American Renaissance

New Miss Belgium Booed in Antwerp

Raf Casert, AP, December 17, 2007

Newly crowned Miss Belgium speaks several languages — including French, English and Czech — but it seems that doesn’t count for much when she doesn’t speak Dutch.

After she failed to answer a question in elementary Dutch and switched to French during Saturday night’s competition, 20-year-old Alizee Poulicek was booed by some of the 3,400 fans in Antwerp, the heart of Dutch-speaking Flanders.

In a country that has been without a government for nearly 200 days because of continued strife between Dutch- and French-speaking parties, the beauty queen’s linguistic abilities has taken on larger significance.


Dutch-speaking Flemings make up 6 million of the 10.5 million Belgians; most of the rest are Francophones, although there is also a small German-speaking community in the east of the country.

After Belgium gained independence from the Netherlands in 1830, French dominated political and economic life. It is only since World War II that Dutch speakers from the north have started turning their demographic dominance into effective power. For the past three decades, all prime ministers have been Flemish, though all also spoke French.

Northern Flanders and southern Wallonia have gained greater autonomy, but many in Flanders still pounce on every perceived linguistic slight.



Alizee Poulicek (center) can’t speak Dutch.

Original article

(Posted on December 17, 2007)

     Previous story       Next Story       Post a Comment      Search


Home      Top      Previous story       Next Story      Search

Post a Comment

Commenting guidelines: We welcome comments that add information or perspective, and we encourage polite debate. Statements of fact and well-considered opinion are welcome, but we will not post comments that include obscenities or insults, whether of groups or individuals. We reserve the right to hold our critics to lower standards.

Remember Me?

(you may use HTML tags for style)