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The Belarusian language in education: a reluctant revival?
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On 7 October, Alexander Lukashenka criticised education officials for the lack of Belarusian language instruction in schools. According to him, “because of amateurs in the Ministry of Education, it has come to the point where pupils have six English...
3 August 2015
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Monuments Reveal Conflicted National Identity of Belarusians – Belarus Photo Digest

Since 1991, two opposing conceptions of Belarusian national identity have coexisted side by side. One glorifies Belarus’s Soviet past, cultural ties to Russia, and victory in the Second World War (WWII) as the nation's founding moment. Until recently, this...

21 April 2015
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Soft Belarusization: A New Shift in Lukashenka’s Domestic Policy?

Russian pro-government media outlet Lifenews has recently criticised Lukashenka's decision to not participate in the 9 May Victory Day Parade in Moscow. Many in Russia think that Minsk's integration rhetoric has been replaced with a form of soft...

10 November 2014
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Belarus’s Hybrid Linguistic Practice: Language as a Post-Colonial Legacy

Last week MoveHub.com released an infographic showing the second language spoken in countries across the globe. The infographic revealed many surprises, such as that Polish is the second language in the UK and that Turkish is the second...

3 October 2014
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Is Lukashenka Trying to Emancipate Belarus from Russian Culture?

On 29 September, Alexander Lukashenka stated that schools should increase the number of Belarusian language lessons they teach. Following Lukashenka's public speech in Belarusian in July this year, a rare even in and of itself, the retirement of some pro-Russian...

6 February 2014
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How Russian Culture and Media Shape Belarusian Politics

On 31 January the director of the National Book Chamber of Belarus claimed that the Belarusian publishers printed eight times more books in Russian than in Belarusian in 2013. This data illustrates well the position that Russian culture occupies...

24 May 2013
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White-Red-White Flag: The True Belarusian Symbol or a Sign of the Opposition?

Earlier this month the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) officially banned the White-Red-White flag and the heraldic symbol Pahonia from the 2013 Ice Hockey World Championship held in Sweden and Finland. Tony Wirehn, Secretary General of 2013 Ice Hockey...

10 October 2012
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Belarus Censuses: Population Declines, National Identity Strengthens

Official population censuses in Belarus conducted in 1989, 1999 and 2009 reveal a number of interesting trends. They show that the population is declining, the proportion of those who identify themselves as Belarusian is increasing and the role of the Belarusian language is weakening. The period of Lukashenka's...