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Belarus




I would like to show you round a country which for me as well as for many others has always been the centre of the Universe and at the same time the most cosy and fascinating nook. Belarus is a republic in Eastern Europe which borders on Russia to the North and to the East, on the Ukraine in the South, on Poland in the West, on Latvia and Lithuania in the North-East.

There are a lot of versions about the origin of the name of our country “Belarus”. Here are two of them. Firstly, the white clothes of the ancient villages, their fair hair, and the whiteness of their skin. And the second one. When our ancient Slav lands were invaded by Tatars and Mongols, we alone were able to keep them at bay. We drove back the enemy. For this reason we are called “white”, meaning that part of Russia is free from Tatar invasion.

The territory of present-day Belarus was first populated in the early Stone Age by Eastern Slavic tribes, the ancestors of Belarusians – the Krivichi, Drigavichi and Radimichi. In the 14th century Belarus became a part of the Great Duchy of Lithuania. In the 18th century the territory of Belarus appeared under Russian rule followed by russification. A revival of the literary Belarusian language, expressed by a remarkable school of poets – Yanka Kupala, Yakub Kolas, Zmitrok Byadulya, Maxim Bagdanovich.

The present-day state emblem and national flag of the republic were adopted in 1995. Since that time the national emblem and the national flag together with the national anthem have been symbolizing the independence of the Republic of Belarus. In the modern world these symbols have preserved our significance and are widely used as in everyday public life, so in diplomatic and other international rituals. Belarus is the first republic to let national ornaments appear on the national flag. It was an innovation.

You know the Belarussians like any other peoples have a lot of ancient tradition and customs. During the years of soviet power much have been done to make people forget their national language, history and traditions. But they are still alive (Chrismas, Easter,Trinity Hiliday).

My favorite Belarusian holiday is Kupala night with its strongly marked pagan foundation. Young people collect old things and make a Kupala fire in a forest or on a river bank. In the middle of the fire they usually put an old wheel. They jump over the fire to clear themselves of the evil. And everybody tries to find the fan-flower. The person who finds it will become rich a will understand the animals’ and birds’ language. It is the night of wonders.

Questions:

1. Where is Belarus situated?

2. What is its population, territory?

3. Can you name the rivers of Belarus?

4. What is the republic’s industry characterized by?

5. Are you a patriotic person or you would like to live another place?


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