Belgium. It may conjure up thoughts of beer, chocolate and waffles. Maybe the famous cyclist Eddy Merckx, the painter Rubens,  the cartoon TinTin, the singer Jacques Brel. Audrey Hepburn was born there. (OK, if you live outside Europe, you may be thinking, “Where exactly is Belgium?” It’s between The Netherlands and France.)

But singing?!

What started 20 years ago with a few people singing together in a bar in the town square (Grote Markt) of Antwerp, has grown into huge sing-along events where some 200,000 people gather in town squares all over the Flemish part of Belgium (Flanders) to sing together each summer. Antwerp alone has over 25,000 participants each year.

Vlaanderen Zingt (Flanders Sings) organizes sing-alongs in about 40 cities from July to September. They sing Flemish, French and English songs, from Edith Piaf and Queen to ABBA.

Of course, being Belgium, beer is involved.