Joint place for bread and song

People say: ‘Where there is bread, there will be a song!’ when preparing for serious action. However, this famous proverb hides another meaning: success is worth celebrating with all possible festivities and with whole-heartedness. Belarusians traditionally reward the hard labour of their harvesters in autumn, when most crops have been gathered in; this year’s harvest is especially rich, inspiring high spirits.
People say: ‘Where there is bread, there will be a song!’ when preparing for serious action. However, this famous proverb hides another meaning: success is worth celebrating with all possible festivities and with whole-heartedness.
Belarusians traditionally reward the hard labour of their harvesters in autumn, when most crops have been gathered in; this year’s harvest is especially rich, inspiring high spirits. The country has celebrated its Dazhynki Republican Festival of Rural Workers for the fifteenth time, honouring agrarians for their self-sacrificing efforts.
Belarus currently boasts a strong agrarian sector, supplying food not only domestically but also abroad. Our agrarian exports may reach $4bn this year — an impressive figure. Meanwhile, the Dazhynki Festival is more than just a holiday for those cities which host it; each receives a ‘face lift’ — becoming even more attractive and convenient for citizens.
The Dazhynki Republican Festival of Rural Workers has ancient roots. Long ago, after the last sheaf was threshed, villagers would gather to celebrate ‘dazhynki’ (originating from ‘dozhinat’ — ‘to finish the harvest’). This Belarusian custom began in an age when everything was done by hand. As the proverb says ‘bread crowns all’. Accordingly, ‘dazhynki’ was among the major holidays for rural workers. A century ago, most Belarusians lived in villages, so ‘dazhynki’ is a true folk festival with very old traditions. At present, it is celebrated on a nationwide scale and, recently, its 15th anniversary was hosted by Molodechno — situated halfway between Minsk and Vilnius. Our Bread spirit article explores the event more deeply.
Every nation in the world would love to enjoy some sort of relationship and economic co-operation with the huge Asian market, via China. Belarusian diplomacy began in this direction earlier than others: in the late 20th century. Today, Belarus is among China’s footholds in Europe, as vividly confirmed by the arrival of a large Chinese delegation in Minsk in late September — led by the Chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress of China, Wu Bangguo. New bilateral initiatives were announced, as covered by our Massive China — huge prospects article.
Only worthy parties enjoy partnerships with equal rights, generating bold ideas and putting them into practice. In this respect, Belarusian machine builders deserve special attention. Not long ago, specialists from Minsk Automobile Plant (a Belarusian machine building giant) presented a new model of tractor truck, able to rival any worldwide. The amazing MAZ novelty is detailed in Bold challenge.
Stability and clear understating of economic laws is vital for any business. Moreover, these are essential for the economy. In mid-September, Belarus witnessed an event awaited equally by national businesses, foreign investors and the public: the Foreign and Currency Stock Exchange launched an additional session for trading in foreign currencies. Crucially, it determined a market rate for the Belarusian rouble. Find out more in our Trajectory of sustainable development article.
Man cannot live by bread alone. Our interest in art and literature has deep roots, which continue to nurture our modern Belarusian cultural space. Examples abound, as epitomised by Master class by Eduard Astafiev — a wonderful story about the famous sculptor and his artistic philosophy.
Meanwhile, Commedia dell’arte speaks of new premieres at the National Academic Bolshoi Opera and Ballet Theatre and Sincere and straightforward — she is as she is looks at to our young Belarusian talents as they prepare for the International Junior Eurovision Song Contest.
In a word, the palette of our publication is diverse. We hope that you find it interesting and meaningful.

VIKTOR KHARKOV,
editor of magazine
“Беларусь. Belarus”
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