The Republic of Belarus Pavilion presented itself as a rolling, grassy hill, divided in two perfectly symmetrical parts by a large mill wheel, a good 30 meters tall. Inside the hill, lay a rock salt mine, showing the abundant and valuable element in the Belarusian subsoil. A narrow lane passed through the pavilion, exactly in the middle: the gap represented a river’s channel to accompany visitors toward the wheel and toward the water and thus, metaphorically, toward life.
Food producing agriculture is important for the country. The tractor symbolized this
Two vital elements for the Belarusian economy and culture were positioned in front of the pavilion: a large grindstone, used to mill cereals, and a tractor that symbolized the importance of the agricultural sector to the country. Also, right in front of the entrance to the pavilion, a corner had been provided that was dedicated to performances, where folk groups from the country performed frequently by an outdoor wooden kiosk where some of the country’s specialties could be sampled while sipping vodka.
In the first part of the structure, on the left, visitors entered the exhibition space, where multimedia screens and touch screens were presented in Italian, Russian and English so that visitors could discover many curiosities about the cycle of life and the seasons of Belarus, the beauties of the country and the gastronomic delights it offers. Belarus is a little-known country, but none the less wonderful. A third of its land is forested, it boasts 10,000 lakes, 20,000 rivers, and is habitat for 81 species of animals and 308 species of birds. Its economy is centered on the extraction of mineral resources and harvesting cereals, potatoes and linen, which is used to create beautiful textiles with geometric patterns.
Belarusian cuisine. A concentration of delicious potato-based treats
In the second part of the pavilion, on the right, lay the restaurant offering some of the excellent dishes typical of Belarus’s cuisine like kalduny and draniki, two really delectable foods made with potatoes, or excellent barley salads cooked in kvas, beet soups, pancakes stuffed with pork, delicious carpaccios of red turnip, potatoes in their jackets, and chicken salad. Belarusian cooking used potatoes in a thousand different ways, but also includes meats, sausages, mushrooms and freshwater fish like carp. Inside the pavilion, one could buy some famous products made in Belarus like caviar and herring, but also fruit juices made from birch and forest berries, linden honey, chocolate and bottles of Kbac, a beverage similar to beer made from wheat.