Genealogical tourism has become a real trend in recent years. People do not only want to find documentary evidence about their ancestors, but also to get an idea and to experience on how and where they lived: to see what they saw, to walk the same roads, and, in the end, to breathe the same air. Of course, life does not stand still, and time erases the past; cities and villages change their appearance, remote and abandoned villages slowly “die”, new ones appear. This transformation over time is especially evident in Belarus. As a result of numerous wars, regime changes and sometimes simple mismanagement we lose much of our heritage. Is it then possible to truly experience this unity with the past? What can we offer our guests so that a trip to your ancestral homeland does not become a disappointment?
Reflecting on these questions, we have defined for ourselves 3 stages of work on genealogical inquiries in order for your trip to become informative and unforgettable in any case.
- Of course, everything starts with gathering as much information as possible from our clients. It is important to plan such tours in advance so that we have enough time to do proper research and process the materials and prepare your trip. At this stage we may need to work with archival documents, and to consult with local local historians. Fortunately, in recent years, more and more people are interested in their past and the history of their native places and are happy to share their knowledge. Necessary information can also be gleaned from school archives, which are usually dedicated to the history of the respective schools, hometowns, prominent countrymen or memorable events that took place in the area.
- You can't really "understand" a country without talking to the locals. At this point, we plan meetings that could be arranged during your visit. The criteria for choosing interlocutors may vary, depending on the goals we set. They can be locals of a given village, representatives of religious communities, local historians, specialists in some specific fields, namesakes, if we are lucky, relatives. We can also plan meetings for you with Belarusian artists, writers, historians, etc. if there is an interest in meeting representatives of specific professions or communities.
- Having gathered all the information and planned all the meetings, we proceed with drafting an individual tour itinerary for you. Since we meet most of our guests at the airport, we usually suggest including a tour of our capital, the city of Minsk, in the program of the tour. Again, depending on the goals, we develop for each client his/her own route and his/her personal tour program. The route of the trip we plan in order for you to get a comprehensive insight into the country and its people with a focus on the specific features of the area where your ancestors lived: the style in the construction of houses, the speech of the locals, the features of culture and traditions, including the tradition of burial. Therefore, we include to visit small villages and provincial towns, churches and cemeteries as well local landmarks. Logistics, translation and accommodation is of course taken care of by us as well.
In conclusion it is important to stress, that we approach each request individually and find a very personal way in the work with our clients.
See you in the homeland of your ancestors!