Founded 10 years ago, the Kupala Night Festival (Alexandria Gathers Friends) has grown to become a powerful symbol of brotherly friendship between the peoples of Belarus, Russia and Ukraine, Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko said as he addressed the festival in Alexandria on 6 July.
“Many of you remember what the first edition of the festival was like in 2010. A small and humble event just like this land. But even back then, it was beautiful in its identity and, as the time showed, forward looking. The festival quickly surpassed the status of the regional event,” Aleksandr Lukashenko noted.
Pop stars come to Alexandria with pleasure. The program of the festival is packed with fiery musical performances and touching debuts.
“I am absolutely convinced that this unusual interest has emerged thanks to the phenomenon of the hometown, because we are always drawn back to the place where we were born, and thanks to the Slavic kinship that is especially visible on this hospitable land. The three nations share intertwined history, kindred and spiritual roots like the three mighty oak trees on the bank of the Dnieper River. This great river starts there, in Russia, carries its waters across Belarus and ends its way in the brotherly Ukraine. Like the circulatory system it binds us together by the strongest ties of good-neighborliness, trust and openness. Our peoples have managed to preserve this unity given to us from above,” the head of state said.
The President remarked that he has a special feeling when he arrives in Alexandria, his native land. “A feeling of tremendous excitement. When you reach certain heights, forgive my indiscretion, when you become famous and arrive back home where you were born and grew up, when you meet with people who know you better than anybody else in the world, you are not just excited, you are tremendously excited,” the head of state said.
He expressed confidence that it is extremely important for every person not to lose connection with their native places and people living there. “Every person thrives on such feelings. If these feelings are lost and replaced by arrogance, if people forget about other people, they are no longer human,” the President said.
The head of state remarked that the weather is quite good for the festival this year, although it was rather nasty in other years.
According to Aleksandr Lukashenko, for many young people who were born in big cities, for example, in Minsk, the concept of native land is not filled with such meaning as for people from small towns and villages. “May my native land be your native land,” the head of state said and invited everybody to visit the festival in Alexandria.
“This authentic festival helps us realize that we are an important link in a continuous chain of generations. Our main purpose is to pass the legacy of our parents to our children. To preserve our national identity, traditions, culture means to preserve our native land,” he stressed.
The festival in Alexandria continues the Native Land trilogy, a topic which is celebrated in the art of musicians who recorded the album Kutochak Belarusi (Corner of Belarus) and inspired many people to do good for their native land. “You see that Belarusian towns and villages become greener, more beautiful and comfortable. Everything is made with your hands. You are doing all this, first of all, for yourselves, for your children and grandchildren. Together we are creating our Belarus for life,” the President said. “No wonder that many tourists praise Belarus’ beauty and cleanness, find something close here, something that reminds them of their cherished places.”
People used to believe that by celebrating the wonderful Kupala Night together they can put an end to many difficulties and start a new day in a renewed and peaceful state of mind. They used to believe that a person who found a magical fern flower would find all the world’s hidden treasures. “Here in Belarus we offer our greatest treasures – cultural, spiritual, handmade and culinary ones – to each and every guest with open hearts. And we are doing it with world-famous Belarusian hospitality. I am saying all this not because I am here and this is my native land. I have travelled the world throughout these years, and I believe that Belarusians are the most hospitable people. This is our brand, our distinctive feature,” Aleksandr Lukashenko emphasized. “I am convinced that our meetings should be continued!”