voron wrote:Worst: Russia. Just because it is so big and influential.
Best: Ukraine. They share our sentiment towards Russia.
Russia is the biggest market for Belorussian goods and food and it's a great job market too.
While Belarus is a slightly bothersome but not a really significant neighbour. Russia is giving us an inferiority complex, that's why.
You know it's a strange feeling when you watch a sports event and Russia performs great so you do want to support it, but then you remember what they teach us at school and on TV about the glorious Belarusian history and how we had been enemies with Russians (e.g. see here
, and here
), and then you think 'but we share the same language and they are just like us', and the next thought is 'but they supressed our own language', and then you remember how you feel at home when you come to Russia and how friendly the Russian people are towards us... why don't you annex us already so I can just watch the match instead of being split between 2 identities?
Regarding the Muslim issue: This year I visited both Moscow and St. Petersburg and I'd say that as much as 20% of people I saw on the streets were Central Asians (Uzbek and Tadjik) and Caucasians*. This large group is not naturalized and they are often displayed as a bother in mass media, so the 'natives' must be concerned, if not yet panicking.
*in this context, someone from the Caucasus
As someone who is interested in the Turkic languages I enjoyed my stay, because I was able to eavesdrop to multiple conversations in Uzbek and, after having skimmed through an Uzbek textbook (which was in Russian of course) I was able to converse with a waiter at an Uzbek cafe. And last but not least, I had delicious lagmon and tandir kabob.