Year of hospitality
[b]2014 is the Year of Hospitality in Belarus — a piece of news deserving attention. Hospitable Belarusians are ready to open their souls in welcoming guests: a trait in our blood. The current year promises to be filled with excitement and visitors. Guests will be arriving from every corner of the planet for Minsk’s hosting of the Ice Hockey World Championship in May. Sports fans arriving to watch top-class players will receive a Belarusian ‘Kali laska!’ (Welcome!). It’s an opportunity for us to show the spirit of hospitality and friendship: in private homes, shops, cafes and on the street.[/b]
As the New Year gains momentum, we cannot help but reflect on the events of the past — including sessions of the Supreme Eurasian Economic Council and the Supreme State Council of the Union State of Belarus and Russia. Negotiations in late December at Moscow’s Kremlin testify to the importance of coming tasks, as you can read in Plans Targeting the Future.
Belarus is rich in talent, as well as enthusiasts preserving the traditions of our ancestors while honouring our rich history. As always, the passing year was full of achievements, thanks to people’s enthusiasm and creativity. January is a time for recognising those successes, at the ‘For Spiritual Revival’ awards ceremony. Find out more about the criteria and laureates in Vivifying Source of Spiritual Wealth Still Rich.
Our observer, Nina Romanova, believes that 2014 should be a year of searching for new public and economic strategies, as you can discover in Demand for Innovative Ideas.
Our environment is vitally important to our happiness, as you can read in This Is Urban Life. Belarus is evolving from being primarily agrarian, with many rural residents moving to cities. How does a contemporary Belarusian city look and what do we find there? What creates the attraction of urban living over the rural idyll?
As life is diverse, so is this issue. Welcome to Our Home explores the nature of ‘home’. Where this once meant a cottage, it is now a high-rise building for many. How many of us recollect the village home in which we were born or which we visited as children? Naturally, many such houses remain in Belarus, built according to centuries-old traditions and filled with the household utensils of old. Who among us can remember such images without a warm feeling?
It can’t be otherwise, since village life is part of our national culture: our ‘genetic cement’.
By ViKtor Kharkov