Crossing Poland-Belarus Border: Easy-Peasy This Time

Samovar

I am taking hot water from samovar on the Hrodna-Minsk train

Yesterday I crossed the Poland-Belarus border, heading towards Hrodna and then Minsk. While I still keep bad memories of my last year trip, which included the issues with visa, then with a plane, and, eventually, a long trip by train, this time it went smooth.

Passport and luggage control went smoothly and trouble-free too. People with small children apparently do not have to queue. I wish each time travelling to Belarus was so easy-peasy. Unfortunately, we did not have much time to enjoy beautiful Hrodna.

Continue reading

Reflexivity in Research: Reflections from a Field Trip to Belarus

kineticcreation-comThis summer when I was doing my fieldwork, I explored a bit a Baptist church located in the sleeping area of Minsk. That was the biggest church I have seen so far. It was built in the 1990s, when Protestant communities did not face such building restrictions as they are in place today.

It was Saturday. I entered the church building. It looked quite impressive inside.

Continue reading

God Is Back In Belarus

Unexpected religious revival in the post-Soviet space?

For blog

Collective prayer of Evangelical Christians in Minsk, 2007. Source: nn.by

In the 1990s, the former Soviet republics found themselves in completely new social realities. Interestingly, despite the decades of atheization, some sort of religious revival took place throughout the whole post-Soviet space.

Millions of Homo Sovieticus type were seeking God. There are different explanations for this phenomenon.

Continue reading

Getting to Belarus

welcome.jpg

The good news is that I got ethics approval from King’s College for my PhD research. Visa, health insurance obtained and tickets purchased. “Now it is time to start my pilot study in Belarus!”, I thought enthusiastically.

The travel itinerary of my trip was simple: Bialystok – Chopin airport in Warsaw by bus and then Warsaw-Minsk by plane.

Unfortunately, a few hours later it turned out that I missed the flight due to visa issues – and that has utterly complicated my further trip to Minsk. Had to change it diametrically the same day.

Continue reading

World Press Photo 2013 w mińskim Cechu

cechKilka dni temu byłam na wystawie w Mińsku – World Press Photo 2013, jaka odbyła się w klubokawiarni Cech.

World Press Photo to wystawa najlepszych prasowych fotografii ze świata. W tym roku nagrodzono 54 fotografów z 33 państw.

Niektóre zdjęcia rzeczywiście były wyjątkowe i nie sposób było przejść obok nich obojętnie. Wśród fotografii można znaleźć także polski ślad – fotografie dwóch autorek –  Ilony Szwarc oraz Anny Bedyńskiej.

Continue reading

Mowa Ciekawa, czyli o tym jak w Mińsku uczą języka białoruskiego

WP_20131229_008Wczoraj byłam z moimi znajomymi z BelarusDigest w kultowym bufecie w Centralnym universamie w Minsku.

Rozmawialiśmy, zamówiliśmy piwo i kwas, i w pewnym momencie podszedl do mnie młody Białorusin. Zapytał dlaczego rozmawiam po białorusku. Totalnie zaskoczona odpowiedziałam mu, że jestem w Białorusi i dlatego mówię po białorusku. Na co on kontynuuje, że on również  jest w Białorusi, ale rozmawia po rosyjsku. Chłopiec nie odpuszczał, ale przeszedłszy już na język białoruski, wciąż dopytywał.

Continue reading