Thursday, September 20, 2007

Will There Still Be Beer?

I lived briefly in Brussels and have spent a bit of time in Spain. In neither country did I spend enough time to be able to claim any deep insight about the various regional-ethnic independence movements, but what I did gain some insight about was the fact that the concepts of nationalism and regional identity vary greatly. Leaving any issues of justice or rightness aside, when I spoke to Belgians about the regional-ethnic divides or people (supportive and hostile) about desires for regional autonomy in Spain what I realized is that while we all talk about these issues to some degree, the concepts and underlying motivations aren't as common as we imagine.

I think this is the first US paper I've seen (not necessarily the first one that's done it) which has paid much attention to the current political crisis in Belgium.