Issue 18, June 2017
After March 25, 2017 un-freedom atmosphere for the Belarusian nation considerably thickened. Brutal arrests of participants, who were going on a celebration of Independence Day, it’s not finished. About 30 people were arrested in the so-called case of the “White Legion”. It is obvious that at homeland the last Belarusian will is squeezed by oriental and other aliens with gradual including of Belarus into the “russian world”.
It seems that many people in the anti-national government protect the position of those who share views and interests of Transnistria, the Penza province, and “our Crimea/ Krym nash” but not the interests of Belarus. In Minsk a monument of faceless policeman from Imperial Russia times was settled, near Brest landed Russian paratroopers, who with Belarusian military and for some reason with the Serbs are trying to fight with conventional terrorists, Foreign Minister of Russia S. Lavrov said in Moscow in the beginning of June 2017 about the introduction of common visa on the territory of Belarus and Russia, ahead are expected large military maneuvers of Russian troops on the territory of Belarus. Under the influence of Moscow and local advocacy for more than 60% of the population of Belarus, according to the laboratory Vardamatski, inclined towards an alliance with Russia … The list can be extended. However, it will testify only about the gradual involvement of Belarus as a totally dependent colony to Russia.
Gradual surrender of national interests pursued by the past 20 years threatens the sovereignty and independence of Belarus. The rhetoric that can be heard from the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Makej, about balancing of foreign policy, while recognizing the priority of Russia, one should not be misled. It seems that the only way for the authoritarian leadership to save power may be holding a constitutional referendum on the recognition of Belarus as a neutral state. Conducting of such a referendum is certainly not advisable to have survived the authoritarian regime – a positive vote on this referendum leaves the moral rights for Belarusians and a chance to build a neutral, national state. Belarusians need to make every effort so that in such difficult conditions to preserve national identity and take its rightful and distinctive place in the world.
The 18th issue of the magazine begins with the “Strategy of Development of the Belarusian Nation”. “Strategy” is gradually supplemented by suggestions of Belarusians. We invite readers to send their comments and suggestions to improve the content of the “Strategy” at: email@example.com Editorial Board asks organizations who basically agree with the provisions of the Strategy to join the implementation of its tasks.
Editorial Board drew attention to a survey on the neutrality of Belarus, which is located on our website http://www.sakavik.net in the classified section. The neutrality of Belarus is one of the defining moments of discussion of the “Strategy”. We would be grateful if you could find a few minutes to express your attitude to the possibility of a neutral state of Belarus.
This year is the special year for Belarus by 500th anniversary of book-printing – Frantsysk Skaryna for the first time published a book in the Old Belarusian language in Prague in 1517. We plan to put the materials devoted to this aspect of the Belarusian nation life in this September issue of the magazine “Culture, Nation”.
On 15-16 July 2017 Minsk will host the Seventh Congress of Belarusians of the World. The magazine “Culture Nation” warmly welcomes the participants of the World Forum, wishes them the fruitful work and expresses a confidence that the decisions taken at the Congress, will greatly contribute to the further development of Belarusian national state.
The original materials of the magazine introduces the section “Regional studies”, which was organized thanks to researchers of Pastavy region (Vitebsk province), Mr. I. Prakapovich and Mr. V. Shyshko. The editors are very grateful for their participation in the work of the magazine. We believe that readers with interest acquainted with the Prakapovich’ hypothesis on the origin of the name of Myadzel village, as well as the views of Mr. Shyszko on the role of local history in the formation of national identity in the globalization era. This section also provides information on the status of schools and education in Pastavy region after World War II presented by I. Prakapovich.
In the section “Conferences”, materials submitted by the members of the Belarusian Institute of Science and Arts in Canada (BINIM) at the Annual Congress of the Federation of Humanities and Social Sciences in Canada, which took place on May 27 – June 2, 2017 in Toronto, are published. All reports made by friends of BINIM in English or Belarusian language directly related to the issues of life of the Belarusian nation. Among them, characterization of the state of Protestantism in Belarus (Yu. Rapetski), understanding of the Belarusian identity among diaspora (M.-P. Survila), the current knowledge of the relationship of globalization and national identity from a historical point of view taking into account the “borderline status” of the Belarusian state and the oppressed status of the Belarusian language (G. Tumilovich), the analysis of the book by R. Borodulin “If only Jews were here! The book of respect and friendship” dedicated to a centuries charity between Christians and Jewish Belarusians (Z. Gimpelevich), the analysis of magazine activity “Culture, Nation ” in 2012-2017 (N. Barkar), determination of the place in the classification of civilizations for the East Slavic, Belarusian-Ukrainian civilization as sub-civilization of Western civilization (P. Murzionak).
For the first time the magazine opens the section “Literature”, which placed a poem and short story of I. Prokopovich. The editorial board will welcome contributions from other authors from Belarus in this section. For information, the Belarusian authors in diaspora have the opportunity to publish their works, poems and prose, in the Almanakh “Belarus” which is published in New York City (editor M. Klakotsky).
The “Interview” section of magazine “Culture Nation” contains the full text of the interview Yu. Rapetski, which he gave to the magazine “The Source of Life”, where it will be published in an abbreviated form.
The editorial board of “Culture, Nation” congratulates his colleague, Mr. S. Paniznik, with 75-year anniversary and wished him good health and further fruitful work for the good of our country. In the same section “Anniversaries” we publish a selection of materials prepared by Mr. S. Paniznik dedicated to the 80th anniversary of Nina Debolskaja known translator of poems of Belarusian poets.
At the end of the magazine the most important calendar dates this year are placed.
Wishing you pleasant reading.
The magazine’s founder and editor,
(Abstract, magazine “CULTURE, NATION”, June 2017, issue 18, pp. 12-16)
“The Strategy of the Belarusian Nation Development” was firstly published in the magazine “CULTURE, NATION” in March 2016 (issue 13, pp. 27-34). In every issue of the magazine we provide now updated versions of “The Strategy”. The aim of “the Strategy” is to build a neutral, national state in which absolutely equal rights will have representatives of national minorities and representatives of predominant ethnicity – Belarusians. The Strategy includes tasks, approaches and resources to realize the national idea. We are grateful to all people participating in the discussion. Naturally, the magazine is waiting for new comments, so that as much as possible to improve “the Strategy”.
Igor Prakapovich: Mjadzel – a new version of the name origin
(Abstract, magazine “CULTURE, NATION”, June 2017, issue 18, pp.17-25)
The article deals with new original hypothesis of geographical names formation in the territory of the north-western Belarus and eastern Lithuania with the basics of “copper/medz”, “mjad-” (Mjadzel, Mjadzelka and the like). The author connects their origin to the name of the people “honeys/medy”, which in the days of Aleksandr Makedonski lived in the valleys of the rivers Struma and Strumnitsy in the south-western part of present-day Bulgaria. To escape from the pressure of more powerful neighbors, the people “medy” (or part thereof) moved into the territory of modern Belarus. As evidence the author presents historical facts and clear toponymic parallels that create a fertile ground for further research in line with the selected hypothesis.
(Abstract, magazine “CULTURE, NATION”, June 2017, issue 18, pp.26-32)
The article deals with the danger of cultural unification posed by globalization. It is emphazised the importance for all humankind of preserving cultural diversity in general and, therefore, the Belarusian culture in particular. The analysis of the current state of the Belarusian culture and especially of the Belarusian language is conducted. It is demonstrated the interrelationship between the Belarusian culture and national identity. It is shown the history of development of the Belarusian national identity and its state today. On the basis of practical experience the author offers a method of raising of national consciousness among students in schools with the help of local history teaching.
Igar Prakapovich: Schools and education in Pastavy region after World War II
(Abstract, magazine “CULTURE, NATION”, June 2017, issue 18, pp.33-34)
The information on the status of schools and education in Pastavy region after World War II is presented.
(Abstract, magazine “CULTURE, NATION”, June 2017, issue 18, pp.35-37)
From May 27 to June 2, 2017 in Toronto (Ontario), the 86th Congress of the Canadian Federation for Humanities and Social Sciences was held. By tradition, the Congress was attended by members of the Belarusian Institute of Science and Arts in Canada (BINIM) who are a part of the Canadian Association of Slavists (CAS). On the first day, May 27, 2017, three sessions were held at the meeting with 15 thematic sections, three of which have been completely Belarusians. In the morning and evening sessions were delivered by three scientific reports directly related to the life of the Belarusian nation. At the end of the day BINIM members held a round table with the Belarusian-Canadian poets.
(Abstract, magazine “CULTURE, NATION”, June 2017, issue 18, pp.38-44)
Protestantism was introduced in Belarus almost 600 years ago in the face of Jerome of Prague. Almost 100 years later, the disciples of Jean Kalvin visited Belarus and with the help of well-known families of the Belarusian nobility began to spread Protestant ideas and teachings. Protestant communities were organized which built houses of worship in many places of Belarus. This all happened within the Grand Duchy of Lithuania (GDL), which contributed to the religious tolerance and to the impact on the political and economic development of the GDL. Influenced by the Counter-Reformation, many of the Belarusian nobility over time moved to Catholicism, especially when creating the Commonwealth, when united in one two states of the Poland and the GDL. Protestants for a second time appeared in the Belarusian lands in the nineteenth century, and they came from different sources. When the Soviet Union, most Protestants were severely repressed and only on the decay of the state they have received full authorization for the existence and activities of today’s Belarus.
(Abstract, magazine “CULTURE, NATION”, June 2017, issue 18, pp.45-54)
Understanding of the Belarusian identity among Diaspora is discussed.
Abstract, magazine “CULTURE, NATION”, June 2017, issue 18, pp. 55-64)
Keywords: globalization, identity, nation, Belarusianness, border, debelarusification, bilingualism.
In the international discourse on the basic problems of the contemporary world the most frequently used terms currently are “globalization” and “identity.” This approach is by no means lacking in basis, since it touches in one way or another all contemporary state structures. For the researcher of the case of Belarus it has a special content because it brings to the surface the problem of the definition of Belarusian national identity and its special characteristics both in a historical perspective, and from the point of view of its contemporary situation. Here in turn the geographical and geopolitical factors come to the forefront, since Belarus is a classical example of a “border state.” A second predominant factor that greatly defines the uniqueness of the Belarusian case is the situation and role of the Belarusian language. Our analysis of the example of Belarus will seek to focus precisely on this issue.
(Abstract, magazine “CULTURE, NATION”, June 2017, issue 18, pp. 65-76)
Vasil Bykov thought of his younger friend Gregory Baradulin the best Belarusian poet of all time. In fact, fellows enjoyed his comic poem no less than “serious, the biblical theme” as well as gratefulness for Baradulin for the development of modern literature critical thoughts, prose, journalism and translation. His legacy to our people: more than 70 books. G. Baradulin was twice nominated as a candidate for the Nobel literature prize. I’m sure only that there is no other than translations of his works into Western languages prevented to get her it. At the same time, he was a talented translator proved not only world-class translations from more than a dozen languages, but his latest book: “To the Jews were only! Book of respect and friendship”. In this book, which has no analogue in world literature, Baradulin tells about a centuries charity between Christians and Jewish Belarusians, wrote many poems dedicated to God, and 12 essays about Jewish representatives of Belarusian culture. But most importantly, he translated from Belarusian Yiddish (languages Litvak) many beautiful poems, which we never would have known if not of work our poet patriot and man.
(Abstract, magazine “CULTURE, NATION”, June 2017, issue 18, pp.77-81)
The web-magazine “CULTURE, NATION”, ISSN 2291-4757, was founded in Ottawa, Canada in December 2012 as an independent on-line periodical intended to provide another platform to discuss Belarusian history and culture, and to support the development of Belaruskasć (Belarusian heritage and identity). The magazine “CULTURE, NATION” is published once in three months. The web-magazine is the organic part of web-site http://www.sakavik.net. Along with magazine articles the most interesting materials from other sources related to the Belarusian culture are presented on the web-site. Editorial Board of magazine: Editor and Founder – Piotra Murzionak, Board members: Natalia Barkar, Wolga Ipatava, Viktoryja Kazlova, Sjarhei Paniznik, Halina Tumilovich.
Altogether, during 4 years and 3 months about 800 hundreds posts were published on the web-site on the following topics: Advertisements, Personals, Enlightment/Education, Magazine’s Library, History, External affairs, Culture, Literature, Morality, Language, Nation, Belarusians, project “Together” (“РАЗАМ”), Religion, Editorial, Theatre, Ethnocide of Belarusians. Almost 15 thousands visitors from 109 countries have read its materials (mean average about 3600 visitors per year). We are proud that more than 56% of our readers originate from our homeland, Belarus. Then follow Canada with 13.3%, Russia – 6.7%, USA – 6.5%).
During 2013-2017, seventeen (17) issues of the magazine were published involving twenty three (23) authors and eighty four (84) articles. The first issue was published on March 14, 2013. The issues ##1-6 were published under the title “SAKAVIK” then starting from #7 the title of magazine was changed by decision of Editorial Board to “Culture, Nation”. The magazine “CULTURE, NATION” highlighted the problems of the development of the Belarusian nation related to the theoretical foundations of the construction of the Belarusian state; the development strategy of the Belarusian nation; the mentality of the Belarusians; interrelationship between nation and freedom as well as nation and church; existence of the East Slavic (Belarusian-Ukrainian) civilization; and others.
The magazine covers some specific events: On November 23, 2014, on-line Skype discussion was organized regarding “The Nation-Building in Post-soviet Countries: Commonalities and Differences” with participants from Ukraine, Georgia, Belarus, and Canada. The magazines conducted a few statistical studies regarding an estimation of Belarusians’ population in diaspora and migration processes of Belarusians to Canada. In September’ issue 2016, the main materials covered the 32nd Convention of the Belarusians of North America that was held in the hotel “Lord Elgin” in Ottawa (September 3-5, 2016).
The magazine initiated the project “The Strategy of the Belarusian Nation Development”; this project was published in February 6, 2016 for a further public discussion. The magazine created the Slides Library “BELARUS FOREVER” and more than 60 short educational materials within the project “Together/ RAZAM”. We are searching a support from Belarusian community in the web-magazine activities and we expect substantial improving in the work of editorial board.
(Abstract, magazine “CULTURE, NATION”, June 2017, issue 18, pp.82-91)
Along with the evidence for the existence of a distinct Eastern Slavic Belarusian-Ukrainian Civilization its place among other civilizations is discussed. Most of civilization classifications assign Belarus and Ukraine to Orthodox or Eurasian/Russian or Eastern civilization – different name of the same civilization. But that is a moot point. In our opinion, Belarus, and Ukraine together form a distinctive Eastern European Slavic civilization and as a sub-civilization belongs to the Western, but not to the Eurasian civilization. We have a number of arguments to support this statement including historical, ethnic, religion, and mentality aspects, and commonality with Western civilization. We believe that the Slavs who migrated to Eastern Europe in the fifth to ninth centuries, for various reasons, formed later two civilizations – Eastern Slavic (Belarusian-Ukrainian) and Eurasian.
