Belgium – be subtle

Belgium – be subtle

The Kingdom of Belgium is a federal monarchy in Western Europe. It is a founding member of the European Union and hosts the EU’s headquarters in Brussels, its capital. Belgium has a population of around 11 million people comprised of the Dutch-speaking region of Flanders in the north, and the French-speaking, southern region of Walloonia. There is also a small group of German speakers who are officially recognised.

Brussels is also home to NATO, so the city has a large contingent of international diplomats and civil servants.

Belgium is noted for its strong culinary traditions and is particularly famous for its speciality beers and chocolate. The first evidence of chocolate production dates back to 1635 and today Belgium produces over 173,000 tons and has 2,000 chocolate shops. Belgium’s main exports are machinery and equipment, chemicals, finished diamonds, metals and metal products, and foodstuffs.

Belgium is on the whole an egalitarian society and women are not expected to change their name when they marry, however it is also a somewhat conservative country and women do not play a very significant role in the senior levels of Belgian business. Although a high percentage of women are employed in the workforce, it is still unusual for them to progress rapidly up the corporate ladder. As with the rest of Europe, this situation is changing.

Appearances are important to Belgians. They can often be seen washing the pavement or steps in front of their house or even sweeping the street; to have overgrown hedges or untidy gardens would disgrace the family and insult their neighbours. Belgians take pride in their personal appearance too. They dress well and are concerned with the impression they make on others.

Belgians are excellent linguists and many are sufficiently fluent to conduct meetings in English. They prefer communication to be logical and based on reason and admire subtlety, believing it is a reflection of intelligence.

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Sources: Wikipedia, Kwintessential, Worldbusinessculture.

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