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    Slavs settled on the land of Balts in Belarus . I’d be biased writing anything about Lithuanians and Latvians. Because we share plenty that I cannot describe in a paragraph. Language, ethnography, history, geography, culture, anthropology, genetics, mentality. Slavic and Baltic languages have a common linguistic Balto-Slavic ancestor.

    Deep in our hearts Belarusians feel Lithuanians are their cousins. It’s the same with Lithuanians – common folks think Belarusians are their cousins. Their best known scholars state Belarusians are  cousins of Lithuanians.

    How do southern Slavs see the Balts? Do you feel they are related to you? Or only Belarusians, certain groups of Poles and Russians feel Balts are related to them?



    Come on , guys! I know this forum attracts southern Slavs. I’d like to know your opinion. 🙂 



    Are these siblings northern Belarusians or Lithuanians?



    Serbia: mostly neutral opinion. The Balts are rarely mentioned, but of course people here are mostly rusophiles, so if Balts do something deemed rusophobic, people will trash talk them. Other than that there’s some rivalry in basketball between Serbia and Lithuania and that’s pretty much it.
    I personally think of them (in ethnic sense) like distant cousins, more distant than other Slavic nations, but closer than Germanic or similar. But in general I don’t have any formed opinion on them.





    Lithuanians beat us in basketball. In all other sports we usually beat them. We like playing ice-hockey against Latvia. Latvians and Belarusians love ice-hockey. Both teams of the same strength. Ice-hockey becomes a bit of rivalry between Latvia and Belarus.

    I know Serbs are russphiles. It feels like Serbs don’t know much about the Russians. We , Ukrainians and Belarusians, are also Orthodox. Our ancestors fought for independence of Serbs and Bulgarians. We live near Russians. We know their language, culture , history, mentality more than other people.

    Belarusians and Lithuanians have a rivarly over common history. Slavs settled next to Balts (Lithuanians) since 7th century. Probably early we spawned from the same Balto-Slavic community. Since 13th century till 1918 Belarusians and Lithuanians lived in the same political state. There was a short lived Belarusian-Lithuanian Soviet Republic. Vilnius was our cultural and political capital for centuries. Our literary language is based on dialects spoken around Vilnius. Few ethnic Lithuanians lived in Vilnius till 1918. Now, it’s Lithuanian and Belarusians are a bit jealous saying look at old beautiful Vilnius, because it was designed and built by Belarusians. Look at Vilnius built after 1918 – it’s ugly, as it was designed and built by Lithuanians.



    Ice-hockey game between Latvian and Belarus during
    WC. Belarus needed a win to qualify for play-off. Latviia needed a
    draw. Latvia euqalised in the last minute only seeing the goal was
    rightfully disallowed. That was the reaction of Latvian goal-scorer.
    He broke his stick. It was brilliant seeing Latvian ice-hockey
    getting upset playing against us.




    @Sviatogor I know your history :smiley: Serbs like Belarusians, because your country has good tides with Russia + let me tell you a secret: Serbs love dictators and authoritative figures, like Putin or Lukašenko. I personally have much higher opinion of Belarus than RF, I don’t know why exactly, it’s just seems rich in history and tradition, but also mysterious and perhaps uncorrupted by it greatness, unlike Russia. Belarus is one of mine touristic goals as soon as I have time and money for it.



    I don’t know a lot of their history and lifestyle. We all know they’re good in basketball, especially Lithuanians.

    I’m also member on another basketball forum which has a lot of Lithuanians and from what I noticed there they seem to be very proud but also curious people, and sometimes even stubborn. However they get too easily shattered if they’re in doubt of their own quality/values.




    Lukshenko was born into a poor family risen by a single Mum . He speaks with a regional accent and has charisma . It’s easy to see why he appeals to common folks. He is more liked in Russia than Belarus in my opinion.

    I don’t think Belarus is as authoritarian as former USSR or North Korea. Belarusians are free to travel. Belarusians obtain more Shchengen visas per capita than citizens of any country. Twice as many as Russians and Ukrainians per capita. We can say anything we wish about our government in public.  Calling Lukashenko stupid on TV can be regular.

    I think the country d is labeled  dictatorship due to the fact that we  kept Soviet relics – monuments, names of the streets and squares. We are also a political ally of Russia. So, we are a target in information war. Also our government puts plenty of pressure on the opposition. Some of those in opposition are opportunists sponsoured by the West. In 2010 there was an attempt to overthrow the government during election. It was similar to Maidan in Kiev. The government jailed those responsible for breaking government buildings causing public unrest. Politicians in the west labeled those who were jailed as political prisoners. In the last 25 years there were probably around 15 political prisoners in Belarus as per the western sources. Most of them were pardoned by the president eventually. President has a constitutional right to do so.
    We don’t have opposition media too. Although, we can read any newspaper in the world. We have opposition sattelite channel and radio station in eastern Poland broadcasting to Belarus, which is available to all citizens of Belarus. If putting pressure on opposition and opposition media having Soviet relics at the same is a form of  dictatorship…

    I forgot . President has a lot of political power. I don’t think our president has more constitutional power than the president of Russia or USA.



