Kupala Night Festival (Alexandria Gathers Friends)

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During the Kupala Night Festival (Alexandria Gathers Friends) on 8 July Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko called upon citizens to revive their home towns and other birthplaces.

Aleksandr Lukashenko said: “I would like to address all the people, who can do something for the country today, particularly people of means with certain capabilities. Let’s do what everyone can do, what can be done for our birthplaces in the next few years. I am confident that if a well-to-do person, who was born in a small village and still remembers the place, can do something for that village, then in three or maybe five years our country will be beautiful and flourishing. This is why today from my own birthplace I call on those, who have not forgotten their own birthplace: if you are a well-to-do person, let’s do what we can do for these villages, rivulets, for small towns.”

The president explained that his latest trip to the town of Kopys was an attempt to make Belarus better, to set an example of what the country should look like. “It is time to take care of these small towns and villages of little promise. We just have to save them. We have to make them comfortable for our people, for our children and grandchildren,” noted Aleksandr Lukashenko.

The head of state pointed out that people will still remember their places of origin regardless of wherever destiny may take them. Those are the places where they feel truly at home, where they can forget the hustle and bustle of big cities and where time flows differently. “Every one of us leaves a piece of their soul in the old country. Our lands are famous for small villages, which, however, have never been parochial. Our villages and towns, our capital city, which was born from a similar town — they have given a lot and they have given it to many,” stated the Belarusian leader. “Minsk Oblast, Vitebsk Oblast, Grodno Oblast, Gomel Oblast, and Brest Oblast. Or Mogilev Oblast. Every one of us hears the voice of his or her birthplace, the one true place on Earth.”

Aleksandr Lukashenko remarked that some people may feel the urge to visit places, to go somewhere. “But over the years of my presidency I’ve travelled all over the world. I’ve seen beautiful places. And I tell you sincerely from my heart that there is no finer place than the place where your roots and origins are. I’ve never seen one,” he stressed. “I say it for you to understand that sooner or later the call of the old country will find you and bring you where you were born. This is why let’s revive these places, let’s treasure them regardless of what they are. They are our land. They are our motherland that gave us life.”

“The many centuries of history of the Belarusian nation eloquently indicate how we appreciate peace and prosperity in the native land. How carefully we treat the legacy of past generations and confidently build the present and the future of our state. We hold in high esteem the heroes, who defended the fatherland’s independence. We glorify the outstanding people of culture and art, in whom Belarus rightfully takes pride,” said Aleksandr Lukashenko.

Among the glorified Belarusians Aleksandr Lukashenko mentioned the men of letters Yakub Kolas and Yanka Kupala, anniversaries of whose birthdays are solemnly celebrated this year. “The fact adds even greater significance to the festival. It reminds us about the continuity of cultural traditions, about the priceless heritage we should preserve, augment, and pass on to the descendants. We should definitely pass them on to the descendants,” stressed the Belarusian leader.

The head of state noted that the Alexandria Gathers Friends festival was having a particularly warm effect on the picturesque bank of the Dnieper River where trade routes have intersected since times immemorial, where songs and music, languages and customs mixed together. “This festival is our legacy. It contains all the traits Belarusians are famous for: our national colors, harmony with nature, love of our traditions and history, search for happiness and desire to reach the coveted goal,” he stressed. “And certainly hospitality! The Kupala Night Festival went international a long time ago. This year we are happy to welcome guests from seven European countries. Such meetings are the best kind of grassroots diplomacy. They reveal our beautiful and original country before other nations. I would like to welcome our neighbors to the festival. I thank you for coming here!”

According to the head of state, the festival in Alexandria owes its success primarily to the remarkable people, who live in this beautiful part of the country. “I thank you, dear friends, for your hard work and dedication to our home land. Every visit to this place inspires and gives strength to me and to all the Belarusians,” said Aleksandr Lukashenko. “Accept my words as a genuine confession of my love for you. Let’s listen together to the sounds of the Kupala night, to the sounds of the birthplace, to the voice of our independent country of Belarus.”