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  • #346184

    Anonymous

    What I couldn't understand is that I read an article in which was stated that most belarusians speak russian at home. Is that true and if yes, do you use it as official on tv, newspapers and websites?

    #425879

    Anonymous
    Quote:
    What I couldn't understand is that I read an article in which was stated that most belarusians speak russian at home. Is that true and if yes, do you use it as official on tv, newspapers and websites?

    I guess Svitogor will know…however yeah that is pretty strange. What's the point of their own language then?!

    #425880

    Anonymous

    I asked one Belorussian from Brest about it once – she said Russian is more present and their own language is not often used.

    #425881

    Anonymous

    I had read a statistic that only 11% of Belorussians (the country has a population of 9 million) speak it as a first language. It is largely because of russification and Russia's HUGE influence over Belarus.

    #425882

    Anonymous

    The Belarusian language received a status of an endangered European language at a vulnerable level from UNESCO.

    There are 4 largest ethnic group living in Belarus: Belarusians, Russians, Poles and Ukrainians. Figures according to the national census of 2009.

    People who consider Belarusian as their native tongue

    Belarusians – 61%
    Russians – 2.8%
    Poles – 58.2%
    Ukrainians – 7.9%


    This is an important statistic. The Belarusian language spoken at home by

    Belarusians – 26.1%
    Russians – 2.1%
    Poles – 40.9
    Ukrainians – 6.1%


    Figures for the entire population of Belarus

    Belarusian considered as native tongue – 53.2%
    Belarusian spoken at home – 23.4%


    Belarusian spoken at home in urban areas

    Belarusians – 12.8%
    Russians – 1.3%
    Poles – 21.4%
    Ukrainians – 3%


    Belarusian spoken at home in rural areas

    Belarusians – 62.1%
    Russians – 6.9
    Poles – 71.8%
    Ukrainians – 16.8%


    Sources : Belstat

    http://belstat.gov.by/homep/ru/perepic/2009/vihod_tables/5.9-0.pdf
    http://belstat.gov.by/homep/ru/perepic/2009/vihod_tables/5.11-0.pdf

    Poles living in Belarus speak more Belarusian than Belarusians themselves. I think it's do with the religion. In the past to be a Catholic meant to be a Pole. I suspect people identifying themselves as Belarusians of Catholic faith also speak more Belarusian than the Belarusians of Orthodox faith. So, the main speakers of the Belarusian language are Belarusians of Catholic faith, Poles and all other Belarusians living in rural areas.

    The reason Belarusians are speaking Russian is due to russification policies implemented by authorities of Imperial Russia and USSR. It was intensified after the great rebellion against the Russian imperial authorities in 1863 resulting in books and press being banned from print.  According to the Belarusian historian Leonid Lych the Russification was a deliberate policy of the authorities of the Russian Empire and the Soviet Union to separate the Belarusian people from the historical traditions of their culture and language. The ancestors of the Belarusians had a long history of fights against the Russian ancestors. Our ancestors probably had more wars than the Russians and Turks against each. The Russian historians labelled the series of wars as a great stand off .

    A short summary of Russification in Belarus.

    #425883

    Anonymous
    Quote:
    The ancestors of the Belarusians had a long history of fights against the Russian ancestors. Our ancestors probably had more wars than the Russians and Turks against each. The Russian historians labelled the series of wars as a great stand off .

    This is something new for me. Which wars do you mean?

    #425884

    Anonymous
    Quote:
    This is something new for me. Which wars do you mean?

    Russian – Lithuanian wars

    The Belarusian territories were known as Litva before the partition of Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth The full name of the state was the Grand Duchy of Lithania, Ruthenia, Samogitia, and others.

    This year Lithuania celеbrates the 500th year annerversary of Orsha battle, while Belarus won't be celebrating for political reasons. The significance of Orsha battle is right after the Grunwald battle. The battle was lead by Constantine Ostrozhski from Volhyn with military units from Belarus. Poles and Lithuanians also participated. Lithuania stopped the expansion of Moscow principality into Lithuania (Belarusian territories); however, Smolensk city was annexed by Moscow principalit. The border between Moscow principality and Litva was decided during that war which remains near Orsha in eastern Belarus between Russian and Belarus in present day.

    Lithuanian Duke Vytautas took 40 military units to Grunwald Battle 20 of which were from territories of Belarus. Lev Sapega from Viciebsk was one of the main figures during Polish intervention in Moscow. Ukrainian cossacks and soldiers from Belarusian territories participated.

    So , if you look closely at any Lithuania war lead against Moscow principiality you will find many commanders and military units from the Belarusian territories.

