Truly gifted hands
Belarusian team captures two gold medals at 43rd World Skills Competition-2015
Belarusian team captures two gold medals at 43rd World Skills Competition-2015, held in Brazilian San Paolo
Belarus was taking part in the major international competition for the first time, competing among 1,192 contestants, from 59 countries, across 50 competencies. Our team performed brilliantly, with Alesya Nazarova (from Brest) competing in hairdressing art and Olga Zakrevskaya (from the Mstislavl District’s Kopachi village) in the clothes design nomination.
We chat to them on why ‘blue collar’ vocational work is deserving of attention.
Our team was welcomed home with flags, flowers, smiles and congratulations. Tired but satisfied, our participants were smiling — despite a 13-hour flight from San Paolo to Istanbul, a night spent in the Turkish capital and then three more hours travel to Minsk. Moreover, the same day, ladies planned to journey onwards to their parents’ homes.
With this in mind, we agreed to speak about the contest the next day, when Olga told us that she was already helping her primary school teacher mother with making a new dress, ready for the start of the academic year on September 1st.
The competition was tough, requiring up to 10 hours of work a day (for four days) over five modules. Participants had to show their skills in various aspects, including tailoring and cutting patterns. The professionalism required meant that three times fewer participants were registered for this nomination than for others. As Olga explains, the idea was to demonstrate the techniques used in your home country, and the speed with which they could be applied.
Irina Morozova, Olga’s teacher from Minsk’s State Professional-Technical College of Clothing Manufacture, proudly admits that Olga was acknowledged the best in Europe! Only those from China, Indonesia and South Korea performed better.
Speaking of her chosen profession, Olga underlines, “I wish that working specialties were more appreciated.” This is already true abroad where working with your hands is valued alongside university education. The young designer decided her future profession during her 7th year at school; she took part in manual training Olympiads and this became her life.
Alesya Nazarova competed in eight modules, demonstrating everything in just four days, from hair dying and perming to hair tattooing. Unlike traditional hairdressing contests, where participants have time to prepare, the event required strict time limits, and work in front of the judges.
Alesya has been fond of hairdressing since childhood and decided to continue her hobby professionally, taking a position at a Brest salon. She admits that it’s a true challenge to find a master-professional and jokes that she’s had to neglect her loyal customers while preparing for the contest. She’ll need to sort out their hair on her return!
By Alexander Benkovsky