We already brought you part one of our list of 15 things you probably did not know about Belarus, and now we’re back with part two! Check out eight more fascinating facts about the Eastern European country that you definitely (probably) did not know below. You might be surprised by what you find out!
Number Eight: Belarus Is Still Greatly Affected by Chernobyl
In 1986, the Chernobyl disaster took place which released radiation in many surrounding areas. Much of Belarus was affected by this disaster, and to this day, cancer rates in the country are higher than they should be.
Number Seven: Belarusians Drink Birch Sap
You may have heard of birch beer, but in Belarus, the citizens drink actual sap from the birch tree. The sap is first extracted from birch trees and is sold in large glass jars.
Number Six: It’s Home to One of the Longest Streets in Europe
Independence Avenue, located in Belarus’ capital of Minsk, is a whopping 15 kilometers long and is one of the longest streets in Europe. The name of the street has been changed numerous times.
Number Five: Every City in Belarus Has a Lenin Street
It’s true! Many of the country’s monuments are dedicated to Lenin, and in every single city, there is a Lenin Street. Creepy.
Number Four: It Has One of the World’s Largest Libraries
We mentioned in part one of this list that the country is extremely literate, but it also has one of the world’s largest libraries! The library is called the National Library of Belarus and is 72.6 meters high.
Number Three: It Was the Only Country to Make Yiddish an Official Language
While it was still the Belarusian Soviet Socialist Republic, the country made Yiddish its official language. At the time, Belarusian, Russian, and Polish were also official languages.
Number Two: Artist Marc Chagall Was Born There
Chagall was renowned for his work as an early modernist painter. He was born in Liozna in 1887, which is present day Belarus.
Number One: If You Ever Visit, Expect Bread and Salt When You Arrive
As a show of hospitality, locals offer their guests bread and salt as a welcoming gift. We hope you enjoyed our list of 15 things you didn’t know about Belarus!