Ok, I will probably be unable to convince anyone, but let me make the case for… Belgium.
First of all, what does it mean to be a Belgian?
I am Belgian and I have no idea.
Does it mean you like French fries (but please call them ‘fritte’)? Does it mean you spend some days on the Belgian coast in summer and some days in the Ardennes in winter?
Do you like absurd humor?
Are you particularly worried about pedophiles? Since we have all been traumatized to some extent by the Dutroux case and others.
There’s that joke in the movie ‘In Bruges’
Belgium is famous for only two things. Chocolate and pedophiles and they only have the chocolate to get to the kids.
Belgium has three official languages. Dutch (Flemish), French and German. It has so many parliaments we must have the most politicians per capita.
25 percent of Europe’s cocaine comes in via our harbour of Antwerp.
We seem to attract decisive battles even though we’re a tiny country. During World War II the Germans managed to invade us TWICE.
Arguably our most well known symbol is that of a little naked boy peeing. Yes, you can buy chocolate near it. Am not sure if there are always pedophiles lurking nearby.
We have proven that a country can function without having a government.
We have three different language groups that don’t get along politically, yet the idea of a civil war is just ridiculous.
In the past we were one of the most powerful nations on earth because of our colony, the Kongo.
Our king Leopold II was a worse mass murderer than Hitler, but we seem to have got away with that.
We also had a hand in murdering Patrice Lumumba, but again, we seem to have got away with it.
We tend to help bomb whichever country the US wants bombed, although we did stay out of Vietnam and Iraq (not Korea or many others though).
We have stalinist communists (PVDA) in most of our many Parliaments anno 2021. Members of a party that secretely wants to abolish all other parties and nationalize most big firms, but nobody seems to care.
We are an industrious, envious, grumbling sort of people, with a tendency to overeat, and have some of the highest suicide rates in the world.
I am unable to define a Belgian, but I can immediately spot a Belgian from miles away. Something in the body language and the wry grin.
I would argue it’s the strangest country since it’s a bit of a mystery as to why it exists, why it still exists and why it has a most cumbersome structure, yet somehow doesn’t fall apart.
And even though I cannot say what makes a person Belgian, I wouldn’t want to be any other nationality. I feel supremely alienated in this world, but I kinda like that.
As a Belgian being absurd is a way of life.
It’s all a mess, but somehow it works.
I don’t know of any other people that enjoys being negative as much as Belgians. Belgians are only happy when there is something to complain about.
I need French fries with mayonaise now.
But shit, am in Slovakia and they just don’t know how to make them over here.