Belarusians Explained

Group:Belarusians
Poptime:c. 10 million +
Popplace:

8,159,073[1]

Region2:
Pop2:600.000[2]
Pop1:521,443[3]
Region3:
Pop3:275,763[4]
Region4:
Pop4:130.000
Region5:
Pop5:66,476[5]
Region6:
Pop6:68,174[6]
Region7:
Pop7:50,000 - 70,000[7]
Region8:
Pop8:45,000 - 80,000 [8]
Region9:
Pop9:50,000 - 70,000
Region10:
Pop10:41,100[9]
Pop11:20,000
Region12:
Pop12:20,000
Region13:
Pop13:17,241[10]
Region14:
Pop14:7,000
Pop15:7,000
Region16:
Pop16:2,000
Region18:
Pop18:1,168[11]
Region19:
Pop19:1,002[12]
Region20:
Pop20:138[13]
Rels:Predominantly Orthodox Christianity;
Roman Catholic, Greek Catholic and Protestant minorities. Judaism[14]
Langs:Belarusian, Russian
Related:Other Slavs, particularly other East Slavs [15]

Belarusians (Belarusian: беларусы, ''biełarusy'', Russian: белорусы, byelorusy) are an East Slavic ethnic group who populate the majority of the Republic of Belarus. Introduced to the world as a new state in the early 1990s, the Republic of Belarus brought with it the notion of a re-emerging Belarusian ethnicity, drawn upon the lines of the Old Belarusian language spoken by the Ruthenian ethnic group that ruled (together with ancestors of today's Lithuanians) the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. However, after the creation of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, many of the Old Belarusian-speaking Ruthenian nobles would be absorbed by the Polish szlachta in the West and, later, the Russian nobility in the East, leaving only a small rural-dwelling population to be the propagators of a distinct non-literary Belarusian language up until its revival.There are over 8 million people who associate themselves with the Belarusian nationality today.

Location

See also: Belarusian diaspora.

Belarusians also form minorities in neighboring Poland (especially in the Białystok Voivodeship), Russia and Lithuania. At the beginning of 20th century Belarusians constituted a majority in the regions around Smolensk.

Noticeable numbers have emigrated to the United States, Brazil and Canada in the early 20th century. During Soviet times, many Belarusians were deported or migrated to various regions of the USSR, including Siberia, Kazakhstan and Ukraine.

Since the breakup of the USSR several hundred thousand have emigrated to the European Union, United States, Canada and Russia.

Languages

The most spoken language in Belarus is Russian, principally spoken by 72% of the population, while the other official language, Belarusian, is only used by 11.9%[16] in every day life. Statistical data shows that Belarusian is fluently communicated, read and written by 29.4%, while 52.5% of the population can communicate and read in Belarusian.[16] Belarusian is a language of the Eastern Slavic group.

Genetics

Belarusians show the characteristic R1a genes of the male ancestorship at 51%, similar to other East slav groups. Such large frequencies of R1a have been found only in East Europe and India.[17]

Genetical studies show that genetically Belarusians have close genetical similarities with Poles, Russians and Ukrainians, which belong to the same group. A study of the Y chromosome in East Slavs groups shows that there is no significant variation in the Y chromosome between Belarusians, Poles, central-southern Russians and Ukrainians, and it is overlapped by their vast similarities, thus revealing an overwhelmingly shared patrilineal ancestry.[18] [19] [20]

A genetic portrait of modern Belarusians documents A separation of subpopulations along the south-north line, which is demonstrated particularly in distribution of Y chromosomal lineages R1b, I1a and I1b, N3 and G-chromosomes, has been noted; east-west gradient is insignificant.[21]

Name

The name Belarus can be literally translated as White Ruthenia that is a historical region in the east of modern Republic of Belarus, known in Latin as Ruthenia Alba. This name was in use in the West for some time in history, together with White Ruthenes, White Russians (though not to be confused with the political group of White Russians that opposed the Bolsheviks during the Russian Civil War) and similar forms. Belarusians trace their name back to the people of Rus'.

History

The Belarusian people trace their distinct culture to the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and earlier Kievan Rus and the Principality of Polatsk. Most Belarusians are descendants of the East Slav tribes Dregovichs, Krivichs and Radimichs, as well as of a Baltic tribe of Jotvingians who lived in the west and north-west of today's Belarus.[22]

In 13th-18th centuries Belarusians were mostly known under the name of Ruthenians which refers to the Eastern part of state of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania (Litva, Vialikaja Litva) of which the White Ruthenian, Black Ruthenian and Polesian lands were part of since the 13th-14th centuries and where Ruthenian language which developed in Old Belarusian language gradually became the dominant written language in the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, that replaced Latin. Casimir's Code of 1468 and all three editions of Statutes of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania (1529, 1566, and 1588) were written in Old Belarusian language. Eventually it was replaced by Polish.

