Cantus: Not Karoake


Compared to other cultures that have popularized a style of dancing (think Cuba, Spain, Brazil..), Belgium might not be known as a party-place. But Belgians do indeed know how to have some fun. One of these parties that I recently found out about is called a Cantus. Read on to learn about this party that is specific to Belgium. 

What tradition did I learn about?:

After doing some research, I learned that Cantus is Latin for "singing." A Cantus party is therefore essentially a gathering for the purpose of singing traditional songs and socializing. Locals have told me that this party is really a must-do for anyone wanting to truly experience Belgian culture. As the night draws on, party goers get over their shyness, and by the end of the evening, everyone is belting out songs together. 

These parties are typically thrown by a student organization or a fraternity because they are, typically, student gatherings. The songs can be in Dutch, French, English or even German depending on what city you are in.

Why does the community have this tradition?:

A Cantus is really a rare spectacle of Belgian pride. Belgians in general are not very patriotic, at least not compared to Americans.