Lederhosen Country Trends: Belgium


Figure 1.-d.

I have little information about lederhosen in Belgium. Probably the pattern is similar to that in France, at least in French speaking Walonia. I'm less sure about Dutch speaking Flanders. I don't know if they were worn before World War II, but after the War they were worn by many Scouts. They appear to have been more common in the Flemish areas of Belgium. While Scouts in the 1990s give less attention to uniform and few wear shorts, some do still wear lederhosen. They were not, however, worn by the Flemist nationalist organization--the VNJ. Even so, Flanders is the only area that I know of were lederhosen have been worn by boys (Scouts and others alike) to a large extent although they are in no way part of its national tradition. Regional costumes play but a marginal role in Flanders. Were they are known they are, as indeed in Netherlands, of a totally different style from Southern Germany. The popularity of lederhosen in Belgium is in part a desire of the Flemish to differentiate themselves from the French speaking Waloons which have traditionally dominate Belgium. Lederhosen, quite common for Flemish boys in the 1960s, are rare today. They have never been worn by adults. One well traveled Flemish boy has provided some details about Belgium.

Bilingual Country

French is spoken in Walonia. Dutch is spol ken in Flanders. HBC believes that the pattern for lederhosen in Belgium is probably similat to France, at least in French speaking Walonia. I'm less sure about Dutch speaking Flanders. They appear to have been more common in the Flemish areas of Belgium.

Chronology

I don't know if lederhosen were worn before World War II, but after the War they were worn by many Scouts.

Youth Organizations

Scouts

While Scouts in the 1990s give less attention to uniform and few wear shorts, some do still wear lederhosen.

VNJ

Lederhosen were not, however, worn by the Flemist nationalist organization--the VNJ. Even so, Flanders is the only area that I know of were lederhosen have been worn by boys (Scouts and others alike) to a large extent although they are in no way part of its national tradition. A HBC reader reports, "Of all the uniformed VNJ-boys I have seen during the past few years, not a single one wore lederhosen." The HBC reader reports that he recently spoke to one of the godmothers of the movement, one who was there when it was founded in 1960. He put it to her that he knew of a scout group in Northern France who all wear lederhosen as part of their uniform and added that he and several of his mates did the same in the 1960s, and why was it that the VNJ never did. The answer was swift and to the point: "I am sure that some of our boys wear them privately, I donít mind that, but we would never allow them to wear them with the uniform. Short lederhosen Tyrolean style have never been a typical or traditional garment with us, not in Flanders, nor in Holland." She said the Southern nor the Northern Netherlands, in keeping with the VNJ standpoint that these countries ought to be united). They are part of a German folk costume and as such unacceptable for the uniform of a Flemish nationalist movement.

National Dress

Regional costumes play but a marginal role in Flanders. Were they are known they are, as indeed in Netherlands, of a totally different style from Southern Germany. The popularity of lederhosen in Belgium is in part a desire of the Flemish to differentiate themselves from the French speaking Waloons which have traditionally dominate Belgium. Lederhosen, quite common for Flemish boys in the 1960s, are rare today. They have never been worn by adults. One well traveled Flemish boy has provided some details about Belgium.






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Created: September 8, 2001
Last updated: September 8, 2001