Do you know "Belgium"? ベルギーって言う国知ってますか?
9.2K views | +1 today
Follow
 
Scooped by Kuniko
onto Do you know "Belgium"? ベルギーって言う国知ってますか?
Scoop.it!

Belgium: Where to Celebrate National Day

Belgium: Where to Celebrate National Day | Do you know "Belgium"? ベルギーって言う国知ってますか? | Scoop.it
With three explicit regions (Brussels-Capital, Flemish, Walloon), community and linguistic groups (Dutch, French, German), Belgium has a somewhat complicated relationship with federalism and nationalism. But despite (or often because of) Belgium’s strong regionalistic sentiments, the one parliamentary state, one democratic constitutional monarchy experiment endures.

It is a complex marriage, however, and, indeed, a very expensive one. No other politcal system on the continent, in fact, costs more as a percentage of G.D.P. Nonetheless, Belgium soldiers on and, occasional grumbles of secessionism aside, makes a good show of it every July 21 for la fête nationale.

With that and above and beyond Brussels, of course, discover where to celebrate National Day in beautiful Belgium this year....

 

Brussels

The de facto E.U. capital and capital of Belgium is one of the most cosmopolitan urban pivots on the continent and envelops a metro populace of close to 2 million people. The best spots to enjoy National Day events include Parc de Bruxelles (concerts), Place des Palais (military procession and fireworks), Place Royale, Place du Musée and Rue de la Régence (parade). The nonpareil Grand-Place hops with patriotic energy on July 21 as well...

 

more...
No comment yet.
Do you know "Belgium"? ベルギーって言う国知ってますか?
Such a small & minor country but... マイナーな小国、しかし・・
Curated by Kuniko
Your new post is loading...
Your new post is loading...
Scooped by Kuniko
Scoop.it!

Belgium among world’s least religious countries

Belgium among world’s least religious countries | Do you know "Belgium"? ベルギーって言う国知ってますか? | Scoop.it
Belgium is one of the least religious countries in the world, according to a recent study published by market research firm WIN/Gallup International. The study surveyed 63,898 people in 65 countries and found that 44% of Belgians consider themselves to be religious, while 30% say they are not religious and 18% are atheist.

The results show that Belgium is in line with the rest of Western Europe, where 43% of the population are religious, 37% not religious and 14% atheist. The least religious country in Europe is Sweden, with only 19% believers and about 78% non-believers or atheists. The Czech Republic follows closely behind, with only 23% of its population following a religion, as does the Netherlands, with 26%. In France, 40% consider themselves religious.

According to the study, 63% of the world population is religious, a number which continues to grow. One in five worldwide are non-believers, and 11% are atheist. The most religious regions are Africa (86%) and the Middle East and North Africa (82%). Thailand (94%) is the most religious country in the world, while China’s population includes 61% convinced atheists.

WIN/Gallup also examined the relationship between gender, age, income, education and religion, and found that people with a higher income tend to be less religious, while 70% of people with a low or average income are more religious. The group of convinced atheists surveyed generally have an above-average income.
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Kuniko
Scoop.it!

Did you know that the Duffle coat is originally from Belgium? | Focus on Belgium

Did you know that the Duffle coat is originally from Belgium? | Focus on Belgium | Do you know "Belgium"? ベルギーって言う国知ってますか? | Scoop.it
The Duffle coat dates from the Middle Ages and originates from Duffel, near Mechelen. This coat, made from thick woollen cloth, lined at the shoulders with two large patch pockets, features a large hood and special fasteners.  It is named for the material it is made from, duffle, which is derived from Duffel, a small town in Belgium from where the material originates.
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Kuniko
Scoop.it!

Brussels launches photo contest starring local pets

Brussels launches photo contest starring local pets | Do you know "Belgium"? ベルギーって言う国知ってますか? | Scoop.it
In celebration of International Animal Day, Brussels minister for animal welfare Bianca Debaets has launched a photo contest for local residents and their pets. The Brussels resident with the most original photo starring his or her pet, wins a prize of €200, writes Bruzz.

Debaets chose World Animal Day on 4 October to launch the original pet photo contest, with an aim to draw attention to the important role animals play in our everyday lives.

"This contest is a nod to the important role pets play in the lives of so many Brussels inhabitants,” Debaets announced in a press release. "We must not forget that, for some, a pet provides companionship throughout the day."

Residents of the Brussels-Capital Region who wish to participate are encouraged to post their favourite pet photo on the contest Facebook page, where a public vote and the opinion of a photo jury will determine the winner.

The first prize is €200 euros, while the second- and third place winners receive a prize of €150 each. Pet owners in each of the following six municipalities are also eligible to win a €200 prize: Anderlecht, Ixelles, Molenbeek, Schaerbeek, Saint-Josse-ten-Node and Uccle.

