Humour Belge

Humour BelgeBelgians are to the French what Newfies are to Canadians. The butt of many a joke.

The French find the so-called Belgian accent (which is actually the Brussels accent) funny. They find the fact that ‘frites’ (which are not French but Belgian) are the national symbol of their neighbour, funny.

There is just something the French find funny about Belgians. So they make fun of the fries, the flat country, the ‘thick’ people.

The Belgians, while they may not entirely appreciate such jokes, take them with a particular brand of irony and self-deprecating pride.

Some have made a career of la blague Belge. Many popular artists, entertainers and on-air personalities in France are Belgian, including the cartoonist Philippe Geluck, who explains the phenomenon of Belgian humour (in French) here.

And then there is Megan, a YouTube star whose video following Tuesday’s terror attacks has gone viral. Here it is (also in French):

For the non-French speakers, she is saying: “Seriously? You expect that this will keep us down? You really think that the ones who invented the waffle and the frite, the land of chocolate and beer, will not be back out on the streets again tomorrow? Really?)

It doesn’t feel right to laugh or make fun following the unspeakable loss of innocent life. Not In New York, or London, or Paris. But perhaps, after all, it is the right thing in Brussels.


  1. Piddlewick · March 24, 2016

    Thank you. What a lovely post relating to yesterday. 🙂

    • MELewis · March 24, 2016

      Glad it spoke to you. I cancelled my previously scheduled post to do this instead.

  2. poshbirdy · March 24, 2016

    Did you know that to Belgians, British people are ‘les Rosbifs’ because of their national dish? I promise you, this is true. Yes, Belgium actually has a wonderful humour of its own, rather crude to some perhaps, but there is no doubt of the strong sense of humour there and I have huge love and admiration for ‘les frites’ in general

    • MELewis · March 24, 2016

      Oh, yes, to the French too! I think there are a lot of similarities, as much as there are differences….and who among us does not have a soft spot for frites!!!

  3. Suzy Barker · March 24, 2016

    Smashing post – humour is always a good option.

  4. Lisa @ cheergerm · March 24, 2016

    Love your humour Mel. Love me a frite or ten!

    • MELewis · March 24, 2016

      I am sure you have a great recipe for frites, Lisa! Too lazy to make anything but oven fries, yet what a wonderful indulgence they are.

  5. phildange · March 24, 2016

    I appreciated Belgian people as soon as I went to Belgium in 1980 . And every time I met Belgians in France, in Belgium or travelling far away I felt the same .
    I enjoy their modesty and their perennial humour . Bt the way the splendid French school of graphic novels for grown-ups that arouse from the 60s until now was preceded and impulsed by Belgian artists . Tintin, Spirou, Gaston Lagaff, the Schtroumpfs ( Smurfs for you ), all Belgian productions that started before the French ones . And the immense Jacques Brel was Belgian .

    • MELewis · March 24, 2016

      All great references! Have not been to Belgium (yet) but agree its people are great ambassadors for their small but diverse land. We do seem to have a disproportionately high representation of talented Belgians in France.

  6. phildange · March 24, 2016

    Yes really . Claude Lévy-Strauss, the star among anthropologists, René Magritte, the delicious painter, Morris, the creator of Lucky Luke – one more graphic novel, as known as Asterix in France -, Georges Simenon, Commissaire Maigret’s father, and my favorite the actor, film maker and stand humorist Benoît Poelvoorde, to name a few ( out of commercial pop music ) .

  7. davidprosser · March 25, 2016

    She displays just the right amount of contempt for the killers who attacked her country. Yes, they might have brought the city to a standstill but they’ll never cow the people.
    xxx Gigantic Hugs Mel xxx

    • MELewis · March 25, 2016

      That is exactly right, David! And the cutest part is how she calls them ‘chou’ (dear), speaking to them as if they were children. Thanks as ever for your comments! 🙂

  8. zipfslaw1 · March 26, 2016

    …and in turn, I remember seeing a book of jokes about Flemish speakers in Belgium!

    • MELewis · March 26, 2016

      Ha, ha….to each his own joke! 🙂

  9. Mél@nie · March 27, 2016

    I’ve loved the video, and I highly appreciate your sense of humor… btw, j’adore les frites cooked dans la graisse de canard ou d’oie… 🙂
    * * *
    “Bruxelles, ma belle…” – ton cœur a saigné cette semaine… ❤ j'ai été "bruxelloise" toute la semaine…
    * * *
    P.S. I edited several pix from Bruxelles @ my facebook: Mélanie d'Armagnac

    • MELewis · March 27, 2016

      Tears and smiles go so well together. Wishing you much joy and frites! 🙂

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