National Consciousness Is Rising in Belarus
They’re getting to know themselves. Thanks in part to President Alexander Lukashenko’s policy of emphasizing the country’s Soviet past, Belarusians have been largely deprived of a clear national identity since gaining independence in the early 1990s. Now Lukashenko — who has long associated expressions of national pride with the opposition movement — is increasingly, if carefully, promoting a distinct Belarusian identity to prevent his country from falling prey to Russian propaganda. Even if it’s political calculation, observers say this quiet cultural rebirth is a natural social phenomenon that often follows colonial rule.