Surprisingly, one of the most popular searches related to Belarus is the question "Where is Belarus?" Thinking about that, I decided I won't be able to give a single definite answer. Never. It just depends on what we are talking about, which sphere - geography, economy, culture, history, language, etc - we have in mind. So here comes a short, but structured answer!
Where is Belarus geographically?
That's the easiest explanation. Looking at the map below, we can easily see that Belarus lies in Eastern Europe, between Poland and Russia. It borders also with the Ukraine, Lithuania, and Latvia. The geographical position of Belarus has always been influencing the destiny of the country and is believed to impact the national character of Belarusians.
Where is Belarus economically?
Oh, that is a tricky one :) In short, Belarus is a post-soviet republic, and this greatly influences its current development. Since the country is not rich in natural resources, it relies on the more powerful nighbour - Russia. Most recently, Belarus has undergone severe inflation and currency devaluation. The average salary has dropped back to the value of around $200, so nobody really cares about GDP, the value that has been keeping on growing for several years.
Where is Belarus demographically?
Belarus is really famous for its beautiful girls, and it's a great place to find a wife, as there are about 0.88 males per female in Belarus
On the whole, according to 2009 census, the population is 9,503,807. Ethnic Belarusians constitute 83.7% of Belarus' total population. The next largest ethnic groups are: Russians (8.3%), Poles (3.1%), and Ukrainians (1.7%).
Belarus' two official languages are Russian and Belarusian; Russian is the main language, used by 72% of the population, while Belarusian, the second official language, is only used by 11.9%. Minorities also speak Polish, Ukrainian and Eastern Yiddish.
Where is Belarus politically?
Theoretically, Belarus is a democratic presidential republic governed by a president and National Assembly. However, according to some politicians worldwide, Belarus is the last dictatorship of Europe. The reason for such "brand-naming" is the authoritarian style of president Lukashenko, who has been ruling the country for 18 years and has reacted quite aggressively towards all existing opponents.
Where is Belarus culturally?
The position at the crossroads has impacted greatly the cultural development of the country. At some periods, Belarus used to be catholic, orthodox, and uniat. Numerous wars have taught Belarusians to be tolerant to other people and their opinions, that is why so many cultural movements have developing simultaneously. Some of the interesting cultural phenomena of Belarus include:
- Bilingual population
- Multicultural communities, groups, galleries, etc.
- A really vibrant cultural life of theatres, music halls, etc.
Now, I hope you have a much better impression of where Belarus is!