(Abstract, magazine “CULTURE, NATION”, June 2017, issue 18, pp.92-93)
The poem and short story by I. Prakapovich are published.
(Abstract, magazine “CULTURE, NATION”, June 2017, issue 18, pp.94-103)
The magazine “Culture, Nation” publishes the full text of the interview with Yu Rapetski which he gave to the magazine “The Source of Life/Krynitsa Zyccja” where it will be published in an abbreviated form.
To the 75-th Anniversary of Famous Belarusian Poet, Sjarhei Paniznik
(Abstract, magazine “CULTURE, NATION”, June 2017, issue 18, pp.104-109)
The editorial board of “Culture, Nation” congratulates his colleague, Mr. S. Paniznik, with 75-year anniversary and wished him good health and further fruitful work for the good of our country.
To the 80-th Anniversary of Nina Debolskaja
(Abstract, magazine “CULTURE, NATION”, June 2017, issue 18, pp.110-116)
In the section “Anniversaries” we publish a selection of materials prepared by Mr. S. Paniznik dedicated to the 80th anniversary of Nina Debolskaja known translator of poems of Belarusian poets.
Calendar of important events in the life of the Belarusians in 2017
(Abstract, magazine “CULTURE, NATION”, June 2017, issue 18, p.117-119)
Issue 17, March 2017
Editorial (magazine “CULTURE, NATION”, March 2017, issue 17, pp. 4-7)
Editorial Board congratulates you on the Day of Freedom – 2017. The celebration took place this year in Belarus under extremely adverse conditions. States have included the repressive apparatus to stifle free expression of ideas, and to debase the Belarusians who are fighting for the establishment of democracy in the country and for the formation of conditions for the building of the Belarusian nation. We wish freedom to our people and to our country. Long Live Belarus!
It is a pleasure to note that the Editorial Board of the magazine “Culture Nation” enriched by two members – Mrs. Wolga Ipatava and Mr. Sergey Paniznik. We sincerely hope that so well-known and respected writers and public figures make the magazine activity in the Belarusian ether even more visible and bright.
As before, every issue of the magazine begins with the “Strategy of development of the Belarusian nation”. “The Strategy” is supplemented now by the proposals of Asipovichy friends of the Belarusian Language Society. Most of the members of the organization (20 of 24 friends) agree with the basic provisions of “Strategy”. We invite other readers to send their comments and suggestions to improve the content of “Strategy” at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please pay attention to a survey on the neutrality of Belarus; the survey is located on our website www.sakavik.net. The neutrality of Belarus is one of the defining moments of “Strategy”. We would be grateful if you can find a few minutes to express their attitude regarding the possibility of a neutral state of Belarus.
We ask organizations who basically agree with the provisions of “Strategy”, to join the implementation of its tasks.
In this issue, a comparative overview of the events which took place during the first and the last the country’s independence periods (1917-1923 and 1988-1994, respectively) is presented. In both cases, the declaration of independence did not lead to a positive ending – the building of the real national state. So, the statehood took place, but the real nation-state, unfortunately, has not yet been established. It was of interest to look at the beginning and the end of the XX century in order to analyze the positive and negative moments, the balance of which was not in favor of the full implementation of the national idea. A comparative analysis was also prompted by the defeat of the national-democratic forces in the past two decades, the causes of these failures have a fairly common with those that occurred during the first and the last declaration of independence. The analysis finds a number of similarities in those periods, which include a great desire in the realization of the national idea created by favorable historical conditions, and, at the same time, the lack of an overall strategy and unity in the approach to the solution of the national ideas as well as a non-critical support for national ideas by Belarusian population.
We can agree with Mr. A. Milinkevich, that we need to do homework on the failures not only that happened in December 2010, but for all of the latest period (1990-2017). It is a hope that constructive criticism made in the review might be useful for those Belarusian leaders who have not yet found the opportunity to unite and carry out the implementation of their ideas and tasks within the overall common strategy. Such a strategy must yet been agreed aiming to use it in the practice for national education of the population, since education has a key to the construction of the nation-state. A feature of the solution of the national idea in Belarus is that it should be carried out simultaneously with the solution of political and democratic issues.
The magazine contains a brief summary (annotations) of two books published in Pastavy region by Jan Draunitski “Belarusian teachers’ seminary in Pastavy”. 1942 – 1944 – “Sumezza”, Pastavy, 2016, 104 p. and by Vadim Shyshko “Belarusian army of 2004 period. Look from inside”. Logvinau, Minsk, 2016, 145 p. The output of these books written by local people suggests that the Belarusian people gradually awakened – that’s a good sign for the future of Belarus.
At the end of the magazine the most important calendar dates in April and May and over 2017 year are placed.
Enjoy your reading.
Discussion “The Nation Building and Modernity – 2015-2017”
“Strategy of the Belarusian Nation Development” (continuation, March 31, 2017).
(Abstract, magazine “CULTURE, NATION”, March 2017, issue 17, pp. 8-12)
“The Strategy of the Belarusian Nation Development” was firstly published in the magazine “CULTURE, NATION” in March 2016 (issue 13, pp. 27-34). In every issue of the magazine we provide now updated versions of “The Strategy”. The aim of “the Strategy” is to build a neutral, national state in which absolutely equal rights will have representatives of national minorities and representatives of predominant ethnicity – Belarusians. The Strategy includes tasks, approaches and resources to realize the national idea. We are grateful to all people participating in the discussion. Naturally, the magazine is waiting for new comments, so that as much as possible to improve “the Strategy”.
(Abstract, magazine “CULTURE, NATION”, March 2017, issue 17, pp. 13-35)
In the last century there were two historical events that directly influenced the formation of the Belarusian nation. Both events were associated with the collapse of the empires, in 1917 – the Russian Empire, in 1990 – the USSR. The article deals with comparative aspects of the approaches in the implementation of the national idea carried out by conscious national forces in the years that immediately followed after the two historical events. Despite the relative conventionality of the plot proposed the analysis finds a number of similarities in both periods, which include a great desire in the realization of the national idea in favorable historical conditions created, and, at the same time, the lack of an overall strategy and unity in the approaches to the solution of the national idea, as well as a non-critical support for it by the Belarusian population. Shortcomings that have occurred in both historical periods are visible via incomplete national construction, and they continue to exist in a chronic form in the environment of national forces today.
(Abstract, magazine “CULTURE, NATION”, March 2017, issue 17, pp. 36-39)
The magazine “Culture, Nation” received an information about the release of two new books in 2016 by the authors from Pastavy region of Belarus. Authors of the books are Jan Draunitsky and Vadzim Szyshko. Ian Dravnitsky (born 1932), a native of Kamai, a teacher, local historian and author of several books about the history of the region (Mjadel, Astravechchyna, Pastaushchyna). Vadzim Szyszko (born 1981), historian, ethnographer. Jan Draunitski “Belarusian teachers’ seminary in Pastavy”. 1942 – 1944 – “Sumezza”, Pastavy, 2016, 104 p. Vadzim Shyshko “Belarusian army of 2004 period. Look from inside”. Logvinau, Minsk, 2016, 145 p.The output of these books written by local people suggests that the Belarusian people gradually awakened – that’s a good sign for the future of Belarus.
(magazine “CULTURE, NATION”, March 2017, issue 17, pp. 40-43)
April – May 2017
April 4 – 460 years of the anniversary of Leu Sapeha (1557-1633), the state, political, and military figure
May 20 – 115 years since the anniversary of Jazep Pushcha (1902-1964), poet, critic, translator
April 19 – 105 years since the birth of Leonid Proksha (1902-1944), the Belarusian writer
May 1 – 95 years since the birth of Alexander Salavej (1922-1978), the Belarusian poet
135 years since the birth of the great poets of the Belarusian people, the classics of the national literature – Yanka Kupala, Yakub Kolas
The most important anniversaries in the life of the Belarusians in 2017
1155 years of Polotsk (in 862 mentioned in the “Chronicle of Bygone Years”)
950 years of Minsk (in 1067 mentioned in the “Chronicle of Bygone Years”)
655 years ago, in 1362, troops of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, led by Alherd defeated the combined forces of the Golden Horde on the river Blue Water
500 anniversary of Belarusian book printing – in 1517 Frantsysk Skaryna printed the first Belarusian-language book “Psaltyr”
490 years since the birth of Konstantin V. Astrorzsky, political and cultural figure (1527-1608)
400 years since the founding of gymnasium in Slutsk (1617), one of the oldest secondary schools in Belarus (from 1788 public evangelical school, a school district in 1809, in 1827 high school, in 1868 – 1918 Classical Gymnasium)
375 years since the birth of Abukhovich Theodore (1642 – 1707), writer, memoirist, a statesman of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania
255 years ago ballet school was founded in Grodno ((1762, it existed until 1785)
165 years ago, in 1852, theater placed in Minsk the first Belarusian opera “The Maid” (“Idyll”) (music by S. Manyushka, K. Kryzhanouskaga, libretto by V. Dunin-Marcinkevich)
155 years since the publication (1862) of Belarusian primer (ABC) published in Warsaw by A.U.Askerka
110 years ago (1907) in Vilnius publishing house “Nasha Niva” was established (existed till 1914)
110 years ago (1907) the first Belarusian theater troupe I. Bujnitskaga was created (existed to 1913)
100 years from the 1st All-Belarusian Congress (December 1917)
Issue 16, December 2016
Piotra Murzionak: Editorial to 16th issue of web-magazine “Culture, Nation” (magazine “CULTURE, NATION”, issue 16, December 2016, pp.4-5).
The new issue of magazine begins with “Strategy of Belarusian Nation Development” that was under public discussion in 2016. Neutrality of Belarus is discussed by P. Murzionak in two articles to support the Strategy. A few materials in commemoration of 125th anniversary of famous Belarusian poet M. Bagdanovich written by S.Paniznik, K. Ezavitau (from archive), and N. Debolskaja are published. The article by S. Paniznik is devoted to the 90th Anniversary of the Academic Conference on the Belarusian Spelling Reform and Alphabet.
(Abstract, magazine “CULTURE, NATION”, December 2016, issue 16, pp. 15–23)
The concept of neutrality, although unrealized per se until the end, still keeps its appeal to the peoples of small countries both in Europe and in the whole world. International laws governing until now the relations between the neutral and the belligerent countries were adopted by the Hague Conferences (1899 and 1907), and the desire of small states to be neutral in one degree or another is respected in Europe today. The idea of neutrality is dictated by the desire of small nations to break the pressure of Great states to ensure their safety. Aggressive geopolitics of the Great States is in conflict with the wishes of small nations to be free, independent and live in peace. Despite the creation of the collective security systems (Westphal, 1648; Vienna, 1815, the League of Nations, 1919-1920; United Nations, 1945; Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, 1995), which greatly reduce or even cancel the implementation of the policy of neutrality, it is thought that its potential is far from being realized, especially for countries that are not EU members. This is evidenced as by the creation of the Non-Aligned Movement as by the recent declarations by a number of countries about their neutrality.
(Abstract, magazine “CULTURE, NATION”, December 2016, issue 16, pp. 24–32)
The neutrality of Belarus is seen as one of the basic conditions for realization of the “Strategy of Belarusian Nation Development”. Neutrality, acquired with the support of society through a referendum, could provide the legal and moral basis for the country to be out of aggressive military blocs and at the same time paving the way to join the global system(s) of collective security. Despite the criticism of realists considering the idea of neutrality for Belarus as an utopia, the adoption of the status of neutrality can be respectful and perhaps the only step in the moral and legal framework in order to escape from the heavy colonial dependence on Russia. Obviously, for such a policy must be a political decision of a sovereign state itself, as well as the changes in the political climate in the whole world. Neutrality\armed neutrality for Belarus is based on the peaceful mood of the Belarusian population, on the legal norm of striving to be a neutral state (the Constitution of the Republic of Belarus, Art. 18), on membership in the Non-Aligned Movement and the United Nations, on diversity of Belarusian economy, and on the examples of other countries which want to break the pressure of Great powers.
(Abstract, magazine “CULTURE, NATION”, December 2016, issue 16, pp. 33–45)
December 9, 2016 marks 125 years since the birth of Maksim Bagdanovich. The “Culture, Nation” magazine prints a selection of materials sent by Belarusian poet, translator and novelist, Siarhei Paniznik. This interesting and rich collection includes the author’s notes “Staying Moments” about “meeting” with the poet in Yalta, two poems devoted to M. Bagdanovich, translation of the poem of the Ukrainian poet Nikolai Petrenko, a kind of report by S. Paniznik in the definition of the 125 anniversary of the birth of the Poet, as well as archival paper by K. Ezavitau “Unpublished works of Maksim Bagdanovich” (from the magazine “Novy Shljakh” (“New Way”), number 1, 1944, Riga).
(Abstract, magazine “CULTURE, NATION”, December 2016, issue 16, pp. 46–57)
I became interested in working on translations of Maksim Bagdanovich’s poems 15 years ago after taking part in the International scientific-practical conference in Minsk Literature Museum of Maksim Bagdanovich. The poet himself, obviously, attracted to French poetry – translated poems of Paul Valery, Emile Verhaeren, Alexis Felix Arveyres and took lines for epigraphs from Boileau, Hugo, Sully-Prudhomme, Sainte-Beuve, Verlaine. My job allowed me to reveal deeper meanings and melodies of poetic works of Maksim Bagdanovich. Very valuable clues in the translation I received from the Belarusian poetess Nina Matyash and from poet-translators Sergey Paniznik and Ivan Bursau. My experience shows that it is much easier to translate into French from Belarusian than from Russian language, as in the Belarusian language there is not only common Slavic basis, discarded the unnecessary complex shapes, but also Latin lining and, dare I say, Latin logic of thinking. Flowers from “Wjanka” (wreath) of Belarusian poet Maksim Bagdanovich do not fade, his vasilki (cornflowers) decorate a wreath of European poets of the early twentieth century. Not surprisingly, that you want to transfer and in the twenty-first century its beautiful poetic works.
(Abstract, magazine “CULTURE, NATION”, December 2016, issue 16, pp. 58–62)
Academic Conference on the reform of Belarusian spelling and alphabet, which was held in Minsk on 14 – 21 November 1926, has played a crucial role in Belarusization of the State. In addition, in the words of S. Nekrashevich, it was the first scientific output of Belarus in the international arena. Among the delegates were Janis Rainis, Latvian Minister of Education, E. Blesse, Associate Professor, University of Latvia, U. Piguleuski, Director of the Belarusian Gymnasium in Lucyna, K. Ezavitau, Editor of the newspaper “Voice of Belarusian”, V. Lastouski, scientist and publisher from Kovno, guests from other countries – P. Rastargueu, M. Birzhyshka, Yu. Galombek, M. Fasmer … In 1926, the Kremlin has expressed dissatisfaction with conference. Later, it was proclaimed as the Congress of Belarusian nationalists and counter-revolutionaries. Many participants of the “general meeting of national-democrats” were repressed and rehabilitated only in the late 1950s.
