, next! What else is important to know? Don’t eat the props!
-I’m not eating the props. Did you know that the Belgians
do not eat pretzels? Like these.
Because they don’t know how to untie them. What a riot! I can’t even pretend that it is funny. That was a French joke poking fun
at the Belgians. It may not be nice to admit,
but there’s a bit of truth in it. After almost 200 years of independence, not only didn’t the Belgians manage to unite, but they also managed
to complicate their own lives with all sorts of odd bureaucratic divisions
and endless arguments about ruling the country. Let’s explain with graphics. The country is divided into three sections. This is Flanders where they speak Flemish.
And this is Wallonia, where they speak French. Brussels, the capital city, is the third section. It is located in the Flemish area,
but has a Wallonian majority. Simple, right?
But each region has its own government which is responsible for control of the area,
and also preserves the features of the community. How? Let’s say
you are a Flemish person living in Wallonia. Well, the Wallonian authorities will take care
of things like waste removal. Wallonion or Wallonian? Other services, like pensions, will be taken care of
by the main government in Brussels but your cultural and educational services
will be supplied by the government of Flanders. Now, the next category. Not Very Important Facts
(well, maybe a little bit) Maybe because they are small, divided,
and were conquered from every direction, the Belgians don’t have much national pride until it comes to beer, which is recognized
by UNESCO, and food. Examples?
They invented the waffle during the Middle Ages. By the way, the waffle we are familiar with
is the American version of the Belgium waffle. It is not 100% the same thing.
You should try the original. Another one? The mussels? The fries that were developed
around the 17th century and of course, the chocolate that they managed to upgrade
until they became super power in that area. It helped that they had an inexpensive
and quality supply from Africa but let’s not expand on that. I suggest you look on Google for
Leopold II and the Atrocities in Congo. Chocolate. Comics also has a historic role
in the Belgium culture thanks to characters such as the Smurfs,
Tin Tin and Lucky Luke, the Snorks and many more characters
that we aren’t so familiar with over here like Suske and Wiske, whom I just heard about
today for the first time, but they shaped entire generations
of children in Belgium. True, the sector isn’t so popular anymore,
but hey, they still have a ratio of more cartoonists in the
population than anywhere else in the world including Japan. Now, last but not least: The most popular Belgian icon in the world and the ultimate proof that Belgians
have a sense of humor about themselves… The Little Pisser, or his original name:
Manneken Pis. Historians do not know
the real story behind this statue but there are many legends about it. For example, that it saved Brussels
from the invasion of foreign armies by peeing on the enemy forces. The original statue was set in place in 1619
and the current one is only a replica. And in the village of Geraardsbergen,
west of Brussels, they insist that their statue was the first and that it was built 160 years beforehand,
in 1459. But Brussels is not a pushover, and they have proof from 1451
that the city had its own Little Pisser. Made out of stone, but still… By the way, the statue itself is pretty small.
Only 24 inches. That’s all. But it generates an entire industry.
It’s crazy. There is even a museum that displays
clothes made for the statue for different events. It is such a successful business that in 1987,
just a stone’s throw away you can find the Little Girl Pisser,
Jeanneke Pis. And just a few minutes walk from her,
you can find the Dog Pisser, which was built in 1998.
We have those everywhere! The absolutely last category… Words You Have To Know The official languages in Belgium
are Flemish, French and German. But their local versions are different
from the proper dialect that are spoken in Holland, France
and Germany. That mainly causes the Dutch and the French
to laugh at the Belgians, who sound inarticulate and stupid. Even so, let’s hear a taste
of a few popular phrases in Belgium that are also well known in Holland. “He did not eat the cheese there.”
That means he didn’t understand. “There wasn’t even a cat.”
That’s how you say no one showed up. Like we say sometimes,
“Nobody here but us chickens.” And last but not least: “This will frog you.”
Or “This will turn you into a frog.” That’s how you say
this will make you feel better. Like winning the Eurovision. Daar kikker je van op.
– Daar kikker je van op. Daar kikker je van op. Nǐ hǎo.
-It came out in Chinese. Daar kikker je van op.