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28 Jul 2017

Belarus-Latvia-Russia summer camp hailed as ‘place of friendship’

VERKHNEDVINSK DISTRICT, 28 July (BelTA) – The international summer camp Be-La-Rus is running in Verkhnedvinsk District, Vitebsk Oblast from 27 to 30 July. It stays ever-young thanks to its unifying power, the camp’s participants told BelTA.

“The camp gathers some 500-600 young people from Belarus, Latvia, and Russia every year. This is the place where friends meet and new joint ideas and projects are conceived. The organizers always try to bring some interesting things, but friendship still remains the core of the camp,” Secretary of the Central Committee of the BRSM Youth Union Viktoria Mennanova said. In 2017, the camp is powered by Russia which made up this year’s motto: “25 years together towards the 19th World Festival of Youth and Students”. Belarusians will also take part in this event due in Sochi, Russia in October 2017.

According to Chairman of the Russian Union of Youth Pavel Krasnorutsky, there are very few projects run by youth organizations that have lasted this long. “Young people came here from 10 regions of the Russian Federation. There is even a girl from the Yamal Peninsula. There are quite a few participants from Moscow and Moscow Oblast. This means that the interest in the camp has been growing. Friendship has started up between girls and boys from Russian regions, Belarus, and Latvia,” Pavel Krasnorutsky noted.

The opening ceremony of the camp took place in the evening of 27 July. The delegations presented their national cultural and other peculiarities. Active members of the BRSM Grodno Oblast Committee officially invited Latvian peers to take part in the next festival of cultures.

“The camp was established in 1992 after the Soviet Union had collapsed. But the youth strived for friendship without borders,” the camp’s veteran Tatyana Novikova pointed out. “The youth wanted to meet, communicate, and understand each other. There are many youth meetings, camps, forums being held today in Russia but basically they just serve as means of social mobility, identifying and promoting leaders. Be-La-Rus stands for collectivism. This is what attracts in it,” Tatyana Novikova added.

There are many interesting things ahead: sports events, tug-of-war and darts competitions, and a photo exhibition featuring all the highlights of the twenty-five-year old camp.

On 28 July, the participants are set to meet with veterans and hold a meeting to commemorate the heroes of the Great Patriotic War, a ceremony to lay flowers at the monument to young members of the underground movement of Vitebsk Oblast and to partisan, Hero of the Soviet Union Maria Pynto in Russia. Then they will traditionally hand over a wreath to Latvian customs officers to be laid at the monument to Hero of the Soviet Union Imants Sudmalis.

This year the summer camp is powered by the Russian Union of Youth.

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