Issue 15, September 2016
The Magazine begins with upgraded project “The Strategy of Belarusian Nation Development”. The project includes the provisions that have been brought up for discussion since the previous issue. We continue to accept the readers’ proposals to improve the “Strategy”.
In September issue the main materials devoted to the coverage of the 32nd Convention of the Belarusians of North America, which was held in the hotel “Lord Elgin” in Ottawa from 3 to 5 September, are published. The conventions of Belarusians take place every two years, starting from the first at Niagara Falls in 1952. They are traditionally organized by the Belarusian-Canadian Alliance (BCA) and the Belarusian-American Association (BAA). The honor of hosting of the current convention fell on Belarusians in Ottawa.
Magazine “Culture, Nation” was directly involved in the organization and holding of the 32nd Convention, which took the name of “Diaspora: National Consciousness and the Development of Civil Society and Culture.” The magazine initiated the event in Ottawa, suggested the first version of the program and format of the convention, and was one of its sponsors. The proposed by the magazine program and format was discussed and adopted by Ottawa organizing committee and then approved by the Council Board of the BCA (November 1, 2015) and agreed with the leadership of BAA.
In the 15th issue, we provide the program of 32-nd Convention, lectures and presentations (with the consent of the authors), and the Convention resolution which are in fully agreement with the direction of the magazine “Culture, Nation” activities. In particular, in the keynote lectures sounded the issues of implementation of the cultural program “Let’s be together!” (A. Makovsky), the formation and support of the Belarusian identity abroad (P. Survilla), analysis of historical and future aspects of the development of the Belarusian identification (G. Tumilovich).
Most of the speeches in the debate concerning the problems of the Belarusian diaspora in the US and Canada were devoted to: summarizing activities of BINIM Canada over the last fifty years (Z. Gimpelevich), the creation of English-language information space between Belarus and the United States (V. Bortnik), the art of embroidery (I. Varabei) , the nature of relations between the Belarusians abroad (P. Murzionak), the possible establishment of Belarusian museum in the North America (V. Stankevich), the need to support financially and by the correspondent participation to the diaspora newspaper “Belarus” (H. Surmach).
Scientific and cultural events that took place at the event held in accordance with the program. The meeting was attended by about 90 people from the cities of Belarus, Canada and the United States – Ottawa, Washington, Grodno, Cleveland, Montreal, Minsk, Naples (Florida), Toronto, New York, Philadelphia. The congratulations were sent from the Prime Minister of the Province of Ontario, Kathleen Wynne, and from the Minister of Canadian Heritage, Melanie Joli.
Immediately hailed the meeting – Bishop Sviataslau, the Primate BAOC; Ivonka Survilla, President of the BNR Rada; David Kilgour, former MP of the Canadian Parliament; Keith Egli, Deputy of the city council; Andris Kesteris, representative of the Latvian and Baltic diasporas; Stanislaw Zaborowski, representative of the Polish diaspora; Nikolai Bilaniuk, representative of the Ukrainian diaspora; Zjanon Pazniak, chairman of the Conservative Christian Party; Yuri Akula, a participant of meeting from Montreal; participants listened to a video message from Sergei Paniznik.
During the meeting the following cultural events were held: the boat trip on the Ottawa river, meeting in a bar with bard Vladimir Shalkevich, visit to the Canadian Parliament, poetry evening with Yuri Chametka and Piotra Murzionak; in each of these events has been involved up to 50 guests. 32th Convention had the great success because of the friendly team of Ottawa’ Belarusians; the team was being prepared during the year and kept the event in dignity until the end.
In the interview, Piotra Murzionak, the author of the book “Ways of the Development of the Belarusian Nation” (published in August 2016), answers to the questions of Sergei Kondratenko, a spokesman for “World Association of Belarusians” Fatherland” (“Backaushchyna”). The book examines the problems of development of the Belarusian nation, involved in the theoretical foundations of the construction of the Belarusian state, the development strategy of the Belarusian nation, the mentality of the Belarusians, the relationship of nation and freedom, of the church and the nation, justified the existence of the East Slavic Belarusian-Ukranian civilization and others. The book consists of thematic articles published by the author in the magazine “Culture, Nation” during the last three years (2013-2016, № 1-14; http://www.sakavik.net) and it is intended for readers who are interested in the construction of the Belarusian nation in the modern world.
Issue 14, June 2016
(Abstract, magazine “CULTURE, NATION”, June 2016, issue 14, pp. 5–21)
The sovereign Belarusian state held and significantly strengthened over the past quarter of a century. However, the Belarusian statehood is threatened by Russia as not as a country with a huge military, economic and political potential, but as the country carrying Eurasism ideology, the ideology of the state preference and collectivist mentality over the individual, respect for strong authoritarian leaders. Another dangerous factor for the Belarusian nation is that Russia, having a multi-faceted cultural heritage and contemporary culture and using the Russian language as a tool, can absorb the culture of small countries, including the post – Soviet space countries. There are plenty of recent evidence that the ideological, imperial war against the Belarusian nationalism on the part of Russia carried out for a long time, and unfortunately, neglected or even with possible support by the Belarusian authorities. Unfortunately, an island of the former USSR with its ideology remained in Belarus where national issues are still not resolved. All this encourages Belarusians to look, justify and defend its own specific way for the preservation and development of the nation-state. This way is based on the differences between Russia and Belarus – Belarus in the course of the long history has gained a lot of signs of Western civilization. In addition, there is a significant ethnic, mental and historical difference between the East and the people of not a borderland between East and West, but independent peoples of Belarus and Ukraine, which together constitute the East Slavic Belarusian-Ukrainian civilization. Ukraine is now trying to escape through the war from political, economic and spiritual influence on the part of Russia. Belarus, having with Ukraine a very similar fate, will seek to protect itself from absorption by “Russian world” and has no choice but to look his own way. However, if these problems will not be solved themselves by Belarusians, no European Union or the United States will help. Everything is determined by the inner life of the nation, its spirit. Without denying its historic, cultural, and mental belonging to Europe, we advocate a neutral development of the Belarus, therefore, it appears neutrality-Europeanness must be at the center of the Belarusian specific way. Neutrality allows Belarus to get out of a “block” thinking by which she is now forced to be together with Russia (Union Treaty with a number of military duties, the Organization of States of Collective Security), and on the other hand it will not require a connection to other military alliances (NATO). Neutrality does not deny Europeanness of Belarusian nation and over time may correspond to the thoughts and sentiments of the majority of society and to meet the challenges of the global world. National elite is in a complex environment characterized by the need to address national and democratic issues simultaneously. Get out of the vicious circle will be possible with the strengthening of national forces and their unity in the performance of the overall strategy for the education of national consciousness among the population of Belarus. It is hoped that the development of the Belarusian nation in the global universe will be able in neutral environment while preserving and enriching the Belarusian culture and traditions.
(Abstract, magazine “CULTURE, NATION”, June 2016, issue 14, pp.22–33)
The project “The Strategy of Belarusian Nation Development” was published in our magazine on February 6, 2016. Now we provide the updated version of “Strategy” including comments and suggestions presented by web-site “Our Land” (“Nasha zjamlja”).
(Abstract, magazine “CULTURE, NATION”, June 2016, issue 14, pp. 34-37)
Editorial Board of the magazine “CULTURE, NATION” commemorates the 135-th day of birth of Ivan Lutskevich, the prominent Belarusian activist, one of the foundators of Belarusian nation.
Issue 13, March 2016
Alexander Kasho: Destruction of Authoritarianism – the Way of Salvation of Belarus (Abstract, magazine “CULTURE, NATION”, March 2016, issue 13, pp. 5-15)
The current crisis in Belarus is a natural result of the Lukashenka’s regime policy. Management system built on the ruins of the Soviet system can be divided into technical and authoritarian-ideological parts. The first part provides the functioning of the economic and social system, the second – strengthens and maintains the authoritarian regime. In a democracy, the authoritarian-ideological part of the establishment is not necessary as far as it inhibits the development of the country. It is hard to believe that current system in Belarus could be reformed and transformed into a democratic system by evolutionary way which will provide genuine democratic elections and establish a competitive market economy. The current economic crisis in Belarus threatens to further losses in the near future. Whoever offers external, cosmetic reforms of that system, both from the government side or from some opposition forces side, only postpones and delays the denouement. Authoritarian-ideological part of the current regime should be removed from power and that all will be better if it will pass without major revolutionary indignation. The question of lustration is discussed, especially the need to exclude the influence of the former nomenclature on the future government. The main role in the transformation process belongs to the national elite, intellectuals.
Piotra Murzionak: About Strategy and Tactics of Belarusian Nation Building (Abstract, magazine “CULTURE, NATION”, March 2016, issue 13, pp. 16-21)
The main objective in the development of the Belarusian nation is a public education – linguistic, historical, cultural. Public education is the process that can not be a short-term process, as it requires a lot of effort of all national-conscious united elites and it should be guided by the common strategy. The strategy, which is proposed to discuss to the Belarusian elite, contains a number of objectives, the implementation of which could be in its final form lead to success, regardless of the forces that will support them. Needless to hope on external forces such as a collapse of the Russia, European aid or a change of the ruling power during a possible coup, revolution or hungry rebellion. All of those scenarios are unlikely for various reasons. It seems that the disputes of the parties should be left for later, when the nation uprising would be in a full grandeur. Only education combined with the struggle for democratic freedoms can change the mentality of the Belarusians. At the same time, the goal of democratic freedoms can not substitute for the execution of those tasks that are necessary for the construction of the national state. Changes can come during the lifetime of one generation or the next only when systemic, coordinated work of the national elite will be performed. That work will undoubtedly lead to the main goal – we will have not a civil, Russian-speaking state, but the neutral, national country with a beautiful name – the Republic of Belarus.
Vaclav Rudovsky: Nuclear Energy Today and Tomorrow
(Abstract, magazine “CULTURE, NATION”, March 2016, issue 13, pp. 22-26)
The data on nuclear energy development worldwide are presented. In the world there are about 440 commercial nuclear reactors, located in 31 countries. They produce about 11% of the world electrical energy. Nuclear power plants, compared with coal ones avoid to throw in an atmosphere of carbon dioxide; for the US it is about 750 million tons of carbon dioxide per year. It is predicted that 132 nuclear reactors will be shut down and 287 new nuclear reactors put into operation in the world by 2035. In Belarus in the coming years will be put into operation 2 nuclear reactors in Ostrovets.
Summary of Discussion “The Nation Building and Modernity – 2015” (continuation).
The project “Strategy of the Belarusian Nation Development”. (Abstract, magazine “CULTURE, NATION”, March 2016, issue 13, pp. 27-65)
The project “The Strategy of the Belarusian Nation Development” was published in our magazine (February 6, 2016) , the newspaper ” Nasha Niva ” (February 7) , the newspaper “New Time”, on the websites of the World Association of Belarusians “Backaushchyna”, Belarusian Language Society, “We – The Nation”, “Pahonja” (Czech Republic), Belarus News. There were 55 comments in the newspaper “Nasha Niva”. The project was discussed by Polish Radio (February 27) and TV “Belsat” (March 12). Based on the published constructive comments and amendments made by the authors of the project, it was prepared the amended version of the project. We are grateful to Mr. Yakavenka and Mr. Kenka for comments made regarding a style and document language. In the “Discussion Section” the following materials were published: an amended version of the “Strategy” as of March 25, 2016, constructive comments posted on other web sites, comments on the issue of neutrality (A. Kasho), comments on the practical implementation of the “Strategy” (V. Shyshko), article on the national question (A. Astapenka). Constructive comments relate to issues such as the attainment of status neutrality by the county, the mentality of the Belarusians, the role of the church \ religion in nation-building, and some other issues. Naturally, the magazine “CULTURE, NATION” is waiting for new comments, so that as much as possible to improve the “Strategy of Development of the Belarusian Nation” to a greater extent.
Piotra Murzionak: Globalization versus Nation. Review for the assay “How to reach spirituality and harmony in society” written by Vasil Yakavenka. (Abstract, magazine “CULTURE, NATION”, March 2016, issue 13, pp. 66-69)
V. Yakavenka using an integrated approach (theory, analysis of the European nations, the proposed project) discussed urgent problems of the existence of nations in the modern society which can be interesting to many readers. Source: “Як знайсці духоўнасць і гармонію ў грамадстве”. Васіль Якавенка. Мінск: Тэхналогія, 2015. 47с.
Vaclau Lastouski: What Each Belarusian Has to Know?
(Abstract, magazine “CULTURE, NATION”, March 2016, issue 13, pp. 70-94) (translation from Belatusian into Russian by Piotra Murzionak)
The editorial board has decided to translate into Russian the entire well-known article of Vaclau Lastouski “What each Belarusian has to know?” Why into Russian? The Belarusian language is the primary language of the magazine “CULTURE, NATION”. However, materials can be published in any language, if the subject matter is directly attributable to the magazine’s main objectives (with mandatory summary in the native language). Yet the decision of translating Lastouski’s article into Russian was sad necessity measure. First of all, people who read, become ever less. Secondly, one would think that people shouldn’t need the translation to read in their native tongue. But unfortunately the reality is that Belarusians read primarily in Russian and mainly Russian literature (85% of books on the publishing market in Belarus are printed not in the native language but in Russian). The reasoning of the editorial board for translating this article into Russian is as follows: even if one person is interested in reading this article in Russian, it is necessary, due to the importance of the content, to provide a translation. Many Lastouski’s ideas reflected in this article that was published almost a hundred years ago are still relevant for Belarusians today. We should strongly encourage everyone who considers him or herself Belarusians (considers not only for the purposes of filling in official papers or claiming citizenship and belonging to the country’s territory, but truly by devotion), to behave like Belarusians.
(Abstract, magazine “CULTURE, NATION”, March 2016, issue 13, p. 95-96)
Editorial Board of the magazine “CULTURE, NATION” congratulates with 80th anniversary Mrs. Ivonka Survilla, The President of the Belarusian People Republic and wishes her to be healthy, happy and every success working for the benefit of the Belarusian people.
