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About Belarus
KEY FACTS
Official Name
Republic of Belarus
President of Belarus
Alexander Lukashenko (1994 - present )
Prime Minister of Belarus
Andrei Kobyakov (2014)
Total Land Area of Belarus
207,600 km²
Nationality of Belarus
Population – 9.498,4 million (on 1 January 2016)
  • Life expectancy at birth – 73.2 years
  • Population living in cities – 77.6%
  • The capital is Minsk – 1.959,8 million inhabitants
Ethnicity
Belarusian 83.7%
Russian 8.3%
Polish 3.1%
Ukrainian 1.7%
Jewish 0.1%
Languages spoken in Belarus
Belarusian and Russian
National holidays in Belarus
Independence Day, 3 July
Currency of Belarus
Belarusian rouble (Br)
Economic Indicators
GNP (2015) Br869702 billion; per capita: Br91646 thousand
Commodity structure of export (2015):
  • mineral products – 29.9%
  • chemical industry production, rubber – 21.3%
  • cars, equipment and vehicles – 13.8%
  • black, nonferrous metals and products from them – 6.5%
  • articles of food and agricultural raw materials – 16.3%
  • others – 12.2%
  • Commodity structure of import (2015):
  • mineral products – 31.1%
  • cars, equipment and vehicles – 23.4%
  • black, nonferrous metals and products from them – 8.4%
  • chemical industry production, rubber – 13.6%
  • articles of food and agricultural raw materials – 14.6%
  • others – 8.9%
Main Business Partners of Belarus (2016)
  • Russia
  • Ukraine
  • China
  • United Kingdom
  • Germany
  • Poland
  • Netherlands
  • Lithuania
  • Italy
  • Latvia
Main Industries of Belarus
  • metallurgical
  • mechanical engineering, including tractors and agricultural, cars, machine-tool constructing and tool industry, instrument making, radio engineering, electro technical, electronic, optics-mechanical industry; and metal working
  • chemical and petrochemical
  • light industry
  • food industry
Area of farmland in Belarus
8726 thousands hectares
Agriculture
Areas of speciality in agriculture: grain, potatoes, vegetables, sugar beet, flax, meat and dairy industry
Natural Resources
  • wood
  • peat
  • potash and rock salts
  • small oil and natural gas fields
  • granite
  • dolomite
  • limestone
  • clay
  • sand
Number of people in Employment
4.5 million (2015)
Breakdown of employed population by type of economic activity (2015):
  • production sector – 23.6%
  • agriculture, hunting, forestry industry – 9.4%
  • civil engineering – 8.0%
  • transportation and communication – 7.4%
  • retail; repairs of automobiles, household goods, and personal-use items – 14.8%
  • education – 9.8%
  • others – 27.0%
Unemployment in Belarus
41.3 thousand Unemployed (2015)
Communication Facilities in Belarus
Telephone (2015): main telephone equipment – about 4.417 million, mobile subscribers – 11.4 million Internet users (2015): more than 9.6 million In terms of overall postal e-services development, the Universal Postal Union index places Belarus in the top ten (2011).
Transportation
Railways – 5491 km, including 1128 km of electric track Highways – 101,700 km, including paved roads 87,400 km Oil pipelines – 2,983 km Gas pipelines – 7,837 km
Belarus is a landlocked country in Eastern Europe, bordered by Poland in the west and Lithuania, Latvia in the north, Russia in the north and east and Ukraine in the south,. With a complex history and rich architecture Belarus is a wonderful place to explore no matter what time of year. With a diverse geography and a passion for natural history and wildlife Belarus would be an outdoor enthusiasts' dream.
Belarus is situated in the centre of Europe, and has international borders with five countries:
  • Poland
  • Lithuania
  • Latvia
  • Russia
  • Ukraine
A political map of Republic of Belarus, with neighbouring countries
Climate and weather in Belarus
 
A park in autumn
Belarus has a moderate continental climate, with cool humid winters and warm summers
 
Average Temperatures in Belarus
 
Autumn in Botanical gardens
Average temperatures vary across Belarus. In January, temperatures average from -4.5°C to -8°C. In July the average temperature is +17°C to +18.5°C.
Some parts of Belarus experience sub-zero temperatures for more than a third of the year.
Rain and snow in Belarus
The Augustow Canal
Belarus has an average annual rainfall of 600-700 mm. 70% of the rain falls from April to October.
A snowfall in Minsk
Belarus also enjoys 75-125 days of snow each year, with falls ranging from 15 to 30cm.
Although a landlocked state, the location has made Belarus an important trade and transport route between Europe and the CIS.
 
