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Idea gaining momentum

Everyone knows about the Slavianski Bazaar Festival so it’s no surprise to hear that the universities of Vitebsk and Smolensk, which have been co-operating fruitfully for a long time, have initiated a student version of the event
By Sergey Gomanov

The idea is being supported by the administrations of our border regions, with Vitebsk chosen to host the opening concert of the 1st International Student Slavonic forum: the brainchild of Belarusian and Russian students.

Representatives of eight universities came to the opening, at which the host and co-ordinator, Alexander Solodkov, the Rector of Vitebsk State University (named after P.M. Masherov) noted, “We should become university-partners, forming a university consortium. This forum is a venue for students’ creative initiatives, for innovation and for the promotion of friendship and mutual understanding.”

The heads of delegations shared their visions for the event and Mr. Solodkov summarised the programme. In April 2013, an international scientific and practical conference is to be hosted by Vitebsk, alongside a creative workshop called Parade of Professions. In May, the Summer Amphitheatre (the main stage of the Slavianski Bazaar) will hold the closing gala concert. In addition to the musical contest, there will be competitions in mini-football, swimming and athletics.

Smolensk is to host an international contest entitled The Institute of Healthy Living, in March, as well as street ball, kettle bell lifting and arm wrestling events. Smolensk State University is also to organise intellectual contests, explains its rector, Professor Yevgeny Kodin. He believes that the event will make a significant contribution to the construction of the Union State. He tells us, “Any union of countries cannot endure unless it has public support. Our forum is a manifestation of student diplomacy, strengthening the Union with real deeds and supporting the work of our politicians in many ways.”

More students may yet take part, with Dnepropetrovsk National University and the universities of Khmelnitsky (Ukraine), St. Petersburg and Novgorod expressing eagerness to join. Dnepropetrovsk took part in the opening with the aid of video conferencing.
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