The Walloons (Wallons in French) are French-speaking Belgians from Wallonia. They are one of the two major groups in Belgium, the other being the Dutch-speaking Flemish. The French-speaking inhabitants of Brussels do not generally see themselves as Walloons.
From the second part of the 20th century and up to now, the Flemish have been politically and economically dominant over the Walloons, but this has not always been the case. During the first century of its existence and further, French was practically the sole official language of Belgium. Before the crisis of mining industries the Walloons in southern Belgium were dominant.
Note that when referring to inhabitants of Wallonia with the meaning of citizen of Wallonia, the word Wallonian is more commonly used. Not all Wallonians are French-speaking; there is also a German-speaking community around Eupen, in the east of the region, next to Germany.
Last updated: 08-18-2005 05:12:39