Living in Belarus
How do you live in Belarus? In the villages, most of the people live in their own little wooden house. There are older houses in the city, especially in the centers, but they often only have small apartments with two rooms. In the past, even large families lived in such small apartments.
There are often large prefabricated housing estates on the outskirts. Instead of renting an apartment there, Belarusians prefer to buy a condominium.
Many people own a dacha, a summer house in the country. They grow their own fruit and vegetables in the garden and spend the long summer holidays there.
Out and about in Belarus
The roads in Belarus are well developed. Those who do not have their own car can take the bus or the train. In the cities, some buses run as trolleybuses. They run on electricity and are also called trolley buses. Minsk also has trams and even a subway.
Eating in Belarus
What do you eat in Belarus?
Meat and potatoes are widely used in Belarusian cuisine. Rye or barley is mainly used for cereals because wheat does not grow so well in the rather cool and humid country. Buckwheat is also popular. A soup made from oats is zuhr. It typically tastes sour.
Popular vegetables are cabbage, peas, beans, carrots and mushrooms. Polish, Russian and Lithuanian cuisine also influenced the dishes. Typical Russian dishes such as borscht or blini can also be found in restaurants (see Eating in Russia). The main fruits are berries, apples and pears.
Particularly popular: potatoes
Potatoes are prepared in many ways in Belarus. Draniki, which can be compared to our potato fritters, are particularly popular. You can also fill them with mushrooms, meat or fish and eat them with sour cream. Also happy is Babka ate a casserole that is made from grated potatoes onions, eggs and bacon and baked in the oven. You can cook this potato casserole, you can find a recipe under participation tip.
If, on the other hand, Kalduny is on the menu, there are potato pockets with meat filling. Draschenij is the name of a dish made from potatoes and mushrooms. Because potatoes are so popular in Belarus, they are even called “second bread” there.
What is bigos?
Bigos is also a popular dish. It is a sauerkraut stew with various types of meat and sausage. Everything cooks slowly over a low heat. Other ingredients can be added depending on your preference and recipe, for example mushrooms, tomatoes, carrots or onions. You can also serve bread or potatoes.
And what is Syrok? It is a quark bar that is coated in chocolate. It is considered a Belarusian specialty.
Children and School
School in Belarus
In Belarus, children go to school for eleven years. The first four classes belong to elementary school, followed by high school or middle school. So both take the same length and with a degree you can go to university. At the grammar school, only the choice of subjects is higher and the students receive more support.
If a school is attended by a large number of students, classes are sometimes combined or the students come in shifts: some start school at 8 a.m., others at 1 p.m. Schools in Belarus do not have names like, for example, an Astrid Lindgren school here, but are numbered consecutively. You go to school number 60 or number 79.
A school lesson lasts 45 minutes. There are of course also grades, but they are given from 1 to 10. 10 is the best grade. June, July and August are free of school! The new school year begins on September 1st.
The children do not wear school uniforms, but it is mandatory that all students come in stylish black clothing. Boys wear dark suits, girls trousers or a skirt with a blazer. Many girls wear heeled shoes even in elementary school.
How are the children in Belarus?
Children in Belarus often have to do without what is normal for us. Sometimes there are only outhouses in the country and the water has to be fetched from the well. It is more comfortable to live in cities like Minsk, but there are also deprivations there, for example when the hot water is turned off for two weeks in summer. If you want to take a shower then you have to heat hot water on the stove and mix it with cold water…
At school and in everyday life, too, children are exposed to the authoritarian rule of their president. This is how it is gladly seen when they join the Belarusian Republican Young Union as young people. This is an organization loyal to the government, similar to the FDJ in the GDR or the Komsomol in the Soviet Union.
And what are the names of the children in Belarus? Especially many girls are called Dasha and Xjuscha, these are the nicknames for Daria and Xenia. Because nicknames are extremely popular, also with boys and also with adult men and women. Alexander becomes Sascha, for example. Other girls’ names are Olga, Natalia, Jekaterina or Natascha. Boys are also called Pawel, Juri, Andrej or Alexej.