The contest runs until 30 October.
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Kuniko
Scoop.it!

Petition to save penis mural in Saint-Gilles gathers pace

Petition to save penis mural in Saint-Gilles gathers pace | Do you know "Belgium"? ベルギーって言う国知ってますか? | Scoop.it
A petition calling for the preservation of the large mural of a penis on the side of a building in the Brussels commune of Saint-Gilles has already collected more than 2,100 signatures. After 2,500 signatures, the initiators can take their plea to the aldermen of the municipality, writes Bruzz.

A Facebook group for the cause, 'Touche pas à mon zizi', meanwhile is also gathering support, with nearly 4,000 likes already since the group was founded one week ago. It was launched shortly after the news was announced that the aldermen of Saint-Gilles want to see the mural removed.

The Facebook group inspired the start of the successful petition, 'Sauvez le penis /Red de penis' on avaaz.org. "Because every form of creativity in our city is important, we are calling for the penis mural to stay. As a counterweight to all of the ready-made 'tourist street art' imposed upon Brussels residents,” reads the petition.
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Kuniko
Scoop.it!

Belgium unveils plans for its own highly intrusive Snoopers’ Charter

Belgium unveils plans for its own highly intrusive Snoopers’ Charter | Do you know "Belgium"? ベルギーって言う国知ってますか? | Scoop.it

Belgium's government has called for a bevy of intrusive surveillance powers. New capabilities included in the bill, which has been sent to Belgian parliament, include requiring Internet companies to cooperate with law enforcement agencies during their investigations; giving investigators the power to break into systems and access data, including by paying hackers to do so; and allowing undercover agents to break the law online.

According to a report in the Belgian newspaper L'Echo, the new bill requires communications service providers to help the authorities with their investigation, and specifically mentions WhatsApp and Viber as services that will be required to comply. That would seem to raise the problem of end-to-end encryption that other countries are grappling with, including the UK, but it is not clear what the Belgian government hopes to do here...

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Kuniko
Scoop.it!

“Up to 169 euro more expensive for the same tap water”

“Up to 169 euro more expensive for the same tap water” | Do you know "Belgium"? ベルギーって言う国知ってますか? | Scoop.it
There are big regional variation in what we pay for our drinking water. For example those of you living in Flemish Brabant are paying more than those of you living in Antwerp province. The Flemish socialist party says that this in unfair and is calling for one traffic to be introduced across Flanders for basic water requirements.
Consumers are for the most part blissfully unaware, but the price we pay for our water can vary greatly according to where we live. With the abolition of the free water a new system for calculation water bills has been in place since the beginning of June.

No everyone pays a set rate (that is the same everywhere) and in addition the price of the water that they have consumed.

This can vary greatly from province to province.
A family of 5 living in the art of Flemish Brabant served by the IWVB water company pays 169 euro/annum more than a family of 5 from Antwerp that is served by the cheapest water company Pidpa.

The figures are based on calculations made by the Flemish socialist MP Rob Beenders.

In an interview with the daily ‘Het Nieuwsblad’, Mr Beenders said. “This is not fair as you can’t choose which water company you use. You are obliged to use the company that serves your area and can’t do any other that pay what they ask. It is a question of luck or dire misfortune”. Mr Beenders and his party are in favour of a uniform tariff across Flanders.

However, Marc Buysse of The Flemish Federation of Drinking Water Companies Aquaflanders has explained previously that this would not be possible.

"There are various factors at play here. For example less investment is required in pipes and infrastructure in urban areas. There are also differences in costs related to water that is on the surface (in reservoirs) and water that is pumped up from bore holes.”
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Kuniko
Scoop.it!

First child dies by euthanasia in Belgium

First child dies by euthanasia in Belgium | Do you know "Belgium"? ベルギーって言う国知ってますか? | Scoop.it
A terminally ill minor has become the first child to be euthanized in Belgium since age restrictions were lifted in the country two years ago, according to several sources.

