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25 May 2016

Festival of national cultures in Grodno to be held under UNESCO auspices

Festival of national cultures in Grodno to be held under UNESCO auspicesMINSK, 25 May (BelTA) - UNESCO representatives have been invited to attend the final events of the 11th Festival of National Cultures in Grodno, Belarus Deputy Culture Minister Vasily Chernik told media, BelTA has learned.

Vasily Chernik noted that this year two national festivals – national cultures festival in Grodno and folk art festival Beraginya in the town of Oktyabrsky - will be held under the auspices of UNESCO, which will happen for the first time. “Such a proposal was made by UNESCO, and was supported by the Culture Ministry. We have invited UNESCO representatives to attend the festival in Grodno and Oktyabrsky. We hope that the representatives of this authoritative international organization will accept an invitation,” Vasily Chernik said.

For her part, Director of the Center of National Cultures Olga Antonenko said that in 2016 the final events of the festival in Grodno will feature representatives of 38 ethnicities: the best teams selected during regional tours in different parts of the country. For the first time the festival will welcome Sri Lankans, Nigerians and an American. Participants from Sri Lanka and Nigeria are students of Belarusian universities and the American is an 8-year-old saxophonist whose father is from the United States. All in all Grodno will welcome 800 guests, of whom 330 live in Minsk.

According to Olga Antonenko, the festival program will be rich. Belarusian well-known artists will also join in and perform songs in the languages of their ancestors were. For example, Iskui Abalyan will sing in Armenian.

A photography album, a kind of a chronicle of the festival, will be released this year. The edition will feature the pictures made by photographers for 20 years of the existence of the festival. The presentation will take place on 4 June, on the day of the festival opening.

The Festival of National Cultures in BelarusThe Festival of National Cultures in Belarus is held every two years. It starts in districts and oblasts. The final events are held in Grodno. This year's final events will be held on 4-5 June.

The forum brings together representatives of all national minorities living in Belarus, contributes to the preservation of the national identity and promotes understanding and mutual enrichment of cultures. In terms of the format the festival is unmatched in the world.

The Festival of National Cultures was first held in Grodno in 1996. The founders are the Culture Ministry of Belarus, the Office of the Commissioner for Religious and Ethnic Affairs, Center of National Cultures, the Grodno Oblast Executive Committee and Grodno City Hall.

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