Why Do Belarusians Take Photos With Rugs On Walls?

You might know about the strange obsession Belarusians (and other ex-USSR people) have to carpets hanging on walls.

Seems like we now know where it’s coming from!

Users on the Internet speculate a lot about the origin of this habit.

For example, there are theories that in case with the Russians the tradition was incorporated from the oriental culture when the Russian Empire joined the Caucasus and Central Asia to its territory.

WeirdRusssia adds that in Soviet times people stocked up on carpets as dowry for children and decoration for interior.

But the roots of the habit seem different when it comes to Belarusians.

A photo exhibition, that is now underway in Minsk as part of The Month of Photography, features a series of pictures taken in different parts of Belarus before the middle of XX century.

All of them show people posing with authentic handmade rugs in the background.


As researchers explain, in the old days the arrival of a photographer to remote villages was a remarkable event.

People got dressed up, the entire family gathered and then diligently posed watching the camera.

The occasions are also varied – important life events from weddings to funerals.

In many of the black-and-white photos of that time handmade carpets and bedcovers were hung on the walls as the background.

Taking a photo was a ritual, as was as viewing of the photos later.

This special attitude is something we lost in the digital age, researchers say.

It explains the carpet thing: women hand vowe them, putting in heart and soul, making intricate patterns.

The rugs were something they were proud of.

So next time you see your Belarusian friend’s picture with a carpet, don’t get surprised – it’s in our genes!

See also: How To Make Friends With A Belarusian?

Photo: whatican.ru, 20th.su. Archive photos: TUT.BY