By Victor Andreev
In Vilnius, they again met a full house. Mr. Anisimov always brings the best of their repertoire to Lithuania. He explains, “We present Belarusian and international classics. It is encouraging that our performances win the hearts of Lithuanians year on year. Many return annually.”
The Counsellor for Cultural Affairs at the Embassy of Belarus to Lithuania, Irina Zubko, tells us, “Mogilev Regional Drama Theatre is going to Vilnius and Visaginas, performing the monologues of A Lover’s Complaint, Owner of a Coffee-Shop and It’s Time to Look on the Bright Side of Life. The Theatre Studio of Film Actors is presenting The Markopoulos Case and #13 while The Belarusian State Academic Musical Theatre will be delighting audiences with the musical West Side Story, in Kaunas.” All together 670 artists are travelling from our country to Lithuania to present their best performances from the last year. This is the seventh Days of Culture, co-ordinated by Vladimir Drazhin, Ambassador of Belarus to Lithuania.
Walking from my hotel to the Embassy, I notice a memorial plaque in Vilniaus Street to Yanka Kupala and another in Pylimo Street, to Vaclaw Lastowski. In the early 20th century, they worked together to publish the first newspaper in Belarusian language. If you wander through the maze of the old city, you can find memorials in honour of Frantishek Bogushevich, Rygor Shirma and Kastus Kalinovsky. Meanwhile, our diplomatic mission is located in Mindaugas Street — named after the king who united Belarusian and Lithuanian lands in the 18th century. We share more commonalities than differences, as is natural for neighbours.
In fact, rather than days, the event lasts over a month. It is packed with theatre performances, concerts and museum presentations, aiming to promote understanding and appreciation of our rich culture, regardless of borders. Our nations’ friendship, of course, allows us to enrich each other year-round.
The Days of Belarusian Culture in Lithuania are organised by the Embassy of Belarus to Vilnius, together with the Ministry of Culture. Organisational and financial support is given by the Minsk City Regional Executive Committee and that of Mogilev. The campaign will last until October 30th, with events hosted by Vilnius, Kaunas, Visaginas, Mazeikiai and other cities.