Belarus traditions and customs
Religions and beliefs
La orthodox religion and the Catholic religion have always coexisted in Belarus. The Orthodox religion was stronger during the periods of Russification and the Catholic religion during the periods of Polonization.
The Treaty of Brest of 1596 found a compromise by creating theUniate church, which allows the Orthodox to retain part of their rites while accepting the authority of Rome. Neither Russian nor Polish, the Uniate Church played an important role in the constitution of a Belarusian identity independent of its two big neighbors.
At the end of the 70th century, Uniates made up 7% of the population, Catholics 6%, and Orthodox XNUMX%.
Tsar Peter I of Russia (Peter the Great) cannot tolerate such a threat to independence. The Uniate church was banned in 1839 and the use of the Belarusian language was banned in 1841. A decree of Peter I also prohibited the use of the word “Belarusian”.
Above Lukashenko strengthened the link between the state and the Orthodox Church. Lukashenko declares: “We regard Belarus as the savior of Slavic civilization, and we must save this civilization. "
The Orthodox Church holds the same Pan-Slavic discourse. By unifying the Slavic peoples, it is a question of marking its difference with the West. Belarus and the Belarusian Orthodox Church signed a Concordat in 2003 recognizing the Orthodox Church a decisive role in the spiritual and cultural development of the country. The Belarusian Orthodox Church is attached to the Moscow Patriarchate. It is headed by the Metropolitan of Minsk and Slutsk.
Today, nearly 2 million people are Catholic, 15% being of Polish origin. In Grodno, Masses are also said in Polish.
In the early 1990s, the Uniate Church was reestablished. Today it has more than 100 faithful.
Every year during the summer solstice, Belarus celebrates the feast ofIvan Kupala. It is an ancient and pagan rite, a centuries-old European heritage that shows the attachment of Belarusians to their roots as well as to nature. It is about invoking the natural elements so that the harvests are good. Many folk dances are then performed by young women with heads crowned with flowers.
This celebration gave birth to the Kupalinka musical ensemble, which draws its inspiration from a wide repertoire of traditional Slavic songs.
The datchas we are talking about here are small country houses with a vegetable garden. They play an important role in the life of Belarusian families. The garden, which provides fresh fruit, potatoes and other vegetables, allows the family a certain autonomy in terms of food.
Since it is not uncommon to see three generations under the same roof - the dacha allows you to find a little privacy.
The dacha is still part of a larger set of dachas that allow Belarusians, outside the city, to rediscover greater sociability with their neighbors. It is in a way the country club of Belarusians.
In spring, all of these dachas give the landscape an air of celebration, with their vegetable gardens, fruit trees and small fences.
Belarusians love to party and dance until the end of the night. Each town has a number of nightclubs. One day a week, admission is free for women, usually Sunday.
For a Belarusian, an evening is not successful if there is not a certain number of shows organized during the evening, shows in which everyone will be invited to participate. A party yes, but an organized party!
Women bieshirts with slogans are the order of the day. Everything that comes from the United States is very popular.
Know-how and customs
- Do not get upset, even in front of a stubborn official! This will only delay the procedure. You must listen carefully to the other person without interrupting them, make them understand that you have understood them, and then calmly, respectfully and unabashedly express your point of view.
- Do not talk about Chernobyl if your Belarusian interlocutor does not invite you to do so. This is a real national trauma. Although they know her, Belarusians do not want the gravity of the situation to be exaggerated.
- Avoid any political conversation with an elderly person. The elderly are often proud of Lukashenko, sometimes even nostalgic for the Soviet occupation ... Among young people, on the other hand, the word "dictatorship" is not taboo.
- The Biéàvis of their appearance. Women biéaller, even among the elderly. Keeping clean and wearing decent clothes is a mark of respect for one another.