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Belgium

Jisoo Joyce Bae


CSIT 120
March 22, 2015

Capital City of Belgium


City of Brussels (Brussels)

Language and Religion


Flemish (A local Dutch dialect) and French
are the countrys official languages
Roman Catholicism is the dominant religion
with about 80% of the population

Tourist Attraction 1
Antwerp Zoo
Oldest zoo in Belgium (Founded in 1843)
26 acres
Contains more than 5,000 animals
representing over 150 species
Also includes an Egyptian Temple,
Zesis planearium and a museum

Tourist Attraction 2
Grand Place
Historical site
Built using Gothic site
BBC television documentary Secret Armys
second and third series were shot here in
1978 and 1979
Contains many sculptures of nobles and
important figures

National Cuisine
Tomates aux Crevettes: Famous
appetizer whch are Tomatoes stuffed with
shrimp
Moules: Belgian mussels with fried
potatoes
Waterzool: Chicken casserole in cream
sauce and egg yolk

Stereotypes
1. The Belgians are easy to get along with
and extremely pleasant, even when
dealing with strangers.
2. The Belgians have no sense of style in
their dress, modern architecture, nightlife,
or general outlook.
3. The food in Belgium is good and hearty
but it lacks variety.

Superstitions
New Year Superstitions
People who wake up late on this day are called sylvesters.
Girls who procrastinate during New Years Day are said to
remain spinsters for the whole year.
Bad luck
#13
White cats
Trimming nails at night
Good luck
Touching wood
Singing while taking a bath

Hand Gestures
To point with your index finger is considered
impolite
Placing your hands in your pockets while
someone else is talking is considered rude

Business Culture: Etiquette


and Body Language
Formal greetings between people who do
not know each other are in the form of a
brief handshake and direct eye contact
In a friendly relationship, men and women
may kiss the air beside one anothers
cheeks.
Back slapping is considered rude
Never remove your suit jacket during a
meeting

Business Culture:
Relationship building
Belgians operate in a family-focused culture
Business relations begin with small talk and
then to meals. The subject of the business
comes last.
Business meetings are held mostly during
the midday because lunch is the most
important meal in Belgium

Business Culture:
Communication styles in
decision making
Belgians are straightforward, logical
thinkers who appreciate long, detailed
discussions but abhor confrontation.
Belgians prefer logical communication that
is based on reason and free of emotional
arguments.

Business Culture: Power


structures in decision making
Most Belgian companies have 2 systems:
Simple, horizontal organization and collective
consultation
Clear and strict hierarchies and autonomously
operating leaders
The type of company has more to do with
geographic location than company size
Decision making can be slow because every detail
is carefully examined and considered.

Belgium vs. United States


Body Language
Similarities

Differences

Formal= hand
shakes

U.S refrain from


air kisses on the
cheeks while in
Belgium it is
normal
Belgium has more
physical contact
while U.S is more
verbal

Belgium vs. United


States
Communication Styles

Similarities
Eye contact
and reactions
when someone
else is talking is
favored

Differences
U.S is cheerful
and casual and
honesty
without
rudeness is
valued
Belgians tend
to be more
quiet and

Belgium vs. United


States
Power Structures

Similarities

Differences

In U.S and Belgium,


there are strict
hierarchical structure
which decisions are
made by those in
power.

In U.S power has to


do with company size
while in Belgium,
power has to do with
geographic location

Internet/ Social Network


Sites
1.TV networks (ex.RTBF, VRT, VTM, RTL)
2.Call Letters (ex.RTBF, VRT, BRF)
3. Newspapers (ex.Het Nieuwsblad, Le Soir, De
Morgen, etc)
4. Periodicals/Magazines (ex.Trends, Humo, Le
Vif)
5. Internet (ex.Google, MSN, Belgium)
http://www.google.be
http://www.search.msn.be
http://www.belgium.be

Individualism vs.
Collectivism
Belgium scores individualistic index.
Belgians favor individual and private
opinions, taking care of themselves and
immediate family rather than belonging to a
group.

In the work environment, the relationship


with work is contract based.

Large or Small Power


Distance
Belgium scores high on the scale of power
distance.
It is a society in which inequalities are
accepted.
Hierarchy is needed if not existential.
The power is centralized in Belgium

Strong or Weak
Uncertainty Avoidance
Belgium has one of the highest scores on
the UAI Index.

Their history of frequently being ruled by


others partly explains this score.

Teachings and trainings are more inductive.


Planning is favored.
Change= Stress!

Masculinity vs.
Femininity

Belgium has an intermediate score on this


dimension.
It has a win-lose negotiating style. This could
mean that the decision process may be
slower, as each point of view is considered so
that consensus can be achieved.
Belgians strive towards reaching an
agreement.
Winning a discussion is generally less valued
than coming to an agreement.

Belgium vs. United


States

Individualism vs. Collectivism

United States is higher in individualism because they


live by the degree of interdependence a society
maintains among its members. They do no rely on
others for support.

Belgium placed a high score also because they favor


individuals and private opinions. They are lower in
compared to U.S because they100
also find taking care
of immediate families and friends
80 important.
60
40
20
0

Belgium
United
States

Individualism

Belgium vs. United


States
Large or Small Power Distance
Belgium is a society in which inequalities
are accepted. Hierarchy is needed and
control is normal.
United States finds that the fact that
everybody is unique implies that we are all
unequal. They have a 80
small power distance
compared to Belgium 60
Belgium
40

United
States

20
0

Power Distance

Belgium vs. United


States
Strong or Weak Uncertainty Avoidance

Belgium had a history of frequently being ruled by


other parties. Teaching and trainings are more
inductive. Planning is favored and change is
considered stressful.

United States has a weaker uncertainty avoidance


because they are willing to innovate and challenge
themselves. They allow freedom of expression and
are more tolerant to opinions.100
80
60
40
20
0
Unertainty Avoidance

Belgium
United
States

Belgium vs. United


States

Masculinity vs. Femininity

Belgium I considered feminine because it has a winlose negotiating style meaning slow decision
process. They strive towards compromise and
winning is less important than agreement.

United States is highly masculine because it is driven


by competition, achievement, and success. This is
because they are highly independent to strive for
success
65
Belgium
United
States

60
55
50

Masculinity

Current Events
Lawmakers vote for children's 'right to die
euthanasia law
Does a terminally ill child in intolerable pain
have a right to die? Belgian lawmakers said yes.
French and Belgian nationals among five
dead in Mali shooting
The pair were gunned down along with another
European, a police officer and security guard in
a restaurant in the countrys capital Bamako

Citations
What about Belgium? (n.d.). Retrieved March 22, 2015,
from http://geert-hofstede.com/ belgium.html
Belgium. (n.d.). Retrieved March 23, 2015, from
http://www.globalroadwarrior.com.ccbcmd.idm.oclc.org /
Spark, L. (2015, February 14). Belgium: Lawmakers vote
for children's 'right to die' euthanasia law. Retrieved
March 23, 2015, from
http://www.cnn.com/2014/02/13/world/europe/belgium-eu
thanasia-law-children
/
Presse, A. (2015, March 6). French and Belgian nationals
among five dead in Mali shooting. Retrieved March 23,
2015, from
http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/mar/07/frenchand-belgian-nationals-among-four-dead-in-mali-shooting

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