If common sense is to reign supreme, critics would claim, Belgium [Big4 Rank No. 37] will not exist as a nation. It would, essentially be absorbed by the Netherlands, France and Germany. Carved as a nation of Catholics out from Protestant Netherlands in 1830, Belgium is simply a nation of nations with Flemish-speaking Flanders to the north, French-speaking Walloons in the south, and a few German speaking citizens near the German border.
The inability of Belgium to enjoy that status of being a single nation is reflected in its economy, politics and well, beauty pageants. In the economic setting, the industrial Flanders are complaining that they are virtually subsidizing their largely agricultural Walloon counterparts. In politics, Belgium saw its worst political crisis in recent years where the country suffered for 589 days without having a functional national government due to the rift between the Flanders and Walloonia.
And this brings us to the beauty pageants. Who could possibly forget Cilou Anys who drew fire after posing in a magazine while trampling over a Belgian flag? Meanwhile, can anyone remember Alizee Poulicek who was booed back in 2007 for being unable to speak Flemish? Thank goodness, this year’s Miss Belgium, Laurence Langen avoided a crisis of some sort at her coronation but it would be interesting if she will join the fray like what Cilou and Alizee did. Laurence hails from the province of Limbourg which is Flemish speaking and she openly admitted that she is struggling with her French.
What would be interesting though if Belgium will be split into two. Then, we will see Miss Walloonia and Miss Flanders. No more economic, political and beauty pageant crisis. Two contestants each with her own culture and language. But this is a tall order for anyone who seek the destruction of Belgium. Many people see a unified Europe and the Belgians themselves already saw the impracticality of any political divorce. So, for now its Miss Belgium. Laurence will compete as Miss Universe Belgium and/or as Miss World Belgium this year.