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Participants of Junior Eurovision 2018 visit Palace of Independence in Minsk

Society 20.11.2018 | 10:15

MINSK, 20 November (BelTA) – Participants, delegations and organizers of the Junior Eurovision Song Contest 2018 have been taken on an excursion to the Palace of Independence in Minsk, BelTA has learned.

The participants are busy preparing for the show, therefore even as they entered the Palace of Independence they kept singing while browsing around.

Executive Supervisor of the Eurovision Song Contest Jon Ola Sand praised the high level of organization of the contest and Belarus' hospitality. “It is obvious that a great deal of work has been done and a lot of energy has been invested. This is fantastic!” he emphasized.

The participants of the contest also shared impressions, made photos, mingled with each other and made selfies. During the excursion, they were shown into various halls of the Palace of Independence and told about the history of this remarkable building.

“The atmosphere here is really cool. Words fail me to describe it. It is a great honor for me,” participant from Ukraine Darina Krasnovetska said.

Belarus' representative at the contest Daniel Yastremski said that he had already met the other contestants and even made friends with them. “It is the first time I am visiting the Palace of Independence. It is very beautiful here,” the singer said. It is a very important event for all today's visitors and a testimony to support on the part of the head of state, he added.

The participants of the Junior Eurovision shared impressions of Belarus and spoke about the songs they are to perform in the Grand Final. For example, the song of Azerbaijan's Fidan Huseynova reads that every child has a role model. “I want to be like Lara Fabian. I have already sung with her two times in a duo,” the girl said.

Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko came to the Palace to Independence to meet and greet the participants of the show in person.

Russian singer Anna Filipchuk was impressed by the meeting with the president and by what she saw in the Palace of Independence. “The president wished us good luck. He said that he will support everyone. I am glad to be here,” she noted.

Kazakhstan's Daneliya Tuleshova gave the Belarusian president a souvenir – a talisman for home. She believes in the power of talismans and wears talisman necklaces and bracelets that give her more confidence.

Australia's Jael Wena shared her feelings about the contest and impressions of Belarusian weather that differs a lot from the hot climate of her homeland. “I like it in Belarus. It is snowing, totally different weather, it is cold. I like winter,” she said. Jael has already tried traditional Belarusian dishes, including draniki.

Taking part in the contest are 20 countries, which is the highest number of participating states in the history of the contest. According to the rules of the Junior Eurovision, the maximum number of participating countries should be 18. However, this year the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) had to amend the rules because of a great number of applications. Taking part in the Junior Eurovision 2018 are young hopefuls from Australia, Azerbaijan, Albania, Armenia, Belarus, Georgia, Israel, Ireland, Italy, Kazakhstan, Macedonia, Malta, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Serbia, Ukraine, Wales (United Kingdom) and France.

Belarus has taken part in the contest 15 times. It won twice: in 2005 (Ksenia Sitnik with the song We Are Together) and in 2007 (Aleksei Zhigalkovich with the song With Friends).

The slogan of the contest is Light Up! Its logo is a rising star glorified by the Belarusian poet Maxim Bogdanovich in his poem Zorka Venera (Venus the Star). The idea behind it is that all participants are bright rising stars, and some of them will rise to stardom during the contest.

The Junior Eurovision is held by the European Broadcasting Union annually in one of the EBU participating countries. Taking part in the contest are children aged 9-14. Belarus already hosted the show in 2010. The EBU suggested that Belarus host the show again taking into consideration successful participation of Belarusian performers in the contest and the great organization of the contest in Minsk in 2010.

Photos by Nikolai Petrov

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