Piotra Murzionak Editorial  (magazine“CULTURE, NATION”, November 2018, issue 22, p. 8-10)

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Dear friends,

On November 11, 1918, the First World War ended.

On November 11, 2018, the mankind commemorated the centenary of this event in Paris.

The sacrifice of people during the war described in numerous historical and artistic literature. Do not touching all those published, I just decided to recall what connects me, at least in some way, with these past sad events. At once, I thought of my grandparents and their families who had to live at that not a joyous time; short notes “Remembering Ancestors” you will find at the beginning of this issue.

It would seem that hundred years has passed after the guns stopped booming both on the European continent and in every corner of our planet, but the human memory can’t forget that terrible war and its consequences. Especially because in those 100 years, there were another war – II-nd World War and many others in not a such scale. It appears the mankind learned the lessons of the twentieth century wars – signed various peace agreements, military agreements, written memorandum – and the threat of a new III-rd World War is at the door yet.

And this borderline between the fighting worlds again stands on the Belarusian land. Belarus is, as before, in the midst of a struggle between East \ Eurasian and Western civilizations. We adhere to the idea that Belarus, together with Ukraine, make Western-Ruthenian civilization that has existed since 13-14 centuries. Today, Ukraine is fighting to escape from the clutches of the Russian empire, but Belarus Muscovites want to “drag” closer to the Ural Mountains, and leave it there perhaps forever – in the Eurasian civilization.

Attempts of the current Belarusian government to provide a multivector foreign policy, and to diversify trade flows run into the silent and menacing actions of the Russian Empire. Indeed, Russia may put the people of Belarus to its knees at any time – to invert Belarus country to Belarus colony like a subject of the Russian Federation by blocking access to energy (oil, gas, nuclear), or importing “green” men. Recent events show the increasing tension between Russia and Belarus, and the attempts to carry out some kind of tactic games with Russia are very dangerous and can be finished badly without defining strategic targets for Belarusian nation.

As example, in the middle of October 2018 at the regional conference in the city of Mogilev Mr. Lukashenko says to Mr. Putin that Mogilev is … well, almost entirely Russian city, a week later at the meeting with Mr. Poroshenko,  he states almost the same saying that Gomel … well, it’s almost a Ukrainian city. In the same month, an unexpected phrase, by the US Assistant Secretary of National Security Mr. Mitchell, that Georgia, Ukraine and even Belarus (?!!) can be an outpost against Russian imperialist policies followed by the two opposing statements of Lukashenko: a) if American military base will be placed in Poland, then we (with Russia) will be forced to post something in Belarus; b) after the arrival of the American analysts at the end of October, he talked about the importance of the European security and the important role of the United States. And all this happened only during two weeks. A month before, the Russian defense minister Mr. Shoigu came to Belarus and signed some regular military agreements. It is evident that without help from Western countries it will be extremely difficult or even impossible to protect the neutrality and independence of Belarus.

In connection with the above editorial board decided to place the recently published article in English by P. Murzionak about the place of the Belarusian-Ukrainian or Western-Ruthenia civilization among other sub-civilizations of the Western civilization. The paper debates the inadmissibility of the division between Orthodox \ Eurasian and Western \ Latin civilizations based on religion – Orthodoxy versus Catholicism.

Aliaxey Fedarenka, in his article, shares his experience being in Mexico-city during a two-month training course on the restoration and conservation of stone and all its products. These courses are held regularly under the auspices of UNESCO. At this time the course has been organized in a suburb of Mexico City, in Churubusco monastery, which was built on the site of the former settlement before Spanish era. The author tells about everyday life in the Mexican capital, and makes a brief historical excursion into the events that occurred in this area in the 16-19 centuries.

Essay of Yuri Shametska devoted to arguments about the Belarusian emigration in modern times. The author concludes that emigration in the period of globalization is the movement of people for a better life. The author shares his thoughts about the reasons of his family migration, asks “And was it worth to go?”, talks about the high level of civic life in Canada, about his responsibilities and relationship with the “indigenous” Canadians, of his close connection with homeland and his Belaruskasc.

The magazine is always happy waiting for materials from the homeland. In this year, as in the previous one, we received interesting information from Pastavy region sent by Igar Prakapovich, a well-known local historian, teacher, poet and writer. I. Prakapovich takes an active role in raising children with their love for their land and with their knowledge of the history of his small homeland. This time, he describes an expedition with students in the natural and historical complex “Kryzhouki”, located near the lake Douza and Varanets bordering Myadzel district. As a result of the research it was able to collect additional material and to determine the possible creation of tourist routes.

In the section devoted to the events of cultural life of Belarusian organizations, a number of information is provided: about the celebration of the 70th anniversary of the Canadian Belarusian Association (ZBK), about performance dedicated to Larissa Heniyush, which was held in Toronto in April 2018, a poetic and musical party in Ottawa in September and presentation of book of poems “Kolery” (“Colours”), about various holidays in Irkutsk, “Kamaedzitsa”, “Cover”, “Santa”, sent by Aleg Rudakou. What makes Mr. Rudakov in Irkutsk is an outstanding example for many Belarusians not only abroad but also at homeland. We know that a lot of cultural, traditional festivals held in different parts of Belarus – the magazine “Culture. Nation” will be happy to publish any information about these Belarusian events.

The poetry section of the issue contains “Minsk poems” by Yuri Shametka, and poem “Belaya Rus”, by Piotra Murzionak.

The magazine “Culture. Nation” is very grateful to the editorial board member, Sergey Paniznik for his valuable materials, supplemented by archival, unique pictures. In this issue we publish his notes “On the shore of life, on the bank of Dzvina” – about the international ecological expedition in 1988 organized by Vasily T. Yakavenka, novelist, publicist, public figure. The material harmoniously enriched with photos from the event. S. Paniznik also sent materials on the 180 anniversary of the birth of Kastus Kalinouski.
He provided as well a very touchy letter from Wolga Grytsuk he received 5 years ago, when W. Grytsuk celebrated her 90th anniversary. Now, S. Paniznik congratulates his compatriot, Mrs. W. Grytsuk with 95th anniversary. The magazine “Culture. Nation” joins to these congratulations wishing W. Grytsuk all the best, and attaches to the issue a copy of this letter. S. Paniznik sent other materials – to the 85th anniversary of Nina Jiansane, and to the 75th anniversary of the birth of the artist Valeryj Dzeviskiba.

Please, send  your comments and remarks to the address: chasopis.sakavik@hotmail.com

Wishing you pleasant reading.

The magazine Founder and Editor, 

Piotra Murzionak

November 18, 2018, Ottawa

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