Explore Belarusian Culture

In this section, you will find articles on well-known people and places from the Belarusian cultural scene, as well as interesting facts about the past and present Belarus that remain unknown to the Western audience.

Wed, 2017-05-24 16:23

How do you attract tourists to Minsk? Masha Charakova and her team think that you need to tell people about the uniquely eclectic city, where each district has its own unique flavour. A few months before the government allowed five-day visa-free travel to Belarus for foreigners, a group of enthusiasts and lovers of Minsk decided to create Minsk in Socks, an English-language guide book for foreigners. This guide will make any tourist feel as cozy, comfortable and calm in this city as grandchildren feel in the warm woolly socks knitted by their granny. Part of the books is already written and illustrated, but additional funds are required to finish the work. That is why the girls have launched a Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign.

Thu, 2016-02-25 10:35

Students and professors of the College of Europe, located in the Belgian city of Bruges, had a chance to learn about Belarus in an interactive and fun way. The College welcomed a book presentation by Maryia Charakova, who brought Heta Belarus, Dzietka!, a humorous country guide, as well as a number of other activities: one could take part in a factual quiz with questions on Belarus, get a few language lessons in the linguistic cafe, try their luck in a lottery for the main prize of This Land Called Belarus, an English translation of the book by a well-known Belarusian writer and historian Uladzimir Arlou, and even try real Belarusian draniki for lunch in the student cafeteria!

Mon, 2015-11-30 10:45

Masha Cherakova: "I remember that I had this sudden urge of discovering Belarus and after 2 weeks I found myself sitting on the plane, on my way to Belarus, and it felt so good! It was like the best thing I ever did in my life". 

Marta Charnova: "I wasn’t looking for success, or for building my career, or for the university - I didn’t care. I need the people. The air is so different. My lungs open up and I can breathe. Even at the airport, even in a bus, it’s still better. It’s sweet."

Mon, 2015-11-02 15:18

By Ales Bondar for the ODB

Once upon a time, there were two fair-haired young ladies, Masha and Marta. Masha lived in the Netherlands, amidst fields of tulips, narrow channels, and Van Gogh paintings. Marta lived in the USA, the country of skyscrapers, cowboys and juicy burgers.  They could have lived happily ever after. But they also shared a secret. Even though Masha and Marta lived in Europe and America, they were born in a totally different, magic country.

Tue, 2014-09-16 08:37

By Volha Babkova, belarusian historian and writer, for ODB

Translated by Mark Bence

Like Rome, Miensk is built on seven hills, nowadays partially levelled and flattened, but which still give the city a unique landscape. At the top of the highest hill is Freedom Square which in ancient times used to be called the Upper (Higher) Marketplace or Upper City, and was known as Cathedral Square under the Russian empire.

Mon, 2014-08-25 21:04

By Uladzimer Arlou for ODB. Translated by Mark Bence

“The world started from Polatsk…” reads a poem by the eminent Belarusian poet Ryhor Baradulin. If he implied the world of Belarusian history and culture, then this was no exaggeration. Do you recall the ancient myth of Phaeton, who asked his father, the sun god Helios, for permission to drive his sun-chariot for a day?

Thu, 2012-10-25 11:32

The Bear of Belarus, Alexander Medved', is considered by most to be the best freestyle wrestler of all time. He was the first person ever to win three gold Olympic medals in this sport.

By Maryna Rakhlei

Belarusians know this unique wrestler as a modest and approachable man; he doesn’t believe he is a star, knows how to work, and how to both win and lose. They also know one other of his secrets: is his family, which has supported him through the years; his wife, children, and now grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Could it be a coincidence that Medved’ Bear chose to stay in Minsk? He was destined to be a fighter and a winner. And
a Belarusian.

Mon, 2012-09-03 18:19

By Olga Loginova, New York

Хлебный фест в Мартиновой ГусиEnough, enough of the hot and muggy City, with its frantic pace, erratic drivers and hateful neighbors! Back to the lush
forests, lakes full of fish, and fields bursting with color and life!

A Belarusian village, what can be more sentimental and dear for those, who still remember the rich smell of bread in their granny’s brick oven, early starts to catch big fish, ripe cherries from the farm yards, and the dome of the sky heavy with stars that seemed ready to fall but never quite do.

Thu, 2012-06-21 14:55
St. Elisei

By Olga Loginova

Saint Elisei Lavra Abode is a solitary and miraculous place, hidden from the rest of the world by impenetrable woods and swamps. In the wintertime, pilgrims arrive there via a narrow wooden bridge, which is the only path between the big land, represented by the village Hnesichi in the Hrodna Region, and the old monastery. When it gets warmer, the full-flowing Nioman covers the bridge, and boats serve as the only means of transportation between the two lands.

Sun, 2012-05-20 21:12

By Olga Loginova

http://odb-office.eu/files/Tsmog_03.jpgFor years this has been one of my favourites – the story of how we tracked down the Lepel Lake monster. It involves several characters – myself, my indispensible camera person Sasha (who actually ended up in New York with me), a local policewoman and a good portion of ‘The Black Knight’ cognac (FYI consumed only for medical purposes).