Flanders, ‘land’ of a thousand clichés

11 06 2009

The Guardian is running a ‘luxury break’ competition. “You and a friend could experience European chic in style”. This is how the advertorial describes Flanders:

Flanders is one of Europe’s hidden gems. Home to stunning architecture, fantastic art, great food, brilliant bars and chic fashion boutiques, it has something for everyone.

And there’s loads to explore – the Flemish-speaking area of Belgium encompasses such delights as Antwerp, Bruges, Brussels, Ghent, Leuven, Mechelen, and Ostend and its coast. If you love city breaks, you’ll love Flanders.

There’s a video demonstrating just how European chic Flanders is. To many people, Flanders is incredibly dull. Jeremy Clarkson thinks so. When I lived in the States, some of my friends thought Flanders was a socialist hell hole. Flanders is also often associated with the right wing reputation of Vlaams Belang. What images, stereotypes, jokes, etc do you associate with Flanders?

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