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Belgians Finally Poking Fun Back at the French Posted by on Mar 3, 2012 in Culture, Film, Geography, People, Vocabulary

More than 100 years of countlessly many French blagues (jokes) at the expense of Belgians, and the compatriots of Jacques Brel never felt like retaliating against the shenanigans of their misbehaving southern neighbors… Well, not until recently, that is!

Were they only biding their time?

Here’s something pretty funny for you:

Although this can sound a bit strange or even unfair when some people from other countries hear it the first time (while maybe seeming all-too-familiar to others), but did you know that it has been almost like a basic feature of French culture for more than a century to tease Belgians, very often by cracking jokes which are ominously introduced by the “classic” line: “Il était une fois un Belge…” (“There was this one time, a Belgian guy…“)

Now, having said that, it must be said to the credit of the Belgians that they always remained admirably “fair-play” about the issue, and never felt like retaliating against the shenanigans of their misbehaving southern neighbors…

Well, that was at least until recently, when the silent French Movie “The Artist“, starring the new enfant terrible of France, Jean Dujardin, won big-time at the Oscars, a fact which prompted the Belgians, possibly for the first time in their national history (but then again, that’s not too long), to give the French a very well-deserved “right-back-at-ya.”

Here’s how the little sweet revenge dish of the Belgians tastes nowadays:

« The Artist », le film muet rafle 10 nominations aux Oscars,
une première pour un film Français !  

Comme quoi, quand les Français ferment leurs gueules,
tout le monde les apprécie !

Et vlan !

Meaning:

« The Artist », the silent film walked off with 10 Oscar nominations

A first-time ever event for a French movie!

So, pretty much when the French shut up,

the whole world appreciates them!

Oui, je sais (yes, I know), the French had it coming, but who would have ever thought that the Belgians would one day decide to “return the favor” to the French?

Well, they certainly waited a long time—some observers have already seen in this yet another eerie sign of the ominous year 2012 (maybe the Mayas didn’t do their math wrong after all.)

Still on the “love/hate” relationship between les Français and les Belges:
Rien à déclarer” (“Nothing to Declare”) is a French comedy that came out two years ago, featuring a Francophobe Belgian customs officer (he calls the French “les camemberts“) who is forced to team up with his French counterpart following the removal of les frontières (the boundaries) between France and Belgium on January 1st, 1993…

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