A Belgian lawmaker told CNN affiliate VTM that the physician-assisted suicide happened within the past week.
The child, who was suffering from an incurable disease, had asked for euthanasia, Sen. Jean-Jacques De Gucht told VTM. The identity of the child and age are unknown.
"I think it's very important that we, as a society, have given the opportunity to those people to decide for themselves in what manner they cope with that situation," said Gucht, a supporter of euthanasia legislation.
Wim Distelmans, who chairs Belgium's Federal Control and Evaluation Committee on Euthanasia, told state broadcaster RTBF that fortunately few children had demanded mercy killing but "that does not mean we should deny them the right to a dignified death."
Belgium legalized euthanasia in 2002 for those in "constant and unbearable physical or mental suffering that cannot be alleviated." Minors were included in the original proposals but removed from the final legislation in the face of political opposition.
In 2014, the bill extended the "right to die" to those under the age of 18. But there were additional strict conditions, including that the child was judged to be able to understand what euthanasia means.
Consent of parents or guardians must also be given.
"This can only be in cases of serious and incurable diseases, which is the same thing for adults ... but for minors an additional condition is that the death must be expected in the near future," Jacqueline Herremans told RTBF. Herremans is the president of Belgium's Association for the Right to Die with Dignity and also a member of the federal committee on euthanasia.
Belgium is the only country that allows euthanasia for children of any age.
The Netherlands also allows mercy killings for children, but only for those 12 and over. It became the first country to legalize euthanasia in April 2002.
Physician-assisted suicide is legal in five US states. Individuals have the option under state law in Oregon, Vermont, Washington and California. In Montana, it is an option given to individuals via court decision. They must have a terminal illness as well as a prognosis of six months or less to live. Physicians cannot be prosecuted for prescribing medications to hasten death.
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Kuniko
Scoop.it!

About MIXITY.brussels 2017 - Mixity

About MIXITY.brussels 2017 - Mixity | Do you know "Belgium"? ベルギーって言う国知ってますか? | Scoop.it
183 nationalities live in Brussels.
If you pay attention, you could hear up to 104 languages being spoken ​​on public transport.
'Zinnekes' (a Brussels word for mongrel dogs): nearly two-thirds of the Brussels population has foreign roots, from all corners of the world.
How many capitals can you be? Capital of Belgium, Flanders, the French Community, as well as the capital of over 500 million Europeans. Brussels is a capital to an exponential degree.
The cultural offer is dizzying. With even more cultural events per capita than New York. Brussels is brimming with concert halls, art galleries, theatres, dance companies, interdisciplinary festivals, museums, designers, art collectives, cartoon characters and so on.
Brussels would not be a metropolis if its diversity would not reflect on its plates: not only can almost any cuisine in the world be found here, your taste buds will be spoiled by the authentic craftsmanship of the cooks. Brussels a paradise for foodies!
Some quick figures: Brussels is the head office of 2000 international organisations, 20 institutions of the EU, 42 intergovernmental organisations and employs just under 1,000 international journalists (to 1,700 during European summits), more than 20,000 lobbyists, 29 international schools, four European Schools 5,400 diplomats (more than Washington!) and 300 regional offices!
"Et quand il y en a plus, il y en a encore." Brussels is also the main conference city in Europe and after Singapore in the world.
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Kuniko
Scoop.it!

10 Of The Best Hostels In Belgium

10 Of The Best Hostels In Belgium | Do you know "Belgium"? ベルギーって言う国知ってますか? | Scoop.it
Traveling can eat a hole in your wallet, which is why we've prepared you a list of the best, penny-pinching hostels for when you make it to Belgium.
more...
No comment yet.
Rescooped by Kuniko from World of Street & Outdoor Arts
Scoop.it!

An Architecture Lover’s Guide To Brussels

An Architecture Lover’s Guide To Brussels | Do you know "Belgium"? ベルギーって言う国知ってますか? | Scoop.it
A look at the Belgian capital's standout architectural accomplishments, from Victor Horta's Art Nouveau mansions to a glazed arcade ahead of its time.
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Kuniko
Scoop.it!

The Brussels Times - Freemasonry in Belgium: Discrete and mysterious but open to all?

The Brussels Times - Freemasonry in Belgium: Discrete and mysterious but open to all? | Do you know "Belgium"? ベルギーって言う国知ってますか? | Scoop.it

Among the many museums in Brussels, the Belgian Museum of Freemasonry, located at 73 Rue de Laeken in the city centre, is arguably one of the most fascinating ones. Freemasonry is an ancient order of brotherhood, surrounded by myths of secrecy, but here we have a museum that declares, at the entrance, its intention to enhance transparency and to shed some light on the ideology and history of Freemasonry in Belgium. 

The museum contains an exhibition in the so-called meditation hall where new candidates applying to become members of the Freemason lodge are received. There is also a “Temple” inside the building where the ceremonies take place. Access to the Temple is allowed for guided groups but the ceremonies are not open to non-members.

Once a secretive organization persecuted by totalitarian Fascist, Nazi and Communist regimes alike, Freemasonry is today a much more open association with “Grand Lodges” in many countries. However, its origin is still shrouded in mystery.

Historical traditions

There are basically two historical traditions: the Biblical one and the mediaeval one. According to the Biblical tradition, which seems to be the dominant one and is reflected in the symbols of most national lodges, Jerusalem, where the Temple of King Solomon was located, is the cradle of Freemasonry. King Solomon is considered to be the first Grand Master of Freemasonry.

