Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Children's choir starts bullying in a shopping mall

As reported by, a children's choir did a jaw-dropping performance at a shopping centre here in Ghent just before Christmas. It was not the beautiful voices that made jaws drop, however, but the altered lyrics, which prompted some concerned mothers to cover the ears of their children.

Fortunately, there was a meaning to the madness. See for yourself.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

There's a new Prime Minister over in Brussels tonight

I told you I wouldn't believe it until I saw it with my own eyes, and now I have. Belgium finally has a government, headed by the ever-smiling Elio Di Rupo. He has only been in office for a day (you can watch him pocket the keys to the government here), but his place in history is already secured, as he is the world's first openly gay male head of government (Iceland has had a lesbian Prime Minister since 2009).

Elio Di Rupo.

Di Rupo's first grand task will be to improve his Dutch. This has been an issue ever since he became a candidate for Prime Minister, and the newly-established opposition is now milking this "unfulfilled" promise, saying that Di Rupo cannot lead a bilingual country as long as his Dutch is in its current state.

Hm. I might put some Dutch lessons on here myself, in case he reads my blog.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Belgium gets a government... tomorrow

According to De Morgen, the 13 ministers and 6 State Secretaries are likely to be sworn in tomorrow. Only then will I take down my "days without a government" counter. I won't believe this until I see it with mine very own eyes, on TV.

I don't know about you, but I'm really excited. I'll have to think of some way to celebrate this. More to come!

The sun rises over Belgium. Source: Zeemeeuw/Wikimedia.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

It's a bird! It's a plane! It's... a new government?

Just when I thought the political deadlock might actually go on forever, they're agreeing!

According to De Morgen, formateur Elio Di Rupo and the party leaders of PS, CD&V, MR, Open Vld, sp.a, and cdH are currently in the process of choosing ministers.

Tomorrow, 539 days after the election, Belgium will have a government.

Have we learned anything from all this? We'll see at the next election.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Jukebox Friday: Amatorski - Come Home

I just cracked open (in the less-destructive-than-it-sounds sense) a mix CD my father-in-law recently gave me, and it's full of goodies. Some of the goodies turned out to be Belgian-made.

Amatorski are a post-rock group from Ghent, composed of Inne Eysermans (vocals, piano, guitar, accordion), Sebastiaan Van Den Branden (vocals, guitar), Hilke Ros (bass), and Christophe Claeys (drums, vibraphone, trumpet). They came into the spotlight in 2010 when they reached the finals in Humo's Rock Rally, which was ultimately won by School Is Cool.

Amatorski. Photo:

They're currently doing the 'Amatorski film' tour, thusly explained on their website:
Last week we started the 'Amatorski film' tour, a subtle 'mariage' [sic] of music and film in purest Amatorski style. We created a new soundtrack for the Belgian avant-garde film 'Impatience' (1928) and our earlier songs are accompanied by mesmerising visuals from young film talent Stien De Vrieze.
Here's the spooky teaser for the tour:

Amatorski actually played at the Vooruit here in Ghent two nights ago. By the time I found out about it, it was sold out. Better luck next time, I guess.