Beauty queen booed at pageant (+video)

Last updated 00:00 01/01/2009
DON'T SPEAK: Beauty pageant winner Alizee Poulicek has sparked controversy after admitting she couldn't speak Dutch.

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A Miss Belgium beauty pageant contestant was booed when she revealed she couldn't speak Dutch during a live interview.
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News Agency DPA reported Alizee Poulicek was booed by the crowd when she was asked about her hopes for the future of Flemish during the Miss Belgium 2008 beauty pageant.

"I ... I do not understand," Poulicek replied as the audience bagan booing.

Some said the incident highlighted the tensions between the French and Dutch speaking communities in Belgium.

Belgium is divided between the Flemish-speaking majority of Flanders and the French-speaking minority in Wallonia, DPA reported.

The country has been unable to form a new government since the general election six months ago, leading to speculation that Belgium could split into French- and Dutch-speaking regions.

The incident was widely reported by media, with French-language daily La Libre Belgique running the headline: "Miss Belgium 2008 is not 'tweetalig'" - the Dutch word for bilingual.

Another paper, Het Laatste Nieuws, used: "Booed because she can't speak Flemish".

But the paper pointed out that Poulicek - who went on to win the competition - can speak "at least four other languages perfectly".


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