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Posts Tagged ‘belarus

[LINK] “Belarusians try out a new language: their own”

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The Christian Science Monitor‘s Rachel Stern reports on what might be the beginning of a renaissance in usage of the Belarusian language in Belarus. Apparently Lukashenko’s government, hitherto content with presiding over the steady progress of Russian, is newly sympathetic to causes which might help differentiate Belarus from its eastern partner.

Every Monday evening, an airy contemporary art gallery in central Minsk is filled with a language rarely heard on Belarus’s streets: Belarusian.

An average of 240 people pack the premises of the gallery, dubbed Ў after a character that only exists in the Belarusian Cyrillic alphabet, for a free course to practice and fine-tune their skills in the official language. Since 1999, use of Belarusian has dropped dramatically in favor of Russian.

“We have our own language but most people here don’t use it,” says Veranika Famina, an actress who has been attending “Mova Nanova” – or “Language Anew” in Belarusian – since it launched in January 2014.

But many Belarusians are now taking an increased interest in their native language to assert their country’s own identity and culture apart from neighboring Russia. Mova Nanova and a growing number of unofficial linguistic initiatives are taking Belarusian beyond the school classes that it’s often isolated to and back into the public sphere.

“For young people, speaking Belarusian is cool. They feel more Europe-oriented,” says translator Iryna Harasimovich at the cafe at Ў, which showcases work only in Belarusian and English. “Belarus has historically been a pendulum between East and West and that’s only become more blatant due to the situation in Ukraine.”

Written by Randy McDonald

September 18, 2014 at 7:40 pm

[BLOG] Some Wednesday links

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  • Claus Vistesen at Alpha Sources notes that the Italian economy has slipped back into recession.
  • blogTO identifies ten secret things in Toronto.
  • Centauri Dreams looks at gas giants with very unusual, even misaligned, orbits around their local suns.
  • The Dragon’s Gaze links to one study on the internal geology of silicon-carbon worlds and to another on the moderating impact of oceans on planetary climates.
  • The Dragon’s Tales notes the Indian military buildup in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, and links to a study suggesting that even the very early Earth might have been hospitable towards life.
  • Geocurrents features a guest post from Will Rayner pointing out ways in which statistics can lie (Luxembourg looks very wealthy, but this is an artifact of a huge day-commuter workforce coming from outside of its frontiers).
  • Joe. My. God. reports that the Egyptian police seem to be using Grindr to hunt down gay men for arrests.
  • The Russian Demographics Blog notes the ethnographic justification for the Soviet invasion and partition of Poland.
  • Spacing Toronto points to an upcoming photo exhibit showcasing Toronto’s tower neighbourhoods.
  • Torontoist reports on the success of urban agriculture as an experiment in New York City.
  • Window on Eurasia notes the deteriorating situation of Crimean Tatars and suggests Russia is preparing to move into the Baltic States.

[BLOG] Some Wednesday links

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  • blogTO shares pictures and photos of Toronto overhead from 1879 on, noting the ever-rising skyline.
  • Centauri Dreams notes the fascinating results of an in-depth study of the emerging planetary system of HD100546.
  • The Dragon’s Gaze links to a paper looking at causes for orbital eccentricty of planets in trinary systems.
  • The Dragon’s Tales notes the current state of eastern Ukraine and notes that Australia’s Lynch Crater apparently conserves records of forty-five thousand years of human influence on the global environment.
  • Joe. My. God. observes that Finland’s Tom of Finland-themed stamps are a huge hit.
  • The Planetary Society Blog charts patterns of growth of planetary exploration by probe over 1959-1989.
  • pollotenchegg examines ethnically-driven patterns of support in Belarus’ last free elections.
  • Spacing Toronto reviews the 2014 State of the World.
  • Supernova Condensate shares pictures of the Space Cats.
  • Towleorad notes that Toronto school trustee Sam Sotiropoulous shuts down when asked on television about his transphobic and homophobic statements.
  • Why I Love Toronto notes that Toronto’s new streetcars are great.
  • Window on Eurasia notes that on economic issues Putin is not Marxist but rather statist, and observes the long-term consequences of the utter breakdown in Russian-Ukrainian relations.

