Piotra Murzionak: “Returning to Chernobyl”(webzine “Kultura.Natsyja”, issue 31, April 2023, 5-10, www.sakavik.net)

Editorial. I started writing the preface to the almost finished 31st issue of the magazine “Culture. Nation” precisely on April 26, the day when a great environmental disaster occurred in 1986, which became another message for humanity about the next “fukushima” and the cold of the post-nuclear war. Indeed, 37 years have passed since the disaster that happened on Saturday. Already on the second day after it, when many employees of the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus (but not the whole population) knew about it, after leaving work at the Institute of Physiology of the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus, I felt on my skin sticky drops of poisonous radiation rain and the state’s criminal silence about an accident. Then there were visits to Chernobyl and studies of the effects of small doses of radiation on living organisms, which were also carried out in my department of applied physiology.

However, today the second generation of Belarusians and Ukrainians is growing up – the nations that suffered the most from its consequences, and the further it goes, the more this problem recedes into the background. Many things have changed around Belarus and further in the world, however, significant changes have not been noticed in the country itself, where a dragon has ruled for 29 years already – a dragon in the form of a “neighbor’s pig”, who accidentally ran into our garden and spoils and tramples all living Belarusian things there.

Elections for the president of Belarus have been held in regular waves during many  campaigns – hopeless and yet each time with hope. Might be!?  Suddenly!?! However, the dragon feasted more and more on its victim – the Belarusian people, who are still walking with a soviet rope around their necks, thrown by Lukashenka – the satrap of colonial Russia, the Belarusian people, who until now, in their majority, cannot imagine their existence without “fraternal and imperial Russia”.

However, this is not the only reason for our misfortunes. The indecisiveness of the “moderate people” can continue for a long time, although – here are the Ukrainians – they were patient, however, they made up their minds. Why could this happen in Ukraine and not in Belarus? Because freedom of thought (1), democracy (2), and finally a reasonable elite (3) were established in Ukraine in recent decades. In Belarus, thanks to the dragon, there is neither the first nor the second. As for the national elite (3), it doesn’t understand yet that it is necessary to unite and work together. Former leaders who are free today, but who lost for various reasons earlier, do not want to join the unconditional, in my opinion, National leader Svjatlana Tsikhanouskaja. Even with the well-deserved authority from the past, they are unable to take such a step because of political myopia, ambition, or envy. Therefore, not having a solid elite, we still must wait and wait for victory. And only the light coming from the south, from Ukraine, gives a hope that changes can come to Belarus – as before – under the influence of external forces and circumstances.

This is confirmed by the events of 1918, when the independence of the Belarusian Democratic Republic (BNR) was declared. BNR existed for only one year and were not only objective for that reason, but also subjective, resulting from different approaches and ideas of national building, and not resulting from a single national idea that could possibly be implemented even in those complex conditions. Those lessons were not learned in 2006, 2010, or 2020. Unfortunately!

Nevertheless, the torch lit in 1918 burns, and under it we celebrate the 105th anniversary of the BNR, and we do not give up hope that the ideals of the BNR will ever be realized. That’s why we celebrate! In this issue, dear readers, you will also find materials dedicated to March 25, 1918 (P. Murzionak, A. Logvina).

As before, the magazine publishes materials directly related to the culture and traditions of the Belarusian nation. M. Kenka dedicated the article to Belarusian poet U. Dubovka – as a translator and sent us translations of K. Chapek’s stories. T. Kenko sent rich material dedicated to the National Art Museum of Belarus, both its collections, Sarmatian painting, and the work of individual artists (Bryullov, Kuindzhi, Pukirev). A series of articles devoted to the museum is presented in the original format – in the form of a journey through the halls. Also, a series of articles was sent to us by A. Simakou, a researcher of Belarusian-Indian relations (in Canada, the term “Indians” refers to representatives of the “First Nations”, ed.). This time, these articles are devoted to the activities of Archpriest M. Grinkevich and Belarusian-Indian comparative studies.

In this issue of the magazine, we continue the theme of the First World War – this time with an article by T. Kenko, which lists many books of world literature about the war of a hundred years ago. Partly, this is done to acquaint the Belarusian reader with literature (prose, poems) dedicated to a little-known and distant war, and secondly, to draw an analogy with the modern war that is happening before our eyes. T. Kenko’s second article is devoted to the same topic, about war poems written by Russian and Belarusian poets (Z. Byadulya, A. Kulyashov), who were direct participants in the First World War.

The editors included in the issue a small but sincere poem by L. Karpovich, a philatelist and Belarusian patriot, written by him directly after the end of the international conference “Belarusian nation through the eyes of the diaspora and compatriots” (Ottawa, November 12, 2022).

And as always, we have a lot of materials from our very active and respected author, poet and public figure – S. Paniznyk. The materials are placed in different sections, which only emphasizes the author’s broad outlook and interest in Belarusian traditions, folklore, his warm and sincere respect for people whomever he meets. Here, his memories of his godfather, L. I. Kurash, sincere spring congratulations on the Christian holidays, Verbnitsa and Easter, with poems of folk wisdom corresponding to these holidays (“Neighbors are at the Meeting”), notes on the spiritual greatness of the countrymen and treasures of speech on to the Miorska-Diesna mainland (“Sounds of the Native Calling”). Recalling the Magiljou period of his life, when Mr. Paniznik was studying to be a paramedic, he presents not only his “student” poems, but also some of his drawings!!! And finally, S.Paniznik added the column “Calendar of Memorable Dates”, which he started in previous issues, where he notes in his calendar, in poems or in prose, creators who have important dates in this year.

The editors are very grateful to all the authors of the articles, as well as Ms. Volha Yermalaeva-Franko, an artist and public figure, who sent her engraving “The Sound of Spring\Gukanne vjasny”, placed on the first page of the magazine.

The editors hope that the readers will like the materials of the 31st issue, as well as the previous THIRTY issues of the magazine “Kultura. Nation”, released during TEN years of its activity (2013-2022). The building of a nation begins with itself, with small drops and bricks that will form streams and rivers, foundations, and buildings.

Categories: Асьвета, Праект "РАЗАМ", Слова рэдактара

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