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Nestled between Russia, Ukraine, Poland, Lithuania, and Latvia, Belarus is a virtually unknown nation to much of the world. After 70 years as part of the USSR, it gained its independence in 1991. Politically it has remained essentially a one-ruler state since the first presidential elections of 1994. Despite its political isolation, Belarus is possessed of a vital independent culture and a people whose patience and endurance through centuries of war and change has given them a unique view on the world and connection to each other.

Cultural Detective Belarus will open your eyes to the core values of a people rich in history, culture and art, to a flat land of agriculture and industry, to a people who have absorbed the unspeakable pain of World War II and the scalding tragedy of Chernobyl with endurance and determination, a people above all dedicated to taking care of each other and those who come their way—as the Belarusian proverb runs, "One without a friend is like food without salt!"

Cultural Detective Belarus contains the following stories and critical incidents:

  • Shaping the Program:

    Belarusians find the program proposed by Swedish academics to be too light.

  • When is Easter?:

    Polish organizers of a professional meeting fail repeatedly to respect the Russian Orthodox calendar used in Belarus.

  • Wedding Cake, The:

    A Belarusian artisan gives away her work rather than selling it.

  • Planning a Round Table:

    US and Belarusian colleagues differ on planning timetables.

  • Happy Dragon Trading Company:

    Belarusian partners in a Chinese-owned company distrust their Chinese owner.

  • Household Furnishings:

    A Swedish home furnishings representative fails to connect with potential business partners in Belarus.

  • Making Tea:

    A Belarusian student feels insulted during a summer job in Germany.

Cultural Detective Belarus was authored by Elena Korshuk, George Simons and Dianne Hofner Saphiere.