[BLOG] Some Tuesday links

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  • Bad Astronomy’s Phil Plait notes a new study suggesting that the star Betelgeuse will go supernova not imminently, but rather in a hundred thousand years.
  • blogTO profiles midtown Toronto’s Merton Street.
  • Discover‘s Crux examines the most suitable potential locations for offworld colonies (Venus, the Moon, Mars).
  • The Dragon’s Gaze links to one paper suggesting that binary star systems might actually be better-suited to Earth-like worlds that solitary star systems like our our and links to another speculating about the patterns of light emitted by Earth-like worlds.
  • The Dragon’s Tales notes an archeological study suggesting that chocolate was eaten in the Mississippian civilization of Cahokia, and looks at an ongoing dispute over rocket development between France and Germany in the European Space Agency.
  • Languages of the World’s Asya Pereltsvaig looks at the ongoing disappearance of the Belarusian language.
  • Marginal Revolution notes the exceptional vulnerability of Scotland’s economy to its banking sector.
  • Personal Reflection’s Jim Belshaw reflects on the movement for statehood in the Australian region of New England in the light of the imminent Scottish referendum.
  • Torontoist notes a survey examining the issues of LGBT people in the Ontario police services.
  • Towleroad notes the lesbian couple married in Iowa after seventy years together.
  • The Volokh Conspiracy notes that the Northern Marianas are the only jurisdiction with a total handgun ban.
  • Window on Eurasia notes the progress of fascism in Russia, considers the consequences of the war for both Ukraine and Russia, and looks at growing concern elsewhere in the former Soviet space about Russia.

[NEWS] Some Tuesday links

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  • Al Jazeera notes the breakdown of the Libyan state.
  • Bloomberg mentions Finland’s new interest in NATO, notes European Union plans to strengthen sanctions against Russia, takes note of China’s vetoing of democracy in Hong Kong and looks at China’s strengthening of its South China Sea holdings, and in West Africa notes the unburied bodies in the street in countries hit by Ebola and observes the apparent spread of the epidemic to Senegal.
  • Bloomberg View observes how the crackdown on democracy in Hong Kong is alienating Taiwan, notes that Scotland may secure its future in the European Union by leaving a United Kingdom hoping to leave, looks at the frightening military theories of Russia, considers whether taxation may spur corporate consumption in Korea, wonders if France’s Hollande can pull off Mitterand’s turn to the right, examines secular stagnation, considers the issues of Macau, and warns Israel about economic issues ahead.
  • CBC looks at how walking bichir fish may explain how vertebrates moved onto the land, notes that Canadian federal government roundtables on the sex trade aren’t inviting sex workers, and notes that convicted serial killer Russell Williams has settled lawsuits made by some victims and their families.
  • Defense One notes that the Islamic State controls mainly areas around roads (but then, the roads are usually the areas that are controlled).
  • The Inter Press Service examines the settlement of Somalian refugees in Istanbul, considers the future of Ukrainian agriculture, looks at the spread of jihadi sentiments in Tajikistan, points out that the United States and Brazil will soon improve genetically engineered trees, examines anti-gay persecution in Lebanon, and looks at the legacies of the balsero migration from Cuba 20 years later.
  • National Geographic examines the positions of Yazidis in northern Iraq versus the Islamic State, notes the mobilizatin of Assyrian Christian refugees in the same region, and notes that more trees in the mountains of California means less run-off.
  • Open Democracy notes the precedents for Russian policy in Ukraine two decades earlier in Bosnia-Herzegovina, and provides a critical tourist’s perspective on Belarus.
  • Universe Today notes an ancient star that preserves legacies of the first generation of stars to form, and observes the preparation for the landing of the Philae probe on the surface of its comet.
  • Wired examines sriracha and maps where future roads should be placed.