    #425885

    Anonymous

    Summary of the Orsha battle

    http://oi43.tinypic.com/30aeyv9.jpg
    http://i42.tinypic.com/9pmgex.jpg

    The patrimony of the powerful Radzivill family was Niasviž in Belarus. The family had their own military consisted of soldiers mostly from the Belarusian territories. Half of Belarus participated against the Russian forces in Napoleonic wars for а promise the state of the Grand Duchy will be reinstated. Radzivill family fought on Napoleon's side. The 3rd partition of Polish-Lithuania occured in 1795, while Napoleonic war against Russia in 1812.

    The ancestors of the Belarusians participated in many wars against ancestors of Russians. Russians historians labelled them as Lithuanians implying the were all Baltic speakers from present day Lithuania. I am not denying any contribution of Lithuanian ancestors, but their ancestors weren't the only people living in a multi-ethnic state of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. Past hostility was one of the main reasons the authorities of imperial Russia introduced russification policies. And  Belarus wasn't the only country subjected to russification. Ukraine and the territories of present day Lithuania were subjected to russification.

    #425886

    Anonymous

    Thanks for the information. I've always thought the Grand Duchy of Lithuania was ruled by Lithuanians. 
    At least the permanent border is a positive thing to have. Hopefully most of today Belarussians aren't hostile to Russians and Russia.

    It's a pity Novgorod republic didn't survive.

    #425887

    Anonymous
    Quote:
    Thanks for the information. I've always thought the Grand Duchy of Lithuania was ruled by Lithuanians. 
    At least the permanent border is a positive thing to have. Hopefully most of today Belarussians aren't hostile to Russians and Russia.

    Not always ruled by Lithuanians. The denasty of Lithuanian grand Dukes was from the Baltic line many of whom mixed with Slavs. It's somewhat similar to Rurikid denasty in Rus' and other European regions. Many  upper class people were of Ruthenian descent having titles Boyars. Lev Sapega of Viciebsk region was responsible for the 3rd Lithuanian constitution. There were also many Lithuanians (Balts) among upper class particularly in the early part of the history.

    Here's a list of the highest state officials in the Grand Duchy of Lithuania during Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth period.The prevailing majority were people from the Belarusian territories having Slavic names http://www.belhistory.com/vkl_governance.shtml

    #425888

    Anonymous

    Is Belarusian learnt in schools then?

    #425889

    Anonymous

    Well, one of the greatest things about connection of Lithuania and Belarus (I mean – present Belarus was a part of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania before making Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth) is Adam Mickiewicz's invocation in "Pan Tadeusz".

    "Litwo, ojczyzno moja, ty jesteś jak zdrowie. Ileż cię można cenić ten tylko się dowie, kto cię stracił".

    He writes that Lithuania is his fatherland. But he had born in Navahrudak, which is a city in Belarus (Grodno Region).

    I am generally curious how it was in history. Did Belorussians have always their awarness about national identity, or as Mickiewicz they was not thinking about their own country but they considered themselves as Poles or Lithuanians? I mean times of Polish-Lithunian Commonwealth. (I know Mickiewicz has been perceived as Polish, I don't know anything about his ancestors, I base on a place where he had born and lived) Ukrainians had their rebellion under Chmielnicki's leadership. They wanted "freedom". What about Belorussians? I never heard on history lessons about any rebellions from Belorussian side.

    #425890

    Anonymous
    Quote:
    Is Belarusian learnt in schools then?

    Belarusian and Russian languages are state languages. Students can study all subjects in Belarusian and Russian. In rural many students study in Belarusian formally.  In reality, Russian is a preferred langauge.  Legal proceedings are conducted in Russian. Administrative paperwork is also conducted in Russian. Few lectors read lectures in Belarusian.  The minister of education promised that history and geography will be studied in schools in Belarusian only.

    The quality of higher education is good for many disciplines in comparison to education in former republics. Our Belarusian State University is consistently ranked in top 5 among all universities of former republics. Some students go abroad because it's easier to obtain a degree elsewhere.

    #425891

    Anonymous
    Quote:
    Well, one of the greatest things about connection of Lithuania and Belarus (I mean – present Belarus was a part of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania before making Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth) is Adam Mickiewicz's invocation in "Pan Tadeusz".

    "Litwo, ojczyzno moja, ty jesteś jak zdrowie. Ileż cię można cenić ten tylko się dowie, kto cię stracił".

    He writes that Lithuania is his fatherland. But he had born in Navahrudak, which is a city in Belarus (Grodno Region).

