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Thread: G'day

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    G'day

    Well, how to start..

    I'm 21 years old, Belgian, male. I consider my religion as a personal postmodern nature religion, Celtic and Germanic inspired. With that I mean that I don't see my religion as something Celtic or Germanic from the Celtic or Germanic tribes. That doesn't fit in my view of history. My religion is a personal one, with elements of what I believe are Celtic and/or Germanic mixed in it.

    What else make me 'me'.. I'm a history student with the Iron Age (~800 - 52 BCE; thus more specifically the 'Celtic' Iron Age) as main period. I enjoy reading (fantasy, horror, thriller, literature etc.), computer stuff (games, internet etc.), reënactment (Celtic of course; mainly La Tène-period). I like nature, walking, working with people (for example kids).

    I arrived on this forum by some staffmember I met last saturday on a familyreunion (or something like that), but I don't know his nickname (& forgot his IRL name, if that would matter). Ah well, I'm sure he'll recognise me, if he'll read this post.

    What else would you guys (and girls) would like to know of me? Feel free to ask!
    I'll read every question, but I can't promise I'll answer all of them.

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    Welcome here, Dumnorix. I've not heard of peoples calling themselves Belgian on this forum before. What is meant by it specifically? Flemish or Walloon? What are your views on separatisms in Belgium?

    Anyway, I hope you enjoy the stay.

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    Yeah, I noticed that when I was reading some threads in the Dutch speaking part of the forum.

    I call myself Belgian since it's my nationality, as written on my birthcertificate. I don't see myself as Flemish, even though I lived all my life in Flanders.
    But to be honest, I don't care that much for Belgium, or for Flanders. I prefer to call me European or a cosmopolitan, but that isn't quite practical to introduce yourself with, since no-one would know from where you are, what your mothertongue is etc. xD

    Separatism is Belgium.. It's not that I fully oppose it, since Belgium as a country means not that much for me. I just have my question marks with the problem 'Brussels' (What to do with it? Is it a part of Flanders? Is it a part of Wallonia? Or is it some third group, like some strong voices in Brussel say? We can't forget that more or less 4 million, almost half the population, works in or around Brussels (city of more or less 1 million inhabitants), we may not put their opinions aside!), the 'Monarchy' (What do we do with them?

    Historically speaking is Flanders full of Catholic monarchists, so do we change the 'king of Belgians' to the 'king of Flanders', even though the monarchy in Belgium is a sign of the whole country. And what if the Walloons want them? Or do we choose for another king, republic, whatever? And what happens with the king in that scenario or what will be the international respons to pushing aside the king? Note: I don't care about the king myself; monarchy, republic, I don't think it will have much difference for us common folks; the Belgian king has already only a ceremonial function..), the problem 'age' (If we take a look at statistics we can see that even though Flanders is economicaly huge at this moment, the people are getting older with not that much youth, the population is aging very fast.

    At this moment that's not much of a problem, but I don't know if I want to be here in 25 - 50 years.. In Wallonia you have almost a mirrorsituation: the economy is at this moment not worth that much (I think there was a stronger region, Luxembourg, is that possible? I don't have numbers of that, I should check Statbel..), but there is no population aging as Flanders. The population there (especially on the axis Brussels - Luxembourg) has a large portion of -20 years. (I think more or less 25 - 30%, comparing to 15 - 20% in many parts of Flanders, statistics of 2008)

    Adding to that on the same axis Brussels - Luxembourg (with Luxembourg as Wallonian centre, since Brussels is Brussels) we see on statistics of 2001 that there are many persons with superior studies (university or 'hogeschool', I don't know how you call the latter in English), more than in Flanders. And since there are more young people in Wallonia, there is a higher amount of people that can study. So we can conclude that a major part of our future lies in the Wallonian youth!), the problem 'economy' (While it's true that Flanders is strong at this moment (let's neglate the crisis for this, since it hits almost everyone), we have to keep in mind that in the 19th Century Wallonia was an economic giant & Flanders was a poor peasant region (Largely spoken, I know that the picture has more details, for example that it was mainly the regions around Charleroi etc. that was strong, the hinterland like Luxembourg were also on a much smaller, agricultural scale & in Flanders you had some strong centers like Ghent; but largely spoken it was Wallonia who put Belgium on the economical map in the 19th century). But the coal economy, steel economy and the mines collapsed.