Issue 12, December 2015
Alexander Kasho: History of false thesis that Belarus is a quasistate, the nation invented by Bolsheviks
(Abstract, magazine “CULTURE, NATION”, December 2015, issue 12, pp. 8-22)
One of the theses of the modern Russian information war against its neighbors is the idea that Belarus and Ukraine are quasistates, the nations invented by Bolsheviks. The analysis of the national question in Russia after the October Revolution, inclusively with the thoughts of Lenin, Rosa Luxemburg, Bertrand Russell, is presented. It is alleged that the positive steps of the Bolsheviks towards the national question (self-determination of nations, later belarusizatsyja) were due to the weakness of the Bolshevik government and Lenin aspirations that the national movements may be temporary allies in the fight for the world proletarian revolution. An example of the establishment of the Bolshevik power in Kostyukovichskij region of Belarus with the participation of comrade Zhbankov in conditions of nationalist movements and anti-Bolshevik sentiments is presented. The views of Berdyaev, Trubetskoy, Loskij and other Russian and non-Russian (Hélène Carrère d’Encausse) intellectuals who denied the right of the Ukrainian and Belarusian peoples to independent existence are critisized. All of that type people do not think and do not want to know that Belarus is the sovereign state, and Belarusians is the nation that has emerged in the fight against the empire for the right to existence.
Summary of discussion “Nation-building and modernity. 2015”.
Topic: “The strategy of development of the Belarusian nation”.
Participants: A. Anisim, A. Kasho, P. Murzionak, I. Shumskaja, A. Trusau
(Abstract, magazine “CULTURE, NATION”, December 2015, issue 12, pp. 23-68)
The characteristics of the Belarusian nation are provided including the level of self-identity \ nationalism \ patriotism; respect for independence/sovereignty and democratic values, the interrelations East-West; relations between the state and the national idea; the trends of changes in the nation over the past 20, 50, 100 years, the potential forces for the implementation of the national idea. A correct assessment of the current state of the nation is very important to determine the goals and objectives of the Strategy of the Belarusian nation development. On the basis of the materials submitted by experts an agreed version of the Strategy will be prepared and submitted for public discussion in the media for a period of 2-3 months. The strategy, in the case of wide discussion and dissemination might be a program for action for those people interested in the development of the nation. The Strategy is being developed for the entire Belarusian nation, and not for specific individuals, parties or social movements. Naturally, the magazine “CULTURE, NATION” invites other possible experts to join the development of the “Strategy of development of the Belarusian nation”. It is no secret that to develop such a project will not be easy task because of different views and approaches but we hope that we can find an agreement on the final stage so convinced of the need for such a strategy.
On the 90th Anniversary for Kastus Akula
(Abstract, magazine “CULTURE, NATION”, December 2015, issue 12, pp. 69-78)
Kastus Akula (Alexandar Ignatavich Kachan), a Belarusian writer and social activist was born on November 16, 1925 in Veratseja village (Dokshitsy district, Vitebsk region). He died on January 29, 2008, buried in Toronto, Canada. During the German occupation, he was a teacher then in the spring 1944 he was a cadet officer of Belarusian Home Defence (Minsk). In 1944-1945, he fought in the 2nd Polish Corps of the British Army. He was a participant of the battle at Cassino, Italy. In 1947 he came to Canada. He was the founder and the first chairman of the Belarusian Association in Canada. He published the newspaper “Belarusian emigrants” and magazine “Zvazhaj” (1974-1997). On November 22, 2015 in the Belarusian cultural and religious center in Toronto a commemoration meeting dedicated to Kastus Akula was held. The magazine “Culture, Nation” joins the kind words to the writer and to the man. The memories about K. Akula written by Olga Ipatava and Piotra Murzionak are presented.
Issue 11, September 2015
Alexander Kasho: PANMANGALIZM – IDEOLOGICAL INTENTION OF COUNTRY THAT LIES
(Abstract, magazine “CULTURE, NATION”, issue 11, September 2015, pp. 4-13)
It is discussed some issues of the existence of the Russian ethnos based on different theories of the last century, Panmangalism (Salauyou), Eurasism (Trubyatski, Gumilyou), in respect of promoting the idea of the “Russian world” today. The analysis of work of the Russian mass media aimed at justifying the restoration of the Russian empire is highlighted through the prism of a hybrid war of Russia against Ukraine. It has been suggested that in Russian society there is a demand to justify the aggressive policy. In response to this demand a variety of civil and political theories are developed, which have a scientific purpose to justify the legitimacy and necessity of the existence of Russia as an empire. Russian media have become a factory of lies, there are trolling offices in different parts of Russia those for money stamp lies, humiliation, and hatred of Ukrainians.
Piotra Murzionak: CHOICE OF PEACE
(Abstract, magazine “CULTURE, NATION”, issue 11, September 2015, pp. 14-20)
It is discussed that in its history Belarus was almost never really fighting for its independence as it might be defined as a national liberation movement. That it was while getting a statehood in 1919 or joining of two parts of the country, East and West, just before II World War. During the time indicated the great countries, countries of “four” and Russia determined the fate of Belarusians. It was also true that they were strongly influenced by political, ideological, and cultural policies of Russia and were protected by Russian umbrella from the West. Russian pressure for two centuries resulted in almost absence of the will in Belarusians to fight for freedom and in a very low level of political culture. Belarus now continues to be under Russian economical and military pressure (propositions by Russian leaders to have a rouble as main money in Commonwealth countries, to create military airbase on Belarusian territory). As optimal outcome in this situation, a conducting of referendum about neutral status of Belarus is discussed.
Piotra Murzionak: Black Ribbon Day in Canada (remembrance day of communist and Nazi victims, consequences of Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact)
(Abstract, magazine “CULTURE, NATION”, issue 11, September 2015, pp. 21-27)
The information about Black Ribbon Day, a national day of remembrance of victims of Communist and Nazi tyranny is provided. The event took place at the St. John the Baptist Ukrainian Catholic National Shrine in Ottawa on August 23, 2015.
Piotra Murzionak: The 105th Anniversary of Larissa Heniyush
(Abstract, magazine “CULTURE, NATION”, issue 11, September 2015, pp. 28-33)
Larisa Heniyush, Belarusian poet, novelist and social activist, was born in 1910 in Grodno region in Belarus (nee Miklashevich (July 27, 1910). She graduated from high school in Volkovysk, Belarus in 1928. She married a Janka Heniyush and in 1937 she moved to Prague, where her husband studied and then worked as a doctor. They lived in Prague from 1937 to 1947. In Prague, she communicated with the Belarusian emigration, participated in the BDR government in exile. Since 1943 she became the General Secretary of the Government in exile and engaged in conservation and ordering of the archive of the BDR. In March 5, 1948 she was arrested in Prague, and in February 1949, the Supreme Court of the BSSR sentenced Larissa Heniyush to 25 years in prison camps together with her husband. In 1956, she and her husband were partly rehabilitated. After the liberation they settled at the homeland of her husband in Zelve, Grodno region where she died in 1983. While being in the USSR she refused to accept Soviet citizenship and remained a citizen of Czechoslovakia. The tragic fate befell other relatives of her family (Miklashevich): When the Red Army in 1939, joined the Western Belarus, the father of Larissa Anton Miklashevich was shot, and his mother and two sisters were deported to Kazakhstan. His mother died in Kazakhstan (1945); her brother Arkady was a soldier of Anders Army and died in July 27, 1944 in the Battle of Monte Kasyn in Italy; second brother, Rostislav, died 26 (28?) in April 1945 near Berlin when serving in the Kosciuszko army.
Editors of the magazine ‘CULTURE, NATION’ puts on their pages the name of Larisa Heniyush on the Board of the National Heroes.
Translation of Larisa Heniyush poem “Pray” into English (by P. Murzionak) included in the article.
On the 85th Anniversary of Uladzimir Karatkevich. Recall by V. Ipatava.
(Abstract, magazine “CULTURE, NATION”, issue 11, September 2015, pp. 34-39)
This year would have turned 85 years of life, one of the most talented Belarusian writers – Uladzimir Sjamjonavich Karatkevich. He was born on November 26, 1930 in Orsha. Vladimir Karatkevich – classic of Belarusian literature, which left its mark in all genres – poetry, prose, drama, journalism, translation. On Wikipedia placed details of life and creation about Karatkevich starting with the origin and childhood, post-war period, years of study and work in Kiev, and the heyday of his talent in Minsk. The most famous his works: Chazenia, The Eye of the Typhoon, From Past Ages, Unforgettable, The Dark Castle Olshansky, King Stakh’s Wild Hunt. The following documentaries were created about Karatkevich: ‘Was. There. Will’, ‘Memories’ and ‘Knight and Servant of Belarus’.
Editors of the magazine ‘CULTURE, NATION’ puts on their pages the name of U. Karatkevich on the Board of the National Heroes. Belarusian poet and writer V. Ipatava presented the remembrance article about the famous Belarusian.
David James Meadows: THE EFFECT OF POLITICAL CULTURE ON DIFFERENT SIDES OF THE POST-SOVIET POLITICAL AND ECONOMIC REFORMS: Comparison of the experience of Latvia and Belarus since 1991
(Abstract, magazine “CULTURE, NATION”, issue 11, September 2015, pp. 40-63)
The editorial board of magazine “CULTURE, NATION” considered as positive to publish selected parts of the D.D. Meadows’ Ph.D. thesis (2012, Halifax, Canada) dedicated to the development of the two countries Latvia and Belarus in the post-Soviet period (translated from English into Belarusian by Piotra Murzionak). The author has shown that political and cultural beliefs that formed by the historical religious and cultural environment, have a central impact on the particular political and economic development the country selected. In particular, it is shown that divergent political and economic orientation observed between Latvia and Belarus, were due to different political and cultural worldviews, lifestyles, religion, and historical memory, which inform now Latvians and Belarusians about the ideas, beliefs and preferences concerning patterns of life in relation to the relevant political and economic organization of society and the leadership role of the state in the economy. It is noted that Belarus has its own consistent and unique national identity that includes a variety of ideas, contrary to the regulatory definition, which was built by many researchers. Some shortcomings of the work can be attributed to almost complete absence of those aspects of the historical memory of Belarusians associated with the influence of Western culture, at the time when Belarus was the main constituent of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and later, being a member of the Commonwealth. Namely, the Belarusian researchers (A. Krautsevich V. Kuplevich) showed a number of features of the Western culture at that time, which evidenced by a significant influence of the Reformation, Counter-Reformation and other European values on the territory of modern Belarus. The editors believe that readers will be interested to read not only offered excerpts from the thesis, but also the work itself
Magazine “CULTURE, NATION”,
Number 10, June 2015
Piotra Murzionak: CHURCH AND NATION
(Abstract, magazine “CULTURE, NATION”, June 2015, issue 10, pp. 6-13)
Each of the churches \ confessions alone could have a positive impact on the individual level in the maintenance of appropriate morality and mentality, which should be the basis of the nation. However, the church today is not the important institution of nation-building, and does not contribute to its strengthening and unity. Various churches stand on top of the nation \ state, for objective or subjective reasons sow enmity between faiths and do not take into account the interests of non-believers and atheists.
Despite the fact that a significant part of the population (58.9%) belongs to this or that church, the number of active members, according to various surveys, is rather low (20-27%). Together with a significant share of non-believers in the country (41.1%), and taking into account the current trend to reduction of the role of the Church in the daily life of citizens, a possible church support in the state \ nation-building in the future seems to be low.
The Orthodox Church is an influential church in Belarus, however, its role in the society deliberately exaggerated. According to various polls, Orthodoxy covers less than half of the population of Belarus: the country has 27 confessions with a total of 3210 religious communities, including 1567 religious communities (48.8%) which belong to the Orthodox Church; the proportion of Orthodox among the total population is 48.9%.
Piotra Murzionak: Belarusian Democratic Republic. I. Pre-conditions for the convocation of the 1st All-Belarusian Congress
(Abstract, magazine “CULTURE, NATION”, June 2015, issue 10, pp. 14-23)
The general atmosphere in Belarus in 1917 was characterized by war and devastation, saturation by military forces, the weak role of the central Russian Provisional Government, numerous political parties and public organizations acting in Belarus, and a small share of the Belarusians in the cities. The organization and convening of the 1st All-Belarusian Congress were performed with significant delay compared to similar events in Lithuania and Ukraine. The main reasons for that delay were the relative weakness of national-democratic forces, and the uncertainty of ways of nation-building, which considered the construction of a sovereign state or the existence as an autonomous entity within Russia. The convening of the 1st All-Belarusian Congress was held with the participation of the two major forces – the Great Belarusian Council and the Belarusian Regional Committee under conditions of the illegal activities of the Bolshevik government.
Piotra Murzionak: Belarusian Democratic Republic. II. The first All-Belarusian Congress and the Declaration of Independence
(Abstract, magazine “CULTURE, NATION”, June 2015, issue 10, pp. 24-34)
The first All-Belarusian Congress, which took place 5-17 December 1917 in Minsk and was attended by delegates from all over the region – 1167 delegates with a casting vote and 705 delegates with a consultative vote – demonstrated the desire of the Belarusian people to self-determination. The Congress declared itself the supreme authority in Belarus, and requested the Council (Rada) of congress to manage the country until the convening of the Constituent Assembly. In this way the Congress did not recognize the illegitimate Bolshevik regime.
The first All-Belarusian Congress was brutally broken up on December 18, 1917 by the Bolsheviks. Similarly, January 7, 1918 in Petrograd, the Bolsheviks dispersed the Russian legislature, which did not recognize illegal, dictatorial power of the Bolsheviks and the Bolsheviks decrees.
In 1918, the work of the Council of the 1st All-Belarusian Congress, which took over the responsibilities entrusted by the Congress, was under the dictatorship of the Bolsheviks (December 18, 1917 to February 18, 1918), and then under German occupation (February 21, 1918 – the end of November 1918).
The Rada of the Congress for objective reasons (German occupation) could not convene a Constituent Assembly and under the yoke of unacceptable conditions for Belarus of Brest peace agreement has assumed historical and revolutionary courage to take power (Charter I, January 20, 2018), to declare the existence of the Belarusian Democratic Republic (Charter II, March 9, 1918), and then to declare the independence of the Belarusian Democratic Republic (Charter III, March 25, 1918). At the time of voting on the declaration of independence of the BDR, the Rada comprised of 77 members, 36 of them elected by the delegates of the 1st All-Belarusian Congress, 6 – from Vilna Belarusian Council, 15 – from the national minorities (Russian, Polish, Jewish), 10 – from the zemstvos, 10 – from the cities.
Piotra Murzionak: Belarusian Democratic Republic. III. Activities of the Rada of the BDR in 1918 under the German occupation
(Abstract, magazine “CULTURE, NATION”, June 2015, issue 10, pp. 35-41)
The German government, in accordance with the treaty of Brest did not officially recognize the Belarusian Democratic Republic (BDR) and its Rada. However, the local administration did not oppose the BDR government to deal with issues of culture, education and trade. There was an institution of BNR citizenship (issued passports). At the same time, BDR Rada could not create structures which are absolute signs of any effective state – army, police, financial and judicial systems.