    I am generally curious how it was in history. Did Belorussians have always their awarness about national identity, or as Mickiewicz they was not thinking about their own country but they considered themselves as Poles or Lithuanians? I mean times of Polish-Lithunian Commonwealth. (I know Mickiewicz has been perceived as Polish, I don't know anything about his ancestors, I base on a place where he had born and lived) Ukrainians had their rebellion under Chmielnicki's leadership. They wanted "freedom". What about Belorussians? I never heard on history lessons about any rebellions from Belorussian side.

    Tadeusz Kościuszko was also calling himself Litvin. Although, he was a Pole culturally from Brest region, Belarus. The dictionary of Ukrainian language (1907) states Litvin and Belarusian are synonymous.

    Ли́тва́, ви, ж. 1) Литва. 2) Бѣлоруссы. Ум. Ли́твонька. Повінь, повінь, вітроньку, з Подолля на Литвоньку. Грин. III. 676.
    Литви́н, на́, м. 1) Литовецъ. 2) Бѣлоруссъ. Ум. Литви́нок. Г. Барв. 329.
    Литви́нка, ки, ж. 1) Литовская женщина. 2) Бѣлорусска.
    Литвино́к, нка́, м. Ум. отъ литви́н.
    Литви́нський, а, о. Бѣлорусскій.

    The famous Russian dictionary of Dal' on pronanciation of 'dz' by the Belarusians.

    ДЗЕКАТЬ, произносить дз вместо д, как белорусы и мазуры… Как не закаивайся литвин, а дзекнет. Только мертвый литвин не дзекнет. Разве лихо возьмет литвина, чтоб он не дзекнул.

    Alexander Pushkin was writing about  the disagreement between Litva and Russia suggesting to leave the old quarrel between Slavic people implying Litva was Slavic.


    О чем шумите вы, народные витии?
    Зачем анафемой грозите вы России?
    Что возмутило вас? волнения Литвы?
    Оставьте: это спор славян между собою,
    Домашний, старый спор, уж взвешенный судьбою,
    Вопрос, которого не разрешите вы.

    Ancestors of the Belarusians were identified as Litvins in Russia, Ukraine, Poland and other countries. So, Litvin was an exoethnonym for many ethnicities living in Belarus and Lithuania. It's similar to British applied to a citizen of Britain. Although, Jewish people were known as the Litvaks.

    The ancestors of many  Belarusians ( Slavic speakers of orthodox or greek catholic or catholic faith) considered themselves as ethnic Litvins as late as the beginning of the 1920s. So, Litvin was also used as endoethnonym by Belarusian ancestors. This is one of the reasons some Belarusians are unhappy about Belarusian ethnonym suggesting their ancestors never considered themselves Belarusians. My ancestors are from northern Belarus. Northern Belarus is the region to which Belarus (Belaja Rus)  was applied during Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth and later spread to other Belarusian territories.

    Belarus as the name of the state appeared in 1918 only. Before the partition of Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth (1795) the Belarusian territories were commonly referred to as 'Litva' by foreigners. However, people of Litva didn't consider all territories of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania to be Litva. The border between Litva and Belaja Rus' was along Bjaresina River . See the map : http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/1/1a/Belarus_Dnieper-River_Pripyat-River_Sosh-River.png

    D. I. Fonvozin was travelling from Russia to Warsaw in 1777-1778

    Ночевали в местечке Борисове, в карете, а поутру 24-го переехали реку Березину, составляющую границу между Польскою Белоруссиею и Литвою.

    Translation:
    We spent the night in the town of Borisov, in a carriage, and in the morning of the 24th crossed the Berezina River, the border between the Polish Belarus and Litva.

    The territories of present day eastern Lithuania was definitely part of Litva. I am not sure about the rest of Lithuanian territories . Some say North-western Lithuania was known as Samogitia, while others are saying it was also Litva. I don't want have any disagreements with the Lithuanians over it. 

    A known historian and cartographer studied the Lithuanian metrika (the state documents of Lithuanian archives) identifying the geographical names on the map within the boundaries Litva on the Belarusian territories.  Litva was mostly central and western Belarus on the Belarusian side. If you are interested I can search for the map.

    #425892

    Anonymous

    I know enough now, thanks :) As far as I know even some Poles living in present-day Lithuania consider themselves as something between Lithuanians and Poles. I do not remember exactly how it was, but they see the difference. ;)

    Grand Duchy of Lithuania was big enough to make problems in modern times about some distincions, identifications etc. Navahrudek, for example, was one of the capital cities.

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