Each nation is strong in its spiritual traditions

The ‘For Spiritual Revival’ awards, as well as special Presidential awards to cultural and artistic figures and the ‘Belarusian Sports Olympus’ awards were recently presented at the Palace of the Republic, in the presence of the Patriarchal Exarch of all Belarus

Of our many customs, one of the deepest and most revered is linked to Christmas
The ‘For Spiritual Revival’ awards, as well as special Presidential awards to cultural and artistic figures and the ‘Belarusian Sports Olympus’ awards were recently presented at the Palace of the Republic, in the presence of the Patriarchal Exarch of all Belarus. The solemn event symbolises the sincere gratitude of the country to those who serve with self-sacrifice. Our countrymen inspire pride in our Motherland, making us stronger in our own dedication.

‘For Spiritual Revival’ awards ceremony
‘For Spiritual Revival’ awards ceremony
Photo: BELTA

The dramatic and tragic events in neighbouring countries have shown where selfish motives can lead. The storm of international and interfaith conflicts, including terrorist threats, seems to be engulfing the whole world.
Having congratulated all those gathered on the cheerful holiday of Christmas, the President emphasised that the ceremony to present ‘For Spiritual Revival’ awards is purposefully organised at Christmas time. Belarus is committed to Christian values, alongside moral and aesthetic traditions, in developing its nationhood and unity. The President addressed the audience and all citizens, saying, “Under these conditions, the unity and integrity of the nation is to the fore. The New Testament reads: ‘Every kingdom divided against itself becomes a desert, and house falls on house’.”

History shows that the solid well-being of every country relies on peace and accord. The Belarusian nation has always strived towards creativity, diligence, justice and mutual aid. Since time immemorial, we’ve respected those who work to uphold such fundamental moral principles. The President named the merits of the laureates of the ‘For Spiritual Revival’ award, who are highly appreciated by the state and our society. He underlined, “We award those who have dedicated their lives to delivering mercy and aid to others...”

Belarus is committed to creating conditions for the self-realisation of young citizens, so that they might use their strength and skills for the benefit of their native country. On the solemn awards day, we pay respect to those who work every day to achieve this goal.

Mr. Lukashenko reminded that 2015 is the 70th anniversary of the Great Victory. He noted, “Everything possible is being done in Belarus to preserve its memory. We take good care of the historical truth and try to extract priceless lessons. Thanks to the labour and talents of cultural workers, the new Great Patriotic War History Museum building opened last year and a new exhibition launched at Brest Hero-Fortress Memorial.” The President awarded the Director of Brest Hero-Fortress Memorial, Grigory Bysyuk.

Our country is eager to use global experience but needs to take care not to become overwhelmed by other nations’ culture. Our identity is valuable. We award those who innovate in various genres, creating a new legacy, worldview and traditions.

Ten special Presidential awards were bestowed to masters of arts, author groups and cultural organisations, as well as athletes, who have brought glory to our country internationally. The past year was rich in sporting events and Minsk hosted the World Ice Hockey Championship. Our athletes performed well at the Olympic Games in Sochi and, of course, special gratitude goes to their teachers and coaches.

The President emphasised that the health of the nation, physical culture and sports remain a state focus. He commented, “We’d like to see healthy lifestyle, love of sport and active recreation become a tradition among people of all ages. Certainly, our country should rejoice at the vivid triumphs of Belarusian professional athletes, whose lives are inseparable from top-effort sport.”

Mr. Lukashenko passionately thanked the awardees for setting an example of service to the community and genuine love for their country. The ceremony confirmed an ancient truth: good deeds are always rewarded. The country is filled with such deeds and those who fulfil this mission will always be deservedly honoured.

By Vasily Kharitonov
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