[BLOG] Some Friday links

  • Bad Astronomy’s Phil Plait suggests that the ESA’s Rosetta probe may have found evidence for a calving event in its target comet.
  • Centauri Dreams looks at Jupiter’s extraordinarily volcanic moon of Io.
  • The Dragon’s Tales’ Will Baird notes a report that Russia plans on opening a new air force base in Belarus.
  • Far Outliers’ Joel describes how Hakodate, the first city of Japan’s Hokkaido island, hosted multiple consulates.
  • Joe. My. God. and Towleroad note how parishoners at a Roman Catholic church in Illinois are rallying behind their church’s music director, fired for announcing his impending marriage.
  • Languages of the World’s Asya Perelstvaig describes, with maps, the issues of Christians in the Middle East.
  • Language Log explores the complexities of newly popular Sanskrit language programs in education.
  • Lawyers, Guns and Money explores the survival of the old South and Confederate ideals in the modern Tea Party (1, 2).
  • Marginal Revolution started a discussion as to what the European Central Bank should do.
  • The Planetary Society Blog hosts a post from Jason Davis describing the innovative online interface for data from the crowd-controlled ISEE-3 probe.
  • The Russian Demographics blog notes the confused population policy of Belarus.
  • Spacing Toronto notes how Logan Avenue in the east end has become an unofficial slow street.
  • Torontoist discusses doorings suffered by cyclists.

[BLOG] Some politics-related links

  • 3 Quarks Daily links to an essayist wondering why people talked about Gaza not the Yezidis as a way to dismiss Gaza.
  • The Broadside Blog’s Caitlin Kelly notes how Americans subsidize Walmart’s low wages by givibng its employees benefits.
  • The Dragon’s Tales notes that Chinese plans to reforest Tibet could accelerate the dessication of its watershed since trees suck up water, observes the existence of a new Chinese ICBM and links to a report of a Chinese drone, notes that the ecologies of Europe are especially vulnerable to global warming owing to their physical fragmentation, and notes that Canadian-Mexican relations aren’t very friendly.
  • Eastern Approaches notes Russia’s reaction to the shootdown of the MH17 flight over eastern Ukraine and observes the issues with Poland’s coal industry.
  • Geocurrents’ Martin Lewis calls for American military intervention to protect the Yezidis from genocide.
  • Lawyers, Guns and Money looks at the plight of the Yezidi, examines the undermining of liberal Zionism, wonders how Russian relations with Southeast Asia will evolve, and after noting the sympathy of some Americans on the left for Russia analyses the consequences of a Russian-Ukrainian war.
  • Marginal Revolution wonders if Russia’s food import ban is a sign of a shift to a cold war mentality, notes the collapse of the Ukrainian economy, wonders about the strategy of Hamas, and comments on the weakness of the economy of Ghana.
  • The New APPS Blog comments on the implications of the firing of American academic Steven Salaita for his blog posts.
  • The Pagan Prattle looks at allegations of extensive coverups of pedophilia in the United Kingdom.
  • Personal Reflections’ Jim Belshaw notes the decreasing dynamism of the ageing Australia economy.
  • The Power and the Money’s Noel Maurer doesn’t think there’s much of a crisis in Argentina following the debt default, notes ridiculous American efforts to undermine Cuba that just hurt Cubans, examines implications of energy reform and property rights in Mexico, has a good strategy shared with other for dealing with the Islamic State.
  • Understanding Society’s Daniel Little contends with Tyler Cowen’s arguments about changing global inequality, and studies the use of mechanisms in international relations theory.
  • The Volokh Conspiracy touches upon Palestine’s case at the ICC against Israel, looks at Argentina’s debt default, and wonders if Internet domain names are property.
  • Window on Eurasia has a huge set of links, pointing to the rivalry of Russian Jewish organizations in newly-acquired Crimea, looking at Ukrainian ethnic issues in Russia, suggests that the Donbas war is alienating many Ukrainians in the east from Russia, notes Islamization in Central Asia, suggests that Russia under sanctions could become as isolated as the former SOviet Union, suggests Ukrainian refugees are being settled in non-Russian republics, wonders if Ukraine and Georgia and Moldova will join Turkey as being perennial EU candidates, suggests that Belarusians are divided and claims that Belarusian national identity is challenging Russian influence, looks at the spread of Ukrainian nationalism among Russophones, looks at the consequences of Kurdish independence for the South Caucasus, and notes that one-tenth of young Russians are from the North Caucasus or descend from the region.
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