Rus Articles Journal

The panorama of the Belarusian character

From all Slavic states, Belarus, in my opinion, is one of the most little-known and imperceptible countries. Such Slavic terra incognita, even for her closest neighbors of Russia and Ukraine.

Russia, despite all political turbulences of the last years (disorder of the Union, “dashing“ 90 - e, defaults and crises), though remains the country of insuperable poverty, invincible corruption and an official arbitrariness, continues a harm - to play poorly on the world scene, and even dictates will to the former allied brothers and sisters.

At all the difficulties, she everything also manages to launch missiles in space, to invent something in the most different areas and to maintain any defense capability. All know, Russia is a world exporter of oil and gas that the Russian tanks and the military planes - one of the best in the world, and the Russian ballet, still, “pretty good“.

It is known, even in the egocentric West where it is not enough who that knows even about the neighbor on ladder to a cage, the Russian person is a generous hospitality, mysterious Russian soul and ability, unclear for the foreigner, to self-sacrifice. Well, and a little bit godless alcoholism, insuperable draft to take what is bad, and not always lies, and at the same time badly surmountable oblomovsky laziness (and who without sin?) .

Ukraine “is famous“ for infinite verkhovnorady civil strifes which already look as infinite Ukrainian “Santa - Barbara“, sporadic “gas“ wars which continually break out at it with Russia, like a gas torch and also quickly die away, drunk scandals abroad (brotherly likeness with Russia is obviously traced here).

Ukraine is also, as well as Russia, the producer of military equipment, the exporter of wood, cast iron and coal. Ukraine - tse fat, gorilka and naikrashchi at sviti divchata. Ukraine is the Maidan, orange revolution, impetuous migration. To put it briefly, Ukraine does not need representation.

And here what is Belarus? What they, Belarusians? As well as than they live? Having conducted small private research and having talked to Russians and Ukrainians who never were in Belarus, I came to a sad conclusion: Belarus is a certain blank spot on the map of Eastern Europe about which it is not enough who that knows, and the Belarusian soul, unlike the mysterious Russian, - even more gloomy darkness even for her ethnic brothers on both borders. As hotly and quite fairly one prominent Belarusian politician threw to the Russian officials: “It appears, you at yourself in Russia almost know nothing about the closest and most faithful neighbor“. And it is valid what knows Russian in Russia about Belarus and Belarusians? What is known by the southern neighbor of Belarus, Ukraine, about the northern fellow? Very much and it is a little.

Not so long ago, in both brotherly countries, Belarus was associated with tractors under the name of the same name, once the biggest trucks in the world and … and, seemingly, it is more nothing. And that, was it yesterday. Today, in mentions of the same tractors with trucks, ringing overseas “John Deer“, “Catepillar“, “New Holland“ are more often heard.

Having visited the Russian shops and supermarkets recently, I held in hand various viands, articles of clothing and life from all corners of the earth, from Japan and to Chile. First of all, the place of honor was taken, of course, domestic, Russian. There were both ubiquitous Chinese miscellanea, and the Turkish undershirts with sheepskin coats, the German cheeses and chocolate, the Ukrainian socks and ketchups there. Alas, anything Belarusian as passionately I did not wish it, I did not see.

Having done the same the most simple analysis in Ukraine, I, as well as in Russia, met cheap Chinese consumer goods, Russian “Ladas“ and house slippers, the Korean household appliances. In small rural little shop I even met wine from far Chile (there are local “kulesh“ not bad understand wine)! And if in the nearby market, on casual aiming, I purposefully did not approach the Belarusians trading there in some clothespegs, bulbs and other nonsense, I would also come to a gloomy conclusion that the slogan “to Kuplyaytsa to a belaruskaa!“ treats strictly Belarusians.

Having lived 4 years in Belarus - and not at Christ in the bosom, and also having observed enough people as in the formal, and informal environment, how they behave that is told and that think, I will try to tell you what means to be the Belarusian (naturally from the subjective point of view, trying to be at the same time as it is possible more objectively - here such here pun). And in this vinaigrette of the Belarusian character I will try to do without political gas station. In Belarus it is not fashionable.

So, Belarusians, as well as their neighbors, often themselves call “bulbash“ (“kartofelnik“, “kartofelelyuba“ and “kartofeleeda“) for the love to potatoes - potato. Unlike Russians from where - nibud from Moscow, St. Petersburg or Samara which will instantly react on offensive “Russian“ or the Russian“ and is not obligatory in a polite verbal form that in time will teach you “to filter a market“, a bulbasha - Belarusians in response to such familiarity will smile only sadly even if your tone and will seem to them offensive. That is, on the nature, the Belarusian is absolutely nonaggressive. In our modern aggressive environment where an exit to the offenses, to complexes and unrealized desires can easily give everyone, for me, it also is the Belarusian line No. 1 which to me personally very to liking.