The name Jerusalem contains “salem” which in Hebrew means peace and perfection. These are two important concepts in Freemasonry and relate both to the outside world and to the inner self of the individual. A Talmudic saying talks about “builders”: “What are bana´im (Hebrew= builders), asked Rabbi Jochanan: They are scholars who are engaged all their days in the building of the world”.

An archaeological site linked to the Masonic legend can be found in Jerusalem. It is the so-called Zedkiyahu’s cave, located near the Damascus gate of the old city in Jerusalem and named after the last king of the kingdom of Judah.

Stones are supposed to have been quarried there for the first Temple of King Solomon in the mid-tenth century BCE and–after its destruction by the Babylonians in 587 BCE–the second Temple which was later rebuilt by King Herodes and destroyed by the Romans in 70 CE.

From the entrance to the cave, the main path leads for nearly 235 meters until it reaches a large cave called “The Freemasons Hall”. During the British mandate period, chunks of stone were quarried from the rock in the cave and dispatched by sea to various countries to be used as foundation stones for newly erected Masonic lodges.

According to the other tradition, Freemasonry dates from the Templars and other Christian knights’ orders in the Crusader Kingdom in Jerusalem and later in Europe through the Middle Ages. Some national lodges were influenced by these orders and limited membership to Christians. Ironically, Freemasons and Jews were both targets of anti-Semitic propaganda.

When Nazism came to power in Germany, it started a campaign to destroy both Freemasons and Jews. In Brussels, an anti-Freemason and anti-Jewish exhibition took place in 1943 close to where the Freemason museum is located today. Belgian freemasons were persecuted and murdered by the Nazi occupiers and their quislings.

Universal brotherhood

Historically, the modern version of Freemasonry originated in England with the establishment in 1717 of the Grand Lodge of England, the “mother lodge” of all lodges. From there, Freemasonry spread to Scotland and countries on the continent under the jurisdiction of already established lodges. They were probably preceded by guilds of apprentices, craftsmen and masters in building...

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Kuniko
Scoop.it!

The Top 10 Beautiful Squares In Belgium

Discover ten of the finest squares to be found in Belgium, each with a particular nostalgic quality.
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Kuniko
Scoop.it!

10 Quiet Places In Brussels To Escape To

...Brussels can be a hectic place. Rush hour, Saturday shopping, the European quarter, the weekly queues. Yet, spots of tranquility can be found right in the busiest, liveliest parts of town. These are no far-away escapes, but rather easily reachable, peaceful nooks slightly hidden from sight or underrated. No need to venture to the outer edges of town to find some bliss of tranquility: Brussels offers plenty of quiet, serene spots where to unwind and relax.
The Royal Library of Belgium Café
Belgium’s Royal Library in Mont des Arts is not only one of the best-kept secrets in Brussels, but also one of the calmest spots right in the heart of the city center. Its rooftop cafeteria is an underrated and unpopulated place to enjoy your coffee break and some quiet time with a view of the Grand Place, stretching to the Koekelberg hill. All you need to do is take the lift to the fifth floor and be surprised. On a bright day, soak up the sunbeams on the colorful terrace.
Royal Library of Belgium, Boulevard de l’Empereur 2, Brussels, Belgium, +32 2 5195311 ...

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Kuniko
Scoop.it!

Brussels Chocolate Fair | Focus on Belgium

Brussels Chocolate Fair | Focus on Belgium | Do you know "Belgium"? ベルギーって言う国知ってますか? | Scoop.it

Good news for all chocolate lovers: from 10 to 12 February 2017 Tour & Taxis in Brussels will be dedicated entirely to Belgian chocolate. 


The theme of the fourth edition of the Brussels Chocolate Fair is ‘At the heart of chocolate is a soul of cocoa’. This refers to all novelties in the world of choc-olate. The Chocolate Fair will be welcoming more than 80 participants, including chocolatiers, pastry chefs, designers and cocoa experts. During the tasty event visitors will be treated to tastings, cooking demonstrations and pastry workshops, among other things. In addition, the Chocolate Fair will be hosting an exclusive fashion show. This will fit into the chocolate picture perfectly, as the show will feature dresses made of chocolate, which have been specially designed for the fair. Such a fashion show will be held every day. On 9 February visitors will be offered the opportunity to attend a sneak preview of the fashion show. Obviously, Belgium and chocolate go hand in hand. Belgian chocolate history dates back to the seventeenth century. Back then, the production of chocolate was still a mere sideline activity for pharmacists, but over the centuries Belgium has been gradually developing its chocolate production. That is why, today, Belgian chocolatiers are world-renowned for their excellent chocolate. 

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Kuniko
Scoop.it!

