Augustow Canal unites Belarus, Poland and Lithuania at traditional festival

Augustow Canal unites Belarus, Poland and Lithuania at traditional festival

On August 26, 2017 the Augustow Canal welcomed foreign guests. From the very morning people there were speaking the Belarusian, Polish and Lithuanian languages.

The international festival united the best of the national traditions of three peoples.

The festival on the Augustow Canal is traditional, but the festival of 2017 has a record number of participants. Artists from Poland and Lithuania joined the Belarusian performers. They could cross the Belarusian border without a visa for the first time.

Tadeusz Giedroyć, director of musical band “Melodia” of the Augustow cultural center (Poland):
We are here for the second time. We like it very much because Belarusians are close to us. Such events help to strengthen relations between Belarus and Poland.

Songs in different languages is the icon of the festival.

Galina Buro, CTV:
Home-made sausages, babka (a sweet yeast cake), rulka (meat dish) and draniki (potatoe pancakes), of course. Belarusians are welcoming the guests by tradition. It is not surprising that the Augustow Canal has been visited by more than 35 thousand visa-free tourists.

The guests were shown the diversity of the Belarusian culture. Professionals weaved on weaver looms, cut out vitinankas (paper cut out images), played on a wooden pipe.

Maryan Skramblevich invents and makes all the musical instruments himself, without having professional education.

Maryan Skramblevich, peoples artist of the Republic of Belarus:
I couldn’t enter the musical college, I needed to know musical notes, I had nothing in my head, I done it all by ear.

Andrius Pulokas, the Lithuanian Ambassador, decided to spend the day on the Augustow Canal. He came to the international bike ride together with his family in support of the UN Millennium Development Goals.

Andrius Pulokas, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Lithuanian Republic to the Republic of Belarus:
It is just a good idea. To ride a bike and see wonderful places. The Augustow Canal is one of the pearls of the Republic of Belarus.

More than 400 bike riders from 20 countries rode the 18 kilometer distance

in support of the tourist potential of the Grodno region, propaganda of a healthy way of life and the development of the different possibilities of the society.

The authorities of the Grodno region have far going plans for the region’s development.

Vladimir Kravtsov, chairman of Grodno Regional Executive Committee:
It will also be possible for people to come here without a visa by the railway and by air.

It is planned that the entrance to the visa free regime will move onto a new level in 2018. This grand festival on the Augustow Canal is another step forward to the aim.