The activities of the Rada and the governments of the BDR has contributed significantly to raising the national consciousness of Belarusians and forced the Bolsheviks to take steps for formation of the Soviet Socialist Republic of Belarus. In 1918-1920, there were 3 attempts to form a Belarusian state (SSRB – January 1, 1919; LitBel – February 1918, the Byelorussian SSR – July 31, 1920 – re-establishment of the Byelorussian SSR). The first attempt to create the SSRB, January 1, 1918, was adopted by 181 delegates of the VI-th North-West Regional Party Conference of the Russian Communist Party (bolshevics), which was renamed to the First Congress of the Communist Party of Belarus. Thus, this conference did not represent whole Belarusian people.
Piotra Murzionak: Transfer of the Independence Day of the Republic of Belarus from July 3
(Abstract, magazine “CULTURE, NATION”, June 2015, issue 10, pp. 42-45)
In the 20th century, there were six country’s independence day declaration: March 25, 1918, January 1, 1919, February 19, 1919, July 31, 1920, June 27, 1944, and July 27, 1990. Therefore, discretionary choice of July 3 as a day of celebration of Independence Day or the Day of the Republic of Belarus does not correspond to any logic or historical truth. It is obvious that sooner or later this will be fixed when the complete information will be reported to every Belarusian for making a conscious decision in the referendum. The author gives an explanation why, in case of appointment of a new referendum, it can be delivered only two dates for voting: 25 March and 27 July. Date July 27 in many ways is most appropriate to the Independence Day. Date March 25, despite some shortcomings, which the researchers wrote (the German occupation, the impossibility of convening All-Belarusian Congress), can alternatively be supplied to the referendum as the first historical day, when the independence of Belarus in modern history was announced. July 3 can be left as before, the Day of the city of Minsk, or the Day of liberation of Belarus from Nazi invaders.
Andrew Targowski: From Globalization Waves to Global Civilization
(Abstract, magazine “CULTURE, NATION”, June 2015, issue 10, pp. 46-64)
Translated into Belarusian by Piotra Murzionak
The purpose of this investigation is to characterize the impact of Five Waves of Globalization. These five Waves of Globalization have involved the world-wide flow of goods, money, information, and people with scope and intensity such that the progress of history has been altered. The waves emerged in the last 500 years and impacted the world’s major civilization, itself a complex of compatibly interactive entities of society, culture and infrastructure within a large frame of territory and time, usually embracing several nations and centuries or even millennia. As the result of these five waves, what we can label the Global Civilization is emerging in the 21st century. Its religion, society and infrastructure will be defined and associated repercussions noted. It is a very rare case when we can observe the rise of a new civilization during our own lifetime. However, this is the case with Global Civilization, a new civilization now replacing Western Civilization.
Advertisements. New books. New books pdf-file
(Abstract, magazine “CULTURE, NATION”, June 2015, issue 10, pp. 65-71)
Magazine “CULTURE, NATION” congratulates Vitaly Voronov, Irina Shumskaja, Yuri Shametskа with the release of new books and wished them a further success. The summary on authors and books is provided in Belarusian.
Magazine “CULTURE, NATION”,
Number 9, March 2015
Translated into Belarusian by Natalia Barkar
Source: Nelly Bekus. “Hybrid” Linguistic Identity of Post-Soviet Belarus. Journal on Ethnopolitics and Minority Issues in Europe. Vol 13, No 4, 2014, 26-51.
(Abstract, magazine “CULTURE, NATION”, March 2015, issue 9, pp. 6-33)
The issue of Belarusian language politics was analysed as an element of nation-building strategy in post-Soviet Belarus and as part of a linguistic human rights discourse.
Piotra Murzionak: WHAT NATIONALISM IS NECESSARY FOR BELARUS
(Abstract, magazine “CULTURE, NATION”, March 2015, issue 9, pp. 34-43)
Nowadays, more and more Belarusians fill themselves as unique nation especially due to events taking place in Ukraine. It seems that the national aspirations of the Belarusians will be strengthened, and a healthy nationalism must help them to do that. Belarusian nationalism should be inclusive, or, in other words, healthy, good nationalism – nationalism based on the Belarusian identity, taking into account the interests of national minorities and all social strata. Implementation of the ideas of the Belarusian nationalism will promote to Belarusians: 1. to identify themselves as Belarusians consciously; 2. to build a full nation-state on the principles of inclusiveness; 3. to protect Belarusian nation from destruction and absorption by ‘Russian world’ or by other supranational organizations.
(Abstract, magazine “CULTURE, NATION”, March 2015, issue 9, pp. 44-74)
Narrative “Magic flicker” is written in Belarusian in the pamphlet genre. It is about surrealism and reality in today’s Belarus.
(Abstract, magazine “CULTURE, NATION”, March 2015, issue 9, pp. 75-84)
Galina Tumilovich writes about her impressions of the first years of life in Canada, provides information about famous people of Russian and Belarusian origin immigrated to Canada in different periods (in Russian).
Participants: Iryna Khadarenka, Inga Popovaite, Anton Shekhovtsov, Piotra Murzionak
(Abstract, magazine “CULTURE, NATION”, March 2015, issue 9, pp. 85-95)
On-line Skype discussion was organized by magazine “CULTURE, NATION” on November 23, 2014. In this issue we provide part of discussion in Belarusian related to: “The Nation-building in post-soviet countries: commonalities and differences”.
(Abstract, magazine “CULTURE, NATION”, March 2015, issue 9, pp. 96-100)
A young girl dream was to become a teacher as her lovely father. She was studied at the Pastavy’ teacher college after World War II. It was not allowed to study in their native language, that’s why she along with other young people created a community ‘Union of Belarusian patriots’. Their main goal was to preserve and spread among the population of the Belarusian language and culture. However, she was sentenced by Soviets for 25 years. In GULAG she met with the outstanding Belarusian poet and social activist Larissa Heniyush. Alesya Umpirovich sincerely loves Belarus. Magazine “CULTURE, NATION” wishes her good health, happiness, and well-being.
(Abstract, magazine “CULTURE, NATION”, March 2015, issue 9, pp. 101-104)
Editorial Board ‘CULTURE, NATION’ congratulates the famous Belarusian writer and public activist, Volga Mikhajlauna Ipatava, with birthday anniversary and wish her good health, happiness, well-being of her family and further success for the benefit of the Motherland. Volga Ipatava is the author of number of collection of poems, collections of short stories, books for children. She is one of the founders аnd well-known master of the Belarusian historical prose. She has created a number of literary images of famous figures of the Belarusian past: Euphrosyne of Polotsk, Duke Vytautas, Duke Algerdas. In 2001-2002 she was the chairman of the Belarusian writers society. Volga Ipatava awarded “the Order of Honor” and medal “Francisk Skaryna”
Magazine “CULTURE, NATION”,
Number 8, December 2014
Vadzim Shyshko: THE ADDRESS TO THE BELARUSIAN ELITE
(Abstract, magazine “CULTURE, NATION”, December 2014, issue 8, pp. 6-15)
The author considers interrelations between physiological and mental human development in application to the native language usage, in particular, for Pastavy region of Belarus, and, generally for Belarus. Understanding that the Belarusian language is in depressive conditions because of preferable usage of Russian language the author is questioning why and what should undertake Belarusian elite, local and as a whole, to improve the situation with native language. The author utilises the theories and opinions of Maslow, Humboldt, and Sapir, the prominent scientists, who demonstrated the role of social and language practices in the humankind thinking, to stress that Belarusian intellectuals should continue the work in term of enlightenment of population, and usage of Belarusian language. It is absolutely necessary to oppose to the global processes of extinction of different languages and cultures, and to keep for children Belarusian language and traditions while living in a diversity world.
Aljaksandr Zgerski: WHAT BOTHERS RUSSIA OR THE CULTIVATION OF RESSENTIMENT
(Abstract, magazine “CULTURE, NATION”, December 2014, issue 8, pp. 16-35)
It is discussed the reasons why the majority of Russian population supports the Crimea annexation and the war in the East of Ukraine provoked by Putin’s government. Why Russians think that the only fascists live in Ukraine and the whole world wants Russia misfortune?
Author analyses this behavior from the point of view of “ressentiment”. A ressentiment is the term of philosophy which defines the morality of slaves, negative human complexes based on envy towards the more powerful and successful ones, and the cultivation of image of the enemy. Such system of human values can’t create anything of his own while destroying the value system of the enemy. Ressentiment morality opposes the noble morality of freedom-loving person.
Russia began the aggression in the neighboring country by rising, using and at the same time cultivating a large resentment chauvinistic complex which dreamt until the time in the mysterious Russian soul. Going back to history the appearance of that complex might be observed during the reign of Ivan III in the end of 15 century, Ivan IV in the second half of 16 century, and later. As Karl Marx wrote, “Muscovy was raised and grew up in a horrible and infamous school of the Mongolian slavery. It became so strong due to absorption of virtuosa art of slavery. Even after its release from Mongols, Muscovy continued to play its traditional role of servant who became the owner. Then Peter the Great combined the political art of Mongolian slave with the proud aspirations of the Mongol ruler, to whom Genghis Khan bequeathed to carry out his plan to conquer the world”.
Such sort of mentality continued then after revolution and how it is reasonable indicated by Berdyaev once again won the “mass”. It appears it was directed by ressentimental slogans of Bolsheviks: all the land to the peasants, factories to workers, and peace to the nations. From other side, according to slave morality there were found the enemies, the aristocracy, the bourgeoisie, kulaks, intellectuals, imperialists and so on. In general, the enemies were needed for the Soviet Union to his existence as well. Discussing the morality in the Soviet Union the author referred to the experience of Russian writer Shalamov who spent many years in the GULAG. It was clear that in a certain extent prison terms and orders, together with prisoners who have served their term, came gradually in a civil society. Over the hundreds of years, the authorities in Russia cultivated the complex of a person which is lackey, liar, thief, and as a consequence that’s why it is necessary to have a strong hand, Lord, tsar who will keep everyone in the correct order.
However, the mentality of Russians and mentality of people from other post-soviet countries, in particular Belarusians and Ukrainians, are different. Mental-psychological map of nations formed over the centuries, this process is not always in sight. Over the past 200-250 years Belarusians often suffered defeats in nation-state building. Although not everyone want to see the national peculiarities of the peoples of Belarus, Ukraine and Russia. Again, there are a lot of examples to show how ressentimental complexes of Russian people were cultured and then deployed towards their neighbours, in particular Belarus and Ukraine, during the last 10-15 years. It is necessary to understand that the “Russian World” that Russian propaganda offers to modern neighboring nations will hold only a dictatorship, militarism, repression and suppression of freedom. People who want to live in independent democratic countries should be aware of this and stand together against the strengthening of the dictatorship.
Piotra Murzionak: IN VOLOGDA! – WHERE?!
(Abstract, magazine “CULTURE, NATION”, December 2014, issue 8, pp. 36-40)
Soviet Union collapsed, Belarus gained independence, however, and as before the state prefers only Russian-language songs (look at “Slavic Bazaar”. Nothing has changed since Soviet times. The language law, adopted by the Supreme Council at the beginning of independence movement for 10-year period (1990), was deliberately forgotten by the newly elected head of state and his followers. Moreover, the pressure went on all Belarusian. But when Lukashenka, Mjasnikovich, Tozik will be retired who will be responsible for the failure of native language and national policies?
If to conduct historical parallels with Quebec and Scotland (look at the recent referendums), Belarus has for nation-building only 30-40 years and if the current situation won’t change, it will be nobody even to talk about Belarusian identity. It might be that Belarusians will be the part of the “Russian world”. The prospect of the status for the native language as a dialect grows significantly – Astrakhan, Vologda, Kostroma … Belarusian dialects. After all it is clear, without language there is no nation.
It should be noted that 83.7 citizens of Belarus consider themselves as Belarusians. This is a potency which still not fully utilized by the national elite. Liberal values and the protection of religious and democratic freedoms can not be removed from the agenda, but it can not be decisive in changing the leadership of the country, and in a durable and long-term nation-building. Only the main provisions of national idea might be crucial and will lead to significant changes in the society.
The current scenario of a single candidate definition is the same as in previous elections, the results of which are known (2001, 2006, and 2010). Association with the aim of regime change is an important goal; however, it is difficult to imagine how some organizations will fight national independence when some of the parties entering into a coalition have no words for the nation and national interests in their programs.
The best outcome in the current situation it would be to create a national platform supported by the movements, parties, organizations, and while each with its own specific objectives, approaches and tools, to determine the leaders who would be able to implement the ideas of that platform. It would be possible to say about success in the construction of the Belarusian national state when the change in people’s minds will be visible not only in Minsk, but in Vitebsk, Grodno, Brest…
Iryna Khadarenka: NATION VS. PROFANATION?
(Abstract, magazine “CULTURE, NATION”, December 2014, issue 8, pp. 41-46)
The essay is dedicated to the complexity of the nation-building process in modern Belarus on a background of ideological competition between ethnic-primordial and common-civic concepts of the nation. The author mentioned that before the realization of civic nation’s model in the Belarusian society, it’s necessary to define a clear basis of national idea, language, symbols, values and traditions. And it’s absolutely not correct to use the nationality and the citizenship as synonyms. Belarusian identity could be manifested among citizens of different countries, and at the same time various Belarusian citizens do not have to identify themselves namely as Belarusians.
Vadzim Shyshko: THE SLAVS?
(Abstract, magazine “CULTURE, NATION”, December 2014, issue 8, pp. 47-57)
It is discussed the role of Finno-Ugor and Mongol-Tatar tribes, Orthodox and Islam religions in the development of Muscovy state. The involving the term “Slavs” into the history of Muscovy state began in 15-17 centuries when it was necessary to rationalise the war against the Great Duchy of Lithuania (GDL), and to take the territories where lived the current Belarusians (then Krivichi-Slavs-Ruthens). During the 13-year war (1654-1657) almost 300 000 Slavs-Ruthens from the GDL were translocated to the Muscovy state. Then, the same approach was applied while destroying Rech Pospolita in the end of 18 century and as result huge territories populated with Slavs were joined to Russian Empire (Rossijskaja Imperia). The story of Russian state based on Slavs foundation was exploited by N. Karamsin and other Russian historicians to prove Slavic character of Russian Empire, the idea that is now criticised even in Russia itself. It is very important now to distinguish the Belarusians – the ancestors of assimilated Slavic-Baltic tribes, and Great Russians – the ancestors of different ethnic groups including Finno-Ugro and Mongol-Tatar ones.
Vadzim Shyshko: PHYSIOLOGY OF NATIONALISM
(Abstract, magazine “CULTURE, NATION”, December 2014, issue 8, pp. 58-68)
Considering the origins and problems of nationalism emergence in the 18-20 centuries, it is argued that nationalism is working on the development, protection and promotion of their nation. An analogy with animal communities is compared where the same sequence of events occurs – association in society, help in protection against various hazardous external factors, and mastering the greatest possible areas of residence. Gives The following definition of nationalism is presented: ‘Nationalism – it’s the same struggle for survival based on animal instinct of self-preservation and supported by technological progress of the human mind. “To the question how to position oneself to nationalism the answer is “in the same way as to all our animals needs (food, sleep, sex, security, etc.).”
