Holand, Hjalmar Rued, 1872-1963 / Wisconsin's Belgian community : an account of the early events in the Belgian settlement in northeastern Wisconsin with particular reference to the Belgians in Door County
Chapter VII: Belgian characteristics and customs, pp. -97 PDF (2.5 MB)
eVII. BELGIAN CHARACTERISTICS AND CUSTOMS THE BELGIANS of the Door County peninsula are a people of rather short but very stocky frame with black hair and brown eyes. About twenty percent have blue eyes. Their most noticeable characteristic is their friendly, convivial disposition. They are a smiling people and should therefore be good merchants, but they are not much inclined to enter business and prefer life on the farm. This sociable attitude seeks an outlet in many special festive occasions, such as weddings, christenings and family anniversaries, when there is a vast amount of flux de bouche with accom- panying influx of spirituous beverages. The phrase, crever ou etouffer de rire-to split one's sides with laughing - must have had its origin among the Belgians, for they are constantly doing it. This craving for garrulous companionship is, if not a factor, at least a partial cause of church attendance. All Belgians go to church regularly, the women no doubt prompted by a desire for ceremonial worship, which is with- out question, also a factor in the church attendance of some of the men. But it was early discovered by purveyors of liquor, that a good location for a saloon was next door to a church, for the Belgians loved to linger over a glass of beer and exchange the gossip of the week. At these times it was also customary to indulge in a little innocent game of conion.
Copyright, 1933, by H. R. Holand.| For information on re-use, see http://digital.library.wisc.edu/1711.dl/Copyright