    When I listen a bit to economic chitchat, I hear sometimes that the Flemish economy is not what it was. The interesting sectors seem to move again.. It even seems that in southern Wallonia, regions like Luxembourg, are rising fast. Adding that to the 'age' problem, I wouldn't just put Wallonia aside. An economy fluctuates; sometimes Flanders is stronger, sometimes Wallonia is stronger ('Arm Vlaanderen' versus 'Arm Wallonië'). I wouldn't use an economic situation as a main argument for a division of a state, but maybe that's just me..), the problem 'Flanders' (What is Flanders? The County Flanders? But than you'll need a piece of France & you'll throw away Brabant. The Counties Flanders, Brabant and maybe Luik? Than you'll need a piece of Flanders and the Netherlands.

    The contemporary Flanders? Is that with or without Brussels? Another question is what the new capital will be? Brussels? Ghent? Antwerp? Brugge? Hasselt? Or maybe some less significant city so you don't disappoint the province capitals that aren't chosen?) or maybe the problem 'what after?' (I hear many opinions in the separastic camps: Flanders independant with Brussels, Flanders independant without Brussels, Flanders with Germany, Flanders with Germany & the Netherlands, Flanders with the Netherlands, Flanders with the Netherlands (but without Fryslân), Flanders with Fryslân (but without the rest of the Netherlands), Flanders united with French Flandres (Lille, Douai etc.) etc. It seems to me that before one goes independant, you have to agree (if possible democratically) what to do with your piece of land. That's still a long way to go, in my humble opinion.)

    Those six main questions have raised a large number of new questions that I like to have answered before we do something rash. I want to add that these 'main questions' and the other questions are just a sample of the questions that could be asked.

    What I find myself a bit funny, or maybe sad, is that it's always Flanders versus Wallonia, or sometimes Flanders versus Brussels versus Wallonia. Where is the German-speaking community in this story, the Ost-Kantone? Last time I heard something of these often forgotten fellows, they were negotiating between Flanders and Wallonia. What is their opinion? What do they want?

    I heared voices to make the East Cantons an autonomous region in Belgium (nowadays it's part of Wallonia), but that's still Belgium.


    TL;DR:
    I want clear plans that are supported by a majority before one makes the move of separatism. Some of the questions you could answer to make these plans are above.


    Well, I hope that block of text is not too confusing (or not with too many grammatical or vocabulary mistakes).

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    Welcome from England, I too am an archaeologist (in England if you study the Iron-Age you would not really call yourself a historian) I have written a few papers on the Iron-age in Scotland, and I won the Owen Templeman prize for Celtic studies or a paper I submitted on Brochs in Caithness, Scotland.

    Maybe you have read some of my supervises books The Earlier Iron Age in Britain and the Near Continent by Rachel Pope ? She has done quite a bit of archeology in the Netherlands as well. Also have you read anything by JD Hill, he and my current supervisor have just written a new book on Celtic art,

    I now am a Neolithic nutter, you have to be mad to study the Neolithic, and I am writing my thesis on a comparison on Swedish and British Rock-art.

    Anyway good to have another historian/archaeologist here.

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    Welkom.
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    - Sir Richard Steele

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dumnorix View Post
    I arrived on this forum by some staffmember I met last saturday on a familyreunion (or something like that), but I don't know his nickname (& forgot his IRL name, if that would matter). Ah well, I'm sure he'll recognise me, if he'll read this post.
    Yep, that would be me. Welcome aboard. I just noticed that hammer of Thor hanging around your neck, and that's how we got to talk.

