by Tatsiana Chubarava
So many men, so many characters. A Belarusian man – who is he? It is hard to give a “one-size-fits-all” description.
So let’s take a sneak peek into the flats of a relatively new apartment block located in a green suburban district in Minsk. Here you can meet a few different types of Belarusian men.
For instance, there is Vladimir. He is strong, not very sensitive, but he is a good decision-maker. A modern night but in a suit. He as stable as a wall. When he comes home from work, he is greeted with a kiss from his beautiful wife and a lovely dinner. He is a breadwinner and at home he wants to relax and chill out.
Next to them lives the lazy drunkard Ivan. His life is pretty simple – three bottles of beer per day, football on TV, breakfast and dinner made by his wife, and that’s it. He has no other ambitions in life and the only effort he makes is opening another beer.
Above Ivan lives Peotr. He is 25 and wants to live a meaningful life. He finished university three years ago with a top degree in computer science. His career is evolving in a very promising way; new goals are set and achieved. Peotr loves to read thought-provoking books, ride his bike, and enjoys going out camping in the summer. In people, he values honesty.
Next to him lives Mitya. Mitya is also 25 but he still lives with his Mum. ‘Why should I move out?’- he shrugs his shoulders when asked. Mitya enjoys playing computer games and hanging out in Minsk bars, especially the ones on Zibitskaya. He doesn’t think much about his future, has changed jobs three times in the last 8 months – because they pay him peanuts – damn bosses underestimate him!
Above Mitya lives Misha. Misha is middle-aged and is disillusioned with his work, the country, and with people in general. He sees himself surrounded by fools and by women who are totally obsessed with money. Actually, he should have become a software developer. How has he failed to predict that the IT industry would be so lucrative in Belarus?! What a fool he is!
Next to Mitya lives Anton. Anton is not a rock star – he is hardworking and caring. He plans to build a dacha (a little cottage in the countryside) for his children and wife and loves to going to the cinema with her at weekends. On first glance, his life may seem pretty boring and routine, but that’s a false impression. It is calm and this is a wonderful thing.
From time to time, these men meet each other in the elevator. They shake hands, saying hello, and prefer not to discuss trivial things. Perhaps, they have little in common except for the fact that they are men and that they all live in the same apartment complex. Maybe, they have a bit more in common. But, how can I – a complete stranger to them – discover what those commonalities are? There is only one way to form your own judgment of Belarusian men – come visit and find out for yourself.