Photos of the Day for September 30, 2017

September 29, 2017 7:00 pm

Harvesting potatoes from the garden.  Tsjerablichy 2017.

It is a deeply-engrained custom in Belarusian villages to plant potatoes on a significant portion of the garden around one’s house.  After photographing Vasil’ and his daughter Tats’tsjana at work, I put the camera aside and helped fill two bags’ worth.

Пакуль спадар Васіль нясе поўны мяшок на месца сартаваньня, яго дачка Тацьцяна працягвае збор бульбы з агароду.  Цераблічы 2017.

 

 

 

 

 

Sorting potatoes, as Vasil”s wife (Tats’tsjana’s mother) Katsja is doing here, is equally back-breaking work.

Спадарыня Каця сартуе бульбу:  таксама цяжка для спіны.

 

 

 

Photos of the Day for September 29, 2017

September 28, 2017 7:00 pm

Potato harvest from the family allotment, Tsjerablichy 2017.

First cultivated in the Belarusian lands in the mid-18th century, the potato is now one of the most important elements in the Belarusian diet.  Families anxiously await the harvest, the quantity and quality of which to a huge degree will determine both how well a homestead makes it through the winter and prospects for the next year’s crop.

Holding on to the devastating legacy of Soviet forced collectivization, the current political system in Belarus forbids the private ownership of land.  Villagers thus must rely on the local collective farm’s arbitrary allotment of plots to grow potatoes and other vegetables.  Most of the allocations are on less productive land at some distance from the village.

Here a family works to finish harvesting its plot.  Families strive to finish the havest in Polesia before their kids start school on September 1.  After photographing for a few minutes I pitched in to help fill a couple of baskets.

Збор бульбы на сотках, Цераблічы 2017.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bringing the potato harvest home.  Although a majority of families in this area of central Polesia still uses horse carts to haul the harvest home, one also sees a step-by-step move to small-scale mechanization.

 

Photos of the Day for September 28, 2017

September 27, 2017 7:00 pm

Chasing butterflies, Vjeljamichy 2017.

Some villages, by their setting and the nature of their inhabitants, always lead one into fables and beyond time.  Vjeljamichy is such a village.  As we took in the bucolic scenes along the shore of Lake Sijatsy under late August light, a little girl dashed into the pasture with a butterfly net.  She was delighted to share with us the joy of the hunt and exhilaration of releasing the butterflies she caught.

Мілана ў паляваньні на матылькаў, Велямічы 2017 г.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Then, curious at what we chose to photograph as we moved on…

 

 

 

 

…she approached and introduced herself:  Milana, aged six.  With grandmotherly alertness, laconic expression, and practicality, she told us matter-of-factly about her village and her exploits:  “And I can climb a tree like a little panda.”

Як бабуля, Мілана (6) нам расказвала спрытна й лаканічна :  “…І лазіць па дрэвах, як пандачка.“

 

Photos of the Day for September 27, 2017

September 26, 2017 7:00 pm

Portraits of Polesia, Orthodox feast of the Transfiguration (Apple-Blessing feast – Jablychny Spas), Azdamichy, August 19, 2017.  VIII/VIII

Партрэты Палесься, Праабражэньне Гасподняе (Яблычны Спас), Аздамічы 2017 г.  VIII/VIII

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photos of the Day for September 26, 2017

September 25, 2017 7:00 pm

Portraits of Polesia, Orthodox feast of the Transfiguration (Apple-Blessing feast – Jablychny Spas), Azdamichy, August 19, 2017.  VII/VIII

Партрэты Палесься, Праабражэньне Гасподняе (Яблычны Спас), Аздамічы 2017 г.  VII/VIII

 

 

A grandmother with her granddaughter, and with the same clear and steady gaze…

 

…as in 2009.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Natalja, a teacher in the Azdamichy school, with her two children.

Спадарыня Наталя, настаўніца з Аздаміч, са сваімі дзецьмі.

