My Belarusy

The Belarusian flag

My Belarusy (Belarusian: Мы, беларусы, Russian: Мы, белорусы, "We Belarusians") is the unofficial title of the national anthem of Belarus and the first line of its lyrics. Officially, My Belarusy is titled "the National Anthem of the Republic of Belarus" (Belarusian: Дзяржаўны гімн Рэспублікі Беларусь, Russian: Государственный гимн Республики Беларусь). The anthem was originally written and adopted in 1955 for use in the Byelorussian Soviet Socialist Republic. The music of the Byelorussian SSR anthem was composed by Nyestar Sakalowski and the lyrics were written by Maxim Klimkovich. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, the music composed by Sakalowski was kept and the lyrics were discarded. New lyrics, which were written by Klimkovich and Uladzimir Karyzny, were adopted by a presidential decree issued on July 2, 2002.



Anthem of the Byelorussian SSR

My Belarusy was originally used as the anthem of the Byelorussian Soviet Socialist Republic (Belarusian: гімн Беларуская Савецкая Сацыялістычная Рэспубліка, Russian: гимн Белорусской Советской Социалистической Республики) starting from February 24 1955. The anthem was composed by Sakalowski and the lyrics were written by Maxim Klimkovich. Byelorussia was not the only Soviet Socialist Republic to adopt its own anthem; every SSR adopted their own unique anthem except for the Russian Soviet Federated Socialist Republic, which used the Hymn of the Soviet Union.


Anthem of the Republic of Belarus

The only legal mention of the national anthem before 2002 is in the Constitution of the Republic of Belarus. Section One, Article 19 of the constitution states that "The symbols of the Republic of Belarus as a sovereign state shall be its national flag, national emblem and national anthem." While the constitution only mentioned of the use of the flag, anthem and arms as national symbols, each symbol had to be defined by law. A law introducing an anthem was not enacted until Decree 350 issued by President took effect, on July 2 2002, the day before the Belarus's independence day. The decree's main objective was to establish lyrics for the anthem and introduce musical notation along with the new lyrics. Moreover, the decree designated when, where, and how the anthem was to be performed[1].

Before issuing the decree, President Alexander Lukashenko listened to five possible candidates for the national anthem. Three out of the five candidates, including the one ultimately chosen, used the music composed by Sakalouski and began their lyrics with the line My Belarusy. [2] According to the newspaper Soviet Byelorussia, President Lukashenko decided on the anthem on June 12 2002 and chose to have its first performance on July 3, Belarusian independence day, the anniversary of the date in 1944 when the Wehrmacht was driven away from Minsk by the Red Army. [3] However, the first performance actually took place on July 2 at a concert organized by the government as part of the Belarusian independence festivities. [4]

Belarus did not have an anthem before the adoption of the Soviet-era anthem. When Lukashenko issued his decree selecting a new national anthem, only slight changes were made to the Soviet-era hymn. While the references to Russia, the Communist Party and to Lenin were replaced; the overall theme of "friendship of peoples" and the original music composed by Sakalouski was preserved.



The organization Freedom House commented on the adoption of the anthem in a report called Nations in Transit 2003: Country Report of Belarus. The report, which was released in 2003 stated that: "Since coming to power, President Lukashenko has reintroduced the state symbols used by the old Byelorussian Soviet Socialist Republic. In 2002, the president approved a streamlined version of the Soviet-era anthem "My Belarusy" ("We Belarusians"), as the country's new national anthem." The report also mentioned President Lukashenko's ban of the symbols that were used before Belarus's independence in 1991, such as the Pahonia arms and the white, red, white flag, which Lukashenko claims are associated with fascism. [5] In 2003, Dr. Taras Kuzio wrote in Radio Free Europe that President Lukashenko "is the quintessential Soviet Belarusian patriot who presides over a regime steeped in Soviet nostalgia." Kuzio said that the motives of Russia and Belarus in re-adopting Soviet-era symbols are part of restoring the nostalgia. [6]



The anthem must be performed in accordance with the lyrics and sheet music established by law. Every day, state-owned Belarusian television and radio stations are required to play the national anthem upon signing on at 6 am and again upon signing off (usually around midnight). The anthem can also be performed on certain occasions, such as at government meetings, before sporting events and presidential inaugurations. While the anthem is being performed, citizens are required to stand at attention and those in military or police uniform must salute.


