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Socio-cultural Portrait of The Republic of Belarus
Belarus Holidays Outstanding musicians Symbols Olympic winners Food Sightseeings Location Language Character Self-check Video about Belarus
Belarus borders Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, Russia and Ukraine. Minsk is the capital of Belarus. Belarus has 6 regions
What are the most popular holidays in Belarus? Kupalle Maslenitsa The Independence Day
Maslenitsa (also known as Butter Week, Pancake week, or Cheesefare Week), is a religious and folk holiday. It is celebrated during the last week before Great Lent — that is, the 7th week before Easter. The most characteristic food of Maslenitsa is pancakes, popularly taken to symbolize the sun. Maslenitsa also includes masquerades, snowball fights, sledding, riding on swings and plenty of sleigh rides. As the culmination of the celebration, on Sunday evening, Lady Maslenitsa is stripped of her finery and put to the flames of a bonfire.
Kupalle is the most loved and celebrated pagan holiday in today’s Belarus. It took the name of a female God - Kupala. There is a whole complex of loved rituals, beliefs, love and magic. Like in ancient times, Kupalle is celebrated in the night from 6 July to 7 July. During the day of 6 July young girls went into the forests and the meadows to collect plants an herbs – corn flower, ferns, etc. It was believed that the plants gathered at that time had special magic and strength and could protect people and their homes from illnesses and evil spirits. That’s why some of these plants were used in food, some were put on the walls of the houses, and some were used in the wreaths worn on the head by young men and women during the Kupalle celebration.
The central part in Kupalle celebration was a fire, which symbolized life and Yaryla and drove away death. During the day young men would prepare the place to start the fire. They would go around the village collecting old things – clothes, broken barrels – and would take them out to the place, chosen for the festivity. Usually it would be a meadow, a forest glade, a bank of a river. The oiled wooden wheel would be set on fire to symbolize sun. There were a lot of purification rituals during the celebration - jumping through the fire, bathing in the river or rolling in the grass dew. There would be a lot of dancing in karagods, competing in strength, fortune-telling and looking for a blossoming fern flower – “paparats-kvetka”. The lucky couple that would find it would live happily ever after. A lot of this traditions is followed today.
Independence Day is celebrated on 3 July and marks the liberation of Minsk in 1944 from fascist aggressors. The occasion is marked with a large military parade in Pobeditilei Avenue. Independence Day demonstrates the achievements of a sovereign Belarus and reminds the people that by suffering great loss, they have won the freedom of their country.
Victoria Azarenka and Max Mirniy Darya Domracheva Sergei Martynov Olympic Winners
Victoria Azarenka & Max Mirniy hands a racquet since 7-year-old In order to continue progressing in her quest to become a professional tennis player, Victoria moved from Belarus to Scottsdale, Arizona at the age of 15 has established herself as a premier player on the WTA Tour and has demonstrated that she has the ability to become a top player for years to come represents Belarus in Davis Cup competition since April 1994 reached the World No. 1 doubles ranking in June 2003 and holds nine Grand Slam titles has the nickname "The Beast“ used to be coached by father, who played competitive volleyball in the 60’s has the highest Government Title “Orden Otechestva” in May 2004, was voted to a four-year term as vice-president of Belarus Tennis Federation At the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, Mirnyi carried the flag of Belarus at the Opening Ceremony on the 27 July 2012, and won the Gold medal in the Mixed Doubles with Victoria Azarenka on 5th August 2012
Darya Domracheva is a Belarusian biathlete who has been competing in the Biathlon World Cup since 2005. Darya started her sports career with cross-country skiing in 1992 but switched to biathlon in 1999. She joined Belarus’ national biathlon team in 2006. At the 2010 Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver, Canada, she won the Bronze medal in the Women's 15 km Individual race, at the Whistler Olympic Park venue. Later in the same season, on 13 March, she won her first World Cup race in the sprint in Finland. The next day she also won the pursuit.
Sergei Martynov became Olympic champion with a world record 705.5 score in the men's 50m rifle prone to claim gold in his sixth Games.
Draniki Draniki is a belarusian style shallow fried potato pancakes made of grated potatoes. It is a traditional Belarusian dish still very popular in present day Belarus. There are many variations of this simple recipe, on of them here. Ingredients (2 servings): 5 Large potatoes; 1 Egg; 1 medium Onion; Black pepper 0.5 tea spoon; Salt to taste; Sunflower Oil 7-8 tbl. spoons; Recipe (click)
First of all you will need a grater to grate potatoes and onions. Be sure that you use appropriate side of grater as shown on the picture so you don't grate potatoes into strips but rather into liquid mass. That what makes draniki unique. Prepare ingredients. Peel potatoes and onion. Grate potatoes and onions into a bowl. Add salt, pepper, egg and mix together. The substance should not be liquid, and should not be too thick, drain excess potato juice or add some flour to achieve required level of liquidity. Heat the frying pan, pour 1 tbl. spoon of sunflower oil onto it. Dump a full table spoon of mixture form the bowl onto the frying pan and from a small about quarter inch thick pancake. Cook on high for 2-3 minutes and then flip over. Cook another 2-3 minutes until golden brown. Serve hot with sour cream. Enjoy your meal! Cooking Instructions
Mir Castle The National Library Braslav Lakes
The National Library of Belarus is the most valuable object of cultural heritage of the Belarusian nation. It is the main information and cultural centre of the country. Its depository collections include 8 million items of various media. In 1993 the National Library of Belarus started to create its own electronic information resources. The library service is in great demand. More than 90 thousand citizens of Belarus are library users, who annually request 3.5 million documents. In addition to serving as a functional library, the National Library is a city attraction. It is situated in a park on a river bank and has an observation deck looking over Minsk.