Belarus people
 
The people of Belarus are a kind, friendly and good humoured nation. The patience and peacefulness of the Belarusian people has been determined by the nation’s history that has been darkened by endless wars which the Belarusians did not start, but fell victim to. Belarus is welcoming to all visitors and interested in sharing its culture, traditions and sense of community with them.
Ethnic Belarusians make up more than 80% of the population. But because of theHistory of Belarus, many other nationalities have also settled in the country, many of whom have been established for several generations.
 
In the streets of Minsk

Here are the main minority groups that make up the people of Belarus:

 
  • Russians(8.2%)ave always lived in the region, with a large influx into the country after the Second World War
  • Poles(3.1%)have lived in the western side of the country for centuries
  • Ukrainians(1.7%)–the largest influx came in the 18th and 19th centuries
  • Jews(0,13%):the first Jews settled in Belarus in the 15th century, but emigration to Israel and other states since the 1980s means that the Jewish population of Belarus is now less than 30,000

Other significant minority groups in Belarus include Tatars, Roma, Lithuanians andLetts.

Languages of Belarus

Belarusian and Russian are the official languages of Belarus. Other languages such as Polish, Ukrainian and Hebrew are spoken within local communities.

National clothing of Belarus

Kupalle National Holiday

National costume is still popular in Belarus but usually worn only on festival days and for celebrations.

 
Traditional crafts in Belarus
 

There’s a long and rich history of traditional arts and crafts in Belarus, and many of these skills are alive and well today.

Belarusian women still make skilful use of an old weaving machine

The main crafts include:

  • weaving
  • woodworking
  • glass blowing

 

Traditional folk dancing remains popular, with a number of folk theatres around Belarus.
Music and art also play an important part in the national life of Belarus, with national and international festivals held regularly across the country. The best known of these is the Slavyanskiy Bazaar in Vitebsk

The International Arts Festival Slavonic Bazaar in Vitebsk
 
Education in Belarus
 
School enrolment in Belarus is more than 1 million

Belarus has a well-regarded education system, including universities and further education institutions that attract numerous foreign students

Pre-school education

Pre-school education is not compulsory in Belarus but around 70% of children do attend nursery or kindergarten before they start school.

School education in Belarus

Most children in Belarus start school at the age of 6.
All pupils must follow the basic education curriculum up to the age of 15, and the vast majority of pupils stay at school until they finish their high school education at 18.
At the age of 15, pupils that have successfully completed basic education can attend college or professional technical institutions where they can focus on completing their high school education and work toward a professional certificate.
Completion of a high school or professional certificate allows students to apply to continue their education at the university level.
There are two official languages within the education system in Belarus, Russian and Belarusian.

Further education in Belarus

Belarus has one of the highest student-to-population ratios in Europe. The higher education system in Belarus is seen as prestigious due to its high quality and affordability.
There are four main types of higher education establishments to choose from, which can be either private or state operated:

  • classical university
  • profile university or academy
  • institute
  • higher college

 

Most courses run for 5 years and students can choose to study full time, at evening classes or by correspondence.
Grants are available for full-time students and scholarships are awarded to very gifted students.
All higher education establishments are governed by the Ministry of Education in Belarus.
In May 2015 Belarus officially joined the Bologna Process – the European Higher Education Area.

Can foreign students study at universities in Belarus?
Students of Gomel State Medical University

Yes. More than 6000 foreign students study at higher education institutions and universities in Belarus every year. In general higher education fees for foreign nationals range from 3700-5000 USD, depending on the subject and the institution.

Where can you study?

There are more than 50 higher education establishments in Belarus.

LETS sink more deep in the Beautiful Land of Belarus
 
What is the capital of Belarus? Minsk city
 
Freedom square of MINSK

Minsk city is the capital of Belarus. It is the political, economic, scientific and cultural centre of the country and the administrative centre of the Minsk region.
Minsk is the most economically developed city in Belarus. There are 1.959,8 million inhabitants in Minsk, and the population is constantly growing.

Transportation network in Minsk

Minsk is located on the main transportation routes connecting Western Europe and the East, regions of the Black Sea coast and the Baltic States.
Highways connect Minsk with the largest cities in Belarus: Orsha, Vitebsk, Molodechno, Brest, Slutsk, Mogilev and Gomel.
Minsk has a large railway network which connects Brest, Moscow, Vilnius and Gomel. There is a national airport in the capital.
The city has a very good public transportation system. You can easily reach any place
by bus, trolleybus or tram.
Minsk, like most big European cities, has a fine metro system.
There is a free economic zone in Minsk

Education in Minsk

Minsk is a large educational centre within Belarus. The main educational institutions of the country, including lyceums, high schools and colleges, are concentrated in Minsk. The key institutions include:

  • Academy of Management of the President of the Republic of Belarus
  • Belarus State University
  • Belarus State Medical University
  • Belarus State Economic University
  • Belarusian National Technical University
  • Belarusian State Technological University
  • Belarusian State Academy of Arts

