2016 is the Year of Culture in Belarus. In broader sense, culture is the essential component of any nation’s progress, the constellation of all human achievements. It is creativity, intellect, and knowledge. In a sense, 2016 should become the year of a breakthrough. And every Belarusian citizen, whatever he may do, not necessarily music or cinema, can make their contribution to this country's development, to the promotion of Belarusian art and lifestyle.
The beau monde calls 2016 a Renaissance period. It should be interesting and eventful, abundant in anniversaries and symbolic dates. The poet Maksim Bahdanovich was born 125 years ago; the musician Vladimir Mulyavin would be 75 years old in 2016; and the first contest of Slavianski Bazaar in Vitebsk (the international festival of arts) took place a quarter of a century ago.
In 2016, the state programme Culture for the period up to 2020 will be launched. The results of the previous five-year plan are striking. The state programme Belarus Castles was successfully implemented. The Yanka Kupala, the Young Spectator's and the State Youth theatres were renovated. Dozens of world known plays and unique exhibitions were put on.
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The art will be promoted further on this year. The Kupala theatre actor Igor Denisov stages a new production, Maksim Haretski's "Two Souls". Nevertheless, many more surprises are ahead. But to keep the mystery, the details of other premieres are not announced.
Igor Denisov, actor of the Janka Kupala National Academic theatre:
Why is theatre fascinating? Because there is a moment of personal interaction, you feel the warm breath.
Nina Sharubina, the soloist of the Belarus Bolshoi Theatre, also has great plans for the year. The whole world admires her lyric dramatic soprano. In 2016, the Belarusian prima donna will continue to be an inspiration for many art connoisseurs.
Nina Sharubina, the Honoured Artist of the Republic of Belarus, soloist of the National Academic Bolshoi Opera and Ballet Theatre of the Republic of Belarus:
It is the people of every sphere of artistic world who feed the souls of our nation.
When the construction of a building in the town of Cherikov began, nobody even imagined that its grand opening would be so symbolic and indeed appropriate to such a year.
Natalya Khalyuzeva, director of the Cherikov district cultural centre:
We have a new 300-seat hall, a great dance hall and a library. Hobby groups for adults and children will be opened soon.
The singing duo Alexander Tikhanovich and Yadviga Poplavskaya will certainly have a chance to perform on the stage of the Cherikov cultural centre. In 2016, this creative and family union is having a big tour and marking the 30th anniversary.
The artists were always eager to visit provinces and thus to enrich the life of locals with art and culture.
Alexander Tikhanovich, People's Artist of Belarus:
The artist must share a part of himself and his art with everyone: with townsfolk, villagers and those living in remote places as well. For you come to the province and see that locals were looking forward to your arrival.
The nationwide project Cultural Capital becomes remarkable in the year of culture. Over the New Year, the baton was passed from legendary Brest to Molodechno. In 2015, Ekaterina Zabenko and the CTV program Cultural Capital was looking through and adding to the history of the city upon the Bug River. TV viewers got acquainted with Brest’s sights of different popularity.
Alexander Rogachuk, chairman of the Brest Executive Committee:
I would like to thank the CTV for actively promoting our amazing city, the cultural capital. I did watch every episode of this program, they are very appealing, professionally made and have high ratings. May success and prosperity accompany the CTV this year!
Valentina Zheleznaya, the CTV:
Grand opening nights, art masterpieces, music hits and bestselling books. Artists will obviously share their talents with us. However, apparently, we should also pay attention to ourselves. If we add a bit of culture to our daily lives, the year 2016 won't be wasted.
This year, we're zeroing in not only on the art aspect of culture, but on the broader sense of the word: the culture of everyday life and production, of family and human relationships.
Moreover, the first and unique Code of Culture will be introduced in Belarus in 2016. The document comprises 4 presidential decrees, the government and Ministry of Culture resolutions. Besides protecting national heritage, the Code will promote everyday culture.
Boris Svetlov, Minister of Culture of the Republic of Belarus:
The word "culture" can indicate outstanding achievements in any sphere of human activity, be it in communication, production or human relationships.
Concern for the nature and high-level agriculture are crucial. The chairman of Mazolov rural executive committee notes that the land needs to be nourished in return for feeding us. During last 18 months, a local agricultural enterprise received 80 cultivated hectares from the executive committee. Former inarable lands and wastelands have become fertile.
Leonid Dubina, chairman of Mazolovo rural executive committee:
There were vegetable gardens of 10 hectares ranked with tall weeds. We've put everything in order.
Galina Karelina, resident of Luzhesno village:
I've always been a perfectionist. Everything that I do should look neat.
Every neighbour knows Galina Demyanovna's garden, it is a local attraction. The old lady is convinced that civilized people ought to be tidy in every aspect. And in the Year of Culture, all of us should take her as an example. The woman takes care of her 30-are kitchen garden and mows by herself. Here is floral paradise in summer. Even now, in low season, plants please the eye as though they are grateful to the woman.