VUB sends athletes to first ‘Bionic Olympics’

VUB sends athletes to first ‘Bionic Olympics’ | Do you know "Belgium"? ベルギーって言う国知ってますか? | Scoop.it
The Brussels Human Robotics Research Center (BruBotics) at the Free University of Brussels (VUB) is sending two athletes to the first Cybathlon Championship, dubbed the ‘Bionic Olympics’, this weekend in Zurich. Participating athletes use the newest robotics technologies to deal with a disability. Contrary to the Paralympic Games, Cybathlon athletes are allowed to use actively assisting “bionic” technologies. The VUB athletes are registered for the powered leg prosthetics race.Apart from a competition, the Cybathlon is a unique meeting of the top robotics research centres and companies in the world. It gives them the chance to show their latest developments to a broad public and possible investors.VUB’s Ankle Mimicking Prosthesis team have developed an ankle and leg prosthesis for Maher Latiri, which adapts to a surface like a human foot. It not only allows extra comfort, it limits the chance of damage caused by an unnatural walking or running pattern.The university’s Cyberlegs team developed an knee-ankle-foot prosthesis, which athlete Michel De Groote can operate with a remote control. It helps him to both stand up and move. “With a regular prosthesis, I would have to do 90% of the effort myself, but this prosthesis takes over most of the effort, so I have less back problems,” said De Groote.
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Kuniko
Scoop.it!

Gaia calls for constitutional protection for animals in Belgium

Gaia calls for constitutional protection for animals in Belgium | Do you know "Belgium"? ベルギーって言う国知ってますか? | Scoop.it
Animal rights organisation Gaia wishes to see animal rights included in the Belgian Constitution, the NGO reported on Monday, ahead of today's World Animal Day.

"Animals are a particularly vulnerable category of living beings with welfare needs and requirements. That deserves to be taken seriously," explains Gaia president Michel Vandenbosch in Het Nieuwsblad.

Gaia takes its inspiration from neighbouring countries Germany and Luxembourg, where animal rights are protected under the constitution since 2002 and 2007, respectively.

Gaia specifically wants to see the so-called 'Five Freedoms' included in the Belgian Constitution, the five aspects of animal welfare under human control. These include freedom from hunger and thirst, freedom from pain and suffering and freedom to express normal, natural behaviour.

The animal rights organisation has therefore launched the online petition Animaux dans la constitution/Dieren in de grondwet in order to “gain support from as many citizens as possible and to elicit a parliamentary debate.”
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Kuniko
Scoop.it!

Surrogate motherhood fair meets with protest in Brussels

Surrogate motherhood fair meets with protest in Brussels | Do you know "Belgium"? ベルギーって言う国知ってますか? | Scoop.it
A fair organised on Sunday morning in Brussels in support of surrogate motherhood, especially for gay couples, led to a confrontation between participants and conservative opponents. The protestors gathered at the door of the hotel where the fair was staged by the US-based organisation Men Having Babies, reports VTM Nieuws."We are not 'buying babies'," said one prospective parent in response to the criticism. "We reimburse the surrogate mothers for their efforts and hardship.”“It is due to a fault in the legislation that people are forced to go abroad to find a surrogate mother,” he added in reference to the fact that commercial surrogacy is illegal in Belgium.
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Kuniko
Scoop.it!

France Summons Belgium’s Ambassador in Migrant Spat

France Summons Belgium’s Ambassador in Migrant Spat | Do you know "Belgium"? ベルギーって言う国知ってますか? | Scoop.it
France summoned Belgium’s ambassador in Paris on Thursday, after detaining two Belgian police officers on French territory for allegedly depositing migrants across the countries’ border.

The incident has raised concerns in Paris about Belgian police operations to close the border to migrants coming from France. Disputes over handling migrant applications have become a persistent source of tension across Europe, as the region processes huge numbers of people arriving from the Middle East and Africa

“We will have an explanation,” said  Stéphane Le Foll, spokesman for the French government. “It will surely be frank and clear.”

In Belgium, police complained about the treatment of the Belgian officers, who were interrogated for four hours without an attorney. They also threatened to go on strike unless the Belgian government explains whether its border enforcement procedures are legal.

“The aim is to force the Belgian interior minister to come and explain to us what he has agreed with his French counterpart,” said Vincent Gilles, president of one of Belgium’s main police unions, “so we can make sure our officers aren’t breaking the law.”

Mr. Gilles said the police were carrying out Operation Medusa, a year-old effort by Belgium to close its border to migrants coming from France. Over the past year, Belgian police have detained 2,500 migrants and taken them to the French border.

“Out of humanity, we always ask them where they want to go,” he said.

This time, the police accidentally went around 50 yards into French territory, where they were stopped by an unmarked French police car.

