Landmark holiday: from past to future
On July 3rd, Independence Day was solemnly celebrated both in Belarus and abroad. 25 years ago, the country gained its sovereignty. Moreover, July 3rd is also the day of Minsk’s liberation
Tasks are difficult but surely feasible
Belarus will need to embrace a new, higher level of economic development and a better quality of life, notes Alexander Lukashenko, speaking at solemn ceremony to mark Independence Day
By Vladimir Khromov
The Head of State is confident that the people of Belarus will successfully overcome the current temporary difficulties. “We’ll certainly achieve a higher level of economic development and better quality of life, because we possess invaluable wealth — the glorious history of courage and endurance, the unity of the nation, the sense of dignity, and an immense will to make our country strong and prosperous.”
Mr. Lukashenko underlined that the main asset of the young Belarusian state is the unity of its citizens and their creative labour.
The Head of State reminded that the 5th Belarusian People’s Congress adopted a programme for further development of the country and its implementation will require decisive steps, including legislative. “We pin big hopes on the new parliament that will be elected in autumn. I have no doubt that Belarusians will once again demonstrate active citizenship and high consciousness, as the MPs will make decisions important for the country,” noted the President.
In his speech Mr. Lukashenko noted that in the coming years, the country will need to focus the efforts on such priority areas as attracting investment for innovative development, ensuring employment, boosting and diversifying exports, promoting the expansion of information technologies, and creating conditions for harmonious upbringing, education and professional growth of young people.
“It’s symbolic that we launch this great effort in the Year of Culture. The notion of culture comprises not only folklore, theatres, art schools, literature, cinema and festivals. It also includes technology-intensive production, wise land use, and respect for nature, law, and traditions. Finally, it’s the spiritual core that has helped our people withstand the most challenging ordeals,” stressed Mr. Lukashenko.
Historical experience is most important
Since its independence, Belarus has avoided being drawn into reckless political undertakings or into any international conflict
By Vladimir Velikhov
Speaking at the military parade on the occasion of Belarus’ Independence Day celebrations on July 3rd, President Alexander Lukashenko asserted that the strength of the state lies in its ability to forestall and pre-empt danger. “Today Belarus is solemnly marking its main national holiday, Independence Day,” noted the Head of State. “Twenty five years ago our country gained independence and a chance to choose its own path of development.”
Mr. Lukashenko especially stressed that by the will of the Belarusian people expressed at the national referendum the Independence Day is marked on the day of Minsk’ liberation from the Nazi invaders. “‘Freedom’, ‘victory’, ‘sovereignty’ are great and sacred words for all of us,” the President is convinced.
Mr. Lukashenko emphasised that the unconquered Belarusian people demonstrated the world an example of self-sacrificing struggle against the aggressor through mass resistance to the enemy. “This year we have marked the 75th anniversary since the Great Patriotic War began. We’ll never forget that war which took every third life of the Belarusian population,” continued the President. “Those events reminded us once again of the treacherousness of the Nazis.”
The Head of State is confident that the lessons should be learnt both from victories and defeats. In his words, ‘the main thing is to make sure that such tragedy should not happen again’.
“Historic experience proves that diplomacy alone cannot protect the country. There is a need for an efficient defence system. The strength of the state lies in its ability to forestall and pre-empt danger,” believes Mr. Lukashenko.
Moving along the path of creation
Since independence, Belarus has become an island of peace and security, reads the greeting of the President of Belarus, Alexander Lukashenko, to Belarusians, on the occasion of Independence Day
‘Over the years of independence Belarus has achieved great results in industry and agriculture, science and social sector, foreign policy and defence. Belarus has become an island of peace and security where citizens have confidence in their future and have every opportunity to receive decent education, work and raise children,’ reads the message of the greeting. Mr. Lukashenko expressed confidence that the Belarusian people will continue to move successfully along the path towards creation and dynamic development of the Fatherland.
‘This year we’re marking the 25th anniversary of our country’s sovereignty. This holiday embodies the historical continuity and the choice in favour of the independent development based on the principles of justice and care for people, as well as social and political stability and multi-vector foreign policy,’ continues the greeting.
Vyshyvanka Day in Slavonic manner and flavour
By Veniamin Mikheev
Despite the summer heat, thousands of residents and guests of the Belarusian capital gather near Minsk’s Sports Palace for major trade show of folk arts and crafts
Visitors were able not only to buy souvenirs but to learn how to make them, with craftsmen willingly sharing their professional secrets. Yelena Demchikhina, a weaver from Vetka District, notes that she has been fond of this craft since her school years and now views weaving as her profession, her hobby and her raison d’etre. Youngsters from Armenia and Bangladesh enjoyed painting wooden figurines during the holiday celebrations, which started with an art parade of young people already famous for their talents in Belarus. Art and folk bands, participants of the Spring Queen beauty pageant, members of knight clubs, and representatives of various groups paraded down Pobediteley Avenue, followed by the museum-bus ‘Flowers of the Great Victory’, bikers and vintage cars decorated with flags.
