When you visit northern Belgium, you may see a "weird" scene: in the field, a group of old Belgian men sitting on a bench, 6 feet (1.8 meters) apart, muttering words to the wooden box in front of them, the long wood still in their hands from time to time Draw a stroke on the stick.
This is not a religious ceremony, but a traditional Belgian activity: bird fighting.
Every summer, in the fields, seashores, trenches, roads, broken bridges, and waste railway tracks in the Flemish region of Belgium, old people with white hair grow all over the mountains and plains and form the "Great Wall of Human Flesh." What they have to do next is very simple, one person, one bird, one stool, and one stick are enough.
However, the moment the referee waved the red flag, the old men were full of energy, as if they had installed a motor for life in the evening, whether people or birds, all have to concentrate in this game, in order to achieve "the unity of people and birds." . As a bird fighting master, you must listen carefully, because in the next hour, you have to count how many chicks in the birdcage in front of you, and every time you chirp, you must write a note on the stick in your hand. , Until the "King of Birds" who chatted the most appeared.
As a bird, I can't relax in the slightest. They must be male chaffinch with a loud voice and full of air. You can’t make the wrong note, you must be "suske-wiets" to score points. If you make a "susk-e-wiat", you may be disqualified immediately. Veteran players will also tell if this bird sings "French" or "Dutch". If he sings French in Flemish in the Dutch-speaking area, he will really be sweating for the fate of this bird. Very "Belgian".
Don't think that these old men are not doing their jobs. This is the traditional intangible cultural heritage of the Flemish region of Belgium, an ancient folk movement that has been maintained for more than 400 years. According to records, as early as 1596, Flemish merchants held a "fighting" event. Although it does not seem to have much technical content, every old Belgian man has a lot of energy for the "fighting bird". In order to create a warm and comfortable environment for the birds, they have to install artificial lights from February and listen to the recording of "susk-e-wiets" to correct their pronunciation.
"In fact, there is no successful experience, I think it depends mainly on talent." Philip Santens, the owner of the chaffinch, who has won 5 games, said. In fact, behind the scenes, he secretly listened to the heavy metals in "Guns and Roses" to his finches and fed high-protein foods. There are more than 13,000 "finch enthusiasts" like Philip in Belgium, and they raise about 10,000 finches each year.
Why do Belgians love fighting birds? Maybe no one can explain it clearly. But the sport of fighting sparrows really fits the character of the Belgians too much. In Belgium, there is an inexplicable "childish and boring" happiness.
For example, there is a strange tradition in the Belgian coastal areas-horse-riding shrimp fishing. The fishermen rode on their horses and walked quietly along the beach, dragging a funnel-shaped net behind the horses. As for whether they can catch fish and shrimps, all depends on luck. But this "Buddhism" movement may not be as simple as it seems. Fisherman Eddie de Helst told reporters, "Don't look at us riding on horseback like a daze. In fact, everyone has to face the ocean, Tides and horses have a huge amount of knowledge and ability to control".
On the other side of Belgium, the residents of the small town of Malmedy are not idle either. Every year on August 15th, they will hold an event-spread a huge omelette. 14,000 townspeople gathered together. In front of them was a large pot measuring 13 feet (about 4 meters) in diameter. There were 10,000 eggs and many pounds of duck meat in it. They insisted on such an activity. It's almost 50 years.
This is also the reason why I like Belgium: here, boredom is never a derogatory term. You can do whatever meaningless things you want, whether you want to fight birds, go fishing on horseback, or spread omelettes, without worrying about wasting your time and life