New year brings new adventures

New 2013 is already well under way, with Januar y days passing swiftly. Almost a twelfth of the year will soon be past. Let’s look back on the mosaic of 2012 achievements, as explored in [b]Worthy of Remembrance.[/b]As is traditional, the ‘Spiritual Revival’ awards are bestowed in January, for those talented and kindly people who contribute greatly to the life of our country. We are united by our shared moral standards, spiritual kinship, glorious historical legacy and deep respect for traditions, creating a nation in the fullest sense. The value of cultural achievements is inestimable in this respect. President Alexander Lukashenko addressed those awarded, saying, “Man cannot live by bread alone. Even the powerful empires of ancient times fell once they lost the ideals, morality and faith which bound them. Such treasures turn a population into a nation and a place of residence into a homeland.” [b]Encouraging Creativity[/b] details the work of the ‘Spiritual Revival’ award winners and those given the special Presidential prize for culture and arts.
New 2013 is already well under way, with Januar y days passing swiftly. Almost a twelfth of the year will soon be past. Let’s look back on the mosaic of 2012 achievements, as explored in Worthy of Remembrance.
As is traditional, the ‘Spiritual Revival’ awards are bestowed in January, for those talented and kindly people who contribute greatly to the life of our country. We are united by our shared moral standards, spiritual kinship, glorious historical legacy and deep respect for traditions, creating a nation in the fullest sense. The value of cultural achievements is inestimable in this respect. President Alexander Lukashenko addressed those awarded, saying, “Man cannot live by bread alone. Even the powerful empires of ancient times fell once they lost the ideals, morality and faith which bound them. Such treasures turn a population into a nation and a place of residence into a homeland.” Encouraging Creativity details the work of the ‘Spiritual Revival’ award winners and those given the special Presidential prize for culture and arts.
Belarus began celebrating the New Year a century ago, with Kolyady being the major holiday, filled with customs and traditions, as you can learn from Looking into the Future.
Naturally, time marches on, bringing inevitable old age. We all wish to live long and healthy lives and to be cared for in our twilight years. Taking care of the elderly is not just charitable but an essential duty of society. Read Our Veterans in High Spirits, which looks at social care for senior citizens in contemporary Belarus.
This issue also explores the topic of neighbourly relations. For example, Belarus has long-term close economic and cultural ties with Lithuania. The Lithuanians admire our preservation of the heritage of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, often visiting our sites, while Belarusians love to see Vilnius. It’s pleasant to promenade the streets where Frantsisk Skorina published his books and where Yanka Kupala wrote his first poems. Skorina’s Work Continues tells us how Belarus and Lithuania continue their cultural dialogue.
Driving Forward Integration describes its development within the post-Soviet space, alongside the role of Belarusian diplomacy in this sphere.
The Belarusian economy is tiny on a global scale, producing just 0.15 percent of the world’s GDP. However, as a small, compact country, this is sufficient. The question is whether we can maintain and, even, expand this share, to ensure a good standard of living for citizens. Across the world, there exist several poles of economic development, each only superficially friendly. Each vies to dominate new markets, ever in competition. When relying on others, it’s important to offer unique goods or services: your own niche. The national economy needs to be structured harmoniously and efficiently, as we see in Equilibrium of Successful Choice.
151st Year of Operation
is dedicated to Belarusian Railways’ monumental anniversary, in honour of which a steam train has recently travelled between Porechie and Grodno. Amazingly, 150 years ago, on December 27th, 1862, the first whistle announced the launch of regular railway traffic through the territory of modern Belarus.
If Europe were to have its own coat of arms and needed to select a heraldic image, the auroch would be a major contender, being the largest animal native to Europe. It already has the honour of gracing the flag of the Brest Region, showing local feeling for the graceful beast. Far and wide, the auroch has been long associated with Belarus and the Belovezhskaya Pushcha. Read Preserving Legacy to find out more.
Returning to the topic of elderly people, People’s Artist of Belarus Leonid Shchemelev, 90 in February, views his age as no hindrance to continuing creativity. His spirit remains in full force, with each day spent in his studio, at his easel. Striving to keep pace with time explores his amazing lifetime of achievements.
‘This was a true festival — bright in all aspects, while bringing joy and a spiritual feeling of peace, as fits perfectly the interior of our Bolshoi Theatre’ writes Valentina Zhdanovich in her article dedicated to the 3rd Minsk International Christmas Opera Forum, traditionally hosted by the National Academic Bolshoi Opera and Ballet Theatre in January. Formula for Success describes the event, which attracted much attention.
The hands of time move on, with our new year gaining momentum. Don’t miss out on all the adventures which lie ahead.

BY Viktor Kharkov, magazine editor Беларусь. Belarus
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