Greatest Belgian contributions to the world ?

What is/are Belgium's greatest contribution(s) to the world?

  • Beer (800+ varieties)

    Votes: 1 50.0%
  • Cheese (100+ varieties)

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Paintings (Van Eyck, Bruegel, Rubens, Ensor, Magritte...)

    Votes: 1 50.0%
  • Mercator map projection

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Brussel sprouts and Belgian endives

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Chips/fries

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Waffles

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Pralines and other chocolates

    Votes: 1 50.0%
  • The saxophone (invented by Adolphe Sax)

    Votes: 2 100.0%
  • Art Nouveau (Horta, Van de Velde...)

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Comic books (Tintin, the Smurfs, Lucky Luke, Largo Winch, etc.)

    Votes: 1 50.0%
  • Other (please specify)

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    2
I thought for a country to "contribute" something to the world, they had to come up with it first.

Fries, Beer, Cheese etc. are hardly original Sure, you could argue that Belgium has its own varieties, but then so do a large number of other European countries (and don't try to convince me that the Belgians invented fried potatoes - did they heck).

What would be more interesting, would be to play the occasionally popular drinking game: "Name 5 famous Belgians". I've never seen anyone manage to do so yet.
 
Silverpoint said:
I thought for a country to "contribute" something to the world, they had to come up with it first.

My threads about "contributions to the world" is not about who invented what first. Just look at other country's threads. I listed electronics, cars, etc. for Japan, although the Japanese did not invent them. Japanese cars are renowed and widely used all over the world, as are Belgians beers and chocolate. Note that I listed philosophy for several countries (France, Germany, Britian, China...).

What would be more interesting, would be to play the occasionally popular drinking game: "Name 5 famous Belgians". I've never seen anyone manage to do so yet.

Really ? So, so many people don't know painters like Brueghel (4 of them), Van Dyck, Rubens, Magritte, etc. ? Then, who doesn't know Herge (the author of Tintin), Jean-Claude Van Damme (not a reference though :eek:kashii: ), Eddy Merckx (5x winner of the Tour de France) or the current tennis stars Justine Henni and Kim Clysters ?

For more, you can check my list of famous Belgians
 
Silverpoint said:
I thought for a country to "contribute" something to the world, they had to come up with it first.

My threads about "contributions to the world" is not about who invented what first. Just look at other country's threads. I listed electronics, cars, etc. for Japan, although the Japanese did not invent them. Japanese cars are renowed and widely used all over the world, as are Belgians beers and chocolate. Note that I listed philosophy for several countries (France, Germany, Britian, China...).

What would be more interesting, would be to play the occasionally popular drinking game: "Name 5 famous Belgians". I've never seen anyone manage to do so yet.

Really ? So, so many people don't know painters like Brueghel (4 of them), Van Dyck, Rubens, Magritte, etc. ? Then, who doesn't know Herge (the author of Tintin), Jean-Claude Van Damme (not a reference though :eek:kashii: ), Eddy Merckx (5x winner of the Tour de France) or the current tennis stars Justine Henni and Kim Clysters ?

For more, you can check my list of famous Belgians

I have noticed that many Westerners (esp. if not really interested in Japan) cannot name 5 famous Japanese. They all seem to come up with Emperor Hirohito only. :blush:
 
Another major Belgian contribution I forgot to mention is oil painting, presumably invented by the famous painter Jan van Eyck in the 15th century. Let's say it goes into the "paintings" category.
 
Elizabeth van Kampen said:
The Belgians are Burgundians and that makes them very nice company!

What ? The Belgians are not Burgundians. The Burgundians inherited some counties in Belgium in the 15th century and ruled a bit over 2/3 of what is now Belgium, but that's all. Belgian people are ethnically a mix of Celtic (Gaul) and Germanic (Salian Frank) people, with a bit of Latin blood (Roman, Spanish and French heritage).
 
Oh, oh, maybe I meant the Burgundian way of living. Meaning; going far more out eating in restaurants than the everage Dutch, Belgians love to dress up for all sort of occations, love to enjoy themselves and grumble less than we do in the Netherlands. I think that we Dutch are the best grumblers about the weather in the world.

I live not far from the Belgium border, have visited Belgium many times and I always felt/feel at home.
 
Maciamo said:
Another major Belgian contribution I forgot to mention is oil painting, presumably invented by the famous painter Jan van Eyck in the 15th century. Let's say it goes into the "paintings" category.
Just as you said, presumably. AFAIK, that's a common misconception. How to use & produce oil colours was already described in the "Strasbourgian Manuscript", which shows that this knowledge was around some time before Eyck.
 
Belgian citizen, Victor De Laveleye, a refugee in London during WWII, urged people in his homeland via short wave radio to write the letter "V" written in chalk in public places as a sign of ultimate victory against Germany. Only later did Winston Churchill adopt the "V" as a symbol for victory by using his fingers.

The whole world now uses this sign as a "peace" symbol, but we all know that the "peace" was only dependent on "v"ictory.

I just keep thinking of all these Japanese gals here who can`t have their picture snapped without striking this finger pose.
 
Belgian contribution to the world

I don't think this has been mentioned yet. Thomas Blanquet or Blanket, a Flemish weaver who settled in Bristol, began manufacturing woollen goods - including the blanket - to which he gave his name (this obscure piece of trivia comes via the historian Arthur Bryant).
On a cold winter's night around here - central heating and blazing woodfires notwithstanding, I, for one, give silent thanks for that forgotten Flemish weaver of so long ago.
Hercule Poirot should surely figure here somewhere - or at least get an honourable mention.
I also submit Marcel Lobelle, the Belgian aircraft designer. In particular for his Fairey Fantome biplane fighter of the 1930s - four built. For me definitely the most beautiful of all biplane fighter aircraft.
I once worked for the company Lobelle co-founded though he was by that time dead. The famous Fairey Swordfish was also one of his designs.
 
Belgians / Flemish have had a vast contribution to Western Civilization.
 
Anecdote to the famous Belgians issue, there´s a widespread joke saying the 3 most famous Belgians don´t even exist, as Tintin, Hercule Poirault (Agatha Christies´character) and Manneken Pis are all fictional characters.

As for the Dutch poll, I consider the flemish painters one of the great contributions to the world of arts. Flemish architecture is also noteworthy.
 
For some reason I thought Asterix & Obelix where produced by Belgians but after checking I see they are not. What about Kim Clijsters? She's a great example for women in my opinion. Successful but still feminine and has family values.
 
The belgians make excellent beer.
But Brittish real ale is much better.
Not forgetting Bertrand the inventor of plastic.
 
I didn't know the Smurfs were Belgian!
The greatest francophone comics are Belgian (y)

The belgians make excellent beer.
But Brittish real ale is much better
Are you crazy :shocked:
Grimbergen, Leffe, Chimay, Orval, Affligem, Kriek, etc...:heart:

Not forgetting Bertrand the inventor of plastic.
Shame on you :LOL:
 
The belgians make excellent beer.
But Brittish real ale is much better.
Not forgetting Bertrand the inventor of plastic.

Hmm? The British don't understand the difference between ale and horse piss.

Why does a Scot defend English sewer water? :useless:
 
Hmm? The British don't understand the difference between ale and horse piss.


This comes from someone from a country of pot smokers who eat plastic edam cheese and think that orange is trendy.
 

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