Write to Matthew Dalton at Matthew.Dalton@wsj.com and Gabriele Steinhauser at gabriele.steinhauser@wsj.com
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Kuniko
Scoop.it!

'Lola' travels from US to Belgium in shipping container

'Lola' travels from US to Belgium in shipping container | Do you know "Belgium"? ベルギーって言う国知ってますか? | Scoop.it
A cat discovered in a shipping container by transport company Gosselin Group survived a 6,500km trip from the US city of Baltimore to Belgium's port of Antwerp, writes De Telegraaf. Gosselin employee Werner Peeters (pictured) was busy unloading the container when he suddenly noticed the cat between a box and a forklift. Lola, as the animal was named by the company's employees, survived the four-week trip across the Atlantic in complete darkness, without food or water.“She's alive, but she is very skinny,” a spokesman from Gosselin Group told the Dutch newspaper. Because of her poor condition, Lola was “easy to catch”, say staff members, who immediately tended to the animal. They gave the cat food and water, and even set up a small crowdfunding campaign to cover her medical expenses.The cat must have started its journey in Baltimore, according to the spokesman, as “it was the first time that the container was opened.”The animal will remain in Peeters' care until its owners in the US can be located. 
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Kuniko
Scoop.it!

The Brussels Times - Belgian upper secondary teachers among best-paid in world

The Brussels Times - Belgian upper secondary teachers among best-paid in world | Do you know "Belgium"? ベルギーって言う国知ってますか? | Scoop.it
Belgian teachers, both francophone and Flemish, earn in general more than their colleagues of other developed countries, according to a study published Thursday by the OECD.
With the exception of upper secondary teachers, Belgian teachers however earn less than workers having a higher education.

Kindergarten and primary teachers in the Wallonia-Brussels Federation earn 85% of the average wage of workers with higher education diplomas, which on average in other OECD countries is 74% (for kindergarten teachers) and 81% (for primary-level teachers).

For lower secondary teachers, this salary ratio goes down to even 84%, slightly below the OECD average of 85%.

Secondary teachers – for the most part university graduates – on the other hand, earn 4% more than other workers with similar degrees in higher education of all types in the Wallonia-Brussels Federation. In Flanders, this difference reaches up to 15%, according to the study.   

In other OECD countries, upper secondary teachers – not all of them with university degrees – earn on average 11% less than other university graduate workers of all types.

Maria Novak (Source: Belga)
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Kuniko
Scoop.it!

Belgium gets world's biggest pickled brain collection - The Express Tribune

Belgium gets world's biggest pickled brain collection - The Express Tribune | Do you know "Belgium"? ベルギーって言う国知ってますか? | Scoop.it

BRUSSELS: A new collection in the psychiatric hospital of Duffel in the north of Belgium makes for a ghoulish sight: around 3,000 preserved brains that were originally saved by a British doctor.

The collection of frontal lobes, hippocampi and other key parts of the brain floating in formaldehyde or fixed in paraffin will be used for research into psychiatric illnesses such as depression or schizophrenia.

British neuropathologist John Corsellis collected and conserved the brains over a period of more than 40 years between 1951 and the middle of the nineties but authorities in London ran out of space.

What’s next for the Muslims of Belgium?

Now they have come to Duffel, where Manuel Morrens, the director of research at the hospital, and his colleagues will share the collection with the faculty of medicine at the University of Antwerp.

“It’s the largest brain collection available, to our knowledge,” he smiles.

“Nowadays in Belgium, it’s really hard, if not almost impossible, to get your hands on actual tissue of patients after they have deceased,” says Morrens, due to the stricter ethical guidelines around collecting brain tissue.

“Normally we study how the brain works by looking at blood samples, but now we are able to look at it directly.”

One of the main advantages of conducting research on brains from this era is that they are untouched by certain medications that didn’t exist at the time.

“Contemporary research is hampered by the fact that brains were removed from patients who have received treatment. We’re investigating illness in its purest form,” enthuses Morrens.

Until recently the Corsellis collection was kept in bell jars and Tupperware tubs in a musty psychiatric hospital in southeastern England, a collection taken from the mentally ill, epileptics, people with Alzheimer’s and even boxers.

But British authorities ran out of storage space and offered them to medical institutions around the world.

The original Corsellis collection numbered around 8,500 but the Belgian doctors have mainly taken those that relate to depression and schizophrenia.

Each pickled brain comes with its own medical file kept up until the death of the patient.

The brains could help uncover new discoveries in biological psychiatry science, a field that specialises in understanding mental problems in terms of the biological function of the nervous system, says researcher Violette Coppens.

Pakistani startup challenges menace of fake drugs

“Psychiatry is a field that is new in  terms of scientific investigation,” she said, that has only been well known since the 1980s.

