II. Brief Discussion of Belgium’s relevant history
III. Geographical Setting
a. Location - between France (S) and Holland (N); Germany and Luxembourg (E); and North Sea (W) b. Climate - Belgium has temperate weather, warm in summer (May to September) and cool to cold in winter, with snow very likely. temperate; mild winters, cool summers; rainy, humid, cloudy c.
d. Topography - The coastal region, extending about 16–48 km (10–30 mi) inland, consists of sand dunes, flat pasture land, and polders (land reclaimed from the sea and protected by dikes), and attains a maximum of 15 m (50 ft) above sea level. Eastward, this region gradually gives way to a gently rolling central plain, whose many fertile valleys are irrigated by an extensive network of canals and waterways. Altitudes in this region are about 60–180 m (200– 600 ft). The Ardennes, a heavily wooded plateau, is located in southeast Belgium and continues into France. It has an average altitude of about 460 m (1,500 ft) and reaches a maximum of 694 m (2,277 ft) at the Signal de Botrange, the country's highest point. Chief rivers are the Schelde (Scheldt, Escaut) and the Meuse (Maas), both of which rise in France, flow through Belgium, pass through the Netherlands, and empty into the North Sea. IV. Social Institutions
i. The nuclear family - Belgians are among the happiest, most satisfied people in the world and among the least likely to leave their country. happiness is a safe and comfortable life shared with family and friends. Much of the Belgian culture revolves around their family. The Belgian family has remained very close-knit despite great changes in society due to industrialization. Most children have a strong sense of loyalty not only to their parents, but also to grandparents, siblings and cousins. The extended family has remained relatively close. It is not unusual for a family to live in the same neighborhood or even the same house throughout a lifetime. The average Belgian family size is 2.9 people. ii. The extended family - The extended family has remained relatively close. It is not unusual for a family to live in the same neighborhood or even the same house throughout a lifetime. iii. Dynamics of the family
1. parental roles - parents in Belgium sent their children to preschool programs so that they could learn to become more independent and socially adept. Most Belgian children over age 2 attend these state-funded programs full-time. Belgian parents listed smaller classes and more physical education and music as desirable improvements. 2. Marriage and Courtship - Long marriage engagements are common, as is living together before or instead of marriage. Only civil marriages are legal, but many couples also have a religious ceremony. • As you declare your wedding in Belgium, the first thing that you must do is to print two wedding invitations, one from the groom's family and the other from the bride's family. The invitations are a symbol of the union of the two families as well as the beginning of the new union. Following the ancient Belgium tradition the bride must walk up the isle to hand her mother a single flower which is followed by an embracing. After your marriage is over the bride presents the groom's mother a single flower and then the two of them embrace. This symbolizes the bride's acceptance of her new "mother" which is simply fantastic. Another noteworthy wedding feature in Belgium is that the bride must carry a specially embroidered handkerchief with her name on it. This is required as after your marriage celebration is over this handkerchief is framed and hung on the wall in a place of honor. There is more to add to this tradition. This very handkerchief is passed on to the next female member of the bride's family when she plans to get married. iv. Female/Male Roles – Fathers...