If we ever abandon nationalism, this will lead to the result that we will lose habitat where we live, our language, our national identity. And finally, the disappearance of our Belarusian nation – it is only a matter of time. The author gives examples of different ways to destroy an ethnicity – physical, spiritual and combined. The spiritual way of destroying the Belarusian nation partly was used Poles as polonization (in 18 century, and in 20 century in the interwar period). The physical destruction of our ethnos was used by Russians spontaneously during the 13-year war in the 17th century, and specifically by Germans during the 2nd World War. The Belarusian nation was destroying our Russian neighbors via combined physical-spiritual way in the 19-20th centuries.
The current colonial expansion by more powerful states is going now on more refined scheme than the previous primitive armed intervention, namely through cultural expansion and economic dependence of neighboring weaker countries. Interrelations between Russia and Belarus today are a vivid example. In fact, the further expansion of the ‘Russian world’ will lead to physical and spiritual destruction of our people. Survival instinct in Belarusians themselves has not worked yet. If we want to survive at least physically, we must urgently begin the politics of nationalism in the state. Of course, this must be done carefully, so you do not accidentally go too far. But the delay is impossible in any case if we do not want to die out like the dinosaurs.
Discussion “NATION BUILDING AND MODERNITY – 2014”
Participants: Iryna Khadarenka, Inga Popovaite, Anton Shekhovtsov, Piotra Murzionak
(Abstract, magazine “CULTURE, NATION”, December 2014, issue 8, pp. 69-80)
On-line Skype discussion was organized by magazine “CULTURE, NATION” on November 24, 2014. Two main topics were discussed: “The Nation-building in post-soviet countries: commonalities and differences” and “Interrelationships between nationalism, patriotism, and chauvinism”.
CONGRATULATIONS TO MR. ANATOLI CHRENOWSKI ON 80-JUBILEE
(Abstract, magazine “CULTURE, NATION”, December 2014, issue 8, pp. 81-86)
Anatoly CHRENOWSKI – the famous figure of the Belarusian emigration in North America, made this year his 80th birthday anniversary. Anatoly CHRENOWSKI was born on March 3, 1934 in Slonim, Belarus. After World War II, along with his parents forced appeared in the West, and in 1949 arrived to Montreal, Canada. Since then he lived in this city and only recently moved to the small town of Sutton, which is near the border with the United States.
Anatoly CHRENOWSKI has a wonderful family, his wife Christine, daughters, Larissa and Alena, and his sons Anton and Gregory. Family in the life of every person plays an important role. The Anatoly CHRENOWSKI family is very special as it took an active part in the life of Belarusians in Montreal and Quebec, where the leader was Anatoly CHRENOWSKI. The chief assistant for Anatoly in all Belarusian affairs is his wife, Christine. Thanks to her and to Anatoly the Belarusian language, traditions and spirit of Belarus are supported in the family.
If we talk about the social life of Anatoly Ivanovich, you need first of all to say that he is the member of the Belarusian People’s Republic. Second, thanks to his efforts 25 years ago (1989) was formed Association of Belarusians in Quebec in which he headed all the time. Thanks to his efforts, the Belarusians were presented at various important events and activities, which was attended by the people from different cultures living in Canada; in particular, it was organized the Belarusian corner in the Saint Joseph Oratorium (Montreal), the Belarusian part of the exhibition at the Museum of different cultures in Rawdon. Much has been made in favor of the Belarusians – the unity of Belarusians, organization of festivals and events, publication of the magazine “PRAMEN”, participation in political actions.
Editorial Board “CULTURE, NATION” sincerely congratulates Anatoly Ivanovich CHRENOWSKI, and wish him good health, enjoyment of life, well-being of his family, and further good deeds for the benefit of the motherland.
Web-magazine “CULTURE, NATION”
Viktar Kavaleuski: IDEOLOGICAL UTOPIAS, SECRET AGREEMENTS, WAR AND MIGRATION (Part of the author’s book, ‘And Who Goes There?’)
(abstract, magazine “CULTURE, NATION”, September 2014, issue 7, pp. 6-10)
The author analyses the reasons for migration of Belarusians to Australia after the II World War. Mainly, it was due to existence of two dictatorships, Nazi and communist, and their desire to control the mass of the population through any possible social mechanisms including the art. Both dictatorships are very similar to each other as by facade as by concentration camps hidden from the eyes. The main target for those regimes was the individuality of persons, their right to be independent, and their willingness to express opinions and freedoms. Until now, the officials in Belarus call those people who demand their individual rights not associated with the ideological state doctrines as nationalists or fascists. Many of those migrated Belarusians actively participated in the social, religious and paramilitary organizations in Australia with the only aim – to live for Belarus.
Piotra Murzionak: NEXT PERIOD FOR THE DEVELOPMENT OF NATIONAL IDEA IN BELARUS WILL BE FAVORABLE
(abstract, magazine “CULTURE, NATION”, September 2014, issue 7, pp.11-16)
The analysis of the three mainly favorable and three unfavorable periods for nation-building in Belarus during the last century was conducted. Next period in the development of the national idea will be favorable. This is due to the historical development of society and that conclusion is largely consistent with the Krukouski’ theory of cyclical social and cultural development.
A balance between internal and external factors affecting the construction of the nation in that future period will be decisive. In many ways, it will be definitely directed by a positive example of Ukraine in nation-building. It is possible that there will be changes in Russian politics – from the expansionism to the internal development of society and to the needs of many peoples of the Russian Federation. The degree of Russia’ pressure will determine the tactics of the modern Belarusian leadership – from facing to the national idea to complete her infidelity.
Piotra Murzionak: BELARUS DOESN’T BELONG TO EURASIA or NATIONAL IDEA TODAY
(abstract, magazine “ CULTURE, NATION”, September 2014, issue 7, pp.17-25)
Belarus and Ukraine as inseparable parts of the East Slavic civilization historically, ethnically and mentally differ significantly from the Eurasian (Russian) civilization. Commitment of Russia to draw Belarus and Ukraine into the Eurasian Economic Union will inevitably lead to the existence of Belarusians and Ukrainians in the framework of the eurasian ideology that does not assume the creation of their nation-states. Switching of the state, pro-government researchers and politicians from the support of pan-slavic ideology onto the eurasian ideology due to the temporary considerations of economic expediency leads to the forgetfulness of the national idea and to delayed prospects of national state building. The results of the war between Russia and Ukraine, our partner in the East Slavic civilization, will be a key factor determining the future of both Ukraine and Belarus.
Tadeusz Struzhetsky: BACK TO HOMELAND
(abstract, magazine “CULTURE, NATION”, September 2014, issue 7, pp. 26-29)
The celebrations on the occasion of 50th anniversary after death of the outstanding organist, Polish musician, composer, journalist, and teacher Bronislaw Rutkowski (1898-1964) held this summer in Kamai and Pastavy, Belarus, and in Krakow, Poland. B. Rutkowski, originated from Kamai, began here his creative career as assistant organist in the Church of St. John the Baptist. Later he already played the organ in church Kabylniki (now the village Narach). Further his life and career was connected with Poland. B. Rutkowski is the creator of the post-war Krakow organ school, which became the foundation for not only the Polish organ musics, but also spread to other countries in Eastern Europe.
To commemorate B. Rutkowski in the Church of St. John the Baptist met locals from the neighborhood, as well as numerous guests. After a solemn mass the concert of organ music was performed by Marek Stefansky. The special sign devoted to B. Rutkowski was opened in the park adjacent to the temple. The participants of the event layed flowers at the graves of B. Rutkowski’ parents and relatives.
Joseph Campbell: MAN AND MYTH
(abstract, magazine “CULTURE, NATION”, September 2014, issue 7, pp. 30-41)
A Russian translation by Oleg Bouevitch of selected lectures by Joseph Campbell on the topics of traditional and personal mythology. A brief comparison of Eastern and Western religions is followed by Campbell’s views of one’s personal mythology and its connection to one’s psychology.
Joseph John Campbell (March 26, 1904 – October 30, 1987) was an American mythologist, writer and lecturer, best known for his work in comparative mythology and comparative religion. His work is vast, covering many aspects of the human experience. His philosophy is often summarized by his phrase: “Follow your bliss” (from Campbell’s Wikipedia page).
Piotra Murzionak: RUSSIAN LANGUAGE AGAINST NATIONALISM OF BELARUSIANS AND UKRANIANS
(abstract, magazine “SAKAVIK”, June 2014, issue 6, pp. 7-24)
Russian language is used as a motive and a tool of aggression in Ukraine along with military means. There is a considerable spread of daily use of the Russian language in Ukraine and Belarus, as well as external linguistic, cultural, economic and military pressure of Russia. How is the construction of nation-states in these conditions being seen?
This paper discusses the definition of Russian language versus word “russian=русский (by nationality)”, slavyanskasts (belonging to Slavs) of the Russian ethnic group, the difference between the East Slavic and Eurasian civilizations, as well as prospects about the development of the Belarusian and Ukrainian nations under Russian pressure.
Peter Murzenak: HOW MANY BELARUSIANS LIVE ACROSS THE WORLD
(abstract, magazine “SAKAVIK”, June 2014, issue 6, pp. 25-29)
Based on calculations, it was estimated that:
1. About 400,000-500,000 Belarusians live far abroad.
2. Giving 7.9 millions Belarusians live in homeland, 1.1 million in the neighboring countries, and 0.4-0.5 million far abroad it results in about 9.5 million ethnic Belarusians in the whole world.
3. Belarusians living in other countries (1.5-1.6 million) consist approximately one sixth (about 16%) of the total number of Belarusians in the world.
Peter Murzenak: MIGRATION OF BELARUSIANS TO CANADA IN COMPARISON WITH NEIGHBOUR COUNTRIES
(abstract, magazine “SAKAVIK”, June 2014, issue 6, pp. 30-39)
1. The number of Belarusians in Canada in 2011 compared to 1991 increased 5.5 times, from 2,830 to 15,565 people.
2. In 2011, 95% of Belarusians lived in four Canadian provinces: Ontario (8,785, or 56%), British Columbia (2,135), Alberta (1,965), and Quebec (1,895). Forty percent of Belarusians live in Toronto (6,215).
3. Relative increase in the number of people of Belarus in Canada from 1991 to 2011, compared to its neighbours, was the smallest (134 per 100 thousand inhabitants of Belarus; compared to Estonia – 148, Russia – 274, Latvia – 329, Ukraine – 432 Lithuania – 554, Poland – 705). Based on data from Canada, we can assume that the Belarusians are quite conservative in their migration aspirations.
4. The proportion of Belarusians in Canada who use their native language at home is quite small (3.9%) and reflects the language situation in the homeland (for comparison Ukrainians – 9.6%, Lithuanians – 15.5%, Poles – 19.9%, Latvians – 23.6%, Russians – 30.9%).
Vaclau Lastouski: WHAT IS NECESSARY TO KNOW TO EACH BELARUSIAN?
(abstract, magazine “SAKAVIK”, June 2014, issue 6, pp. 40-49)
The editorial board has decided to give a translation into Russian of the well-known article of Vaclau Lastouski “What is necessary to know to each Belarusian?” Why into Russian? The Belarusian language is the basic language of magazine “CULTURE, NATION”, but we place materials in any language if the subject matter concerns directions of magazine (with mandatory supply of a short content on the native language). However, the decision about translation of Lastouski’ article into Russian goes not from a good faith as people shouldn’t need the translation to read their native tongue. First of all, people who read, become ever less. Secondly, realities are those, that Belarusians read basically just the Russian literature (in the market of Belarus 85% of books is printed not in native but in Russian language). The approach of editorial board is a such; that if even one person will become interested in translation of this article into Russian, it is necessary to do it due to the content of the article. We should fight for everyone Belarusian, everyone who has the desire not only to write in the questionnaire that he is Belarusian (it is possible only feeling himself as the citizen of Belarus or as being relevant to the country territory) but also to behave as the Belarusian.
Many Lastouski’ ideas reflected in his article and published almost a hundred years ago are still applicable for Belarusians today (translation is given not completely but only those its parts which are conformable the present, except maybe for section about family).
Next issue will be published in September 2014
(abstract, magazine “SAKAVIK”, March 2014, issue 5, pp. 6-9)
This short article looks at a Belarusian perspective and which possibilities Belarus can take advantage of, while the turmoil continues in Ukraine. First, the paper analyzes the advantages and disadvantages of its geographical position with respect to the EU and Russia. Second, it focuses on the implications for energy distribution in the region. The article summarizes a Belarusian perspective on Ukraine crisis.
(abstract, magazine “SAKAVIK”, March 2014, issue 5, pp. 10-13)
This review is about miraculous icons of the Mother of God known in Belarus. The Lord granted the Belarusian land by many miracles among them there are the miracle-working icons, most of which the Mother of God. They have spiritual wealth of the nation, such as St. Cross of Euphrasinnia of Polatsk. The story of those icons is the part of the history not only of Belarusian Church, but also of all Belarus. Today more than 200 icons are known. Some of the icons are from the time of Kievan Rus, the others – of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania when the Orthodox Church was independent. There is a list of those icons on the site of the Belarusian Autocephalous Orthodox Church (www.belapc.org). Various fates are for miraculous icons. Many of them disappeared or were exported from Belarus, and there are copies for some of them.Some of the icons are absolutely unique, for example, Kupyatsitskaya icon (in the form of cross) (Kupiatsichy Cross Icon of Theotokos) appeared by miracle way in 1182 on Paliessie.
(abstract, magazine “SAKAVIK”, March 2014, issue 5, pp. 14-37)
Who is to blame of global moral crisis, injustice, poverty, wars, violations of rights and freedoms – liberal democrats, ideas of multi–polar world, imperial ambitions, religion, double standards?It is obvious that humanity has lost the common goals and violates the principles and criteria for the achievement of these goals.Instead of a new round of the Cold War and real wars, the signs of which are becoming more visible, mankind would have to agree on new principles of existence and cooperation to establish peace and order in the world, on important joint actions against poverty, diseases and natural disasters.
Double standards that stronger nations apply to small nations show disregard for the principles of democracy, justice and goodness. For the sake of economic gain superpowers tradeby people’s fate seeking freedom. A striking example of such double standards is the modern conflict in Europe caused by the desire of Ukraine to obtain the status of association with the EU. Russian military aggression against Ukraine showed disrespect for international laws and infringes on the freedom, sovereignty and territory of independent, recently brotherly country. One of the reasons for Russia’s aggression is its traditional movement to the west, based on the Eurasian ideology that threatens the existence of not only democracy and freedom, but also nations. Russian aggression confirmed almost 800-year-old division between two civilizations – the Eurasian (Russian) and Eastern Slavic Belarusian-Ukrainian. Of those countries that guarantee the security and sovereignty of Ukraine(Russia, U.S., UK), Russia violated international agreement while the United States and Great Britain were bankrupt because they could not deliver on their responsibilities. Thus, even in our time a national freedom might be threatened by meansof weapons. Chechnya, Georgia, and Ukraine – what is next and when?