After the solemn opening of the holiday, the It’s OURS event launched near the Sports Palace, with guests receiving embroidered ribbons and enjoying a fashion show of embroidered outfits, all made by Belarusian designers and manufacturers.
Medieval culture enthusiasts also played their part, with Belarusian knight clubs conducting ‘friendly’ battles for the ‘Brave Knight’ title.
Celebrations wrapped up with a performance by disco-folk Vyshyvanka.by and the Battle of the DJs, featuring the best Belarusian DJs and Belarusian pop-stars.
Belarusian anthem sounds over Paris
By Alexander Pimenov
National anthem of Belarus over Champs Elysees
Belarusian Embassy to France organises events dedicated to Independence Day of the Republic of Belarus, including ‘Let’s Sing the National Anthem of Belarus Together’ campaign, at Trocadéro Square in Paris, close to the Eiffel Tower
The Belarusian anthem was performed by over 150 people, including students of the French-Belarusian Association of Theatrical Art, Spring Tomorrow, who have previously studied in Belarus. It should be mentioned that some students of this association arrived especially in France from Tunisia and Canada to take part in the event.
Other French friends of Belarus took part, alongside representatives of the Belarusian diaspora.
The national anthem of Belarus was performed to the musical accompaniment of the REI ensemble, of the Folk Culture Faculty at the Belarusian State Pedagogical University (named after Maxim Tank). The audience at Trocadéro Square was also shown songs and dances by this Belarusian band. Moreover, the ‘Let’s Sing the National Anthem of Belarus Together’ campaign continues the ‘Belarusian Musical Seasons in Paris’, which opened on May 26th with a chamber music concert, performed by Belarusian and Dutch musicians.
On June 30th, the Embassy hosted a solemn reception, marking the 25th anniversary of independence of the Republic of Belarus. The event was attended by more than 200 people, including foreign ambassadors, representatives of the French Foreign Ministry and other French state institutions, as well as representatives of the Belarusian diaspora. Moreover, the event was visited by a representative of the French royal family, Tatiana de Bourbon Parme.
The Belarusian Ambassador to France, Pavel Latushko, addressed all those present, detailing major events in Belarusian-French relations over the past year, and paid special attention to the necessity of developing bilateral relations, both at governmental level and at the level of Belarus-France regions. The Ambassador also mentioned the importance of strengthening cultural collaboration and noted that the organisation of Belarusian cultural events in France has become a good tradition.
The reception also honoured Belarusian and French citizens who facilitated the development of Belarusian-French relations. Moreover, a presentation of the artistic project by Belarusian journalists, Oleg Lukashevich and Alexander Alexeev, Heritage of Belarus, was held, in addition to a presentation of Belarusian culinary art.
Peace-loving Belarus highly appreciated
By Alexander Pimenov
Near V. Volkov’s picture Minsk on July 3rd, 1944
The US Secretary of State, John Kerry, has congratulated Belarus on its National Day, stating that the USA highly appreciates Belarus’ adherence to kind, mutual relations with all countries and its peace-making role. The congratulation is released on the website of the US Embassy to Belarus.
‘On behalf of President Obama and the American people, I congratulate the people of Belarus on the anniversary of Belarus’ declaration of independence from the Soviet Union on July 27th, 1990, and on the officially observed Independence Day on July 3rd,’ reads the congratulation.
Mr. Kerry noted that at this time of great challenge across Europe, the United States appreciates Belarus’ leadership in supporting a peaceful resolution to the crisis in Ukraine and its commitment to good relations with all countries.
“My government fully backs Belarus’ sovereignty and territorial integrity, and we look forward to further progress within your country on human rights, democratic development, and economic reform — all of which will advance our mutual desire for the normalisation of bilateral ties,” underlined Mr. Kerry.
The US Secretary of State also expressed hope for peace, prosperity, and freedom for the nations of Belarus and of the USA.
Interesting and informative way of marking holiday
By Alexander Fedotov
On July 3rd, 2016, the National Art Museum of Belarus invited Minsk residents and visitors to the capital to spend the day surrounded by national and world masterpieces, as part of a specially prepared programme
The Independence Day of Belarus (Day of the Republic) is a special holiday for every citizen, symbolising the peace and prosperity possible thanks to the sacrifices of those who rescued the country from Nazi enslavement. It is a day of remembrance and of kindness.
The National Art Museum marked the day by displaying Valentin Volkov’s famous canvas, Minsk on July 3rd, 1944, presented in multimedia form, alongside other works. Those who witnessed the liberation of the city are depicted, by artists from various decades, in styles abstract and figurative, in the Modern Belarus Through the Eyes of Artists exhibition.
Meanwhile, to further visitors’ understanding, the museum has organised classes on How to Understand Art. There are many ways to celebrate the Day of the Republic; visiting the National Art Museum is just one.