Other songs

Жыве Беларусь! (Long Live Belarus!) was a song composed in 1994 that has similar lyrics to the current anthem. While the lyrics of Long Live Belarus are set to the current anthem melody, the song never was used by the Belarusian Government officially. [7]

Another favorite in the competition was the poem called "Young Belarus" (Маладая Беларусь) by Janka Kupala. However, the poem was never set to a musical composition so Young Belarus could not be selected as the anthem. [8]

Belarus and Russia have been working towards a closer relationship with each other, resulting in the proposed Union of Russia and Belarus. While Belarus and Russia will be able to keep their own symbols, a song called "Sovereign Union of Nations" (Belarusian: Дзяржаўны саюз народаў, Russian: Державный союз народов, Derzhavny soyuz narodov) has been proposed as the Union's unofficial anthem. The song, which was modified from the National Anthem of the Soviet Union, refers to a wider union of the two nations. [9]

Some Belarusian emigrants use "Vayacki marsh" and "Mahuthy Bozha" as their national anthems. "Vayacki Marsh" was the official anthem of BNR (Belarusian National Republic - short-lived state, existed in 1918). Nowadays in Belarus these songs are not used in official events, however they are popular among opposition movements.


Official lyrics

Belarusian Transliteration English translation

Мы, беларусы - мірныя людзі,
Сэрцам адданыя роднай зямлі,
Шчыра сябруем, сілы гартуем
Мы ў працавітай, вольнай сям'і.

Слаўся, зямлі нашай светлае імя,
Слаўся, народаў братэрскі саюз!
Наша любімая маці-Радзіма,
Вечна жыві і квітней, Беларусь!

Разам з братамі мужна вякамі
Мы баранілі родны парог,
У бітвах за волю, бітвах за долю
Свой здабывалі сцяг перамог!


Дружба народаў - сіла народаў -
Наш запаветны, сонечны шлях.
Горда ж узвіся ў ясныя высі,
Сцяг пераможны - радасці сцяг!


My, Byelarusy – mirnyya lyudzi,
Sertsam addanyya rodnay zyamli.
Shchyra syabruyem, sily gartuyem
My w pratsavitay, vol’nay syam’’i!

Slawsya zyamli nashay svyetlaye imya,
Slawsya, narodaw braterski sayuz!
Nasha lyubimaja matsi-Radzima,
Vyechna zhyvi i kvitney, Byelarus’!

Razam z bratami muzhna vyakami
My baranili rodny paroh,
W bitvakh za volyu, bitvakh za dolyu
Svoy zdabyvali stsyag pyeramoh!


Druzhba narodaw – sila narodaw –
Nash zapavyetny, sonyechny shlyakh.
Gorda zh uzvisya w yasnyya vysi,
Stsyg pyeramozhny – radastsi stsyag!


We are Belarusians, peaceful people,
Our heart is to our native land,
We maintain generous friendship and gain our powers
Within the industrious, free family.

Glory to the bright name of our land,
Glory to the fraternal union of our peoples!
Our beloved mother-Motherland,
Long you live and flourish, Belarus!

Together with brothers, with fortitude, during centuries
We guarded our native thresholds,
In struggles for freedom, in struggles for fate,
We have been gaining our banner of victories.


The friendship of peoples (which is) the power of peoples
Is our venerable, sunny path
You soar up proudly, into the bright heights,
The banner of victory, the banner of joy!



Anthem of the Byelorussian SSR

For comparison, below is a part of the Anthem of the Byelorussian SSR.

Belarusian lyrics:

Мы, беларусы, з братняю Руссю
Разам шукалі к счасцю дарог.
У бітвах за волю, у бітвах за долю
З ёй здабылi мы сцяг перамог!

Нас аб’яднала Леніна імя,
Партыя к шчасцю вядзе нас у паход.
Партыі слава! Слава Радзіме!
Слава табе беларускі народ!

English translation:

We, the Belarusians, together with fraternal Rus',
Looked for roads to fortune.
In struggles for freedom, in struggles for fate,
We have gained our banner of victories.

We were united by the name of Lenin
The Party leads us in the quest to happiness
Glory to the Party! Glory to the Motherland!
Glory to you, Belarusian people!



Sheet music



  1. (Belarusian)/(Russian)
  2. (Belarusian)/(English)
  3. (Russian)
  5. Nations in Transit 2003: Country Report of Belarus (pg 125)
  6. Dr. Taras Kuzio for Radio Free Europe (2003)
  7. (Belarusian)
  9. and text(Russian).

External links

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