It seems that the role of nations or nation-states will not decrease, despite the trend towards supranational entities (European Union, Customs Union, and other unions). Events that happened in Yugoslavia and those are now taking place in Ukraine (November 2013 – March 2014) show that the process of nation-building continues even in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. There is a belief that in the future a nation-building in Belarus and in other post-Soviet countries (Kazakhstan, Latvia) will also be completed. To a large extent this will depend on the balance of positive and negative factors which may affect the strengthening of national freedom (Table 3). Among the strongest positive influence factors are the possibility of modern nation-building and the activities of national elite, among the negative ones – low level of political culture, non-supporting of Belarusian language by the government, the threat of possible aggression, religion. Belarusians intolerance towards people of other races, religions, behavior belongs to negative influence factors as well. It would seemed that the absence of European mentality in that sense is a good sign for a healthy nationalism, since nationalism-patriotism in such a situation could have an advantage over global processes, however, a disrespect for freedom of some categories of people could not contribute to the strengthening of national freedom.
Attitude of Belarusians to freedom characterized by uncertainty due to the lack of political culture and traditions of Russian and Soviet legacy; public support for the ideas of democracy is combined with a positive attitude to an authoritarian management style.
Only aware of the presence of civil liberties and using political freedoms a person can grasp the significance of national freedom. We can assume that there is a hierarchy of freedoms (individual – political – national); basic freedoms are individual freedoms and rights. Substitution of civil liberties by human socio-economic rights, along with a lack of political culture and traditions interrupts the achievement of nation freedom, as it leads to the loss of national pride and an unwillingness to maintain the old history and culture and to a nihilistic attitude toward their nation and its freedom. Level of political rights and freedoms and national freedom is the level of the active work of the national elites. However, the conditions for such work in Belarus are unfavorable.
The balance of positive and negative forces in Belarus, according to our five-point scale calculations, directed to the negative part. The key factors that can change the balance towards positive direction are primarily internal factors, namely the understanding of the importance of strengthening of national freedom by population, entrepreneurs, and the state leadership. Among the strongest negative factor that would need to be reduced or eliminated, is the threat of occupation, however, with the understanding that “awakens” among Western democracies, it is a hope, that the negative influence of this factor can be removed in favor of small peoples and nations. Together with the increased role of other positive factors that would significantly change the motion of the Belarusians to the national freedom.
(abstract, magazine “SAKAVIK”, March 2014, issue 5, pp. 38-46)
The reflections of the author caused by the nominating of Svetlana Aleksievich for the Nobel Prize 2013 in literature are presented. Reasonings of the author full of emotions (grief) are caused first of all by that the fact of Aleksievich promotion on, perhaps, most prestigious premium, has not caused as a whole the benevolent response in Belarusian information space. It appears that the popular on the West Belarusian writer was not welcomed by domestic critics (with few exceptions of the Belarusian literature key figures). The aversion of her personality was associated with her «Soviet background» as well as with the writing in Russian and in reporter style of work. The author gives a panoramic picture of Aleksievich work highlighting the most prominent subjects of her works that represent at the same time complex instants of history such as War, the Afghanistan campaign, the USSR, and Chernobyl disaster. It is explained that the Belarusian writer, perhaps, initially addressed to the western reader. Speaking about writing in Russian, it is necessary to have in view of some factors the main thing from which is that the author was born and has grown during an epoch of the USSR. During the narration-reflection the author of this essay widely mentions facts from the life experience, shares the experiences and feelings.
Next issue will be published in June 2014
Mikola Krukouski: TheCyclical Character of the Socio-Cultural Development of Society and Its Causes in Terms of Theoretical Culturology. Published in Belarusian. Web-magazine “SAKAVIK”, #4, December 2013. www.sakavik.net
The issues of cyclical culture development are regarded. The author proves the thesis by means of many examples from history of culture of different epochs. In particular, under the conditions of a post-industrial society, relations between modern people and artistic sphere are producing an increasingly tangible and negative influence of post-modernistic ideas. In a whole interaction between global cycles and specify of human values is one of actual problems in many different sciences, but especially in theoretical culturology.
In the 90-s of the twentieth century the “Great Soviet Empire” collapsed. Hopes of soviet dissidents and those people who had been thinking and acting in a way that differed from “ruling party’s line”, hopes of democratization and liberation in a social and individual area of life came true. So called “ParadeofSovereignties” took place and national republics began to build their own world inside of their state borders. Each newly formed country had different starting conditions, unique historical and cultural features of their previous development and each of them undergone their personal highs and lows and mistakes on this path.
Belarus, the same as other neighbouring countries, got a chance to rebuild its national home. Belarusians are often being characterized as tolerant and conservative people. Maybe these definitions aren’t bad but excessive conservatism played a low-down trick with us. In 1994 considerable part of population of Belarus was frightened of growth of corruption and uncontrolled and wicked process of privatization. So, Alexander Lukashenko and his lines of economic development that can be described with motto “Back to USSR!” were chosen. But time passed and now we can see that president’s electioneering bribe differs much from that what we have today.
Nowadays Belarusians got authoritarian system of government, planned economy, subordination of mass media and persecution of civil and political associations. This crisis leads to tension, anxiety, sense of weariness and uncertainty among our people. In search of way out of crisis and changeable political situation outside the country lead to the necessity of solving problems in such areas as national identity and national awareness including problems of value guidelines, problems of choice of political and economic development, self-awareness in a motley and complex universe of modern national states. Intellectual elite of Belarus, as it should be, has quite a diverse visions of the situation and formulas of finding the way out of the situation. Often it comes to pessimistic prognosis such as inevitable loss of national identity and then, as a result, loss of sovereignty.
In article “Placebo for Belarusians” another attempt of reinterpretation of the Belarusian situation is being made. Basing on the Benedict Anderson’s statement which says that “nation-ness is the mostuniversallylegitimatevaluein the political life of our time” appropriateness of pessimistic findings about nonviability of Belarusian community are being called into question. It’s about possibility and necessity of changes for the better in historical and cultural education of Belarusians, education which is now being included in authoritarian schemes of governing.
Viktoryia Kozlova:Implications of the EU’s Association Agreement with Ukraine on Belarus. Published in English. Web-magazine “SAKAVIK”, #4, December 2013. www.sakavik.net
Ukraine has been negotiating for over 15 years with the European Union (EU) over improving mutual cooperation and possibly becoming a member state. Unfortunately, the official government of Ukraine has been highly divided on the topic of EU accession. In the last five years, however, this has not stopped the negotiations and application for the Association Agreement. Recent protests in Ukraine in December 2013 clearly exemplify citizen’s disappointment. It is important to find out what exactly the Association Agreement entails since Ukrainian government, for now, has chosen not to sign it. This article questions the effects of the Association Agreement for the EU and Ukraine, and then analyzes the implications it could have on Belarus.
Piotra Murzionak: Belaruskasc and Mentality of Civilized Countries. Published in Belarusian. Web-magazine “SAKAVIK”, #4, December 2013. www.sakavik.net
It is evident that Belarusian mentality or Belaruskasc exists for ever. However, the question is how it had changed during the last century and in what degree it correspondents to the mentality of modern society. It is clear that the development of Belaruskasc is substantially delayed due to specific conditions of being on the border line of colliding between the East and the West or between Bysantium and Rome. The episodic development of Belaruskasc in the 20th century was possible mainly due to beneficial external factors. Belarusian nation is still not established. It is very problematic that the impovement and progress in Belarusian mentality/ in Belaruskasc nowdays might be occurred in russian-speaking environment. The language problem is not only the problem of belarusian population but the problem of belarusian elite who is going to establish the strategy for mentality education for Belarusians while itself has to think in Belarusian. Despite of the country independence, solid ethnic and historical base the country is still beyond the “Berlin wall”, without any attempts to a dialogue with civilized societies.
Mentality being a key factor for nation-building is not the important issue for Belarusian state. It appears Belarus demonstates a religion intolerance providing some preferences only for Orthodox church. Belarusian government creates an environment where 91.5% of population are not interested in external and internal politics of the state at all. Additionally, Belarusians are mainly intolerant to the representatives of other ethnic groups, “unknown” religions, sexual minorities, and do not support an abondance of death penalty. Some explanation of such intolerance but not its rehabilitation might be found in the discussed phenomenon of Belarusian mental surviving which is a sort of mental instinct developed for centures of suppressions and which helped to protect a minimal level of Belaruskasc.
It is assumed that population education and even quality of life might be close to European standards but mentality. The national elite has not enough resources to support the development of required mentality level. Ideally, this is a task for the state itself. A support of external insitutions is imporatant but not conclusive. The role of electonic mass media in the development of Belaruskasc and the creation of special strategy for that are discussed.
Tadeush Struzhetski: The Ancient Organs Sound Again. Published in Belarusian. Web-magazine “SAKAVIK”, #4, December 2013. www.sakavik.net
The information about festival of organ music in the ancient north-west area of Belarus (October 19-20, 2013) is provided. Five organ concerts were held in Pastavy region, Vitebsk district. There are organs in a few catholic churches in this area: Pastavy, Luchaj, Lyntupy, and Kamai. The soloists were I. Alounikau, K. Mikalaeva, K.Sharau, and K. Paharelaja. It is thought this festival will be traditional to develop the clasical music in the country.
The translation of inaugural speech of Nelson Mandela as the President of South African Republic into Belarusian is provided.
Piotra Murzionak: An Update on the Performance of Project “RAZAM”. Published in Belarusian. Web-magazine “SAKAVIK”, #4, December 2013. www.sakavik.net
It is reported the conditions of project performance continue to be the same. The new format of educational material presentation (as slide-shows) is suggested.
Next issue will be published in March 2014
Number 3 (PDF in Belarusian)
Belarus looks like a modern European country. Belarus has beautiful people, villages and cities, gorgeous nature. Over the past 15 years, the country has become much more beautiful and more prosperous.Obviously, the achievements it has are the result of normal evolution of society and the result of the efforts undertaken by the government as well. Not to recognize the latter means to start a dispute about what would happen if the development of the country was going the other way.
The state has invested a lot of money to support the village, which in turn led to a significant increase in quality of life of peasants and in growing of agricultural production.Contribution to the life style of peasants has changed slightly, but it should be noted that in the village there is a new category of ‘salaried’ workers, and that for seasonal work the necessary professionals from the city are mobilized through administrative resource.The share of the private sector in the economy of Belarus is small, no more than 3% in the village and around 20% in the city. It is likely that the difficulties associated with changes in the structure of economy is yet to come. Much has been made in the restoration and construction of tourist facilities, including museums and ancient abandoned palaces.
External ‘cleanness and order‘ are in contrast to chronic, unresolved problems in the society. There is a full Belarusian language disaster in the state – the real, equal use of native language is absent because of the immoral government inactivity.On the other hand, the language issue is now noticeable even in the villages, where children speak ‘Russian trasyanka‘, which evidences a parental consent to such unnatural linguistic transformation. In part, belarusophobs contribute to the slow extinction of Belarusian language.Despite the absence of an official ban on the use of the Belarusian language the manifestations of belarusophob’ activities can be observed very often (see examples above for street names in Polotsk, program of the ballet ‘Vytautas’,advertising andrailway station names, etc.) .
It is difficult to say that there is a moral unity in the Belarusian state. In the country, people are suffering for their political views. The vast majority of the Belarusian population, perhaps with the exception of youth,is not interested in the future of their country andtheir children, and live for today what probably suits them. Perhaps, an additional negative impact on tolerant Belarusians gives indifference which follows from the government vibrations between east and west. The state propaganda machine,using the old approaches of the Cold War, also contributes to that. It is possible that today’s public sentiment would be consistent with the construction of a neutral state, which in fact spelled out in Article 18 of the Constitution: ‘The Republic of Belarus has a purpose to make itsterritory of a nuclear-free zone and the neutral state’. However, the other moral principles are used in determining the direction of development of the state (the construction of ‘Stalin Lines‘, an anti-Western propaganda)which greatly postpones the opportunity for Belarus to join the family of European nations where there are different moral values.
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The essay is dedicated to the problem of national identity and transformation of commonmentality at the present time. It is recognized a large influence of values and cultural traditions to social life and economic conditions of any society. The special attention is paid to the key role of patterns in a collective consciousness which determine the direction of human behavior and further development. The author mentioned that namely this sphere becomes the place of power struggle today. Some typical mental and verbal stereotypes of modern Belarusians are also analyzed.
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This article is an introduction to the chapter titled “Belarusian culture” from the book “I Love Belarus” by Pavel Sevjarynets. Whether you would read it in Belarusian you would find that the Belarusian culture is so nice and unique as Belarusian language is. This introduction as the entire book was written with so much love about the existence, culture, and traditions of Belarusian people.
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The article explains the existence of separate Eastern Slavic civilization in the modern European territories of Belarus and Ukraine. Slavs, migrated in Eastern Europe in 5-9 centuries BC, under the influence of various factors separated and formed two civilizations – Eastern Slavic (Belarusian-Ukrainian) civilization, and Eurasian civilization. The disengagement of the Eastern Slavs was determined by the characteristics of their tribes, the natural conditions of the Eastern European plain and the Eurasian steppes, assimilation with local tribes, the internecine wars between the lands and kingdoms, the influence of the Mongol Empire, the emergence of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania as the unifier of the Eastern Slavs. In the development and interaction of these civilizations might be observed three periods, ‘dakieuski and kieuski,’ emergence period, and modern period.
It seems that the ethno-national division of the Eastern Slavs began in the 10-11 century regardless of the processes of formation of Kievan Rus’ and even before its collapse. This division took place between the Slavs who lived in what is now Ukraine and Belarus, and Slavs migrated in the North-East District/Edge (territory of the future Muscovy), where they mingled during the ‘first wave’ of assimilation with Finno-Ugric Peoples (Mordva, Mari, Ves, Meščera, Muroma). The second wave of assimilation with Turkic peoples for centuries, as during the reign of the Golden Horde and in the later periods, even more separated Muscovy Slavs from the Slavs of modern Belarus and Ukraine. Eurasian culture of Muscovy/Russia is based on mutual understanding, lifestyles, mentalities, traditions and knowledge of Slavic and Finno-Ugric and Turkic peoples. We can assume that Russia, including over the long history of the Eurasian territory and its population, is the successor of the Eurasian movement from east to west. However, many Russians still consider Russia, contrary to the facts, exclusively Slavic nation, and do not recognize the separate existence of Belarusian and Ukrainian ethnic groups.
