Beautiful Country in Eastern Europe
Republic of Belarus
The Republic of Belarus, which is the official name of the country, went through numerous name changes and political upheavals before and after the turn of the twentieth century. Between 1917 and 1922, it was known as the Belarusian People's Republic. In 1922, when the Soviet Union took over, it became the Socialist Soviet Republic of Byelorussia. On July 27, 1990, its sovereignty was proclaimed, and then, on August 25, 1991, the country declared its independence.1
This landlocked Eastern European republic is bordered by Russia, Ukraine, Poland, Lithuania, and Latvia. Its capital is Minsk, which is also its largest city. Approximately forty percent of the land is forested, while about two-thirds of the country's industry are in manufacturing. Belarus exports a lot of heavy equipment, as well as energy and agricultural products.2 One of its main exports is tractors, which are exported to over one hundred nations across the planet.3
Beautiful Country in Eastern Europe
Can you tell how beautiful a country is by its flag? If you can, than Belarus must be one of the most beautiful countries on Earth. Its red. green, and white flag represents the nations struggle against oppression, hope, and is a tribute to the numerous forest that are the pride of any nation. However, if you want to see the true beauty of this country you have to look at some of the photos in the World Fact Book Library featuring Belarus.4
One of the photos, is of an exquisite cathedral in Minsk. The name of the church is the Orthodox Cathedral of the Holy Spirit, which was once a Roman Catholic house of worship.5 This beautiful church is famous for its ancient icons. Other photos in this series shows memorials constructed to remember the horror of World War II.
Belarus' forest, which is located on the western side of the country, is called Belovezhskaya Forest. This forest is located on the country's western border with Poland, and is shared by Poland. It is the largest, or one of the largest, primeval mixed forest on the European continent. It is called a primeval mixed forest because of different types of trees that grow here. The main trees in this forest are pine, oak, beech, spruce, and adler. Many of its hardwood and conifer trees are between 350 to 600 years old.6
This forest is located close to the beginning of the rivers Narev and Lesnaya, which flow into the Bug river. The animals in this beautiful forest, and along its mighty rivers are from both eastern and western Europe. Some of those animals are lynx, elk, wild boar, and deer. Bison, also known as wisent, were hunted to extinction after the First World War. However, these gorgeous animals have been reintroduced into the forest from zoo bred populations.7
Belarus' pre-Christian religious heritage was based on pagan beliefs, with a pantheon of deities. Since, there is no written information from the pre-Christian era, of the legends and stories have been lost. The exception to this is in some of the rural areas, where some of the myths my still exists. Almost anything known about the pre-Christian religions comes down through by some of the early monks or priest who took the message of Christ to the ancient Belarus people.
”I would tell you something, but the oven is in the room”, is an ancient Belarusian saying that suggest there might have been a taboo against mentioning names that were consider sacred or holy. According to the article, "Text 5. Myths and Legends of Belarus"8, oven refers to the household deity or spirit. One intriguing story refers to Bialun, who did only good. He appeared in daylight looking like a white bearded, white robed old man carrying a staff. Another myth is about Piarun, who was evil.
Word Count: 641