Sunday, 14 May 2006

What is a zinneke, anyway?

Just as we have a statue called Manneken Pis (little pissing boy) and another called Janneke Pis (a little pissing girl), so we also have a Zinneke Pis! And here he is, in the rue des Chartreux, doing what comes naturally.

In the Brussels dialect, a zinneke is a mongrel dog and by extension, a person of mixed ethnic origin, just like the Brussels dialect itself which is a mixture of French and Flemish with influences from Spanish, from the time when the Low Countries were under Spanish rule. Brussels grew up around a river - long covered over for health reasons - called the Senne (FR)/Zenne (NL). Some say the name "zinneke" was used of the dogs that roamed around near the river, others that it refers to the fact that they deserved to be thrown into the river. Anyway, by using this term to describe themselves, Brusselers celebrate their multicultural background and current ethnic diversity.

5 Comments:

At 15/5/06 10:24, Blogger Stu said...

So - what is it with Belgians and urination?

 
At 15/5/06 15:00, Blogger qaminante said...

Perhaps it's all the beer? Although I think the Belgians/Brusselers would say it's to do with showing disrespect for authority!

 
At 17/5/06 12:39, Blogger miki said...

Interesting and full of humor!

 
At 27/5/06 04:45, Blogger Gawain said...

Hey, here in Thailand we have statues like this everywhere. But ours are better: they also walk, bark, howl and procreate.

What a pleasure to come across your blog. I have thought about going to former Nokia-lands for some time, but this does it: I have to go now. What did it cost to be in BH and Montenegro per day?

 
At 27/5/06 10:17, Blogger qaminante said...

Thanks Gawain, I visited both BH and Montenegro in day trips from Dubrovnik, so I wasn't staying in hotels there, but lunch in Mostar cost less than 10 EUR and prices in Montenegro seemed comparable. I noted that you can stay at Hotel Vardar in Kotor for around 50 EUR - no doubt much more cheaply in private rooms but I haven't looked into that yet.

 

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