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7 Sep 2015

Grodno to host Festival of National Cultures on 3-4 July 2015

MINSK, 7 September (BelTA) – The 11th edition of the Festival of National Cultures will gather friends on 3-4 July of next year, chief specialist of the culture and art office at the Culture Ministry Lyudmila Lebed told a press conference, BelTA has learned.

The opening concert of the festival will take place in Minsk on 12 September this year. It will be followed by regional qualifying rounds which will last from September to December. Final events will be held in Grodno.

According to Lyudmila Lebed, the festival welcomes an increasing number of people of different nationalities. Its jury is composed of famous figures of culture and art. The festival is open to both established artists and also novices whose experience on the big stage is yet limited. It has become a tradition to open a new facility during the Festival of National Cultures. This is how a garden of friendship has been laid in Grodno. It has trees from different countries.

Director of the National Center of National Cultures Mikhail Rybakov said that the festive opening concert in Minsk will feature such groups as Sunny Georgia dance group, Ukrainian vocal ensemble Krynytsya, Armenian dance group Erebuni, Korean group Arirang, and others. The regional qualifying rounds will kick off the next day after the opening concert. First qualifying round will be held in the town of Miory, Vitebsk Oblast. Then it will travel to the town of Malorita of Brest Oblast, Rogachev of Gomel Oblast, Lida of Grodno Oblast, Minsk and Molodechno of Minsk Oblast and Bobruisk of Mogilev Oblast. Both groups and individual representatives can become a participant of the Festival of National Cultures.

The Festival of National Cultures is growing in scale drawing more participants. The first festival featured representatives of 11 nationalities, the tenth edition had 36. There is no festival of the kind in other countries. It allows showing the culture and traditions of different peoples, and promotes the policy of equality among all nationalities, said Mikhail Rybakov.

The Festival of National Cultures in Belarus is held every two years. It starts in districts and oblasts. The final events are held in Grodno. The forum brings together and unites all national minorities living in Belarus, promotes the preservation of the national identity and, at the same time, promotes the understanding and mutual enrichment of cultures.

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

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