Belarus: The Difficulties Young People Face

, by Anonymous

Belarus: The Difficulties Young People Face

The following article has been written by an anonymous young person living in Belarus. The article brings a personal perspective to the situation in the country and discusses how the lives of young people in Belarus have dramatically changed over the past 10 years.

I recently read information on the street actions to gag statues, with banners bearing the message: “Give the people of Belarus a voice!” I felt so sad - sad due to my feeling of hopelessness. I have lived in Belarus for the whole of my life and my attitude towards my country had changed as history turns. During my life I have felt a range of different feelings: delight, pride, peaceful confidence, happiness, surprise, indignation and hopelessness.

I have lived in Belarus for the whole of my life and my attitude towards my country had changed as history turns.

Now I feel pain, and I am trying to reflect on this feeling from the philosophical point of view that every nation deserves the right to chose their government. In Belarus, the pain of not having this choice still remains and for the last 10 years small changes have occurred in the individual citizen’s life.

Who are the young Belarusians in 2010, and how do they differ to the young Belarusians in 2000? From an external point of view it is possible that many may think nothing has changed for us. Internally young Belarusians exist as sympathetic young people dressed in the latest Turkish fashion, who are possibly students, deep in love, have no money and have failed several exams last semester. I hear you ask, what is so bad about this picture? Nothing, aside from the fact that the average Belarusian in 2010 has nothing more. Young people in Belarus of course have the standard life plans to finish university, find a normal job (which will pay around 200€ a month), build a family, apply to be put on the list for an apartment and to spend the rest of our lives trying to survive. To summarise: this is living, nothing more.

Internally young Belarusians exist as sympathetic young people dressed in the latest Turkish fashion, who are possibly students, deep in love, have no money and have failed several exams last semester.

So, in 2010 what are young Belarusians thinking about their lives? We are thinking about this situation, the fact that we are just living and we have to depend upon what our country decides as we are prevented from being able to change anything that we dislike. We cannot express an opinion, protest or disagree with any decision made. My neighbor often asks me ’’do you really want to disagree with decisions, you will be expelled from the university, or be employed at some god-forsaken hole’’.

Those who are still trying to think over about what is happening in our country are trying to not accept the rules as they analyse the situation. The repercussions for these young people are scary. Belarusians living in 2010 live in a world that was created by an unelected government. In their ears they have the cottonwool of state ideology and in their eyes, the blindness of state control. Lies are everywhere these days, be they uncovered, shameless or absurd.

The young Belarusian in 2010 has nothing to compare their life with, they can compare life only with that of a neighbor of the same country. The young Belarusian in 2000 was sure, that they could change their country, debate and critisise. Looking back on this era only frustrates me. That’s why I am out of breath and filling with such previously mentioned pain. I would like to leave, because I cannot change anything.

The young Belarusian in 2000 was sure, that they could change their country, debate and critisise. Looking back on this era only frustrates me.

We are however, patient, tolerant and peaceful people. We will wait.

Images: Freedom of Speech, source: yoshiffles flickr images

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Your comments

  • On 19 March 2010 at 08:17, by Curly Replying to: Belarus: The Difficulties Young People Face

    Thank you very much for this great article - short and powerful because it comes from a person that is living the situation most of us were lucky never to experience. For me it made me think that although I constantly complain about things not being done properly and want to change things for the better I also appreciate what I have and don’t take it for granted.

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