10 Weird Questions About Belarus Foreigners Ask Online

As life shows, travelers always want to know more about Belarus but many times questions they’ve got are not covered by the media.

BelarusFeed decided to check Quora and Yahoo Answers to see what other strange and amusing things (besides getting a visa to Belarus) rack people’s minds.

And we took the courage to add our comments to users’ answers!

1. Whom do you like more: Belarusians, Russians or Ukrainians? And why?

BF comment: Don’t you still have buddies from Belarus? How come?

2. Why can’t most Belarusians speak English?

BF comment: English is not so widespread in Belarus, because Russian and Belarusian are the main languages of communication.

However, it’s not hard to find an English speaker among youth and young adults.

3. What strikes first time visitors as special or unusual when they arrive in Minsk, Belarus?

4. Why does Belarus still feel and look like the former USSR?

BF comment: It is true that the Belarusian president Alexander Lukashenko is sort of nostalgic about USSR, the order and values of the Soviet state.

This has been reflected in the social system and economy of Belarus (for example, a long materniny leave, obligatory first job placement for students who receive state support during college years, a big number of state-woned enterprises). But in other respects, Belarus is a modern and developing country.

5. What are the biggest mistakes people make when visiting Belarus?

BF comment: The biggest mistake people make is not coming! P.s. You might find this article of not-to-do things in Belarus useful.

6.What are some distinct features of the Belarusian language?

BF comment: Belarusian language is very melodious and soft as any Slavic language.

Usually Belarusians and Ukrainians can understand each other perfectly well while Russians can’t get the clue of what we say.

7. What things do people from Belarus miss most when they go abroad?

8. What are some great side dishes for potato pancakes?

BF comment: There’s no use in speaking, it needs tasting!

For exampls, in one of the many Belarusian cuisine restaurants in Minsk.

9. How poor is Belarus?

BF comment: This is actually one of the biggest discrepancies regarding Belarus in the mind of a general European or American. When coming here, foreigners often expect to see people in rags and empty shelves in supermarkets and are surprised when they don’t.

Belarus doesn’t have much natural resources but its intellectual potential, especially  IT sphere, is growing and has been bringing more money to the country in the recent years.

And here are some more numbers:

  • According to the results of the year 2016, Belarus with index of 33,84 is one of the world’s top 30 countries with the lowest cost of living. Belarus holds 104th place in the “Cost of Living Index”, compiled by Numbeo;
  • Belarus ranks 47th in the “Best Countries for Education” category of the “Best Countries” ranking by US News & World Report. It also holds 48th position in the “Best Countries for Raising Kids” category.

10. Latvia and Estonia or Ukraine and Belarus?

My partner and I have decided to reject our former plans to travel to Germany and the Czech, of which we’ve visited before, to travel further east, and it seemed to come down to these countries. Which two do you recommend? On the former we may throw in Lithuania and Kalingrad (Russia) if time persists.

BF comment: No comment. We are biased ?

By Nadzeya Prasvirava for BelarusFeed.