Sharing wonderful feeling of festive unity

It seems the 11th Republican Festival of National Cultures is on an even greater scale, more beautiful and impressive than last year’s jubilee event

It seems the 11th Republican Festival of National Cultures is on an even greater scale, more beautiful and impressive than last year’s jubilee event. The organisers have added a new decade of artistic work with plenty of fresh ideas. Many of them were shown on September 12th, near the Palace of Sports: the ground housed the opening ceremony and attracted anyone eager to share in the spirit of festive unity. The director of the ceremony, Alexey Kaminsky, kept his ideas secret but hinted that we should be prepared for a grand show.

The Director of the Republican Centre of National Cultures, Mikhail Rybakov, disclosed some details of the festival on the eve of its opening. He promised audiences would be amazed, “This year, the range of participants is expanding. Audiences will see a performance of the Solar Georgia ensemble, in addition to the famous and much beloved Erebuni troupe dancing national Armenian dances. The ensemble of Korean dance and music, Arirang, will also perform, as well as the Nikitina Russian Choir and teams of Spanish, Gipsy and Indian dances.”

The Chairman of the Advisory Committee under the Plenipotentiary Representative for Religious and Nationality Affairs, Georgy Yegiazaryan, is convinced that the Republican Festival of National Cultures is definitely the most significant event in the life of Belarus’ national associations. He noted, “We, the heads of national associations, have visited seven states to share our experience: Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Ukraine, Austria and Slovenia. Nowhere else is a similar festival organised. This is a great holiday for us as we have an opportunity to demonstrate the culture and traditions of many different nations. However, I’d also like to mention the festivSal’s another side. This is a mirror of the policy conducted in our country with respect to the international issue. We have an equal attitude to people of different nationalities, and make no distinction between them.”

The first festival united 11 nationalities but there were 36 of them at the 10th event. Every region hosts selective rounds and the finals are held in Grodno every two years. Depending on the selection process, traditional participants can be supplemented with nationalities that have no diasporas of their own: they simply need to take part in a regional round and then reach the finals.

The cultural session of nationalities residing in Belarus is not a mere formality. Many Belarusian pop stars view it as highly prestigious to participate in the festival: among them are Iskui Abalyan, Stell and Gunesh. They perform not only as invited singers but as representatives of their nationalities. No-one can easily describe their feelings on visiting the event; they only repeat: ‘it’s well worth attending, you must see for yourself’.

By Irina Ovsova
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