Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko presented passports to young Belarusian nationals in a solemn ceremony in the Palace of Independence.
Taking part in the event were 25 Belarusians over 14 years old. They came to Minsk from all over Belarus a day before. Despite the young age they have already achieved a lot in the academic field, art, and sports.
Aleksandr Lukashenko personally handed over the passports to each of the attendees. He noted that at all times this document has been associated with the first step into an adult life.
“I know that you have achieved certain success in studies, sport, community leadership. It is great, you deserve the highest praise. I am confident that your biggest victories are still ahead. The state has made sure that you will be able to take any road you want. Everything else depends on your personal determination, perseverance and hard work,” the president said. The head of state emphasized that all the students who were invited to the Palace of Independence have earned this invitation through their achievements. “There are no random people here. You are the people who know how to work hard, you can be an example for others and you can take the lead,” he said.
The president noted that the previous generations did everything so that the youth could be proud of their country. “Now it is your turn to develop the country and to bring fame to it, and to defend it in the future and in the present. Maybe, you have never thought about such important things as national identity or independence of the state before. However, as soon as you were born, you became the part of the Belarusian nation who would shape the country’s present and future. After realizing that, you will find a new meaning in the first words of the Constitution: “We, the people of Belarus”. After all, these people are everyone who lives now, who lived before and who will live on this land after we are gone. Therefore, we are one and the future of our country depends on everyone of us,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.
The president is confident that no matter what career a person chooses, the main mission of a citizen is to serve their country. “Patriotism is not about talking about love for the Motherland (although this should be discussed, too). This is about everyday work in the interests of the Motherland, preservation of its historical and cultural traditions and protection of interests of the state and people’s lives - all the values that had to be defended by our ancestors with weapons in their hands,” Aleksandr Lukashenko emphasized. He recalled the heroism of those who defeated fascism 75 years ago saving Belarusians from extermination. “Due to them we stayed alive and free. I am convinced that you will cherish this legacy the way we do,” the Belarusian leader said.
“Looking at you I see a new, positive, talented and ambitious Belarus. This makes me happy, just like your parents. Go forward, towards your goal, never give up and, most importantly, never be afraid of anything or anyone. Believe in yourself, believe that if you go forward, you will always find someone who will help you in your native land, in Belarus,” the president said addressing the young Belarusians.
Student of Secondary School No. 1 of Bykhov Dmitry Ivanov noted during the ceremony that he was happy to be part of this event. He said that he contributes to a school newspaper. He asked for a common photo with the president and promised to send a new issue of the newspaper to the head of state.
All the participants of the event received gifts from the head of state - the book I Am the Citizen of the Republic of Belarus and chocolate sets, as well as heart-felt wishes. “You can be journalists, artists, engineers, agronomists – our country will need people of all professions. I wish you many successes and most importantly, happiness. Take your time while making career decisions. You still have plenty of time for that. Otherwise you might repeat my mistake: make a hasty decision and then have to study again,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.
After the solemn ceremony the students were taken on an excursion through the Palace of Independence and visited a special museum displaying gifts given to the Belarusian president by other country leaders, heads of foreign delegations, and well-known people from various spheres.
The ceremony took place in the run-up to Constitution Day that is marked in Belarus on 15 March.