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30 Dec 2020

Palace of Independence hosts Belarus New Year's Eve Ball

Palace of Independence hosts Belarus New Year's Eve Ball

MINSK, 29 December (BelTA) – The Belarus New Year's Eve Ball for the youth took place in the Palace of Independence on 29 December, BelTA has learned.

Some 314 young people from different regions of Belarus were invited to the event. They included university students, students of institutions of general secondary, vocational and secondary special education. Among them were scholarship holders of the Special Presidential Fund for Social Support of Gifted Students, winners, participants and prize-winners of various competitions, Olympiads and conferences.

Among the attendees were Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko, Culture Minister Anatoly Markevich and Education Minister Igor Karpenko, Deputy Prime Minister Igor Petrishenko.

The first part of the ball, the classical one, opened with a polonaise of debutants. These were 72 couples formed from gifted youth ages 16-23 who were auditioned and chosen to study ballroom etiquette and ballroom dance rehearsals for two months.

“Today, history comes alive here in the Palace of Independence, which is always reserved and formal. It is the history of Belarus, which is rich in unique and beautiful traditions,” said head of state Aleksandr Lukashenko as he welcomed the participants of the New Year's ball.

The culture of ballroom dancing, according to the president, is traditional for Belarus. “Tonight is not just a holiday but a journey to the roots of traditions. By the way, it is one of the traditions that we are recreating. There can be no state without traditions. The aspiration of our people to statehood and independence was nurtured and strengthened over the centuries around these traditions. What is statehood? First of all it is a recognition by the people of their historical right to be the masters of their land, the feeling of connection with the generations of different epochs, the understanding of how the national character and the mentality of the modern man was formed,” the Belarusian leader said.

“Today we are not just remembering the tradition, we are filling it with new content. Just a little more than a century ago you could attend a festival like this only by the right of belonging to the rich and titled classes. I do not mean to say that there are no rich and titled here today, but I think they are in the minority. Nowadays, the doors of the Palace of Independence are open to everyone. Everyone has a chance to visit it both as a guest and as an official, and not due to blood privilege or connections, but due to hard work, talent and commitment to the Fatherland,” Aleksandr Lukashenko stressed.

The head of state wished the New Year's Eve Ball to give its participants unforgettable emotions. Most importantly, it should awaken a sense of belonging to the heritage of Belarusian history and responsibility for the future of the Fatherland, said the president.

“Believe me, in a little while you will sit your children and later your grandchildren on your laps, pull out a shabby album and find photos of you so young, beautiful and inspired and you will tell them about these moments. You will be the envy of millions of those who were not lucky enough to get to the Palace of Independence today,” said Aleksandr Lukashenko.

The president also addressed words of gratitude to all those who worked to create the ball atmosphere. He recalled the first Vienna Ball in the history of sovereign Belarus held in the Palace of Independence in December 2019. “We need to do everything with our own hands if we can. And we can do everything,” the Belarusian leader said.

The head of state extended Christmas and New Year's greetings to the ball participants and wished them happiness and success. “I wanted to say that you should always be so beautiful. I, of course, wish you that. But youth is such a ‘flaw' that passes very quickly, and we will definitely be different. But a person is beautiful not only in appearance. I still wish you to be more beautiful, spiritually, internally, first of all. Let all your dreams come true. Let our beloved and unique Belarus, thanks to your successes and achievements, become even stronger and more beautiful. Looking at you, I am convinced that it will be stronger and more beautiful, and it will definitely be ours,” the president said.

The classical part of the ball was followed by a free program which included rumba, tango, samba, pasodoble, and a final quadrille.

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