In general, it is as difficult to meet an evil, aggressive bulbash in the nature as absolutely teetotal Ukrainian. In four years that I here, I only three times - four, in shop, in the bus, met some young man upset with this or that, with an easy crape of aggression which after the remarks made it in an oral form by his more senior companions somehow sadly calmed down at once and mostly silently reached to the destination.

Other nickname by which sometimes with silent pride a la Belarus Belarusians, &ndash call themselves; these are “guerrillas“. “Belarusians are guerrillas“, “Belarus is a guerrilla edge“, is continually heard in their speech. No wonder, in the Great Patriotic War every third Belarusian was a partisan against friyets. And though after war there passed so many years, even young people sometimes themselves call by this name. And not only from - for that war. And still, because it was necessary to be a partisan also after war, and it is necessary to be a partisan and today. To be a partisan at work, to be a partisan with the administration, in society, in public. The feeling is such that some of them are a partisan even at home, in a family. And all this with improbable Belarusian patience and humility. That is, the Belarusian is incredibly patient or as here speak “We are Belarusians - pomerkovny“, as it is represented to me the Belarusian line No. 2.

Patience, patience and endurance at the Belarusian in blood. And it is secret of the nature: they at it congenital or acquired? It for hours will patiently stand in the long and on - turtle the moving turn, without having filtered a uniform sound, without having published any note of a protest. It for months will patiently upholster high thresholds of official boudoirs where on message boards by capital letters it will be written “The principle of one window“ (but it is not specified how many doors). It will patiently go to policlinic with the broken hand or the inflamed eye where will look for also patiently its lost medical card, forcing to come it the next day (on Monday, there will be jam tomorrow) because its medical card (either coupons, or the doctor) is absent, without having given it to first aid. It will patiently take down nachalnichy anger, with stoical courage to transfer assigned to it (and often just someone spikhnuty) numerous duties, to remain after work or to leave during week-end, aloud without having made a uniform sound, and only on - guerrilla clenching teeth is stronger and stronger. And this quality, in me personally causes both admiration, and indignation because any patience has to have the limit, and in Belarusians, it is absent, seemingly.

Along with the Belarusian great patience there is other remarkable quality which only partly is peculiar to Russians and Ukrainians: diligence. Or trudogoly if it is possible so to speak. No both the Russian, and the Ukrainian, of course, is hardworking, but their stock of diligence does not go in comparison with the Belarusian thirst of work. If every the second Russian, having given to production, to factory or office is 8 hours of the work, hurries in a bosom of the family nourishingly to have supper, drink beer and to be extended at the TV for the sake of a long-awaited match of the Torpedo - the Locomotive, and the Ukrainian wishes to overturn a cup of a gorilochka too and, having had a snack on kovbasky, to spend evening behind a kind balachka z friends, then the Belarusian hurries to roll up sleeves and to continue repair in the apartment of the beloved mother-in-law, or to rush off with all family to parents to the nearby village to dig potatoes (to gather mushrooms, berries etc.) or to build some shed, a bath, a fence. And all this without regular smoke breaks for half an hour. Everything is serious, and before the twilight.

By the way, right now, at 20:00, opposite to my window, my good neighbor Sasha, all Sunday builds something, twists in a concrete mixer, carries in a wheelbarrow. And I am an idler, spent the whole of Sunday behind useless occupation, scribbling any empty pisulk. While it … This diligence, and?

I to admit, as the idler of never considered. But with Belarusians in comparison, I - it is rather an Ukrainian. Or Russian. So, the third place at us receives remarkable Belarusian quality: diligence.

Fir-trees you just arrived from where - nibud from Moscow, Kiev or Rome, to you the Belarusian slowness will involuntarily be evident. Unlike fussing Moscow streets where all with glassy eyes rush somewhere, on wide prospectuses of Minsk or very narrow small streets of Grodno everything looks absolutely differently. Even in morning rush hour you will hardly see the hasty and prompt Belarusian. For one simple reason: the Belarusian on the nature is phlegmatic and not bustling. Whether long stay of Balts - Lithuanians is guilty of it at the time of Pospolita`s Speech here, or congenital pensiveness of Belarusians - I do not know, but the fact remains: haste is alien to Belarusians.

