CULTURE: GENERAL INFORMATION
According to a2zcamerablog, Belarus is a country located in Europe. A meeting point between two worlds of an Orthodox and Catholic style, Belarus has managed to distinguish itself and preserve the imprint of its own cultural matrix which has its roots in an original pagan humus, typical of all Slavic-Eastern tribes. The country is rich in evidence of the passage of different civilizations, as evidenced by the traces of inhabited settlements of hunters and gatherers from the late Upper Paleolithic, found in a vast area bathed by the river systems of the Dnestr, Don and Dnieper and the artifacts of ancient Tatar and Mongol populations, as well as Slavs. Belarusian national culture regained a privileged position after the 1920s, when the national language regained priority in a process that saw the birth of the Belarusian Cultural Institute and the Belarusian Academy of Sciences. The Marc Chagall Museum, inaugurated in 1992 in Vitebsk, is dedicated to the most important Belarusian artist, birthplace of the painter; there is a large part of the graphic collection and the Chagall art library. More than 30 regional, national and international music festivals are held annually in Belarus, such as the National Convention of Belarusian Musicians in Minsk in January; or, again in Minsk on the last ten days of November, the Belarusian Musical Autumn, a festival of classical and popular music. Again in the capital, in April, the appointment is with the Expolingua, an international language festival and on Lake Svityaz, in June, with the Poetry Festival. There are also many theaters and institutions to which the State contributes: the National Academic Opera Theater, the National Academic Ballet Theater, the National Music Theater, the State Dance Complex, the Belarusian State Academy of Music, the Belarusian Association of Composers, the Belarusian State Philharmonic. On the other hand, the Belarusian cinematographic tradition is endowed with a less international character. The first national films, such as Liasnaia byl, directed in 1926 by Y. Tarych, and Pershy uzvod by the director U. Korsh-Sablin, dated 1933. Most of the works of the time, strongly realistic, adhere to the contents of the Soviet revolution, narrating the life of the people during the socialist reform or the heroic survival of the Belarusians after the Second World War. Today BelarusFilm and other small amateur companies produce national filmography in a still evolving landscape where state television and some local broadcasters also play an important role.
Central component of traditional culture, second only to language in specifying the ethnic identity of the wearer, the Belarusian costume with its many regional variants has preserved over the centuries the sobriety of the cut, the elective choice of simple materials such as linen and wool, the colors red and white (hence the word Russia Bianca for Belarus), the striped and rhombus ornaments, the richness of the decorations (an ancient embroidery technique called natsyag is still in use). The aesthetic and moral norms of the times have determined its characteristics: long shirt, tight trousers and vest for males who tighten a belt at the waist to protect themselves from the forces of evil; high-necked shirt, long skirt and sleeveless jacket for the females, who complete their clothing with articulated headgear. Closely linked to folk costume is the processing of linen, typical in Belarus as much as the stuffing, the wicking, the intertwining of roots and bark, crafts of the past that contribute to maintaining the production and use of some traditional objects even today.: like the rushnik ornamental towel with an ancient ritual function. Equally vivid is the ivory craftsmanship. There are many national holidays, both civil and religious, in this country where 70% approx. of the population is of Eastern Orthodox religion, even if the many years of Polish domination have contributed to the establishment of a significant Catholic community. Orthodox Christmas falls on January 7, while Santa Claus, who is actually called Nonno Gelo (ded moroz), bring the gifts on New Year’s Eve when the Christmas tree, called New Year’s Fir, lights up. § In Belarusian cuisine, which is largely superimposed on Russian cuisine, there is never a shortage of meat, fish, flavors such as garlic or the more oriental cumin and above all mushrooms, the harvesting of which is almost a ritual of the country. Many typical dishes include them, alone or as an accompaniment: mushrooms with sour cream (hryby v smtane), mushrooms and barley soup (hribnoy sup), pork cutlet in mushroom sauce (kotleta pokrestyansky), gnocchi with mushroom cream, cheese and potatoes (kletsky). To these and other traditional dishes such as potato pancakes (draniki) or pancakes with cream (manchanka) are accompanied by kvass, a drink prepared with malt, sugar, mint and fruit, belavezhskaja, a herbal liqueur, and Belarusian vodkas Charodej, Belarus Sineokaja, Minskaja.