But as the body’s the most well-protected organ and therefore most difficult to get to, the brain is the hardest to study — making the Corsellis collection all the more important.

Coppens and her colleagues will cut samples from the brains and then study them under a microscope to look for inflammation. On Coppens’ screen a cut from a brain has been partly dyed red in order to see its cells more easily...

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Kuniko
Scoop.it!

Belgium’s youngest Paralympian takes gold in table tennis

Belgium’s youngest Paralympian takes gold in table tennis | Do you know "Belgium"? ベルギーって言う国知ってますか? | Scoop.it
Laurens Devos of Malle, Antwerp province, became the youngest athlete ever to win gold in men’s table tennis at the Paralympic Games. The win in Rio yesterday followed a flawless performance in earlier rounds, against much older opponents.Devos (pictured) turned 16 just last month, making him the youngest athlete on Belgium’s Paralympic team. He has cerebral palsy, and the first sport he ever took up was horse-riding. However, the minute he picked up a paddle to play table tennis against his big brother, Robin – a member of Belgium’s table tennis team and rated 119 in the world – he was hooked. So much so that he insisted on attending the sports school for top athletes in Leuven.After two years, at the age of 14, he was playing internationally, and one year later was European champion in Class 9. Table tennis players are classed according to their level of disability from 1 to 10, with the higher numbers signifying less physical handicap. Devos remained in Class 9 for the Rio Games.There, he made mincemeat out of his opponents, winning all of his matches, with a 3-0 shut-out in the semi-final. He played against opponents aged 21 to 47 from Japan, Ukraine, the US and Spain. In the final, assured of at least a silver medal, he played the same faultless game, sending Dutch player Gerben Last home with silver after another 3-0 defeat.“When I’m playing I don’t really feel like I have a handicap,” Laurens said. “I even play in competitions for the able-bodied. But the level is a little bit too high for me in the real Olympic Games. That’s why I chose the Paralympic Games, although I hope all the same to become a top athlete in the future.”In other Paralympic news, wheelchair athlete Marieke Vervoort of Diest won the silver in the 400m race with a time of 1:07.62, behind Canadian Michelle Stilwell at 1:05.43. This is the third Paralympic medal for Vervoort, known as “The Beast from Diest”, who won gold in the 100m and silver in the 200m at the 2012 London Paralympics.Vervoort, 37, made international headlines this summer with the suggestion that, suffering from constant debilitating pain, she would use euthanasia to end her life at some point after the Rio games. “I have done everything I can to keep myself healthy,” she told Britain’s Telegraph. “But the only thing the doctors can do for me is keep giving me pain medication.”Photo courtesy Paralympic.be
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Kuniko
Scoop.it!

Pokémon Go gives tourism boost to forgotten Flemish town

Pokémon Go gives tourism boost to forgotten Flemish town | Do you know "Belgium"? ベルギーって言う国知ってますか? | Scoop.it
Since the terrorist attacks in March, tourist offices have been struggling to persuade people to come to Flanders. Even picturesque Bruges, one of the safest cities in Europe, has been hit by a slump. But it seems there is one sure way of getting tourists back to your town.

Just look at what happened a few days ago in one tiny town. "Never seen so many people in Lillo", ran the headline in Het Laatste Nieuws.

No one knew what was happening at first. It was a rainy Monday morning in this far north district of Antwerp, when suddenly mobs of young people arrived waving around their smartphones. Weather or no weather – no one could keep the Pokémon hunters out of Lillo.

So what is this Pokémon craze all about? Pokémon Go is a game you play on your smartphone, the newspaper explained, inspired by the insanely popular animated film series from 1996, which involves groups of young people hunting for Pokémon. The aim is to catch as many of them as you can.

Although the Pokémon characters appear only on your phone, they only appear when you “find” them in real-life places. The hunt for Pokémon characters like Rattata and Wartortle has already taken fans to some strange places in Flanders, like the abandoned and forgotten Lillo, one of the villages eaten up by the expansion of the port of Antwerp.

The tiny harbour town of Lillo has been mobbed for the past few weeks because a number of Pokémons have shown up there. Thousands of people are now passing this way every day, said one happy pub owner: "Normally this village of seven streets and 35 residents is dead – but now people are queuing up for a parking place."

Not that local businesses are complaining: "And a good thing, too, because food and drink establishments are definitely feeling the benefit."

Thousands of people are now passing this way every day, one happy pub owner told the newspaper. "We’re used to getting some tourists – but we’ve never seen anything like this. We can hardly cope."

And it’s good not just for business. The Pokémon craze is credited with getting people out of the house. Even on a rainy Belgian day.

It was torrential rain the whole day – no one thought anyone would leave the house, but no, Pokémon hunters were everywhere tucked under their umbrellas. Those little characters with funny names might have arrived at the right time to save the Flemish tourist industry.
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Kuniko
Scoop.it!

