[tz] Belarus is listed in MSK timezone

Dzmitry Kazimirchyk dkazimirchyk at gmail.com
Fri Apr 3 07:40:50 UTC 2015

On 4/2/15 10:48 PM, Alan Barrett wrote:
> What time zone abbreviation do people, news media, or official
> government sources in Belarus use to refer to their time zone?
> If there is a simple answer, than that's what should go into the tz
> database.  If people on the ground disagree about the abreviation, then
> we can conduct some sort of popularity survey, as we did with Australia
> and the EST versus AEST question.  If people on the ground don't use any
> abbreviation, then I suppose the tz project has to guess or invent
> something.

I guess the most correct way to describe situation in these terms is 
that people on the ground don't use any abbreviation. No official/media 
uses other than "Minsk time" or GMT+3/UTC+3. Please see my detailed 
answer on the topic below:

> The entire country of Belarus has only one time zone, therefore we are not dealing with time zones very often. I would say that in daily use the most common term for describing local time zone is "Minsk time" (Paul Eggert had already posted a number of links to sources using it to describe time in Belarus). However there are no commonly used abbreviations as to my knowledge. As far as abbreviations go most often Belarus time zone is referred to as GMT+3 or UTC+3.
> MSK abbreviation however is strongly associated with "Moscow" and "Moscow time".
>> This is completely apolitical, it's purely geographical.  It's what
>> people who regard their timezone as Europe/Minsk habitually use for the
>> timezone identifier.
>> Does that make sense?
> It makes an absolute sense. The problem here is that Belarus (as to my knowledge as a local) doesn't have habitual time zone abbreviation (other than maybe GMT+3/UTC+3), however it does have habitual time zone name which is "Minsk time". What I'm trying to say that it might be wrong trying to force foreign time zone abbreviation which already has strong associations with "Moscow time" in a local community (and as I've mentioned previously is tied to a location inside another country and changes following government decisions of that other country) to be used to describe time in Belarus, effectively using TZ database as a tool to inject this term.

Dzmitry Kazimirchyk

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