Bobruisk’s milestone shows direction to remote Tel-Aviv

Bobruisk residents can from time to time be allowed to remind everyone about their love of their native city. Moreover, they do this with humour — natural for those living in a city on the Berezina River

By Pavel Mitrokhin

 

 

A recently appeared sign at the crossroads of two streets in the city — Proletarskaya and Pushkin — shows the distances to important places around the world. It reads that 7,267km separate Bobruisk from New York and 1,080km to Berlin. However, on approaching the sign, there are those who might be embarrassed with the choice of geographical names. Alongside the world capitals, it also refers to the small village of Pleshchenitsy, in the Logoisk district. In fact, Bobruisk’s residents have made this unusual choice deliberately to pay tribute to a proverb which is popular in the city: ‘Belarus has three capitals — Minsk, Bobruisk and Pleshchenitsy’. The addition of the village to the sign has pleased many locals.

The author of the idea and major initiator of the project is the Director of Bobruisk’s Vodokanal (water supply operator), Oleg Titov. He wished to make a lasting gift to his city and the idea has been a great success. “Of course, Bobruisk is not the top city in the country. It’s not the second as well,” he says, but it’s difficult to guess whether he speaks seriously or in jest. According to Mr. Titov, a milestone is a reminder to Bobruisk residents about their friends and relatives who’ve left the city. Anyone could approach the sign, look at the distance to Tel-Aviv written on it and realise that their friends are not too far away.

It seems the milestone will soon be as popular among Bobruisk residents, as the monument to the beaver is. The latter has been installed in the city centre fairly recently, but already attracts residents and guests who wish to touch its nose or a chain of its watch, in the belief that this will bring good luck.

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