On the grounds of the dominance of Ruthenian language (which later evolved into modern Belarusian and Ukrainian Languages) culture in the Eastern parts of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, some modern Belarusian scholars and people in Belarus count that Grand Duchy of Lithuania was mostly Belarusian state when it existed.[23] [24] [25] [26]

Between 1791 and 1917 much of Belarus, with its Christian and Jewish populations, was acquired by the Russian Empire in a series of military conquests and diplomatic manoeuvres, and was part of a region known as the Pale of Settlement.

After World War I Belarusians revived their own statehood, with varying degrees of independence - first as the short-lived Belarusian National Republic under German occupation, then as the Byelorussian SSR from 1919 until 1991, which merged with other republics to become a constituent member of the Soviet Union in 1922). Belarus gained full independence with the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991.

Cuisine

See main article: Belarusian cuisine.

See also

External links

Notes and References

  1. http://belstat.gov.by/homep/en/census/p5.php 1999 census
  2. http://www.belarustime.ru/belarus/culture/diaspore/c6420f28d9870602.html
  3. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demographics_of_Russia
  4. http://2001.ukrcensus.gov.ua/results/general/nationality/ Про кількість та склад населення України за підсумками Всеукраїнського перепису населення 2001 року
  5. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demographics_of_Kazakhstan
  6. http://www.csb.gov.lv/en/notikumi/key-provisional-results-population-and-housing-census-2011-33306.html
  7. http://www.multiculturalcanada.ca/ecp/content/belarusans.html Multiculturalcanada.ca
  8. http://www.emz-berlin.de/Statistik_2/pl/pl_02.htm 2002 census
  9. http://db1.stat.gov.lt/statbank/selectvarval/saveselections.asp?MainTable=M3010215&PLanguage=0&TableStyle=&Buttons=&PXSId=3236&IQY=&TC=&ST=ST&rvar0=&rvar1=&rvar2=&rvar3=&rvar4=&rvar5=&rvar6=&rvar7=&rvar8=&rvar9=&rvar10=&rvar11=&rvar12=&rvar13=&rvar14=
  10. http://www.emz-berlin.de/Statistik_2/ee/ee_02.htm 2000 census
  11. http://www.statistics.gr/portal/page/portal/ESYE/BUCKET/A1605/Other/A1605_SPO15_TB_AN_00_2006_07_F_EN.pdf
  12. http://sefstat.sef.pt/Docs/Distritos_2009.pdf
  13. http://www.armenia-new.belembassy.org/rus/soot/
  14. https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/bo.html CIA - The World Factbook -- Belarus -- People -- Religions -- 1997 Census
  15. http://www.ethnologue.com/%5C/15/show_family.asp?subid=90707
  16. http://www.belta.by/ru/news/society?id=422619 Belta.by
  17. Doron M.. Behar. Mark G.. Thomas. Karl. Skorecki. Michael F.. Hammer. Ekaterina. Bulygina. Dror. Rosengarten. Abigail L.. Jones. Karen. Held. Vivian. Moses. David. Goldstein. Neil. Bradman. Michael E.. Weale. Multiple Origins of Ashkenazi Levites: Y Chromosome Evidence for Both Near Eastern and European Ancestries. American Journal of Human Genetics. 73. 4. 768–779. 2003. 10.1086/378506. 13680527. 1180600.
  18. "DK Zelenin, Ethnographical divisions of East Slavs"
  19. Balanovsky. Oleg. et al.. 2008. Two Sources of the Russian Patrilineal Heritage in Their Eurasian Context. American Journal of Human Genetics. 82. 1. 236–250. 10.1016/j.ajhg.2007.09.019. 18179905. 2253976.
  20. Boris. Malyarchuk. et al.. 2004. Differentiation of Mitochondrial DNA and Y Chromosomes in Russian Populations. Human Biology. 76. 6. 877–900. 10.1353/hub.2005.0021.
  21. Genetic portrait of modern Belarusians: mitochondrial DNA and Y-chromosome perspective. Alena Kushniarevich, 1Larysa Sivitskaya, 1Nina Danilenko, 2Richard Villems, 1Oleg Davydenko 1Institute of Genetics and Cytology, Academicheskaya Str 27, Belarus, 2Estonian Biocenter, Riia Str 23, Estonia
  22. http://www.krugosvet.ru/enc/istoriya/BELORUSI.html Энциклопедия Кругосвет
  23. http://www.hetman.by/files/data/historyone_en.pdf
  24. http://flagspot.net/flags/by-arms.html
  25. http://depts.washington.edu/baltic/papers/grandduchy.htm
  26. Zejmis, Jakub, “Belarusian National Historiography and the Grand Duchy of Lithuania as a Belarusian State,” Zeitschrift fur Ostmitteleuropa-Forschung, 1999, 48, p. 383.