Opening of International Festival of Arts Slavianski Bazaar in Vitebsk

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Slavianski Bazaar in Vitebsk always has this unique atmosphere of international friendship, Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko said at the opening ceremony of the 27th edition of the International Festival of Arts Slavianski Bazaar in Vitebsk on 12 July.

“It always has the atmosphere of international friendship that goes beyond national borders, political and religious views and convictions. The festival in Vitebsk serves the noblest goals,” Aleksandr Lukashenko is convinced.

The head of state noted that every summer Slavianski Bazaar fills the streets of Vitebsk with music and turns the city into a huge art space where visitors can discover the world of ancient and modern traditions of folk art.

“The past and the present in the culture and destiny of people intertwine to give this event a feel of home for those who understand the nature of spiritual kinship, know their roots and value national heritage,” the President noted.

According to Aleksandr Lukashenko, it is for a reason that the history of the festival started in the period that marked the political end of the state that had been home to many nations for decades.

“Although politicians drew borders, people found a simplest, time-tested way to maintain good neighborly relations, which is through cultural ties. The land of Vitebsk was a birthplace of the tradition that consolidated the Slavonic world with a melody of popular songs, sounds of amazing voices, poetry and music of soul by well-known music writers and performers,” the Belarusian leader said.

The undestroyed unity, trust and mutual support between the nations became a true anchorage for fledgling sovereign states, the head of state noted. The international contest brought together kindred nations and caught the eye of talented artists from other corners of the world.  

“Representatives of many countries and continents adorned this stage and gave meaning to this music forum. Through Art to Peace and Understanding - this affirmation shaped the concept of Slavianski Bazaar in the year of inception and it remains relevant today,” the President noted.

The participation of representatives of over 40 countries in Slavianski Bazaar is a testimony to the cordiality of Belarusians who are hospital and open for friendship with the entire world, Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko said at the opening ceremony.

“The ongoing forum has brought together representatives of over 40 countries. Apart from the neighboring states, we have welcomed guests from the United Kingdom, Canada, North Korea, Egypt, Colombia and Guinea. This certainly attests to the cordiality of Belarusians who are hospital and open for friendship with the entire world, this also proves the tolerance of Slavonic nations,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.

In his words, Belarusians are happy to welcome foreign guests into the big festival family, they are glad to see those who come with sincere and good intensions. “We are happy to see more people like that coming to Belarus. We are glad that they keep discovering Belarus in other cities and regions,” the President noted.

The head of state said that the Summer Amphitheater in Vitebsk has adorned the city for thirty years already. “It hosted the first concerts of Slavianski Bazaar and since that time countless stars have been lit, countess spectators have met and countless songs have played. The main concert venue has become home for many artists. A place where everyone feels like home, including regular participants, famous performers and rising stars,” Aleksandr Lukashenko noted.

Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko presented awards to several artists. For example, Roza Rymbayeva received a special presidential award Through Art to Peace and Understanding. The Grand Prix holder of the 16th International Junior Song Contest Vitebsk 2018 Alexander Balabanov from Ukraine was awarded the Golden Lira award. The Union State Literature and Art Award 2017-2018 was bestowed upon People’s Artist of Russia, composer Oleg Ivanov, People’s Artist of Russia, conductor Valery Polyansky, Merited Cultural Worker of Russia Alexander Shanin and People’s Artist of the USSR, choreographer Valentin Yelizariev.

Aleksandr Lukashenko was not left without a gift, either. The festival organizers gave him an amulet belt to reward his efforts to promote the festival that now unites many nations. Such an amulet belt was the most valuable gift to a man for Slavonic peoples.