New Year Eve’s children's charity event
Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko took part in the country’s charity campaign Our Children on 29 December, attending the New Year Eve’s children's charity event in Minsk with presents for Father Frost and Snow Maiden.
Traditionally, ahead of the performance, the head of state comes on stage and addresses the young audience. Then Father Frost and Snow Maiden announce the festivities open. This time, the President, before stepping up to the microphone, gave presents to the fairy-tale characters.
“Let me explain: all of us on New Year's Eve, and most of you, ask Father Frost for something. Father Frost gets nothing in return. That is why I have decided it would be right to congratulate Father Frost and the Snow Maiden on New Year and bring them some presents,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.
What is in the gift sets? “There are some New Year Eve's drinks in there. For adults. You know, right? And sweets,” the President explained.
"Dear friends! My young friends! First of all, I want to wish you a Happy New Year. A holiday of magic, fun and gifts, which you begin to celebrate long before everyone else - as soon as Christmas trees are lit in kindergartens and schools," Aleksandr Lukashenko said.
The head of state stressed that any country is always strong with its traditions: "If we say that our country is sovereign, independent, then it should have its own traditions. Native to Belarus. We have a lot of these traditions."
One of such traditions, he noted, is the New Year's Eve Ball in the Palace of Independence. Aleksandr Lukashenko recalled its story. Several years ago a decision was taken to hold New Year's Eve Ball along the lines of the famous Vienna Ball. Initially, the Austrians suggested making the ball in the Palace of Independence a Vienna Ball. "But then I said, 'Why the Vienna Ball? We will hold the Belarusian New Year's Eve Ball." And it has become a tradition," the President said.
"Today we have another tradition - a New Year celebration together with the President. There will be other Presidents, but this tradition will continue, should you want it," Aleksandr Lukashenko said. “I will tell you frankly: every year on New Year's Eve, all of us, organizers and participants of festive events, prepare for meetings with you. We do it in advance and in a very responsible way. If someone thinks that it is easy to speak in front of children, easy to organize events for children, then he or she is wrong. Ask your teachers, who are with you today, and they will tell you that the hardest, most difficult thing is to prepare for a meeting with children, especially on New Year's Eve.”
New Year's Eve is time that encourages every adult to become a magician, the head of state said. “What do wizards do? They make wishes come true. Another tradition, which originated in our sovereign, independent Belarus, is called Our Children. On New Year’s Eve, during this festive season, all the adults, businessmen, business executives, MPs, government officials, pay visits to children in orphanages, boarding schools, schools, and family-type homes. They bring New Year presents to our children and everyone who lives there,” the President said.
According to the head of state, this campaign has also become a good tradition, rooted in the mindset of the Belarusian people. “It should be continued throughout the Old New Year, when we visit our senior citizens, who are lonely today. There are also those who have been forgotten by their own children. We will all grow old one day. Even you. We must always remember about our elderly. I would like this charity campaign Our Children, when adults make presents to children, to continue in the New Year with presents for our seniors,” the Belarusian leader said.
"We really hope you will like all the surprises and gifts that we have prepared for you. This is extremely important for us. We wish only one thing - to see you smile and to know that you live a safe, secure and peaceful life. If a child smiles, it means that the state is strong and society is healthy. Our hearts ache for millions of other children (I really want you to know about them) who are wishing a new toy or a gadget for the New Year," Aleksandr Lukashenko said.
He urged to remember about those children who ask for peace and warmth in their homes. These are the essentials for every person, especially a child, the President said. "I emphasize: there are a lot of children in the world who do not have warmth in the homes, who are hungry and who want peace on their land. We must always remember these people, these children. If we remember, this trouble will never come to our land," the head of state is convinced.
"Fortunately, our little Belarusians have other dreams, children's ones. May this always be like this, and may these dreams come true. This is the magic that everyone is waiting for on New Year's Eve," Aleksandr Lukashenko added.
This is what the beautiful legend about the bison, the symbol of Belarus, is about, the President said. Today's show was inspired by it.
"From the bottom of my heart I once again wish a Happy New Year to all of you, children and adults, the future of our Belarus, teachers, educators and parents! I wish you great spirits, good health and, most importantly, success in your studies. Studying is the most important task for you at this stage of your life. Now it is with great pleasure that I give the stage to our hosts – Father Frost and Snow Maiden," the Belarusian leader said.
“Of course, our hearts ache for millions of other children. I really want you to understand this. We need to be mindful of children who do not ask for a new toy or a gadget for New Year, like it is done here, but children who ask for peace, food and warmth in their homes. These are essential things that should be accessible to everyone, especially children. I emphasize: there are a lot of children in the world who do not have warmth in their homes. There are many children who want to eat and who just want peace on their land. We should never forget about these people, these children. If we keep this in mind, trouble will never come our way,” said Aleksandr Lukashenko.