No naked sunbathing, barefoot walking in metro or poppyseeds in your kitchen! There is certainly an odd collection of Belarus laws that you’re probably breaking right now.
BelarusFeed made a list of some crazy, weird or just questinoable laws to keep your on the safe side while in Belarus.
Thank us later!
No alcohol, tobaco or poppyseeds
Planning a big party and the whole apartment is filled with boxes of expensive cognac?
It’s better for you have a paycheck somewhere nearby, just in case if tax inspection workers suddenly pop up.
In other case it can be considered a contraband that will be confiscated.
According to the law, Belarusians are not allowed to keep more than 5 liters of excise tax-exempt alcohol and over 15 liters of alcoholic beverages at home without paychecks from the store.
Concerning cigarettes, you can store only 5 packs of cigarettes without documents at home.
This also applies to poppy seeds. Are you a fan of biscuits and rolls? Buy no more than two kilos of poppy.
No selfies near sensitive facilities
Feel that your duck face in front of the KGB building is a good idea? Think again!
One photo can become a good chance to spend a couple of hours in a company of police officers at a local police station.
The police may detain you for a photo of the Belarus President Administration building, the building of the Academy of Sciences or Minsk Airport.
Unfortunately, there is no official document available for public that lists facilities that better to avoid when you are in a photo mood.
The photo ban usually works on the board of aircrafts, during border control, in courts, some museums and libraries, in clubs and casinos, embassies and consulates.
Here we gathered a list of 10 popular spots in Minsk where photography is totally or partially forbidden.
No carpet beating
You are not allowed to beat out your carpets in the courtyard of an apartment building.
If there are no special bars installed for this activity, wrap your dusty rug up and take it back to your apartment.
Well, maybe the restrictions are not so strange after all.
Some Belarusians see nothing bad in cleaning their carperts at their balconies, so don’t forget to look up from time to time.
Another restriction that may seem weird to a foreigner is that drying your clothes at a pantry of your flat is also forbidden.
The explanantion is pretty simple, high humidity can provoke growth of fungi and mold.
Take our word for it, neither you nor municiple workers would like such a scenario to unfold.
No barefoot walking in metro
Even if you developed a couple of painful callus on your toes, do not remove your shoes!
Suffer, fight your pain – you are in the Minsk subway. Okay, jokes aside.
We believe that the rules were actually dictated from the safety point of view.
Barefoot walkers can accidentally slip on the tiles or get caught between the step tread. Ouch!
On the plus side, you won’t be fined for your love of freedom and feeling of fresh air on your skin.
No unauthorized gatherings
Let’s say you are an outgoing person and invited up to 50 of your relatives and friends to a picnic in a park not far from your house.
There is a big chance you will be joined by police patrol officers. It’s sad, but the fact is that – can’t have a barbecue without certificates and permits.
Before arranging a 300-400 person party, you need to write an application to the local executive body.
In case you are plannig to hang out in Minsk, go with the docs to the Minsk City Executive Committee.
If the fest is planned to be somewhere in the district – go to the Minsk regional executive committee.
Mind that you need to apply for permits no later than 15 days before the start date of the mass event.
No nude sunbathing
Belarus is probably not the best country for the lovers of sunbathing in the buff.
Well, it should be noted that we have a nudist beach at the Minsk Sea but even there conflicts might happen.
According to the law, a person is not allowed to go naked at public places.
Such a behaviour can be qualified as hooliganism and cause a detention and a fine.
“If a lady comes to a beach showing off her assets, she will be punished.
In a decent society, you don’t bare your breasts just like that, the bras were invented for some reason,” said Alexander Lastovsky, the Press Secretary of the Main Department of Internal Affairs of the Minsk City Executive Committee.
No earphones in metro
Well, let’s make it clear, you can listen to your favourite audiobooks or music while riding in a carriage
But if you are standing on a platform waiting for your train to come, you need to be fully alert.
One may not hear an announcement that the train will pass without stopping or a warning to move away from the edge of the platform.
“Let’s not go to extremes, fantasizing how the guards will detain all the passengers with the headphones in their ears.
Let’s just respect each other and follow basic safety rules,” the press secretary of the Minsk Metro Andrei Kuzmin said.
No beer at music festivals
A beer taboo at music festivals is one of the most unexpected.
Because, hey, what kind of a festival is it when you can’t have a glass or two?
Planning to party all night long? Forget about your light and dark frothy drinks.
Actually, according to the Belarusian laws, it is forbidden to be in a state of intoxication at any mass gathering.
Entry to mass gatherings through metal detectors
Pain and anguish in the hearts of Minskers is caused by this ban.
The law-enforcement officials have the rights to enclose the territory of places where mass events are held.
They can also use engineering and technical means, take photographs, audio and video recordings of participants as well as regulate access to a mass event.
On the one hand, it’s nice to know that we are protected. On the other hand, it doesn’t make the ban less annoying.
The article originally appeared at CityDog.by