Place for warmest friendship

Dozhinki holiday celebrated with Avgustovsky Canal in the Culture of Three Nations Festival
By Tatiana Smirnova

From early morning, people began to gather at Dombrovka sluice, listening to music and meandering among the many attractive stands. The harvest festival on this picturesque bank of the Avgustovsky Canal naturally included plenty of food and drink, including shish kebabs, fish soup and sweets. Children played beach volleyball, rope tug of way, kettle-bell sports and darts, while crafts connoisseurs enjoyed a fair of decorative-applied-arts at the regional House of Handicrafts.

Various competitions were held for agricultural co-operative societies and cultural establishments across the Grodno Region: huge pumpkins and fruit trees were judged for their size, taste and beauty, while recipes for fried pork, pies and draniki (potato pancakes) were put to the test. Crafts goods made by hand were also judged and prizes awarded. 

Among the guests were the beautiful entrants for Miss Supranational-2013; arriving from 81 countries — including Switzerland, France, Guadeloupe, Latvia, Southern Africa and Canada — they cast diets aside in their eagerness to sample the aromatic delicacies on offer.

After a solemn concert, buses began to arrive bearing groups from Poland, ready for the 13th Avgustovsky Canal in the Culture of Three Nations Festival. Organised by the Grodno District Executive Committee and the Union of Poles in Belarus, it’s a wonderful example of cross-border liaison. Alexander Berebenya, the Consul General of Belarus in Białystok is keen to see a similar event hosted in Poland and Lithuania, noting, “We hope to hold the next festival, in August 2014, on the other side of the Avgustovsky Canal, drawing together our three nations. Our family tree includes the roots of many nationalities and, here, everyone can become acquainted with the best examples of national culture. It’s a place to strengthen our nations’ cultural, tourist and economic ties.”

In all, 19 Belarusian and Polish groups took part in this year’s festival, including public associations of Lithuanians from Lida and Voronovo. Ivan Matyulevich, the chairman of ‘Gimtine’ from Voronovo noted that it wasn’t his choir’s first trip. Primaki and Kurpyeovsky folk choirs also arrived, from Poland, each giving a 20-minute performance. The Polish, Lithuanian and Belarusian groups provided continuous entertainment, and the festivities ended with a disco, enabling guests and hosts to make new acquaintances and share impressions.
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