Conferment of For Spiritual Revival Awards and special prizes

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Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko presented For Spiritual Revival Awards, the special prizes to culture and art luminaries, and also the Belarusian Sport Olympus awards in a ceremony in the Palace of Republic on 9 January.

“Honoring the people who serve the lofty goals has become a good tradition in Belarus, which is unmatched in the world. It is not surprising that the tradition emerged here,” the head of state noted.

“We have inherited great spiritual heritage. We see it in the examples of the righteous life of the Belarusian saints, in great creations of the poets, artists, musicians and architects who were born on our land. It is in the spiritual heroism of the people who preserved faith, love for the motherland, respect for the history and culture despite the incredible ordeals of the menacing war years and social upheavals,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.

The president noted that the world is troubled today. An invisible struggle for the human soul is in progress. The Christian pillars of morality come under attacks, the traditional family foundations are eroding. “The worldview and the way of life of people are changing under the influence of information flows. There are more and more temptations. It is getting increasingly difficult to protect souls from dark thoughts and emotions. In the pursuit of material goods and glitzy flare people are losing their true beauty: the inner light of good feelings and noble deeds, which our people, all Slavic people have been known and renowned for,” the president said.

According to him, for the sake of ratings the television teaches viewers to like watching negative news, scandalous talk shows. Social networks deprive people of live communication, and computer games replace real life with virtual reality.

“It is but a fraction of the challenges the society faces today. The reality slowly but persistently erodes the existing system of traditional moral values. It is particularly important not to miss our timing, not to lose our spiritual essence. There is no doubt that culture, art, and religion should come to the forefront. Their influence on people’s minds is enormous. It is they that shape the images and ideals, which many people refer to as paragons of virtue. This is why people of culture and art, mass media professionals, clergy, pedagogues and everyone, who cares for what the world will be, should pool their efforts for the sake of reinforcing the moral standards of our nation,” stated the Belarusian leader.

The president underlined that spiritual immunity is needed against amorality and bad taste. Culture and art should always be a source of energy and fortitude for people. “We remember and honor the rich legacy of the past generations. The eternal light of their feelings shows us the way and fills life with profound sense even now. The current generation should make the light even brighter so that our children and grandchildren could pick up the baton and pass it on,” said Aleksandr Lukashenko. “With this in mind we should set an example of how important it is to appreciate, respect, and thank the people, who continue the great work of preserving and creating Belarus’ spiritual legacy. We can never stop and leave nothing to those, who will come after us.”

Aleksandr Lukashenko noted that the world is changing rapidly. For instance, five years ago nobody could have imagined how much the Internet will change the way of life of the entire human kind. “However hard we may struggle we are stuck in this World Wide Web. It makes people’s lives easier by delivering up-to-date information fast. You can see how life is changing, including for the better. On the other hand, the changes bring huge problems we are struggling to contain. We don’t know how to tackle some of them yet,” believes the head of state.

Aleksandr Lukashenko encouraged the society’s elite, creative Belarusians to learn how to use the new opportunities themselves and teach it to children, how to live while the World Wide Web influences people’s minds and hearts.

“It is necessary to teach from the school age, teach your children how to use multiple sources, learn many points of view in order to make the right conclusions. It is important for the youth. You and I were taught that practice is the judge of truth and young Belarusians could use more practice, more experience,” stated Aleksandr Lukashenko. “We should teach them to doubt everything, to seek different sources, get familiar with different points of view, and use tips and experience of the older generation and their own experience to choose the point of view that suits the normal life of our society.”

The head of state was convinced that the awardees make the world better and brighter. Their work creates an atmosphere of goodness and mercy. “Ancient traditions of Belarusian craftsmen are revived. Interest in the past accomplishments of our ancestors is awoken. Family values are defended. Charity is encouraged. Patriotism is inspired. With their talents our people, who will be here — several of them — inspire genuine love for high art. By ascending to the sport Olympus, they glorify Belarus at the international level, awaken the feeling of pride in our nation and our country,” stated the president.

According to Aleksandr Lukashenko, not only government agencies should suggest candidates for these awards. “If you feel you have created a worthy product, which will last for centuries, which will bolster the spirit of our nation not only today but tomorrow as well, feel free to suggest your names among other ones,” said the head of state. “It is very important for me. In all my years as the president of the country I have always demanded honest and fair practices. As we award some people, we should not offend those, who may be one step above them. Don’t be shy. Go ahead and put your names on the list”.

Five awards For Spiritual Revival were bestowed by the Belarus president for the year 2017 accomplishments. Labor collectives and representatives of religious associations were awarded for active work in the humanitarian sphere. The awardees include the public association Belarusian Union of Women, employees of the National Library of Belarus, the N.N. Aleksandrov National Oncology and Medical Radiology Center, the senior priest of the Saint Euphrosyne of Polotsk Church parish in the town of Ivenets, Volozhin District, Minsk Oblast, archpriest Viktor Peregudov, the mufti of the Islamic Religious Association in the Republic of Belarus Abu-Bekir Shabanovich.

The Belarus president also bestowed special prizes upon people of culture and art for last year’s accomplishments. The awardees include mass media professionals, culture and art specialists, authoring teams, cultural institutions for considerable accomplishments in the sphere of mass media, historical and cultural legacy, theater and pictorial arts, amateur art, museum business, and the training of talented youth.

Special prizes also went to authors of the Television News Agency of the Belarusian Television and Radio Company and the BelarusianStateArtsAcademy. The prizes have been bestowed upon Deputy Director of the National History and Culture Museum-Reserve Nesvizh Sergei Yegoreichenko, authors of the postal stamp publishing center of the Belarusian postal service operator Belpochta and the Oktyabrsky District Arts and CraftsCenter, and the Belarusian National Drama Theater.

Special prizes also went to the Lida District Culture and AmateurArtCenter, the concert organization agency Minskconcert, the BelarusianStateMusicAcademy, and the painter Valery Slauk.

Winners of the Belarus president’s special award Belarusian Sport Olympus 2017 are the chief coach of the national trampolining team Olga Vlasova, a special reporter of the TV channel Belarus Five Vladimir Novitsky, and a member of the national track and field athletics team Violetta Skvortsova.