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Flemish language


Flemish or Belgian Dutch (Belgisch-Nederlands [ˈbɛlɣis ˈneːdərlɑnts] or Vlaams) is the Dutch language as spoken in Flanders, the northern part ofBelgium be it standard (as used in schools, government and the media) or informal (as used in daily speech, "tussentaal" [ˈtʏsə(n)ˌtaːl]). There are four principal Dutch dialects in Flanders: Brabantian, East Flemish, West Flemish, and Limburgish. The latter two are sometimes considered separate languages. Education The Education in Flanders covers the Flemish Community, the Dutch-speaking part of Belgium, and consists of three networks (netten): government-provided education (gemeenschapsonderwijs), subsidized public schools (by provinces and municipalities) and subsidized free schools (mainly affiliated to the Catholic church). Culture Within Belgium the Flemings form a clearly distinguishable group, set apart by their language and customs. However, when compared to the Netherlands most of these cultural and linguistic differences quickly fade, as the Flemish share the same language, similar or identical customs and (though only with the southern part of today's Netherlands) traditional religion with the Dutch. However, the popular perception of being a single polity varies greatly, depending on subject matter, locality and personal background. Generally, Flemings will seldom identify themselves as being Dutch and vice versa, especially on a national level. Religion Approximately 75% of the Flemish people are by baptism assumed Roman Catholic, though a still diminishing minority of less than 8% attends Mass on a regular basis and nearly half of the inhabitants of Flanders are agnostic or atheist. A 2006 inquiry in Flanders, showed 55% chose to call themselves religious, 36% believe that God created the universe.