6 November 2019 100 0
When I arrived in Belarus, I barely knew this little country in the middle of Europe. This country, which is placed between Russia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland and Ukraine, is still unknown from the tourists. Numerous people have preconceived ideas about this nation, which for centuries saw its cultural identity tormented because of a heavy and complex cultural past.
It is necessary to break some of these myths of a “post-soviet” State with all the negative ideology within them and to make an effort to understand and analyze the transformations of this society, more and more attracted to the West. The best example is the organization of the World Ice Hockey Championship & European Olympic Games held in Minsk, the capital of Belarus, last July. This event not only embellished the city with modern infrastructures and places to visit. It also turned the spotlight on the country, allowing foreigners to discover the true face of Belarus.
Looking towards the West, doesn’t mean to forget the past. For Belarussians, remembering where they came from, is essential, in order to not repeat the mistakes of the past. From a European point of view, you might think that memory to the soviet past is everywhere. However, should we not ask our nations the same question? In our European countries, too, one can find many places and monuments dedicated to their glorious past. We also celebrate our glorious leaders from the past like Napoleon or Churchill.
As a tourist, you will always receive a warm welcome in the different cafes, bars or restaurants. Belarussians are extremely welcoming and curious; it is very easy to start a conversation. Got lost? Don’t panic and ask someone for help on the street! People will always be ready to give you a hand. At first, their faces may look withdrawn, but it’s simply because they don’t know you yet and that they aren’t used to smile easily. For these people, a smile comes from the bottom of their heart, it is franc and sincere. When Belarussians grant you their trust, it can last for a lifetime! Belarussians are curious, funny, proud of their traditions, and they have every right to be!
For Belarussian people, being aware of their past is a necessary condition in order to look towards their future with serenity. Also, for Belarus to find its place on the global map, which borders now are being redistributed, is crucially important!
The city of Minsk has great ambitions, especially in the technological and touristic fields. Minsk offers us a way of life close to nature, with numerous parks, which go easily with its taste for the contemporary art. A rich and generous cuisine is a sign of the great hospitality of Belarussians. Like French people, Belarussians like to have a bond with nature. They may open you the doors of their “datcha”, a small house in the countryside. Datcha is a key element of Belarussian lifestyle that allows to reconnect to nature and to enjoy simple things.
When I arrived in Belarus, I expected to find a closed country and to be back over 50 years in time. It all was absolutely the other way around! Belarus is connected more than ever to the present time and it’s so deserving to be discovered!
I bet you want to know more … 😉 Come and check it out by yourself!
٭”[a condition] without which it could not be”
Pierre, Marketing Manager at Prime Tour