Aleksandr Lukashenko presents spiritual revival awards and special prizes for 2012

    Thanks to large-scale creative projects Belarus has turned into one of the centers of cultural life in Europe. President of Belarus Aleksandr Lukashenko made the statement at the ceremony to confer Belarus President awards For Spiritual Revival and special prizes of the President for people of culture and art.

    The head of state emphasized: “For many centuries philosophers have been arguing what is more important: the matter or the spirit, the sublime or the earthly. Looking at this audience today which comprised the best of the Belarusian intellectuals, I ask myself the same question. There is no doubt that the humankind can’t exist without material wealth. But everyone has something that is difficult to describe with words. Some divine spark, the fire of spirit that makes us think and feel, love and suffer, endeavor and create.”

    Aleksandr Lukashenko said: “Man does not live by bread alone. Even powerful empires of ancient time crashed down and died if they lost the binding solidarity of ideals, moral values and faith – everything that turns the population into the nation and the place of residence into the Homeland.”

    According to the President, people in Belarus have always valued the power of words over the power of weapons. The Belarusian soil is a birthplace of enlighteners, scientists, artists and poets, not aggressors and enslavers.

    The head of state stressed that the Belarusian people had lived through many historical dramas and kept their legacy, their tales, monuments, traditions and songs. This is why the nation has not been dissolved by the sands of time but has remained what it is by cherishing the heroic character and behests of the ancestors sacred through generations.

    Aleksandr Lukashenko noted that it was no accident in modern Belarus that the celebration of Christmas had become a symbol of revival, return to centuries-old values that influenced our historical path.

    “Our spirituality, art and culture are the lifeblood of the society which gives it the strength to live,” the President believes. “Understanding it, the state has done and will do its best to multiply this richest legacy to allow every talent to bloom and to prevent any creative impulse from dying out. To enable every one of you, the few endowed with a special gift, to make your dreams come true”.

    According to the head of state, 2012 produced bright examples of the ongoing revival and bloom of culture. The Nesvizh palace and park complex has been restored. The Kupala theater has been rebuilt. The construction of a unique facility — the Great Patriotic War Museum — will be completed soon.

    Thanks to large-scale international festivals, exhibitions, creative projects which encompass all areas of art from folklore and high classic to avant-garde, Belarus has turned into one of the centers of cultural life in Europe. The head of state stressed that victories of young artists at prestigious contest made the country famous. One can be proud of the abundance of talents in Belarus.

    “They say that the premium task of a talent is to show people the sense and the price of their existence. Culture and spirituality determine the life of the society, our attitude to labor, to each other, to children and at last to the Homeland,” the President remarked. “There is no freedom without culture. Where moral barriers are lacking, freedom evolves into a cruel and destructive power, into anarchy. A truly free person is the one able to exercise moral self-discipline.”

    Aleksandr Lukashenko said: “We, the Belarusians, cannot afford losing our own face and the internal pillar that make up the spiritual code of the nation.”

    According to the head of state, culture wields a great power and that is why its authority in the society should grow larger and stronger. It will further develop in the atmosphere of pioneering search and life-giving competition, respect for the right to creative freedom of artists.

    “At the same time we are aggressively against a politically motivated split between people of art. The attempts to drive a wedge between the authorities and the intellectuals are futile,” the head of state said.

    The President stressed that a person is shaped primarily by the cultural environment and to a great extent the state of the environment determines in what society we will live in the next few decades and in what society our children will live.

    Aleksandr Lukashenko said: “We will always support creative patriots, people of the light and creative talent so that the Belarusian culture could remain the source of moral experience and the foundation for the spiritual unity of the nation.”

    “The Bible says that a town reposes on the righteous. In the same way any nation reposes on its heroes. Today we honor those who can be rightly called the heroes of our time. These are real enthusiasts who never fail to help those who need it most,” the President noted.

    Among those awarded the prize For Spiritual Revival are doctors of the Gomel-based Marriage and Family center who help women become happy mothers; director of the Radoshkovichi boarding school who replaced father for dozens of orphans. Restorers who save valuable historical artifacts and clergymen who are dedicated to helping others. “Thank you for your generous soul,” the President said.

    The year 201 was the Year of the Book. People of culture were awarded special prizes for a reason. Their achievements were inspired by their love to literature and creative heritage of the nation.

    Awards were bestowed upon the team of the National Academic Bolshoi Opera and Ballet Theater and the team of the Cinema Actor Studio Theater for the vivid scenic implementation of Belarusian literature classicists. Awards were conferred on the personnel of the National Library of Belarus and the Yanka Kupala State Literature Museum for the huge contribution to the preservation and promotion of the book legacy of Belarus. “The country appreciates your work and talent,” the Belarus President said.

    The head of state congratulated everyone on their awards. Aleksandr Lukashenko sttressed that the value of awards is measured not by money alone: “Thanks to these awards, the entire Belarus will know about the achievements of the laureates and you will become an example for the youth”.