MOSCOW, 17 February (BelTA) – Being a founding member of the United Nations, Belarus actively supports International Mother Language Day celebrated on 21 February, Igor Petrishenko, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Belarus to Russia, said at a solemn event held to mark the upcoming celebration at the business and culture center at the Belarusian Embassy in Russia on 16 February, BelTA has learned.
The diplomat noted that the Belarusian language is one of the oldest languages among the Slavic ones. In late 14th century, the Old Belarusian language became a language of written business and legislative documents. “UNESCO researchers say that Belarusian is the second most melodic language in the world after Italian,” Igor Petrishenko noted.
The Belarusian diplomat said that the language culture of Belarusians is unique and very rich. “It is embodied in songs, and of course, in works of literature. The names of Kirill of Turov, Maksim Goretsky, Vatslav Lastovsky, Napoleon Orda, Vintsent Dunin-Martsinkevich, Yanka Kupala, Yakub Kolas, Yanka Mavr and Kondrat Krapiva are closely associated with the Belarusian language and literature. In this context, I would like to say that this year we are celebrating a landmark event, the 500th anniversary of Belarusian book printing, and the world-famous son of the Belarusian land, Francysk Skaryna,” Igor Petrishenko stressed.
He noted that the Belarusian language is one of the two state languages in Belarus. The diplomat added that the Russian language and the language culture in Belarus have become closely intertwined. “Some 140 ethnic groups live in Belarus. Minority language education is supported at the state level. Representatives of the communities of Poles, Lithuanians, Estonians, Georgians, Koreans, Jews, Germans and other nationalities have the opportunity to study their languages and promote them,” Igor Petrishenko pointed out.
He emphasized that language, culture, traditions, and national values form the foundation that no country can live without.
The event at the business and culture center was attended by representatives of the Ministry for Culture of Russia, the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the CIS Executive Committee, the Permanent Committee of the Belarus-Russia Union State, and the Eurasian Economic Commission, literature museums, the Belarusian community in Russia, and also heads of ethnic and cultural organizations of other countries. They were invited to enjoy an exhibition of myths and calendar rituals of the Belarusian culture from the holdings of the Grodno State Museum of the History of Religion. The exhibition showcased over 200 artifacts, including unique tapestry works, paintings, ritual masks, sculptures and others. The event at the Belarusian Embassy in Moscow featured a performance by the folk group Kupalinka who presented songs and dances from all regions of Belarus.