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World's "coolest nationality" poll

Poll: Belgians "least cool"; Brits "not as cool as we think"

Sep 08, 2011

LONDON, England - The nation that gave us Brussel sprouts, EU bureaucrats and Herman Van Rompuy rated seriously uncool.

The Belgians have been voted the world's "least cool" nationality in an international poll, which names Americans the globe's "coolest nationality" and reveals that we Brits are less cool than we think.

30,000 people across 15 countries were asked to name the coolest nationality in an online poll conducted by social network

Belgians came last in the Badoo poll. Even Canadians and Germans were rated cooler. Americans were voted the coolest nationality, ahead of the Brazilians in second and Spanish in third.

"This seems harsh on the Belgians", says Lloyd Price, Badoo's Director of Marketing. "Then again, I might struggle to name 10 cool Belgians without time to think."

But are the Belgians really less cool than, say, the Canadians?

Belgium, after all, is the country that gave the world, er, Brussel sprouts, EU bureaucrats, Mannequin Pis and EU President, Herman Van Rompuy.

We Brits are best known in many parts for wearing socks with sandals but still rank sixth in the Badoo poll, just behind the French, Italians and Spanish. Not bad but not exactly "Cool Britannia".

"It seems we're not as cool as we think", says Price. "But hey, we're still cooler than Canadians and Belgians."

We must beware of stereotyping entire nationalities, says Price. "Not all Belgians are uncool."

Take Jacques Brel, who sang cool songs and influenced David Bowie and Leonard Cohen; or Rene Magritte, the great surrealist painter; or Hercule Poirot, the Belgian sleuth.

Belgians also make cool chocolates, while even Herman Von Rompuy writes poetry in his spare time, earning him the nickname, "Haiku Herman".

It was also a 19th century Belgian by the name of Adolphe Sax who invented the saxophone - the coolest of all instruments, which played a key role in both the history of jazz and the very birth of cool.

But not many people know that. The result, however unfair, is that Belgians are still rated terminally uncool.


Rank Nationality
1. Belgians
2. Poles
2. Turks
4. Canadians
5. Germans


1. American
2. Brazilians
3. Spanish
4. Italians
5. French

Poll: Belgians "least cool"; Brits "not as cool as we think"
Not cool: Herman Van Rompuy and Brussel sprouts

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