One experience that left the biggest impression was going to the Belarusian State Circus in Minsk. I wasn’t actually sure if I wanted to go or not. But in the end I felt like I was here for the cultural experience, and going to the local circus seemed like being exactly that.

The circus building itself is a true masterpiece and definitely worth a visit. Right before the show starts there are several street artists outside the entrance. They all perform simple tricks and sell little colorful toys for the kids. All this already seems like part of the show, which gets you even more excited for the actual perfomances later on.

I got to the circus a bit early just to be sure I was on time and would be able to find my seat. Once I got inside, the first thing I saw was a caracal looking cat – just slightly bigger. People took pictures of them and the cat, which I ended up doing as well. Cats are my favorite animal, and I know they would like to not be disturbed all the time. But my childish heart loves cats too much, so I just had to do it. 🙂

The pictures were handed out after the show, and unfortunately I forgot to get mine with me.

The show started. I got a seat in the middle of the ultimate front row, so I had the absolute best view. First there was the jongleur, who dropped his cones about 5 times in 5 minutes. It wasn’t sensational but still quite entertaining. After the jongleur there were some Asian people doing acrobatics, a clown and some dancers. The atmosphere lead up to something more extreme happening later on, which made everyone hyped and excited for whatever came next.

After a while the more fun parts of the circus started. The acrobatics were cool, but how the circus people were able to control little dogs, birds and a monkey to do certain tricks was unbelievable. More often than not, the animals  didn’t feel like doing their job. The circus artists had to yell a few times until the animals did what they had to do.

After a shorter break the lion show started. There were 7 lions and one tiger. Impressive where they get these animals from – and how this can even be legal. But anyway, with a whip the lions circled around and did a few tricks as well.

When looking at all the animals that performed in the show, it did look like they weren’t fully in control of themselves. The lions looked thirsty and tired – almost drunk or high on drugs actually. The same with the monkey and especially the little dog as well.

The circus artists did, however, do a great job in making a great show out of it. The audience loved the performance and the kids were amazed. In a way I was as well. Having been to Africa several times and having seen so many wild lions, I would never have imagined how you can use a whip to make a lion circle around itself. To be honest, it broke my heart. But at the same time, the animals probably don’t know that life can be different than this.

The show left me with mixed feelings. I got so many impressions that I didn’t know if it was a really great show or if I felt bad for the animals. In the end, I was happy that I went and saw what it was all about. And I know that I probably won’t get the chance to see anything like this anytime soon.

Would I recommend others to go there?

In a way, yes. But at the same time, no. In the circus you’ll get to see a show you probably haven’t seen before. But seeing how the animels aren’t themselves, just shows how much against their nature it all is. I would say it’s up to yourself and what you feel is the right thing to do.