Alexandria Gathers Friends festival
Thank you very much!
Dear friends, I heartily welcome you and those, who watch us on television today, in the wondrous land of Alexandria.
I am very glad that year after year I welcome more and more guests here on these evenings that are sacred for our nation.
First of all, I welcome genuine Belarusians: wise, kind, conscientious ones, Belarusians who can both work and celebrate together.
Secondly, I welcome sincere friends, who take an interest in our rich folk history.
But in order to understand this culture, it is necessary to touch ancient Belarusian traditions, see the beauty of the Kupala night, and breathe in the scent of blooming summer fields. You have to feel that love and particular respect for the Belarusian land and the Belarusian nation sprout up somewhere in the depth of your soul.
Everyone, who has been to Belarus at least once, who has come to know the people, knows for sure: Belarusians are wise, worthy, and free people. We honor our ancestors and know our heroes well. With an open soul we welcome those who come in peace. We are always ready to break bread and give shelter to those who have lost everything.
We take pride in our history and our land. We will never abandon this land under any circumstances. And we will never allow anyone to dictate how we have to live and what we have to do.
I know well that a genuine Belarusian is someone, who has a home here and will always defend it. With weapons if necessary. Because we have one home.
We are responsible for this home. Including before those, who lived in this land before us, and before those, who will come after us. Our ancestors had a saying: “Your own home is your mother but someone else’s home is a stepmother.”
It is during such a holiday that one understands well why residents of Alexandria and the surrounding area look forward to Kupala days. Preparations for the sake of perfect organization take many months. Because these people look forward to welcoming their dearest and closest friends.
I’d like to express my deepest gratitude to all those, who gifted us an excellent festival today without sparing time and strength. You know I’ve noticed that it becomes more and more beautiful year after year. Thanks to those, who invested their souls into this bank of the ancient Dnieper River. Huge thanks to the organizers and participants of the festival in Alexandria.
And I thank all our dear viewers. This hall under the starry July sky cannot seat all those wishing to be here. But millions upon millions of Belarusians, our family members, relatives, and neighbors will watch us on television and other mass media today and in the days to come. You can hardly find so many people spending their weekend here in Alexandria together with their multiple “friends” than during any other festival. The festival has always had plenty of heartfelt atmosphere and the feeling of unity for all of our friends. I thank you for our once again diving deep into the Kupala night fairytale together. A kind and merry fairytale that definitely has a happy ending. Trust me we could use more happiness today. I’d love some more and on the whole, there cannot be too much happiness.
A lot of new, unexpected, pleasant, and totally unpleasant things happened over the year I have not seen you in such a format. Particularly in our dear Ukraine. You see what is going on over there. Every day brings all kinds of news from there including joyful news but most of all sad news. I am confident that this gray-haired Dnieper River that unites our Slavonic nations will see our Ukrainian friends soon. We, Russians and Belarusians, will be pleased to see them at our festival.
Dear friends! Be healthy and happy, live a rich life, love your loved ones and your native Belarus. Happy festival!