• Belgian and Norwegian Publications Report on Pony

    A couple of new articles have popped up over in Eurpoe dedicated to our crazy little ponies.

     Galacon ended up with one in the business paper known as Dagens Naeringsliv.  Apparently it coveres a whole bunch of aspects of the convention.  Sadly we still need a translation on that one.  You can give Google Translate a shot though while we wait!  (I don't know if "A whiff of sweat and puberty are thick as porridge." is actually intended though!)

    And over in Belgian, a magazine called Citta tossed a small report togeather.  Luckily we can skip google with that one! The translation can be found here or after the break courtesy of Count Doofus.

    The little
    Horse enthusiasts
    Meeting with the bronies

    There are horse enthusiasts and horse enthusiasts. Ever heard of bronies? Those are die-hard fans of My Little Pony. The term ‘bronies’ is derived from the English term ‘bro’, or ‘brother’ or ‘friend’. Bronies are, literally translated, ‘friends of My Little Pony’.

    I’m lucky during my search through the city. The bronies are having a picnic in the city. I meet them, yep, at the Paardenmarkt (Translator’s Note: the place where we assembled. Literally translates into “Horse Market”). It isn’t hard to recognize them. The amount of decibels they produce are likely to exceed the noise standard. A young woman is waving a Flemish flag around, at least at first glance, because after looking closer, our sturdy lion has been replaced by a cute, winged pony (TN: Fluttershy). Guys with rugged Iron Maiden jackets, among other rock bands, but on their black revers, they also carry colorful medallions of lovable ponies. Niels Raats, a firm young man, displays a bright blue T-shirt with on it the pink pony, Pinkie Pie. I hear that name drop quite often. Is she the favorite pony? My question seems simple, but a discussion immediately plays out. “Everybody is fan of a particular pony, so opinions differ,” says organizer Matthias van den Elsacker (21) from Mortsel. “Each pony has their own characteristics. Pinkie Pie is the scoundrel of the pack.”

    Fourth generation
    I tell the bronies I once used to be a fan of the television show as well. In my attic, there’s even a pink pony castle gathering dust somewhere. They react jeeringly. The girl with the flag, Caithlin Stoop (23) from Kalmthout, tells me the bronies absolutely aren’t a fan of that famous show. “The creator of My Little Pony wanted to appeal to an older generation with this series,” she explains. “We are genuine fans of the G4 ponies, the fourth generation. The episodes are more focused on people in their twenties. The storylines, the characters, the animation, the music, the humour and life lessons are what makes this show so popular in this age group. My Little Pony is top quality, but it’s best to watch it in English.”

    The number of bronies rises continuously. There are millions of supporters, particularly in America. “I suspect there are about 150 bronies in Belgium who openly admit it,” says Mick De Beul (17) from Deurne. “More join every day, but there are a lot who still need to come out of the stables.” That last bit is apparently brony language for people who haven’t dared to express themselves yet. No problem for Mick. His T-shirt which captions I’m a brony, deal with it! speaks for itself. “Yeah, I’m the only brony in my school, my friends hate bronies, but I don’t care at all. I’ve become happier since I became a brony, it changed my life. I even know people who recovered from a depression thanks to My Little Pony.”

    The group I’m meeting today, exists - strangely enough - mainly out of men. “There are indeed more male fans,” Caithlin confirms. “Maybe girls are more impartial because they know the previous generations better and associate it with the children’s show. It’s also an internet phenomenon, which naturally appeals more to guys.” With that being said, they insist on showing me some of the songs from My Little Pony. Smartphones appear everywhere, and within seconds the Paardenmarkt is enveloped in joyous tunes. Every sentence, every word gets sung along vociferously. Love and tolerate is their motto, so they treat each other compassionately. “Being a brony is a way of life,” Matthias adds. “Because you come together so often, you get a lot more social. During our meet-ups, we watch episodes, listen to music, exchange gadgets and even make and play our own games, like Monopony and My Little Uno. It’s always fun, we’re proud to be a brony.”