Two days ago I went to mail fast to buy an envelope, and staid half an hour in turn. You think because the turn was big? Or I got to a lunch break? At all not. The turn before me consisted exactly of three people. Just pretty shop assistant of newspapers and envelopes, serving those who were ahead of me, it was so pensively slow, majestically and alternately raising the thin camp from the toilet seat, and then again there setting up it, pressing keys of the cash register the well-groomed handles with the long varnished nails that in twenty minutes, I, having exhausted from this Chinese torture, for fatigue and impatience, took and put the buyna the head to it on a rack, trying to signal thereby to it that it is necessary to move quicker, let also with such remarkable forms, as at it. What right there caused in it a fit of anger. Of course, on Belarusian manners. “Take away the head from a rack“ - frostily she was indignant. The Belarusians who are patiently standing in a queue in the neighbourhood turned back on me. Stern faces of men expressed nothing. Well-groomed faces of women showed the same indignation concerning my bad education that was just expressed by the hostess of a counter. “And whether it is impossible quicker?“ - shy I took an interest. On what the beautiful hostess of newspapers and envelopes did not award me with the answer.

Has to admit that to me personally Belarusian calmness served quite good service. At heart, being not so phlegmatic as most of Belarusians - if I should have done serious work, but not to sit at a glass of beer, languidly staring in the blue Belarusian sky, - I was even noticed in due time by the administration for the quickness. On what usually it was required to the Belarusian minutes twenty, only to be prepared for performance of a task, at me left no more than three. While my colleagues of half a day weighed everything “about“ and “office“, I already managed to be quit with the part of work. However, has to recognize, sometimes my zeal got out to me sideways. Because: “Do not hurry to execute an administration task“, - as speak here. “Let`s business have a complete rest“. So, slowness - the Belarusian quality No. 4 which for me has both the pluses, and minuses.

Other Belarusian quality which will be noticed by both the generous Russian and the prodigal Ukrainian is the Belarusian chariness. “We, as hamsters“ - as one Belarusian acquaintance told me. “At us always is that for emergency“. Yes, it is valid, economy - very laudable quality which is often found at Belarusians (quality number 5 - remarkable quality for this purpose who possesses it, and not really for this purpose who should face it in others). However, I, along with laudable Belarusian economy, got acquainted also with its extreme form: skryazhnichestvo or skarednichestvo. Or, as other my acquaintance, “boorishness“ told. And though Belarusians about themselves say that they hospitable (by the way, I do not know any people in the world which would not call itself(himself) hospitable and hospitable) and are always ready to come to the rescue, my personal experience shows that here they dissemble a little. I had to ask for the help more than once at what at quite desperate moments of the here lives: when was not what to bake in a frost to heat and when it was necessary a grass be lop-sided. Well, and to others, similar to household questions. Also has to recognize that generally generous Belarusian help poured out in a set of councils which to advisers cost nothing as as I have to make.

For example, having damaged at a raspilka of firewood the chiansaw, one of my neighbors who is fine understanding equipment including in chiansaws, often dropping in on me with offers to drink and chat, gave me not one, and several councils concerning that as well as where I have to repair this chiansaw. At what one was more useless than another, it seems “to buy a new saw“ or “to repair this approximately in it - that the area“ that I could prisovetovat to myself and without it. For nothing he only took of it a view, and was quietly discharged, having referred to some affairs.

All other neighbors whom I at first addressed politely closed at me before a nose a door, gloomy and politely refusing to lend me something, even for a payment.

Another long was distressed that borrowed me a set of screw-drivers, one of which appeared very Chinese quality and simply collapsed at me in hands from the first turn. Orally he did not state to me uniform reproach, but his sad look very eloquently said about how deeply he regrets that he gave in to this generous impulse of heart - to give me for one day these screw-drivers. After, meeting him where - nibud, I could not get off feeling that he continues to reproach me for so barbarous handling of its expensive property.

One more very remarkable quality - remarkable in that plan only that it is noticeable - it is the Belarusian vigilance and restraint in speeches and acts. Vigilance - as quality number 6. I cannot still get used that the Belarusian speaks and does that he wants only when he at home, in the yard, in kitchen. But once it goes beyond the real estate, it turns … into the Japanese. That is behaves as orders it as order and expect from it. Houses he can make to himself a doll - the chief and to belabor on it a birch log if wants, but outside the hut he will fasten to himself on the person an obsequious ulybochka and will politely nod, is harmonious in a step to each bossy word. And if the behavior of the Japanese is dictated by corporate ethics, then the behavior of the Belarusian is dictated socially - the state norms and installations of the Soviet sample which publicly to break will hardly come to its mind. Because the Belarusian is obedient.

