Wall-bania jibe causes uproar

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Parents of pupils attending the Dutch-speaking Royal Atheneum in Etterbeek have been outraged by the map of Wallonia drawn up by the schools Flemish geography teacher. His map of Wallonia is divided into  three parts: Wallifornia, Wallabama and Wallbania.

Wallifornia – a reference to California – represents the prosperous area between Brussels and Arlon. The Ardennes make up Wallabama, a reference to Alabama that mainly has forested areas and meadows. What’s left, is Wallbania (a reference to Albania), a region hit by unemployment and redundancies.

Complaints from the parents have hit the media in the French speaking part of the country. The parents say that this is  “shocking and a bad caricature”.

Some parents were flabbergasted by the teacher’s personal interpretation and labelling. They also claim there is also a political interpretation behind it.

The boss of the Dutch-speaking schools in Brussels says that he was not aware of the fact that the teacher was using this kind of map. He hopes to have a good chat to sort things out with all the parties involved. The case made the headlines in the Francophone media, but was hardly in the news in Flanders.