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Belgium in Brief: Expat Names

Credit: Canva

Looking at the list of the top names in a country for the year puts things into perspective for expats.

We’re really just a drop in the ocean here, at least among adults.

Will there ever come a time when the most common names are things like Tim? Lauren? Tony?

If babies’ names are any indication, then maybe, but then again, names have a habit of quickly becoming part of local culture before you stop to think where they came from.

I know a few Scottish Grahams. I also know an American “Gram.”

When I first moved to Belgium, I was told my name was fairly common – it is – but nobody pronounces the s.

So where’s your name from? Ever thought about it? Or are you facing an existential crisis?

Let @johnstonjules know.

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Belgium in Brief is a free daily roundup of the top stories to get you through your lunch break conversations. To receive it straight to your inbox every day, sign up below:

1. Public prosecutor to fine airlines that don’t check coronavirus travelling documents

The public prosecutor’s office of Halle-Vilvoorde has said it will fine airline companies in Brussels Airport that do not check whether passengers have filled out a Passenger Location Form (PLF) or airlines let them board without a PLF. Read More.

2. Holiday Guide: What are the latest rules across the EU?

Those looking to pack their bags for a long weekend or a trip away may have set their sights on somewhere a little closer to home this year. Read More.

3. Official anthem for Belgian Olympic athletes released

The official anthem for the Belgian Olympic team has been released just over one week before the games kick off in Tokyo. Read more.

4. Vaccine manufacturer Moderna accused of tax evasion

A summer camp based out of the Woluwe-Saint-Pierre neighbourhood of Brussels has ended less than a day after it began after some members of its leadership tested positive for the coronavirus. Read more.

5. Brussels Airlines to stop greeting passengers with ‘ladies and gentlemen’

People flying with an airline of the Lufthansa group, including Brussels Airlines, will no longer be greeted with “ladies and gentlemen,” but with a gender-neutral alternative. Read more.

6. Belgium-based pharma company criticised for giving electric shocks to dogs

Animal Rights, a non-profit that protects animals, is organising a demonstration at Belgium-based Janssen Pharmaceutica to draw attention to the experiments carried out on dogs, which include giving them electric shocks. Read more.

7. The future of living: Book reading in the Citizens’ Garden of the European Parliament

A plan to scrap quarantines for fully vaccinated British citizens arriving from amber countries has become a subject of concern for a collective of Brits in Europe, who fear the current rule doesn’t include them. Read more.

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