One of the smallest countries in Europe (only about the size of the state of Maryland in the U.S.A.), Belgium has a population of over 10 million. Most of the people live in the north where Flemish is the official language. Those people who live south of Brussels speak French.

Belgium is sometimes called the “Workshop of Europe.” It is famous for its fine textile and shipping industries, linens, lace, shipbuilding, glassware, fishing, and foundries for casting bells. Antwerp, its largest city, is the diamond-cutting and polishing capital of the world.

Belgium is located on the North Sea with the Netherlands bordering on the north, West Germany on the east, and France on the south. The people like to celebrate many festive occasions by wearing colorful native costumes. The boys and girls especially look forward to St. Nicholas’ Day on December 6.