Belarusian youth

Thu, 2009-01-29 18:51

by Iryna Vidanava

A hip high-tech happening in Minsk is the latest example of young Belarusians pushing the envelope.

Young Belarusians are hooked on the Internet. In a recent survey, students cited virtual activities as second in popularity only to going to discos, clubs, and movies. While most young Internet users in Belarus go online mostly to seek entertainment, they can hardly avoid the news and other information posted on Belarusian web portals. While Belarus lags behind the West in most technological trends, the Internet is not one of them. According to a 2008 study by Gemius, a leading online research agency in Central and Eastern Europe, a third of Belarusians use the Internet regularly; 53 percent of this group is under 25 years old and another 23 percent is made up of 25- to 34-year-olds. According to official statistics, in 2000 there were only two computers per 100 families; by 2007 the number had jumped to 26. For families with children younger than 18, the figure rises to 40.

Mon, 2008-04-28 18:42

Iryna VidanavaBelarus is often called “Europe’s black hole” and is best known for its dictator Alexander Lukashenka and the 1986 Chernobyl Disaster. Indeed, with its statues of Lenin, KGB, socialist realist buildings and collective farms, time seems to have stopped in Belarus, where the Soviet Union still lives. But behind the country’s closed borders, an exciting and vibrant youth scene is alive and well, producing alternative culture underground in dorms, music clubs, informal groups, artistic communities and cyberspace.