Flanders: New Flemish

Open VLD, the Flemish liberal party, approved a bill that among other things changes language usage by the liberal. 'Allochtoon' [ie, the word used for 'immigrant'] will now be replaced by 'New Fleming'. "The language use of our publications may by no means be stigmatizing for specific individuals," according to the bill. The party's 'mirror bureau' makes sure that the party is as much as possible a mirror of society.

The mirror bureau meets once a month and sees out the elections. there are representatives for the immigrants, youth, seniors and handicapped.

The word 'allochtoon' literally means "from another land" and comes from Greek: 'Allos' (other, foreign) and 'chthonos' (land). The concept was introduced in 1971 by the Dutch sociologist Hilda Verwey-Jonker in a report for the Minister of Culture, Recreation and Social Work, to replace the accepted word at the time 'immigrant'.

In the Flemish Decree Ethnic-cultural Minorities from 1988 the 'allochtoon' are mentioned as one of the goal groups, next to refugees and new-comers. In that decree 'allochtoon' and new-comers are different: newcomers already live a longer time (legally) in Flanders.

Source: HLN (Dutch)

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