 

Culture and sport in Minsk

The capital has an extensive network of cultural establishments with 13 museums and 10 theatres, including:

  • The Belarusian State Museum of the Great Patriotic War (World War 2)
  • National Art Museum of the Republic of Belarus
  • The National Museum of Culture and History of Belarus
  • National Academic Bolshoi Ballet Theatre of the Republic of Belarus
  • State Musical Comedy Theatre of the Republic of Belarus
  • State Theatre of Dolls of the Republic of Belarus

 

Minsk has about 3,600 sports centres including stadiums and athletic fields, pools, sport centres and exercise rooms, tennis courts and a ski line. The largest sports centres in Minsk are:

  • Dynamo Stadium
  • Sports Palace
  • Tennis Palace
  • Football Arena
  • Ice palace
  • Minsk-arena sport centre
  • Chizhovka Arena
  • Sports and Wellness Complex Freestyle

 

Attractions in Minsk

There are numerous interesting historical places and architectural monuments, including:

  • Troitsky suburb
  • Victory square
  • Independence Avenue
  • Orthodox and Catholic Churches
  • National Library of Belarus

 

What are the main regions of Belarus?

The country of Belarus is divided into six administrative districts, each centred on a major city:

  • Brest region
  • Gomel region
  • Grodno region
  • Minsk region
  • Mogilev region
  • Vitebsk region

 

Places of interest in Belarus
1. UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Belarus

 

 

  • BelovezhskayaPushcha
  • Mir Castle
  • Nesvizh Palace
  • Kolyady Tsars
Tsars folk company
Nesvizh Palace and Park Ensemble
Nesvizhpark
Belarus official holidays
Celebrations to mark State Flag and Coat of Arms Day of the Republic of Belarus, Oktyabskaya Square, Minsk
15 March - Constitution Day

15 March marks the day in 1994 when Belarus established its new Constitution.

2 April - Union Day of Belarus and Russia

This is the official holiday marking the union of the states of Belarus and Russia. On this day in 1996 the President of Belarus (Alexander Lukashenko) and the then-President of Russia (Boris Yeltsin) signed the Commonwealth agreement of Belarus and Russia in Moscow. One year later, on 2 April 1997, came the agreement to form a Belarus-Russia Union.

2nd Sunday in May - Day of the National Emblem and Flag of Belarus

This holiday is dedicated to the main symbols of the country which embody the ideas of national unity and are the major attributes of sovereignty and independence in Belarus.

9 May - Victory Day

Victory Day commemorates victory in the World War 2 (known as the Great Patriotic War). During the war, 25 per cent of the population of Belarus died. The occasion is marked with a large parade in Minsk Victory Square led by war veterans.

3 July - Independence Day

In Belarus, 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.

Other holidays and memorable dates in Belarus

Holidays:

  • 1 January: New Year
  • 7 January: Orthodox Christmas
  • 23 February: Fatherland Defenders and Armed Forces day of the Republic of Belarus – a day that pays tribute to servicemen past and present, and recognises all men too.
  • 8 March: Women’s Day – This day was established following the revolution in 1917. In modern Belarus 8 March is a celebration of love and respect toward women.
  • 1 May: Labour Day (Worker’s Day) - International Labour Day is one of the most popular holidays in Belarus. To celebrate there are lots of concerts and public entertainment and many families celebrate with picnics andshashlyk barbecues.
  • 7 November: October Revolution Day
  • 25 December: Catholic Christmas

 

Women’s Day

Memorable dates:
Belarus officially established memorable dates to acknowledge victims of great tragedy and to pay respect to those that died.

  • 9th day after Orthodox Easter: Commemoration Day (Radonitsa) – on this day, people in Belarus usually visit cemeteries to pay respect and lay flowers on the tombs of relatives and friends.
  • 26 April: Day of Remembrance of the Chernobyl tragedy
  • 22 June: Day of Remembrance of the victims of the Great Patriotic War

 

National holidays

Apart from the official holidays in Belarus there are also popular ancient national holidays:

  • 6 – 7 July: Kupalle – Celebrated over the entire night of 6 July, this holiday is accompanied by songs, dances and traditions such as fire-jumping and night swims.

 

National holidays when all offices are closed:
  • 1 January: New Year
  • 7 January: Orthodox Christmas
  • 8 March: Women’s Day
  • 9th day after Orthodox Easter: Radonitsa
  • 1 May: Labour Day
  • 9 May: Victory Day
  • 3 July: Independence Day
  • 7 November: October Revolution Day
  • 25 December: Catholic Christmas
A parade led by war veterans in Minsk
Kupalle Holiday
National Academic Bolshoi Opera and Ballet Theatre of Belarus
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