The Online Encyclopedia and Dictionary







For the former banking house of the United Kingdom, see Robert Fleming & Co.

Flemings (Dutch: Vlamingen) are inhabitants of Flanders, the northern half of Belgium. The official language of Flanders is Dutch. The 'Flemish' version of Dutch is different in usage (comparable to American vs. British English) and in intonation. A Fleming can easily spot a Dutchman even when speaking a mere sentence and vice versa.

While language and culture mostly overlap with the Dutch living in the Netherlands, especially the southern part called Zeeuws-Vlaanderen (Zeelandish-Flanders), some Flemings are fiercely nationalistic and would take offense at being called Dutchmen. The main differences are that Flemish generally consider themselves to have a more Burgundian attitude to eating and drinking, and that the political culture is more Latin than that of the Netherlands (i.e. the decision making process in the Netherlands is more open and transparent, Anglo-Saxon, while it is more Latin and based on negotiating in Flanders). Flemings obviously share many things with the other main ethnic group in Belgium, the Walloons (and more in general French-speaking Belgians). The main differences, according to the Flemings themselves, lie in work ethics (Flemish nationalists often portray Walloons as lazy and welfare-dependent), attitudes towards labor unions (there have been some instances of lower echelons in the labor unions in Wallonia resorting to illegal activities), and in orientation towards other cultures (Flemings are generally oriented towards both Anglo-saxon cultures and in Latin cultures, whereas Walloons are seen as dominantly oriented towards the Francité).

Last updated: 08-18-2005 07:54:07