Culture of Belarus
Belarus' culture has a very rich and artistic history. The Belarusian people are traditionally kind, friendly, and patient. They have had to survive many wars which they did not start. The traditional clothing of Belarus is colorful. It is designed for a cold climate is influenced by its neighboring countries such as Russia, Lithuania, Poland, and Latvia. The diet of most Belarusians includes many traditional dishes. The most popular are pork stew, homemade sausages, thick potato pancakes, dumplings, babka (baked grated potato pie), and different kinds of soup. Belarus has two official languages, Belarusian and Russian, but Russian is spoken more than Belarusian and 72% of the population speaks Russian. As of 2011, about 59% of Belarusians believe in some type of religion, and 82% of those follow Eastern Orthodoxy. Belarus also celebrates its Independence Day on July 3rd and Victory Day on May 9th.
Belarus is a Presidential republic, led by the president and the National Assembly. The term for the president is five years. Alexander Lukashenko is the president and has been the president since 1994 because he lengthened his term from 5 years to seven years. On July 27, 1990 Belarus declared itself sovereign from the U.S.S.R. and changed its name to the Republic of Belarus on August 25, 1991.
The president of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko has warned the Russians that he may choose not to participate in their economic alliance. He feels that Russia wants too much control of Belarussian assets. On Thursday, January 29 2015 Lukashenko stated that Belarus will never be part of the "Russian world."
Mir Castle is one of the most important landmarks in all of Belarus, dating back to the 16th century. It started out being built in the Gothic style but ended up being finished in the Renaissance style. In 2000, UNESCO designated Mir Castle as a World Cultural and Natural Heritage site. It is located in the Grodno Oblast.
In the 1830's and early 1840's the Brest Fortress was built. One of the most important places in Belarus, it became a key symbol of Soviet resistance during World War 2. It is located in the Brest Oblast.