Infighting between the principalities of Kievan Rus’ was one of the major factors in its decay, but on the other hand led to a strengthening and separation of existing at the time centers(Principality of Polotsk, Galician-Volyn principality) and create a new feudal formations of future Muscovy (Republic of Novgorod, Rostov-Suzdal principality). Slavs of modern Belarus and Ukraine is largely preserve their identity and civilization through the Grand Duchy of Lithuania (GDL) which actually united the Eastern Slavs after the collapse of Kievan Rus’. Such a unifying role could not perform Muscovy while itself was in vassal depending on the Golden Horde of Mongols.
The Eastern Slavic civilization is nearly three centuries older over the Eurasian, both because of the slow migration of the Slavson the future lands of Muscovy (as evidenced by a much later formation of Suzdal in comparison to the principalities of Polotsk and Kiev)and due to vassal dependence of Muscovy from the Tatars over 240 years. The population of Belarus and Ukraine exists for almost eight centuries and itis largely ethnically homogeneous and has been residing in the same territory while the Slavs of North-East Edge were assimilated at first with Finno-Ugric tribes, and later with Turkic peoples and expanded its territory dozens of times.The principal difference between two civilizations is observedwhile calculating the ratio of the Slavs to other ethnic groups and the ratio of Christian believers to the faithful Muslims.
Obviously, the enrollment of Belarus and Ukraine to the orthodox, eastern or Eurasian / Russian civilization (despite a number of characteristic features of Western civilization) is made on the basis of myths and conclusionsmade as the result of the interpretation of historical facts of view of geopolitics (the myths of the trinity of three Slavic nations, ‘the Great’, ‘Malorosov’ and ‘Belarusians,’ approval of the Slavic character of the Russian Empire,the continuity of the history of Kievan Rus to Russia, a claim for the role of Muscovy in the union of the Eastern Slavs). The development of civilization requires a long time and it is clear that Eastern SlavicEuropeanor Belarusian-Ukrainian civilization will take proper and appropriate place in an era of global change in the world through the understanding and co-operation of its constituent parts which still have a lot in common with each other.
Number 2 (PDF in Belarusian)
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The article postulates the existence of distinct East Slavic european civilization in the modern territories of Belarus and Ukraine. The analysis shows that under the influence of various factors the Slavs after migration in Eastern Europe in the 5-9 centuries AD divided and formed two civilizations – East Slavic (Belarusian-Ukrainian civilization) and Eurasian civilization. The disengagement was due to the tribal characteristics of the Eastern Slavs and the natural conditions of the East European Plain and the Eurasian steppes, the assimilation with local tribes, the internecine wars between the lands and kingdoms, the influence of the Mongol Empire, the emergence of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania as a unifier of the Eastern Slavs. East Slavic civilization was formed in the 13-14 centuries whereas the formation of the Eurasian civilization began in the 13-15 centuries. The interaction of East Slavic european and Eurasian civilizations during ‘pre-Kievan and Kievan’ period, ‘ transition ‘Mongol’ period, and the modern one is described.
The proof of the existence of the East Slavic civilization is the development of the Belarusian and Ukrainian ethnic groups and states over the past eight centuries. It seems that the ethno-national division of the Eastern Slavs began in the 10-11 centuries regardless of the processes of formation of Kievan Rus’ and even before its collapse. This division took place between the Slavs who lived on the territory of modern Ukraine and Belarus, and the Slavs migrated in the North-East District (territory of the future Muscovy) where the latterassimilated with local Finno-Ugric Peoples (Mordovians, Mary, Ves, Meshchera, Muroma) (‘the first wave of assimilation‘). Infighting between the principalities of Kievan Rus’ was one of the major factors in its decay, but on the other hand led to the strengthening and isolationof existed at that time centres (the principality of Polotsk) and to the creation of new feudal formations of future Muscovy (Republic of Novgorod, Rostov-Suzdal principality).
A critical point in the division of the Eastern Slavs was the Mongol-Tatar occupation. Under the Mongol influence the Eurasian culture of Muscovy / Russia was later formed which was based on the interdependence of lifestyles, mentalities, traditions and knowledge that had Slavs and peoples of the Mongol Empire. The second assimilation wave with the Turkic peoples for centuries separated Muscovy Slavs even more from the eastern Slavs that lived in the territories of present-day Belarus and Ukraine. This division was primarily the result of the interaction and collision of demographic movements of the Slavs from the West to the East and Eurasian peoples from the East to the West. This process continues until now. We can assume that Russia, including over the long history the Eurasian territory and population, is the successor of Eurasian movement.
Eastern Slavs of Belarus and Ukraine is largely preserve their identity through the Grand Duchy of Lithuania (GDL) which actually was the unifier of the Eastern Slavs after the collapse of Kievan Rus’. Such a unifying role could not be performed by Muscovy as it was itself in a vassal dependence from the Mongols of the Golden Horde. Belarusians and Ukrainians made up the bulk of the GDL population. Since 1569 the GDL had within the Commonwealth the great and true autonomy. Even 30 years after the capture of GDL at the end of the 18th century the GDL statute was still acted and the Institute of the nobility and the Uniate Church were existed as well (for example, more than 70% of Belarusians were the Uniats at that time).
The place of the East Slavic civilization among other civilizations in the era of globalization is discussed. Obviously, the enrollment of Belarus and Ukraine to the orthodox, eastern or eurasian / russian civilization is made on the basis of myths and conclusions due to an interpretation of the historical facts from the point of view of geopolitics. This article criticises partially the theories about the role of the vikings in the development of the Eastern Slavs, the trinity of the three eastern Slavic peoples, the Slavic character of the Russian state, the continuity of the history of Kievan Rus to Russia, the role of Muscovy in the union of the Eastern Slavs. The forced annexation of East Slavic civilization to the Eurasian one in 19-20 centuries only temporarily changed its european status for eurasian. The development of civilization requires a long time and it is obvious that the East Slavic European or Belarusian-Ukrainian civilization with understanding and combined action of its components will take an appropriate place in the world in the era of global changes.
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Many Western countries have attempted to foster directly and indirectly political change in Belarus, however none of them have succeeded. The question rises – why there has not been any change? This article refers to three types of changes – political, economic and social. The question can only be answered once one understands the Belarusian culture, people, and society. The argument is that the people themselves lack the resources, knowledge and ambition for the change.
A majority of the people struggle to live on a daily basis. There certainly are some wealthy people, however they have accomplished that under the current regime and dramatic change may jeopardize their current economic well being. Citizens live calculating everyday how much they can spend today on food or on other day to day necessities. They are occupied thinking how much they will be bringing in financially until next month and consumed with considerations whether they will be able to afford a warm jacket for their children or not. These types of thoughts occupy the majority of the citizens on a daily basis. In order to create change in Belarus there will need to be some expenses – travelling to the capital, reading the newspaper (or internet), and paying the appropriate political party. Since survival is their main priority, the thought of participating in political change in Belarus is not on their mind. It is difficult, if not impossible, to be hopeful and dream of a different and better tomorrow.
Secondly, many of the people lack sufficient knowledge to understand how political, economic and social transformation may occur. There is a young generation that is gaining more knowledge about the world through social sites. They do see that in other countries life seems better then in Belarus. Most of the youth want the change but they are occupied with their studies, working or raising families. All three of these considerations take the majority of their energy. They require attention, money and diligence. So even though young generation may have some of the knowledge they choose not to participate in political or social change, as survival is more important to them.
Ambition and want for change is the most critical element. If, some of the people simply do not care in what society they live – they will not contribute to the change. Simply wanting change will not create it either. Many do want change but they do not do anything about it. According to the countless recent examples – those who did have ambition and worked forchanges, were severely punished for it. In addition, there are numerous examples unknown to the international community, which are undisclosed since their exposure could result in additional punishment of a small circle of people. There is a large group of people outside of Belarus who wish for change and have the ambition to affect change. Unfortunately this does not, and most likely will not, contribute in any way for a change in Belarus for two main reasons. First if the change was to begin, under many international sanctions and threats the Belarusian government would have had to give in. However, Belarus is structured in such a way that it can still survive (and I mean barely survive) without the Western community. Second the contributions made by Non-Governmental Organizations are very limited due to their fear of expulsion or Belarus’s non-reaction. They are simply ineffective when it comes to contributing to change because Belarus does not operate under the influence of others.
In conclusion a lack of change in Belarus exists due to a lack of resources, knowledge and optimism. Once there is change in some of these factors, a possible transformation may occur. Until then Belarus will continue to go on with its own pace.
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Educational Project “RAZAM” (“ALTOGETHER”)
It is supposed to create a database on belarusian history and culture for educational purposes. A database will consist of short one-page information with most prominent event in the life of belarusian people. There are three stages in the realization of project “RAZAM” (“ALTOGETHER”): data collection (until December 2013), data verification (January-March 2014), and data distribution (starting from April 2014). A critical point is a distribution and it is thought a number of institutions will take a participation in the overspreading of unique and unified information – altogether – at the same time – under one title. Among those institutions might be electronic mass-media, periodicals, resources of political parties and non-government organizations, individuals. The goal of project is to reach at least 30% recognition among the belarusian population. Readers’ participation in the creation of database is welcomed. A short description and examples of educational materials are attached.
Number 1 (PDF in Belarusian)
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There is no evidence today to suggest that there is a strong Belarusian nation. Such characteristics of the nation as a territory, ethnic Belarusian groups are present, while others, use of native language and recognition themselves as Belarusians, are very weak or even absent. Despite the relatively large homogeneity of Belarusians in the country, which is a good basis for nation-building, Belarusian nation as a whole is not strong, “dumb”, suppressed by Russian mass culture, without manifestations of national will and honor. A part of the national conscious people is pretty thin and it is only sufficient yet to support the Belarusian idea at a minimum level and it is insufficient to change the consciousness of society as a whole. In addition, there is no overall strategy to work together in the development of the Belarusian nation. As time passes, lost momentum and the generation that still feels themselves as Belarusians. Thus, we can say that under any circumstances for the actual construction of the nation state in the near future there is no serious basis.
It is also obvious that it is impossible to build the nation-state without the state. Now there is no indication that the denationalized government has a desire to perform some changes. Development of Belarusian culture, despite some declarative statements, is not a real state policy. If no changes occur in the 10-20 years, the society will be a denationalized civil state. Russification, which began 200 years ago, continues in Belarus so far. Modern Belarusian government exploiting the eastern vector of foreign policy, which is not based even on pan-Slavic, but on neo-Soviet ideology, suppresses the development of nation, which in turn leads the population of Belarus into assimilation by Russian politics and culture. In fact, Belarus is on the way of building a Russian-speaking civil state, which in turn can result in a real loss of its sovereignty by associating with other Russian speaking territories. Possible savings and the development of Belarusian culture in Russian-speaking environment – it’s a rhetorical question, and quite ridiculous.
Our neighbors, Latvia and Lithuania for 20 years have done a lot in nation-building and in many ways can be an example for us, as well as Poland, from which we have substantial support. Nation-building has become possible even in countries such as Latvia and Kazakhstan, where the proportion of ethnic titular nations was critically low. Ukraine solves almost the same problems as Belarus in the development of state and nation. On what will be the result of solving the existing conflict between Ukraine and Russia will partly depend external conditions of existence of Republic of Belarus. Almost all neighboring countries, except Russia, sympathy and help in the development of democracy in Belarus, thus contributing to the creation of new opportunities for the development of the nation. Twenty-two years ago Belarusians finally broke out of 200-year tutelage of the Russian Empire and got a real chance to return to the state, which they have had for centuries. But as always, on the part of Russia the danger still comes for the Belarusian independence. And although there are a number of conditions and facts that do not allow such a scenario to think about, but absolutely exclude this possibility no one can. The same can be said about the economic independence and autonomy despite the balance of the Belarusian economy between Russia and the rest of the world at this time.
Apparently, national leaders have to recognize that in the current conditions the possibility of building a real national state remains only theoretical. In terms of the language the nation-state could be established in the future on ‘Ireland type’ or ‘Czech type.’ But the theoretical possibility can’t be realized in the next decades, as it requires time and significant consolidation and education of the population of Belarus. It does not depend on who is in power, because it is impossible to carry out these tasks in a short period of time. This means that it is necessary to develop both short-and long-term projects aimed at achieving the conditions and changes to build the nation-state. And it’s not just the language. The nation can’t be built if Belarusians will not know the ancient history of his people: that Adam Mickiewicz is their national poet, as he is considered by the Poles and Lithuanians as well; that Belarusians can be proud of many prominent countrymen both past and present who were unjustly appropriated by neighbors who are shamefully silent on this point and do not want to share now; that we are distinctive, ancient nation able to solve own vital problems as free and equal nation among the other nations.
National elite remains the storage of values that already gained, their enrichment and long-term implementation in the national consciousness at least during one generation. What is being done in this area to date this is very good, but not enough. It seems that an important role in creating an information space can play Belarusian diaspora. Without the education of majority of Belarusian population theoretical possibility of nation-state building can’t be realized.
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Nowadays Belarusian issue, particularly in regard to the study of problems identity, became extremely important.This is not a coincidence, because the modern world wants to know who are the Belarusians that suddenly appeared as something special along with the birth of the Republic of Belarus on the international political map.In addition, the study of identity most often used in combination as “national identity” still remains one of the most pressing study problems in the social sciences.Finally, special attention should be given to the Belarusian case in terms of its features.However, the Belarusian identity is challenged today like the reality and like the concept, which is explained, in turn, not only by features of the Belarusian case in particular, but by a general theoretical debate over the fundamental concepts such as “identity” and “nation”.
In order to study Belarusian identity different conceptual approaches should be applied, i.e. as the concept of “identity as a given”, and the “identity as a construction.”In addition, it is necessary to use an approach, of which the starting point is the study of identification processes in each case.This will determine the role of the Belarusian language as well as to analyze the impact of historical and geographical / geopolitical factors on the content of identity and the ways of its formation.It is in this vein, we propose an analysis providing reasons clarifying the Belarusian case.
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The article draws attention to the approach adopted in problematic demarcation of the Belarusian society by a factor of consciousness. Overview of the topic starts with the presentation of the conscious and unconscious parts of the psyche which are interpreted from the point of view of psychoanalysis and science in general. The author substantiates the use of the term “svyadamit”(a conscious and knowledgeable person) presenting his view of the existing division for “svyadamits” and “non-svyadamits” and sets out the associated threats.
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This paper analyzed various actions of the international community, including diplomatic and informal negotiations, and unilateral and multilateral approaches to sanctions against authoritarian regimes. A case study of Belarus was developed and analyzed in relation to the paper’s hypothesis. The themes of diplomatic and informal negotiations, and unilateral and multilateral approaches to sanctions were applied to case study of the Republic of Belarus. Essentially, the case study allowed the reader to further understand the importance of the international community’s actions and their impact on democratization process. It is clear that whether the actions are taken through diplomatic or unofficial negotiations, or sanctions, if they are taken multilaterally they are more likely to be effective.