BELARUSIAN NATIONAL MINORITY IN POLAND AND POLISH-BELARUSIAN CULTURAL COOPERATION ABROAD OF CENTURIES
The Republic of Belarus and Poland are linked by centuries-old traditions of good neighborly relations, this is especially true of spiritual and cultural contacts. Suffice it to recall A. Mitskevich and
E. Ozheshko, M. Oginsky and S. Monyushko, whose work is an invaluable asset as Polish and Belarusian history and culture. The same can be said of F. Skorin, F. Bogushevich, V. Dunine-Marcinkiewicz, J. Kupala, whose works are well known in Poland. Belarusian-Polish borderland culture is an impressive example of dialogical nature European intercultural communication. The results of the dialogue of the two cultures, if measured by cultural heritage significant. Today, the Poles living in Belarus, developing and multiplying the traditions of Polish culture, thereby increasing the contribution of Belarusian culture to European and world civilization. Should to note the significant contribution that Belarusians living today make to Polish culture in Poland. A wide presentation of Belarusian culture and art in Poland, as well as Polish in Belarus, is an important step in the development of good neighborly relations between the two countries, gives impetus to
cooperation in the field of culture, science, education, allows to establish close ties between the public of two states.
The names of Belarusians – prose writer S. Yanovich, poet V. Shved, artist L. Tarasevich and others – can be rank among the prominent figures of Polish contemporary literature and art. Huge work on preservation and development of the traditions of Belarusian folklore, customs, architecture for over 40 years holds a Belarusian socio-cultural partnership located in Bialystok. To the most
Important events of the Belarusian amateur movement include: 1) the Belarusian Song contest; 2) Belarusian folk festivals; 3) celebration of Kupalya in Bialowieza; 4) a holiday of Belarusian culture in Bialystok.
The festival “Belarusian Song” is held annually in a number of cities, and the final stage festival – in Bialystok. Concerts gather up to three thousand spectators. And at the Kupalya in Bialowieza arrives up to 10 thousand people (including from Belarus). It’s hard to imagine any kind of holiday on Bialystotka without the participation of Belarusian folklore groups “Malanka”, “Vasilechki”, “Khloptsyrybalotsy” … Up to 10 groups and several hundred spectators gather at folklore festivals. In mid-January 2003, a Belarusian New Year’s ball was held in Warsaw, in which attended by over 300 people. The Belarusian Ball was organized by the Warsaw Department of the Belarusian socio-cultural organization (BOKO) with the help of the Embassy of Belarus in Poland. After a two-year break, the renewal of the traditions of a joint New Year’s meeting on the old style by the Belarusians of Poland. It turns out that the diverse activities that organizes BOKO, about 80 are held annually. Up to 60 thousand spectators take part in them. Belarusian youth from all over Poland gathers festival of contemporary youth music “Basovishcha”, initiated by the Belarusian Student Association. The festival is held annually (since 1990), youth musical groups from Białystok region and The Republic of Belarus. Since 1991, BOS has become a founding member of the Assembly of Belarusian Organizations in Poland, it participated in the creation of the Belarusian Democratic Union, the Belarusian historical partnership and some other socio-political and cultural-educational
Belarusians organizations in Poland. The Museum of Belarus plays an important role in the spiritual public life of Belarusians in Poland national culture in Gaynovka.
For several years now, book publishers of the Republic of Belarus have been exhibiting at the International Book Fair in Warsaw. In 1996, Belarusian publishers received an award from the Polish Culture Foundation for promoting Polish books in Belarus. Since 1995, the Association of Villa Decius has been very active in Krakow. The main goal of the organization is to create conditions for dialogue between different cultures. In their Activities also include the presentation of cultures of national minorities in Poland. In 1997, on the initiative of the Belarusian Embassy in Warsaw, the Days of Belarusian Culture were held. For the first time, sovereign Belarus was able to demonstrate the achievements of its national culture in a neighboring country. Particularly noteworthy are the relations between Grodno State University and the University of Bialystok, the main areas of which are: the development and deepening of contacts between departments, faculties; exchange of scientific and didactic information character; the organization of scientific internships, the exchange of teachers and researchers; exchange groups of students and others. When we talk about national minorities – Belarusian in Poland and Polish in Belarus, it must be emphasized that the governments of countries strive to provide favorable conditions for the preservation, development and expression of their national, cultural, linguistic, ethnic identity, freedom of religion. This is recorded in the Agreement between the Republic of Belarus and the Republic of Poland on good neighborliness and cooperation of June 23, 1992, as well as in a number of other intergovernmental and interdepartmental agreements. Only during the year after the signing of the Treaty there were five official visits of representatives of the parties to Minsk and Warsaw, including the visit of President L. Walesa in June 1993. The heads of the foreign affairs agencies began to meet regularly at various international forums. Occupies a special place intergovernmental agreement on cooperation in the field of protection of historical and cultural heritage. Belarusian performers perform at prestigious international festivals that take place in Poland. It is worth recalling the International Festival of Church Music in Gaynovka, at which Belarusian bands have once again taken leading places. With great success are performances of the Belarusian Academic Theater named after Y. Kupala during traditional theater festivals in Bialystok. The historical drama by R. Borovikova “Barbara Radziwil” was shown by the Republican Theater of Belarusian Drama in Warsaw in 1995, at the Royal Theater and “Theater on the Volley”, where it was a great success. May 21, 2004 in the Belarusian Museum in Gaynovka the grand opening of the Days of the Belarusian film took place, where the film “Anastasia Slutskaya” was shown. Recently, direct contacts between the creative unions of Belarus and Poland, national cultural institutions, and artistic groups have been intensified.
As an example We can name the cooperation of the Union of Composers of Belarus and Poland, the Belarusian Academic Theater named after Y. Kupala and the Drama Theater named after Vengerka in Bialystok. Fruitful cooperation in the field of culture is one of the main directions of cross-border relations, direct connections between the regions of Belarus and the voivodships of Poland, twin cities. On March 14, 2002, the Belarusian Association held its first meeting of Belarusian and Polish twin cities. More than 40 cities of Belarus and the same number of Poland took part. For five years, the Belarusian society “Belarus-Poland” and the Polish “Poland-Belarus” have been actively cooperating. They have a lot of interesting initiatives and events. Such as the Belarusian language Olympiads in Poland, joint conferences of Belarusian and Polish historians, meetings of writers. In addition, in 1999 a protocol was signed on cooperation between the Belarus-Poland and Poland-Belarus societies. They hold annual actions to improve the health of Belarusian children in camps and rest homes, the same charitable events are held annually by numerous state and public organizations, the church, just citizens who invite children to their families in Poland. In connection with the global socio-economic and socio-political changes that occurred in the life of the two peoples, the relationship developed dynamically, although not simply. 90s XX century For the countries of the former socialist camp, they are a difficult period in the search for new guidelines in building a new state policy of international cooperation, which could not but affect the sphere of cultural cooperation. The democratization of political and cultural life has affected the conditions for the exchange of cultural achievements at the international level. Independence made it possible for Belarus to conduct an equal dialogue with its closest neighbor. All the above events help a better understanding of the history and culture of peoples and their minorities, the development of interethnic contacts, the dialogue of border culture, the processes of interpenetration and integration of border culture.