 

 

Photos of the Day for September 25, 2017

September 24, 2017 7:00 pm

Orthodox feast of the Transfiguration (Apple-Blessing feast – Jablychny Spas), Azdamichy, August 19, 2017.  VI/VIII

Blessing of apples in Azdamichy.  Father Aljaksandr makes three circuits of the churchyard, in turn censing the fruit, sprinkling the fruit with holy water, and then offering the cross for parishioners to kiss before they hurry to the cemetery to place blessed fruit o the graves of their forebears.

Праабражэньне Гасподняе (Яблычны Спас), Аздамічы 2017 г.  VI/VIII

Асьвячэньне яблыкаў у Аздамічах.

 

Censing.

Асьвячэньне ладанам.

 

 

 

Blessing with holy water.

Асьвячэньне вадой.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kissing the cross.

Цалаваньне крыжа.

 

 

Photos of the Day for September 24, 2017

September 23, 2017 7:00 pm

Orthodox feast of the Transfiguration (Apple-Blessing feast – Jablychny Spas), Azdamichy, August 19, 2017.  V/VIII

After the blessing in Tsjerablichy I returned for the end of the service in Azdamichy and blessing of apples.

Праабражэньне Гасподняе (Яблычны Спас), Аздамічы 2017 г.  V/VIII

Пасьля асьвячэньня ў Цераблічах вярнуўся ў Аздамічы, каб прысутнічаць на канцы літургіі й зрабіў некалькі партрэтаў прыхаджанаў ужо ў чаканьні асьвячэньня. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photos of the Day for September 23, 2017

September 22, 2017 7:00 pm

Orthodox feast of the Transfiguration (Apple-Blessing feast – Jablychny Spas), Tsjerablichy, August 19, 2017.  IV/VIII

Blessing of apples and other first fruits in Tsjerablichy.  Owing to the illness of parish priest Father Vital’, Father Mikalaj from Plotnitsa officiated.

Праабражэньне Гасподняе (Яблычны Спас), Цераблічы 2017 г.  IV/VIII

Асьвячэньне яблыкаў ды іншай садавіны ў Цераблічах.  З-за таго, што захварэў церабліцкі настаяцель айцец Віталь, служыў айцец Мікалай з Плотніцы.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photos of the Day for September 22, 2017

September 21, 2017 7:00 pm

Orthodox feast of the Transfiguration (Apple-Blessing feast – Jablychny Spas), Tsjerablichy, August 19, 2017.  III/VIII

The break in the service in Azdamichy gave me the opportunity to drive to Tsjerablichy, where I found people in the churchyard waiting for the blessing of apples.

Праабражэньне Гасподняе (Яблычны Спас), Цераблічы 2017 г.  III/VIII

Падчас перапынку ў Аздамічах паехаў у Цераблічы, каб здымаць асьвячэньне яблыкаў:  партрэты прыхаджанаў і прыгаджанак у чаканьні асьвячэньня.

 

 

 

 

Grannies and a granddad with their granddaughters.

Бабулі й дзядуля з унучкамі.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photos of the Day for September 21, 2017

September 20, 2017 7:00 pm

Orthodox feast of the Transfiguration (Apple-Blessing feast – Jablychny Spas), Azdamichy, August 19, 2017.  II/VIII

Portraits during the break in the service.

Праабражэньне Гасподняе (Яблычны Спас), Аздамічы 2017 г.  II/VIII

Партрэты падчас перапынку.

 

 

 

After I took this photo…

Пасьля таго, як здымаў спадарыняў на лаўцы…

 

…three of the ladies insisted that granny Vul’ljana, in the polka-dot blouse, pose alone.  Granny Vul’ljana at first balked and pretended to argue…

…трое жартоўна настойвалі, каб цётка Вульляна (у блузцы ў гарошак) пазіравала сама.  Цётка Вульляна прыкідвала спрачацца…

 

…but then assented, as long as I’d take a portrait she could use for the photo on her tombstone.

…але потым згадзілася пад умовай, каб я бы яе здымаўна помнік.