Mir Castle is one of the most famous attractions in Belarus, which is home to a few UNESCO World Heritage sites that attract visitors. The castle is a fifteenth-century Gothic-style building with a rich history, and as one of the country's most popular destinations outside the capital city of Minsk, the Castle of Mir brings travelers back to another point in history. While much of the architecture and design, especially in Minsk, brings visitors back to the Soviet-era of cold, grey buildings, Mir Castle exposes visitors to the history that existed before this time.
National Park "Braslav Lakes" is one of the most beautiful places in Belarus. The park was created in 1995, its territory is about 70,000 hectares. The unique ecological environment of this Lakeland has the features of the glacial period. Water ecological systems with diverse and sometimes unique flora and fauna are the main wealth of Braslav Lakes. They have more than 800 types of plants, 20 of them are rare and disappearing, they are registered in the Red Book and are under the State protection. There are more than 30 types of fish in the lakes. One of them is the eel, which is industrially grown. About 35% of all the birds nesting in Belarus are concentrated on the territory of the park. 45 of them are registered in the Red Book.
The first symbol of Belarus is a stork. Thousand of storks rise into the sky of the Belarusian villages, twisting nests on the roofs in spring and in summer. Storks spend winter in the warm countries, reach even the Republic of South Africa, but in March come back home. After difficult travel of thousand kilometers birds without any problems find a last year's nest. People say that storks bring spring, so people connect only good thoughts with these birds. Big and wide wings of the storks are like a protection of our population from everything harmful and bad. A stork lives in the heart of every Belarusian. Many popular beliefs, signs and traditions are connected with these beautiful birds. Storks are a part of our life. The majority of inhabitants wish to have a nest on his roof.
The most famous symbol of Belarus is a bison. It is the prehistoric animal, which lives only in Belarus (about 850 individuals). This is the biggest animal, living in the forests of Belarus. This is the king of the Belovezhskaya Puscha. This powerful and beautiful animal represents the forces of nature, has traditional cult value, it was worshipped as one of the symbols of the native earth. Today the bison is included in the Red List of Belarus, and also Red Lists of neighboring countries - Lithuania, Poland, Russia and Ukraine. Every Belarusian loves a bison. It is the symbol of power and force. You can see its images very often: from small-type and stylized on matchboxes to huge and realistic on big posters. A bison is a pride of our country.
Each country has its national plant or national flower. It partly reflects its culture and tells about the history of the country, presenting it to the world. In our country it is a cornflower – the third symbol. Not casually this magnificent flower, possessing vivifying and curative properties, is called the Homeland flower, a symbol of blue-eyed Belarus. A cornflower is also a symbol of the Slavonic bazaar in Vitebsk. This flower means the strengths of the soul of the Belarusians, its purity and nobleness.
Troitsa plays folk which is very original, expressive and relaxing. The performers can play a wide range of musical instrument such as the flute, the trombone, the accordion, the bagpipes and many others. They are really awesome!
Irina Dorofeeva Born in the Belarusian city of Mogilev in 1977, Irina began singing professionally at the age of 12 when, all within a year, she became the lead singer for a local group and won a prestigious national contest of young talents. Two more successes – at the Slavianskiy Bazar (Slavic Bazaar) art festival in 1993 and the 1994 festival of Belarusian music and poetry in Molodechno – brought the young singer to the attention of Verasy (The Heath) pop group which she joined as a lead singer. Also in 1994 Irina was named “Discovery of the Year” in Belarus .
“Pesnyary” are the most successful Belarusian group today because the tickets to their concerts are always sold out and the concert halls are always full, they play pop music based on Belarusian folk and this makes all their songs so melodious and touching.
Belarusian National Orchestra They play classical music of a very high level. The wide range of musical instruments can impress even the most experienced music lovers. The proof of their popularity is that they always draw a full house. Mikhail Finberg the conductor
Traits of character Frankly speaking, Belarusians are: Tolerant Kind-hearted Hospitable Open Communicative Have a good sense of humor Easy-going
Belarus: One Day in Life
Belarus: In Embrace of Stars
Self-check Belarus consists of … 4 regions 5 regions 6 regions 2. Belarus borders … Poland, Ukraine, Latvia, Lithuania and Russia Poland, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania and Russia Ukraine, Russia, Poland and Latvia
3. The capital of the Republic of Belarus is … Brest Minsk Gomel 4. What is name of one of the traditional holidays in winter? Maslenitsa Kupalle Dazynki
5. When do Belarusians celebrate Kupalle? On the night from 6 to 7 of July On the night from 6 to 7 of June On the night from 6 to 7 of January 6. Independence Day is on the … 7th of July 28th of June 3rd of July
7. What is the traditional dish during Butter Week? Pancakes “Okroshka” Draniki 8. What is the main symbol of Kupalle? Blossoming fern flower Christmas tree A daffodil
9. Who won the Gold Medal in the Olympic Games? Viktoria Azarenka and Max Mirniy Darya Domracheva Sergei Martynov 10. Name the most famous sightseeing in Belarus….
11. Name the symbols of the country … 12. What outstanding musicians do you remember?
Thanks for the work and attention!
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