New optimistic countdown
The long awaited snow has finally arrived on the eve of the New Year. In Australia or Brazil, people may be used to admiring New Year fireworks on ocean beaches but, in our country, we have our own winter way. Within just a few days, the snow has blanketed the earth and city asphalt. As I write, snowflakes reel in a cheerful, circular dance beyond the window. The snow may soon melt but, so far, everything is following the ‘winter schedule’ we know and love. The run of time through winter, spring, summer and autumn has its own ebb and tide.
Of course, it’s always useful to measure the present day against the past, to see where progress has been made and where weaknesses lie. As ever, some spheres thrive while others struggle. A year is only a drop in the sea of time, but can still be assessed for achievements. Was 2011 a good year for Belarus? Alexander Lukashenko has called it ‘difficult as never before’, due to global problems. Assessments and forecasts from the President are presented in Year of Great Lessons, showing how everyday life has been affected.
This edition is a joint project with China magazine, dedicated to the 20th anniversary of diplomatic relations being established between the Republic of Belarus and the People’s Republic of China: entitled A Substantial Vector. Naturally, twenty years is fleeting in historical terms but liaisons between our nations may have far reaching consequences. China is a leader worldwide while Belarus is a young sovereign state, yet fully-fledged mutual collaboration in every area — politics, trade and science — is possible. The phenomenon is the focus of both our publications.
Understanding of various cultures is vital to successful relations between countries. Children of every nation live with the thought that they’d like to make the world a better place; it is a driving force globally. Meanwhile, parents dream of a better life for their children. Surely, there can be no stronger impetus for progress.
BY Viktor Kharkov,