    we have to keep in mind that in the 19th Century Wallonia was an economic giant & Flanders was a poor peasant region (Largely spoken, I know that the picture has more details, for example that it was mainly the regions around Charleroi etc. that was strong, the hinterland like Luxembourg were also on a much smaller, agricultural scale & in Flanders you had some strong centers like Ghent; but largely spoken it was Wallonia who put Belgium on the economical map in the 19th century). But the coal economy, steel economy and the mines collapsed.
    The Walloons profited from pre-1830 Dutch investments in their industry, and the Flemish workforce laboring in their mines in less than ideal circumstances - that's why 1/3 of the Walloons has Flemish roots, since all migrants had no other choice than to adopt the French language. It's true, Flanders experienced a black century, on the other hand, the Belgian state contributed to our backwardness and poverty by its educational policy and and disproportional taxing of Flanders. Yes, even in those days when the Francophones had a nice thing going for themselves, as the work of professor Juul Hannes teaches us.

    When I listen a bit to economic chitchat, I hear sometimes that the Flemish economy is not what it was. The interesting sectors seem to move again..
    Sure, the fact that the Francophones don't want to give up their dream of a Franco-Belgian state, with them behind the steering wheel, has a lot to do with it. Hence their refusal to reform the state, even though Flanders is seeking a state reform since '99 - when economically speaking, times were good for Flanders. And Flanders can't miss out on 12 billion euro every year, disappearing into a black hole, and still be prosperous.

    Adding that to the 'age' problem, I wouldn't just put Wallonia aside.
    Only making babies will settle the problem, nothing else. And our society is not build to accommodate larger families, because we have the wrong (materialistic) priorities. More Francophone workers in Flanders? They've always been a rarity. And even if they'd come and work in Flanders, it will only speed up the process of Romanisation. The only result will be an expansion of the borders of Brussels.

    Plus, the Francophones are facing the same demographic problems as ourselves. They're 'younger' statistically speaking, because of the Francophone immigrants in Brussels - yet Brussels is the Mekka of the unemployed.

    I have to conclude that the whole "the Francophones are going to save us" notion is an illusion - it was never a reality, not even 150 years ago, when they could've helped us out.

    As soon as Flemish Brabant becomes absorbed by Brussels, and Flanders has no more money it can spend on the Franco-Belgian state, they'll dump us.

    Don't underestimate them, we Flemings always do that - it's like a chicken trusting a fox. They know how to send us to bed again with their fancy stories and promises - and feodal slavery masked as solidarity, and repression as 'tolerance'. They understand the Flemish psychology, but we don't understand theirs, and it leads us to ruin.

    Look around you - Belgium is coming down, crashing to the ground - if Flemings still not see this, it's because they're living in a Francophone created reality.

    I wouldn't use an economic situation as a main argument for a division of a state, but maybe that's just me..),
    I agree, I'm a Flemish seperatist by principle, by historical necessity. I prefer to be poor but independent.

    the problem 'Flanders' (What is Flanders? The County Flanders? But than you'll need a piece of France & you'll throw away Brabant. The Counties Flanders, Brabant and maybe Luik? Than you'll need a piece of Flanders and the Netherlands.
    Let's just stick with the current day borders of Flanders, the area we know as Flanders, governed by the Flemish state - shall we?

    I want clear plans that are supported by a majority before one makes the move of separatism. Some of the questions you could answer to make these plans are above.
    I understand, I also want a clear majority - but make no mistake, Flemish nationalism has never been as strong as it is right now, and that majority is taking form. Although when the US became independent, no more than 1/3 of its population backed the rebels, let's say they were the moral majority. Of course, this was a violent episode, and this is a scenario I want to avoid as well.
    “Liberalism is the exoteric religion of the financial oligarchs, the high priests of Mammon who rule the West. Appealing to the vanity and self-regard of the profane, they manufacture consent by way of elections, propaganda and all manner of distractive spectacle. Manipulation of the popular consciousness, a black art honed to new levels of refinement over the last century, is now accomplished through electronic memes and quite literal programming in television, music and film. An inverted hierarchy will promote inverted values. Who among us today honors saints and warriors past as heroes worthy of our emulation? Under the usury bankster regime, we instead offer adoration to the savage and the harlot.” — Mark Hackard, from ‘Counterfeit Paradise'

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