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Belgium may not be very high in tourism, but is a well-known country. It is known for their Belgian waffles and chocolates. The Belgian people are high in culture and are very proud of their country.
Belgium is located on the continent of Europe. Its official name is the Kingdom of Belgium and its capital is Brussels. Its population is nine hundred seventy-six thousand, five hundred thirty-six people. Belgium borders the Netherlands, Germany, France, and the North Sea.
Belgium is rich in culture. People in Belgium have freedom of religion and Ninety-eight percent of the people are Catholic. One hundred, fifty thousand people are Protestant, and forty thousand people are Jewish. Belgian people are big meat eaters and huge beer drinkers. In fact, Belgian people drink more beer than any other national group except Germany. Their favorite dishes are carbonades, which is beef stewed in beer and waterzooi, which is chicken or fish chowder. Belgian people speak either Dutch, French, or German.
There are many festivals in Belgium. One of the most popular festivals is the March of the Gilles. During the March of the Gilles boys and men dress up in brightly colored suits and they wear hats filled with ostrich feathers. They throw oranges at people in the crowd and boys that arent dressed up blow up sheep bladders and hit anyone not wearing a fancy hat. The Gilles supposedly represent the Inca Indians who were defeated and the oranges represent gold taken by the Spanish. Also, the towns people leave their doors open so some guests can call into the house and have a glass of champagne. Another popular festival is the Cat Festival, which is held each May in Ypres. During the Cat Festival people throw toy cats off of the Cloth Hall, which is a tall building. This festival represents the time in which people threw cats off of the Cloth Hall because there was too many. Also during the festival a mock witch is burned at the stake and there is a large firework show afterwards. There are also many medieval festivals in Belgium.
Belgiums major sport is soccer, which is the major sport of many countries. Other sports in Belgium include tennis, horseback riding, boating, and hiking. There are also two strange sports in Belgium that the people in Western Europe would know about. One is called pigeon racing in which pigeons fly across Spain, France, and Belgium. More than one hundred pigeons can be entered into one contest. Another strange sport is sand sailing. The craft in sand sailing is called a sand yaught and is built just like sailboats except they are made for land not water.
Belgium has a constitutional, representative government, and hereditary monarchy. The monarch is head of state and is known as the King of the Belgians. He have limited political power and they have an important role in choosing a prime minister. He also serves as a symbol for national unity. The Senate in Belgium has 181 members and the Chamber of Representatives has 212 members. Their constitution was revised in 1971. Their cabinet must have an equal number of Dutch and French speaking ministers.
Belgians have freedom of education. Children must go to school during the ages of six through fifteen. Belgium also has one of the highest literacy rates in the world. Almost all the children go to nursery school and kindergarten.
In conclusion, Belgium is very proud of their culture and they are similar to the U.S. For example, Belgians are free and they have rights as well as rules. Their standard of living is also very similar to the U.S.
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