Renaissance of Hospitality
Let’s discuss leisure time. Although some of us have already enjoyed our holidays, late summer and early autumn remain for trips. What makes 2009 different? Of course, we can choose from Antalya, Sharm el-Sheikh, the Bohemian Islands and French Cote d’Azur; our countrymen do sometimes go there, especially to Turkey or Egypt. However, recently, we’ve seen a tendency to take stay-holidays. Some prefer the lakes while others opt for the forest to gather mushrooms or berries…
Six hundred years is a grand age. In fact, the Belovezhskaya Pushcha is much older — but it was six centuries ago that reserve status introduced. It’s hard to imagine what might have become of this most ancient European forest were it not for this measure. With this in mind, the momentous date was widely celebrated, with guests from many countries visiting the most titled European reserve.
The Belovezhskaya Pushcha is now among such well-known sites as Africa’s Victoria Falls, the South American Amazonian rainforests and Russia’s Lake Baikal. About five hectares of its territory — where ancient plants have been preserved — were included on UNESCO’s World Heritage List in 1992. Five years afterwards, the reserve was awarded a Council of Europe Diploma — acknowledging it as a model nature reserve on the continent.
“We must do everything possible for the Pushcha to deserve the high titles with which it has been honoured,” the Belarusian President noted at recent jubilee celebrations. “Each new meeting with the forest should gladden our souls with love for our homeland and its wonderful landscapes — part of which is carefully preserved via this ancient and unique forest. It is our legacy. Like the Japanese who are obliged to climb Mountain Fuji at least once in their lifetime, each Belarusian should visit the Belovezhskaya Pushcha at least once.”
Without exaggeration, the Belo-vezhskaya Pushcha is one of Belarus’ calling cards and worthy of our pride. About 1,500 virgin nature sites exist in the country. Ecological tours are now gaining popularity, including among foreigners, with the Belovezhskaya Pushcha topping the list. It is the reserve of 2009, according to UNESCO, and is known worldwide, yet continues to harbour secrets. These will be further unravelled by future generations, who’ll receive this unique forest safely from us. The past and present of the Belovezhskaya Pushcha is highlighted in the article entitled Primeval song of nature.
Speculating about nature, we can ponder its primeval character. The world is fragile, so we must preserve it. Much was spoken about the sincerity of human thoughts and spiritual values during a recent visit to Belarus by His Holiness Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Kirill. The Primate of the Russian Orthodox Church also underlined the fact that Belarus is moving towards European trends. Details of the Patriarch’s visit are revealed in I arrived here to pay homage at White Russia’s shrines…
No doubt, some elements are eternal — such as the qualities which give our lives meaning and enrichment. The latest UN human potential development rating places Belarus among the top countries in the world. Such figures may seem boring but they reveal much about how we live. According to the rating, the country is now ahead of Russia, Ukraine and many other post-Soviet states. Other facts on the issue are to be found in our Advantageous position article.
Belarus’ wonderful landscapes, rich history, culture and traditions cannot help but draw attention. Meanwhile, its high level of Education has brought the enrolment of more than seven thousand foreign students at Belarusian Educational establishments to date — attracted by conditions of study. These are the focus of Foreign legion enters lecture halls, which also explains an experiment being applied at a Belarusian university (where a full course of study has been launched in English). To some extent, Education is a branch which follows economic laws, since innovations need to be taught at universities. Flash cards instead of lecture notes narrates the effective use of electronic sources in the Education process. Moreover, Educational projects are now being successfully realised as part of joint Belarusian-Russian programmes. The Soyuz issue reveals other examples of bilateral co-operation.
The strength of friendly relations rests on lasting values. Guests are always welcome in Belarus, being met with hospitality. A special Visitor Card has been launched to make staying in the country profitable — in all senses.
It’s good to visit but even better with one’s own card tells of the new possibilities of travel to Belarus.