In communication with Belarusians in public on any subjects if it is not small talk - a secular, idle talk which affects rasslablyayushche and sblizhayushche representatives of all people, - the Belarusian, as a rule, involuntarily is tightened, strains and accepts the waiting pose. Any free-thinking (uncommon a view of things, the opinion, other than the majority, new approach) is often treated as violation of the standard standards of behavior, as provocation, as danger. Also it is not necessary to criticize aloud the authorities or the administration. Though the first, and the second - a certain unwritten taboo which is frequent in private conversations nevertheless is broken.

Belarusians, in the majority, - terrible conservatives who are afraid of all new. And home they always go to work on one path, being afraid to curtail to the left or to the right - and suddenly what? New to the Belarusian is a danger. New are problems. New - it is not necessary for us. So many argue. Both to work, and they got used to act as to them order. Because “there“ know better as it is necessary and as it is not necessary.

However, to be fair it is necessary to tell that also other Belarusians of a new formation arguing in a different way are familiar to me. They are eager for changes and despite everything go on the way of progress, and build the life independently, without expecting pointers from above. These people count only on the forces and believe that the climate on productions and in the heads, eventually, will begin to change.

Still some distinctive Belarusian features (as remarkable, and not really).

the Belarusian, mostly, is naive. At all quite good, in my opinion, property. Naivety, speak, - it is purity of soul. Well, I agree. Among Belarusians there are a lot of such who and in forty and fifty remain naive as children.

For example, one my familiar programmer, from such that half-lives carry out behind the screen of this wonderful piece of iron, came to me with the message in English once, with a request to translate. In pismeets it was declared that he, my acquaintance, won in a Nigerian lottery, it is not a lot of, it is a lot of - 500 000 sound British pounds. Further in the message it was spoken that for receiving a prize, the lucky needs to open the currency account, to provide the data, well and that absolutely so pustyakovo - to pay the attorney in a Nigerian capital hail Abuja only two hundred dollars. Money can be sent right after opening of the account. Well, and so on.

My good friend who, by the way, exchanged the fifth ten came to incredibly joyful nervousness and hurried to open the currency account, having secured from me with the word that I to nobody - nothing. I tried to insert two kopeks that I think about it - I was afraid that he will go too far in the surreal dreams, - but my computer genius in the imaginations, most likely, already bathed in warm coastal waters already of such near Canary Islands, in an environment of ten long-legged beauties that he did not listen to my councils. However, having a little sobered with so unexpected happiness that fell down his turning gray head, he nevertheless came to me next day and in a whisper asked me that I think. I answered it that though I am just modest user, I already five times won not only in a Nigerian lottery, but also in Australian, Mongolian, Guinean and in a lottery of the Great Republic of the Elephant Tusk and the Lion`s Canine, and that all this a pure poppycock and a vymanivaniye of money against naive and pure in heart users of a network. I do not know, than this amusing story ended, but more my friend to me with similar troubles did not come.

Other quality, characteristic of the Belarusian, - sensitivity. I that all life considered that it I am sensitive. It appeared, not at all. It is worth doubting for a minute the best qualities of the strong Belarusian man as he at you in the eyes droops, thaws as vanilla ice cream in July midday, and then for a long time takes offense at you for the fact that you all that told that you thought.

And what is done in such cases by the strong Russian man? Well, often waves hands, and then scratches turnip, apologizes. Well, or does not apologize. And what is done by strong Ukrainian cholovik? It can come around too to you where not really there is a wish. Or covers you from legs to the head with tasty Ukranian mova, and goes to drink gorilka. Here.

By the way for 4 years here, I saw only one fight. That is, was its participant. At everything besides what I am not able to fight - that. And at all almost never fought. You represent?

The Belarusian men resolve almost all disputes amicably. No, it, of course, everyone happens. And fights. And even murders in an alcohol intoxication. And still, it is rather a rarity, than the rule. Here one more remarkable quality of the Belarusian character: peacefulness.

Some “former“ envy Belarusians. Tell, at you expensive good, it is pure also an order. The nature is beautiful. Women are fine. That, it is the truth. And the people here, generally kind and, of course, the deserving better lot. Only, it is sad somehow and offensively for these people. Even, in fact, to the stranger. From what it, people? And?