    I didn’t said you are a dictatorship or authoritarian, I just said that Lukashenko is an authoritarian figure or a strong leader, as people here would say. Interestingly, our domestic “strong leaders” are label as dictators right away by the same people (like current prime-minister, not that I support him or his government), until they fall, like Milošević e.g. you wouldn’t believe how many people praise him now as a great leader, true patriot and a great Serb, while those same people called him weak, traitor and all other sorts of things. It’s almost funny how is most popular with the right wing, even though he was a leftist, socialist (name of his party is Socialist Party of Serbia).
    Well, I am against what happened in Ukraine. Unorganized gathering which turned into a destructive unrest, minors with no vote right participating in a political event and 2% of population (of which, I repeat, many don’t have right to vote) overthrowing legally elected government.



    I think you are wrong. Most of the people from generations age 25 to age 40 knows Milosevic was the worst thing after WW2 that struck Serbia. He is not figure to be idolized, and no one is idolizing him except the extreme nationalistic movements and retired people. He was never convicted for anything because he died before the conviction, but he was surely guilty for many wretched lives and unhappy childhood both then and now, and I don’t mean just the wars he didn’t stop but also robing the nation and allowing easy drugs trade in just about any corner.

    Everyone could conclude that FR Yugoslavia of that time is same like modern Turkey smile

    Anyway the reason because people feel hatred for last 16 years in Serbian politics is due to the fact that the changes that’ve been made were made so rapidly that common people can’t embrace them, and thus nostalgia for “good, old times, and you can’t deny that most of the changes were ill-made, they were imposed and they made damage to the well-being of the people.

    PS. Number of people employed in government should drop from 600 000 to 60 000 or something like that, because many people don’t work optimally



    @Sviatogor well, technically NATO aggression was thing that struck Serbia after WW2, but I know what you mean. All of what you wrote is true, I don’t see how am I wrong, my previous comment is in no collision with your comment. People who are 25 were children, people who are 40 were overthrowing him, but people around 50-60 are most populous group in Serbia, they voted him. He is not to be idolized, but he is. Plus, people here have short memory when it comes to certain things.
    My parents always praised him, mostly because no one lost their job during his regime and because he did the best possible thing in given (extremely bad) situation, forgetting that he was the one who put us in that situation. Thing they don’t like is that he didn’t make our economy closed during sanctions (since we were already isolated), so inflation went through the roof. I don’t like him, he needed to be overthrown, but I have much bigger problem with the way he was overthrown. Official election results were never published, even though opposition and protesters brought him down claiming that their candidate won, while Milošević rigged the election and promising to publish real results.



    I’d say that our view of the Baltic countries in Bulgaria is almost the same as our view of Belarus – neutrality, born out of general ignorance. And “almost the same” because at least the Baltic countries are in the EU together with us, which does increase our connections a bit, even if not too much. Of course, it depends on each person – the more active Russophiles would probably be more negative towards the Balts, due to the latter’s active stance against Russia. But generally, we don’t really know or care much about the Baltic region.

    I personally do care more than the average Bulgarian though, as I have a few very close Lithuanian friends. Thus, I’ve gotten interested in their history (actually, just a few days ago I started reading a book about the history of the three Baltic states, which I bought this summer) and the few connections and similarities between my country and Lithuania in particular. F.e. both our countries (and I can include Serbia as a similar example) were much bigger and stronger once, but are now mere shadows of themselves and even their times of greatness are today largely overlooked outside of our region (especially in the West). As for the few connections, there’s f.e. our guy Cyprian, who became metropolitan of Kiev and all Rus in the 14th-15th c., including of Lithuania, which he also visited for some diplomatic negotiations with its grand duke. Also, for a few years around that time, the two countries “neighboured” each other, as both had access to the Black Sea. Later, there’s also the Lithuanian “Patriarch of the nation”, who lived in Bulgaria for a time in the 19th-20th century and even became Bulgarian citizen and participated in the political life here. And, of course, in modern times, the Lithuanian “T Market” chain of supermarkets (Maxima in LT) is quite widespread here (the only non-Baltic country they’re in, aside from Poland).

    Edit: As for similarity – yes, we are technically “cousins” of a sort, due to the Balto-Slavic linguistic group (btw, I remember reading a Lithuanian article, where they also proposed a connection between the Baltic languages and Thraco-Dacian, which was… interesting). Actually, I remember watching an interview some years ago, with a guy who spoke over 24 languages and mentioned that aside from the other Slavic languages (obviously), the ones closest to Bulgarian are first the Baltic ones (Lithuanian and… Lettish?), then the Germanic ones and then the Iranic ones.




    Thanks for detailed response!

    Relations of Lithuanians with Russians , Poles , English or any other ethnicity does not influence us. There are autochthonous Lithuanians living in Belarus and autochtonous Belarusians living in Lithuania.  I played with Belarusian Lithuanians when I was a child. We didn’t see any difference between us.

    Our Lithuanians are patriots of Belarus. They are more Belarusian speaking than Belarusians in south-eastern Belarus.

    Often, I am tempted to say Lithuanians are like us. Just want to accept them into our community. But knowing how important for Lithuanians and Latvians to keep  separate identities from Slavs , who culturally influenced and assimilated many of them, I always say they are separate from the Slavs.



    I have no first hand impression of Balts i.e – never met any. Why would a Belorussian ask that question anyway?

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