Expert explained why Belarusians honour Labour Day and Victory Day
These days, Belarusians are celebrating two big holidays: Labour Day and Victory Day. The former personifies labour feats, while the latter prevents us from forgetting the exploits of our grandparents, reminding of how Belarus got freedom and independence. In her talk with Alfa Radio, Olga Shpilevskaya, the Chairperson of the Belarusian Women’s Union and Director of the Mir TV and Radio Company representative office in Belarus, explained why these holidays remain festive in the country.
Speaking of Victory Day, Ms. Shpilevskaya noted that it is important for every Belarusian to treat this date even more reverently than before, “No one will doubt that this is the main holiday in our country. This is because we are the nation that remembers and honours the Victory, that felt its pain and joy. We are the ones through whom pain, blood, tears, sweat, and losses passed. Therefore, it seems to me, we will never allow anyone in the country to try to erase it, making us to forget it. It is impossible even on a genetical level. Those events affected each of our families. The strength of the spirit of our people lies precisely in the fact that we will not be able to allow anyone to even think about the revival of Nazism or something similar on our territory, as people will reject such thoughts on a subconscious level.”
“As for other countries… When there is nothing left to say or to do, they start fighting against monuments and the dead. There are cases when the graves of Soviet soldiers were dug up, and their remains were simply thrown away. This is terrible! This is not allowed by any religion. This suggests that people are becoming inhuman, and it is painful and sad to look at this. We must remember that we are Belarus! We are like a ray of light in all this. Our borders are open to neighbours. We invite everyone to join us on May 9th, this bright and holy holiday! Let's celebrate it together, rejoice in the Victory that our great-grandfathers and grandfathers brought to the territory of our country. Let us honour true heroes and those who are really bringing light and kindness to our families and our souls!” the expert added.
There are other trends in the West: Victory Day is forbidden there, and Labour Day is becoming an occasion for demonstrations for the right to work. Ms. Shpilevskaya recalled how Labour Day was celebrated in France, “It was accompanied by batons, and this is their ‘democracy’. May 1st celebrations in Belarus and France represent two sections of society and two indicators of what each of us is moving towards. Here is peace, labour, May and a man of labour who is valued in Belarus. Meanwhile, a man is not a value at all in France. It seems to me this is very indicative. As my friends noticed, Minsk was full of cars with license plates of the Baltic States on May 1st, and this is another good tradition. I often notice how many people from there come to Belarus to celebrate Labour Day and Victory Day. It is great that these good, kind holidays of ours are celebrated here, in Belarus!”