When tourists come to Belarus, they often expect open smiles and instant friendships. However, Belarusians are a bit slower on our toes than other nations in this respect.
We just need time to open up.
Belarusians are loyal friends and hospitable people, but they are not so outgoing as Americans or Italians, for example.
We don’t smile at everyone, don’t hug strangers and don’t easily say “Hello, come and join the party!” to someone we’ve just met.
To help you out in an intricate task of getting closer to someone from here, BelarusFeed has come up with a list of tips and things to mind.
1. Be patient
With Belarusians it takes time to break the ice.
In our culture there’s a clear difference between an acquaintance and a friend – and only the latter are invited to more intimacy.
Don’t expect that a friendship will strike in a minute, but be nice, open and friendly and just show a Belarusian that you’re willing to get to know him or her better.
2. It’s a good idea to learn some Belarusian or Russian phrases
People will certainly be pleasantly surprised and it’s a great ice-breaker!
Many tourists also recommend to find a Belarusian who speaks English – then it will be easier to discover both the country and the people.
3. Don’t expect smiles
But expect r-u-mad-or-what looks from the people you smile at in the streets, cafes, shops etc.
It’s not about unfriendliness or insult!
That’s just another trait of Belarusian character: we prefer to share smiles only with dear people.
4. Be ready to eat and drink if you are a guest
If you are invited to someone’s home as a guest, you are very likely to find a laid table with many treats carefully prepared by the hosts.
Be prepared to taste them all and maybe ask for a second helping – that would be the best compliment you can give.
Read also: Typical Problems Foreigners Face In Belarus
5. Don’t call Belarus “Russia”
That’s the greatest offense you can make.
Also avoid words like “Byelorussia” and “Byelorussian”.
They are just old-fashioned as BSSR does not exist anymore.
6. Share stories about your country
Belarusians are curious and generally take interest in other nations’ culture and lifestyles.
Whether it stems from the fact that many people here travel abroad rather rarely or from any other reason, one thing remains certain: Belarusians will most likely ask you questions about jobs, habits, food and other stuff from your homeland.
So hide some amusing tales up your sleeve!
7. Go out more!
This is just logical: people in bars and cafes came there to have fun and meet others, so these might be good places to find new acquaintances among locals.
Besides, younger Belarusians are naturally more outgoing than the older generation. Plus many speak English – so you should not have a problem to strike up a conversation.
If you’re really determined to solve the quest of making friends with someone from Belarus, prepare for a long journey.
But keep in mind the reward in the end!
Find more tips from our readers here and share yours in the comments bellow.