Legends from our own lunchtimes

Saturday, September 15, 2018

The Man in the Moon.
Wednesday 12th September - Diksmuide

The Market Square in Diksmuide is famous, according to the internet for its two prominent sculpture pieces.  There is the solemn if just a little tilted, effigy of Général Jacques described yesterday, who seems to have his back turned in silent protest against the flippant goings-on in the near corner, and there’s the flippancy itself.

In the past week we’ve learned quite a lot about the cheery little “Manneke uit de Mane”.  The gilded statue that stands out somewhat discordantly, like a beacon to happiness. That same internet would have it that one time Prime Minister Leo Tindemans was its sculptor.  That does seem unlikely, but he was definitely “beaten” into a knighthood of the “Order of the Man in the Moon”, a not entirely secret society which among other things bestows this honour from time to time on prominent citizens of West Flanders.

This all apparently originated from the publication of a Flemish Folk Almanac filled with jokes, weather forecasts and old Flemish sayings, wisdoms and customs which is still printed occasionally.  Perhaps the Général is just miffed that he didn’t know the secret handshake.

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