Photo of the Day for July 1, 2015

Annual expedition to Panjamon’ (III/V).  Штогадовая экспедыцыя ў Панямонь (III/V).

Belarus in Faces (part CLVI):  three generations, Panjamon’ 2015. While the men of the house were off fishing, we renewed our acquaintance with this great-grandmother and were able to make a portrait of her together with her visiting daughter and great-granddaughter.

Беларусь у тварах (частка CLVI):  тры пакаленьні (прабабуля са сваёй дачкой і праўнучкай), Панямонь 2015 г.

Photos of the Day for June 30, 2015

Annual expedition to Panjamon’ (II/V).  Штогадовая экспедыцыя ў Панямонь (II/V).

Belarus in Faces (part CLV):  Mikhail and his grandson, Panjamon’ 2015.  Беларусь у тварах (частка CLV):  спадар Міхаіл са сваім унукам, Панямонь 2015 г.

Photos of the Day for June 29, 2015

Annual expedition to Panjamon’ (I/V).  Штогадовая экспедыцыя ў Панямонь (I/V).

Lying at the western edge of the Nalibaki Wilderness, the well-kept village of Panjamon’ sits on both banks of the River Njoman.  It is a favorite spot for anglers and for those who seek the timeless tranquility of its open oak grove and the sight of the many storks which nest there.

Every visit brings pleasant, often surprising, encounters with the village’s inhabitants.  As we entered the village this year, we could not help noticing the efforts of a young nanny goat hungry to get at the weekly newspaper.  Not wanting to distract her, we at first kept our distance, but approached to get a better angle when it became clear she would not be distracted from her task.

Галодная да навін.

Photos of the Day for June 28, 2015

The Oak.  Дуб.

The oak is sacred to Belarusians and the sight of an oak gives one additional strength and inspiration on any journey.

These oak leaves provide welcome shade for the churchyard of the Orthodox church of St. Nicholas in the central Pripet village of Rukhcha in Stolin District of southern Belarus.  Orthodox spring feast of St. Nicholas (Mikola – Мікола), Rukhcha 2015.  Дубовае лісьце, сьвята Міколы, ля царквы Сьв. Мікалая, Рухча 2015 г.

The next day we made our annual expedition to the oak grove in Panjamon’, a well-maintained village on the River Njoman at the western edge of the Nalibaki Wilderness (Nalibotskaja pushcha – Налібоцкая пушча) in central-western Belarus.  Дуброўка, Панямонь 2015 г.

Photos of the Day for June 27, 2015

Orthodox feast of the Ascension, Azdamichy 2015.  Сьвята Ўшэсьця, Аздамічы 2015 г.

Grannies and parents normally keep children strictly behaved in church.  However, there are occasions when the grannies correctly judge that it is better to let a boy quietly exercise his curiosity as a way to keep him occupied…

…because in the end he will be just as proper a participant as the others.

Photo of the Day for June 26, 2015

Polesian rhythms (part III):  gathering grasses for the hog.  Tsjerablichy 2015.  Палескія рытмы (частка ІІІ):  збор траваў для кабанчыка.  Цераблічы 2015 г.

Small-holder farmers in Belarus traditionally supplement their hogs’ diets with tasty, curative grasses.

Photos of the Day for June 25, 2015

Polesian rhythms (part II):  presentation in the temple (churching of Jelisjej).  Tsjerablichy 2015.  Палескія рытмы (частка ІІ):  прысьвячэньне Елісея Госпаду.  Цераблічы 2015 г.

The presentation of a newborn in the temple commemorates Mary and Joseph’s presentation of Jesus in the temple on the fortieth day after His birth (Luke 2.22-23).  The presentation (“churching”, or blessing of a mother and her newborn, in the Orthodox church) thus traditionally takes place on the fortieth day or thereafter at christening.  In Jelisjej’s case, he was christened on his 34th day (see photos of the day for February 14-21, 2015), and his parents deferred his presentation until May.

Father Vasil’ prays for Jelisjej and his mother in the narthex.

Father Vasil’  presents Jelisjej in the nave, then, since he is a boy, carries him around the altar behind the iconostasis, and emerges to place him on the floor in front of the principal door of the iconostasis.

Jelisjej’s mother Ljuda collects him and both are blessed by Father Vasil’.

Photos of the Day for June 24, 2015

Polesian rhythms (part I):  letting the cows out to pasture.  Tsjerablichy 2015.  Палескія рытмы (частка І):  на пашу.  Цераблічы 2015 г.

Ownership of a cow, a source of protein and a hedge against crop failure, has traditionally been central to the health and survival of Belarusian small-holders.  Now, the number of privately-owned cows in Belarus continues to fall as younger generations choose to forego the chores of early-morning and late-evening milking and mucking out as well as the risks and uncertain results associated with insemination and breeding.

However, in the central Prypjats’ (Pripet) region of Polesia a fair number of families still own a cow, and the private production of milk remains an important source for the dairy-products industry.  From May (traditionally Orthodox St. George’s Day, May 6) until mid-October, after the early morning milking, Belarusian small-holders let their cows out to graze all day in common pastures.

Photo of the Day for June 23, 2015

Belarus in Faces (part CLIV), Tsjerablichy 2015.  Беларусь у тварах (частка CLIV), Цераблічы 2015 г.

Photo of the Day for June 22, 2015

Belarus in Faces (part CLIII), Azdamichy 2015.  Беларусь у тварах (частка CLIII), Аздамічы 2015 г.