The Republican Festival of National Cultures is one of the brightest and most colorful traditions of the multinational Grodno land, a real brand and a business card of the region. Loved by thousands of guests from Belarus and other countries, this year the holiday will be held for the 13th time and will gather more than 800 participants. Belarusians and Russians, Azerbaijanis and Armenians, Georgians, Jews, Iranians, Italians, Lithuanians, Ukrainians, Poles and Moldovans – representatives of more than 30 nationalities will gather in Grodno on June 3-5.
What will surprise the festival after the break? What surprises have the organizers prepared? Elena Klimovich, head of the Department of Culture of the regional executive Committee, told about this and not only to "GP".
What will surprise the guests
– Elena Viktorovna, the festival of national cultures is a long–awaited event, people really missed such large-scale events. How is the preparation for the holiday going?
– Indeed, for obvious reasons, we were forced to postpone the festival in 2020. At the same time, it gave us the opportunity to prepare better, give a new impetus to the beloved event and please the guests with surprises and novelties. A large team of professionals is working on the project.
One of the brightest and most memorable events will be the procession of representatives of national diasporas. The participants of the march will pass from Lenin Square to Sovetskaya Square. After that, the opening concert of the festival will take place. Before that, the program also promises to be interesting. The cancellation of the postal festival stamp, the presentation of the book "Sisters of Khatyn. Grodno region", as well as exhibition projects "Unity of peoples is the key to a Great Victory", "Belarus is our common home".
– When preparing for the festival, are you betting on tradition or are you still planning to surprise the guests of the holiday more?
– Of course, the best traditional moments that our guests have loved over the years of the festival's existence have remained. But it is impossible to limit oneself only to traditions – people always perceive novelties with great joy and interest. One of these this year will be the festival of beauty and grace, for which thanks to the director from Vitebsk Kirill Selivanov. Representatives of national associations that exist in Belarus will show a variety of national costumes. There will also be a grand opening of a thematic sculpture on Telman Street dedicated to the festival. In addition, this year for the first time a round table "Belarus is our common home: unity of nations and generations" will be organized. It is planned that the heads of 21 national associations will gather in the Tyzengauz Gallery to exchange views. This is a very important event, as Belarus is home to many nationalities, which is reflected in the name of the round table.
Events for the Year of Historical Memory are also planned. For example, a rally with laying flowers at the foot of the mass grave of Soviet soldiers and partisans in the Zhilibera Park, a presentation of the book "Sisters of Khatyn. Grodno region".
Welcome to the farmsteads!
– By tradition, the second day of the festival is considered the busiest. What to expect this year?
– The second day is traditionally the work of national farmsteads. Guests will be welcomed there at noon. A total of 17 farmsteads will be organized, which will be located in the city center – from Sovetskaya Square to Lenin Square – and will create the necessary festive atmosphere.
The opening of the second festival day will begin on Lenin Square from the Belarusian farmstead. The experience of 2018 proved to be positive, when all regions of Belarus were represented at the Belarusian farmstead, and it was decided to do the same this year. This is very cool, because Belarusian culture and traditions have their own distinctive features in territorial terms. And thanks to the fact that Belarusians from different parts of the country will demonstrate the diversity of their traditions, guests will be able to fully see our identity.
There are many events planned. The "City of Masters" will work all day, concerts, sports, flash mobs, color fest will be held. We expect that both the guests and the participants of the festival will be happy to plunge into this wonderful holiday atmosphere.
– Which of the Belarusian pop stars will perform on the festive stage?
– All three days of the festival guests will be pleased with the best vocal, dance and theater associations of the region and the country. The city above the Neman will be enveloped in a truly incredible atmosphere of celebration – music and songs will not stop for a minute. This year we plan that a concert of the ensemble "Pesnyary" will take place on the main stage of the festival, we will hear Alexander Solodukha from the artists.
The third day – on the August channel
– This year, for the second time, the festival will be three-day. The format was liked by both guests and participants, it seems to have become a new tradition. What is planned for the third day?
– On the third day, we invite our guests and participants to the Augustovsky Canal, where the grand opening of the tourist season will take place. The program is more than saturated. In the first half of the day, a concert of amateur creative teams of the region, a regional festival-competition of choreographic art are planned. There will also be a performance of the honored amateur collective of the Republic of Belarus folk dance ensemble "Kryzhachok". What else our guests will definitely like is the festival of Belarusian cuisine of Grodno region with tastings and master classes. There will also be a fishing festival "Fishing in Belarusian", exhibitions, fairs, attractions, interactive platforms will work. Excursions and boat trips along the Augustovsky Canal are planned. In short, a lot of events are planned, all the guests of the holiday, even the smallest ones, will be able to find entertainment to their liking.
– Will those who will not be able to come to Grodno have the opportunity to watch the festival?
- Of course. As always, the events of the festival will be actively broadcast in the media of both regional and republican significance. The opening of the festival will be broadcast on the STV TV channel, and the BelTA news agency will also organize live broadcasts from the festival events. We invited all republican television channels, correspondents of the leading mass media of the country and the region. For the convenient work of journalists, the work of the press center will be organized. In short, we tried to provide everything so that the festival would be known not only in Grodno and the region, but throughout the country and even beyond its borders. After all, the festival of national cultures today is no longer just a bright cultural tradition of the Grodno land. It is a platform for interethnic dialogue, a significant forum on cultural and socio-political issues.