Read in the 'Weekbode' (a local paper, freely translated as the Weekly Messenger) of Friday 10 April 2009: "Malak is the first child of Nissring Dahabra and Jalal Mohamad, living in Burg 53/3 in Torhout. The girl was born on Thursday 2 April at St Rembert hospital." Just a small item, nicely tucked away inside the paper. Another one from the same edition: "Achiel Cuylle and Rudy Onraedt sealed their three-year relationship with a wedding. They are currently living in Edewallestraat 21 in Handzame."
No big deal, you'll probably think. And you're right: normally this is not a big deal. But still, both items made me smile. After all, let's face it: the part of the world where I live is not exactly the most metropolitan of regions on the planet. Not that we are living beyond the 'End of civilisation' sign (we have internet and digital tv, imagine that), but we are not exactly at the apex of an 'everything goes' mentality either.
Not that I mind that much. At least not anymore. There used to be a time I couldn't get away from the stifling atmosphere of small town West-Flanders. Nowadays I almost welcome the slower evolution into these postmodern times. A gay marriage and the everyday context in which a small 'new Belgian' is introduced to the world being subtle signs of it...
Change does not always come through big events, nor is it only to be discoverd in massive newspaper headlines. Sometimes the biggest changes are found in smaller print too.