10 surprising facts about Belgian food - Yummy Planet

10 surprising facts about Belgian food - Yummy Planet | Do you know "Belgium"? ベルギーって言う国知ってますか? | Scoop.it
In case you haven’t realized it yet, Belgium is a foodie destination. Just indulge in one of our waffles, a Belgian beer or a box of pralines and you’ll know what I’m talking about. In fact, we love our food so much that we have a lot of funny stories and quirky historical facts we like to share. Here is a selection! Enjoy! As always, except mentioned otherwise, all rights resserved on the pictures and texts. For more information, take a look at our disclaimer! 1. The praline was born in a pharmacy In 1857, Jean Neuhaus was the owner of a pharmacy in the famous and beautiful Galerie de la Reine in Brussels. But it was not your usual drugstore: the man sold tasty cough sweets and pills he covered with a thin layer of chocolate to conceal their bitter taste. His grandson was inspired by this genius method but decided he would rather put some « crème fraiche » in it rather than grandpa’s medicine. And voilà! The praline was born. 2. Brussels waffles became world famous in 1964 The American discovered the delicious Brussels waffles – or Belgian waffles – during New York’s world fair in 1964 and they absolutely loved …
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Kuniko
Scoop.it!

Brussels wins award for pedestrian zone - and vetoes another project

Brussels wins award for pedestrian zone - and vetoes another project | Do you know "Belgium"? ベルギーって言う国知ってますか? | Scoop.it
The city of Brussels has won a European town planning award for its pedestrian zone - in the same week that it vetoed plans for another pedestrian area on Place Royale.The Boulevard Anspach pedestrianisation, which began last year, was one of three winners out of 20 candidates at the 11th European Urban and Regional Planning Awards, organised by the European Council of Town Planners, ECTP.Brussels city hall said the award "affirms our willingness to give the city centre back to its inhabitants and to contribute to a better environment".Jan Schollaert, the Brussels city planner overseeing the project, picked up the award. The jury praised his team for prioritising pedestrians and cyclists in the heart of Brussels, rethinking the links between residential and tourist areas and making environmental upgrades to public spaces.News of the award came as the city of Brussels vetoed a plan to partly pedestrianise Place Royale - prompting accusations from green politicians of a lack of consistency.The plan, which involved reducing the road space, and installing a new green area around the statue of Godfrey of Bouillon, had been drawn up by Beliris, a collaboration between the federal government and the Brussels-Capital region.The head of the Francophone green party Ecolo told La Libre Belgique: "This is a missed opportunity to improve the environment, quality of life and enhancement of this exceptional neoclassical heritage."The proposed solution of giving more space to pedestrians without hindering traffic is interesting. This is the type of solution which was adopted on the Place de la République in Paris, where one side of the square was closed to traffic."According to Nagy, the decision highlights an inconsistency on the board of the city of Brussels: “There is clearly opposition internally. On the one hand, they want to reduce traffic pressure, and on the other, they don’t want to touch anything - leaving the car as the preferred mode of transport, as if there was not a serious pollution problem."She was critical of Brussels' councillor for urban planning and heritage, Geoffroy Coomans de Brachène, adding: "If he thinks that the only way to value the statue of Godfrey of Bouillon is to leave it in the middle of traffic, then he has no place as alderman for heritage. At the moment, visitors risk their lives to get close to the statue."
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Kuniko
Scoop.it!

10 Historic Buildings & Places That Vanished In Brussels

From the middle of the 19th century, Brussels underwent a gigantic metamorphosis. The Senne was covered, and wide avenues were constructed which connected the new urban districts to the city center. Beautiful buildings in the new architectural styles of the Belle Époque arose everywhere, and after WWII, many existing sites were set to be demolished in favor of urban renewal. We take a look back at the historic buildings and places that no longer exist in the capital. The Palais des Sports in Schaerbeek The Palais des Sports in Schaerbeek opened in 1913 and could hold up to 15,000 spectators. Located on Avenue Louis Bertrand, numerous sports competitions, cultural events and political demonstrations were organized here over the years. In the indoor velodrome, the heroic six-day races of Brussels took place every year. In 1967, this legendary sports temple was demolished to make way for the residential tower Brusilia, in 1972. The Brussels North Station In 1846, at the Place Rogier, arose the majestic building of the Brussels North Station, designed by architect François Coppens. It was a central junction for the many city trams and the railway lines connecting Brussels to the northern part of the country. In 1952, the railway station was replaced by the new and more modern station that we know today. The old station building was demolished completely in 1955 and replaced by the Rogier Centre, which in turn was demolished in 2004 for the current Rogier Tower....

more...
No comment yet.