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Opinions & Interviews

14 Aug 2018

Opinion: Objective study of the country’s history should shape the identity of Belarusians

Opinion: Objective study of the country’s history should shape the identity of Belarusians

MINSK, 14 August (BelTA) – The identity of Belarusians should be shaped by objective studies of the country’s history. The opinion was voiced by Chairman of the public association Belaya Rus Gennady Davydko during the panel discussion about the project Belaya Rus about Belarus. Belarusian Statehood: History and Present Day in BelTA’s press center on 14 August.

Gennady Davydko explained that the project had been envisaged with a view to pooling efforts of the general public, including scientists, pedagogues, reporters, people of culture and art, in order to form the historic identity of Belarusians through objectively studying, covering, and popularizing Belarusian history in addition to preserving national memory. It is important primarily for young people.

Just like any other young state Belarus needs to form its national state identity, noted the Belaya Rus chairman. Belarusians have yet to recognize their affinity to the state and its interests. “The recognition does not come on its own. It needs deep thinking about. National history is one of its sources,” said Gennady Davydko.

The Belarusian history is ambiguous and is interpreted differently by schools of thought. For instance, there are differing views on relations between the Polotsk and Kiev principalities, the ethnic composition of the Great Duchy of Lithuania, the place and role of Belarusian lands in Rzeczpospolita, the status of Belarusians as part of the Russian Empire, events of the year 1812 in the territory of modern Belarus, the problem of Soviet statehood, the attitude to the BSSR and the Belarusian People’s Republic

“The contemporary sovereign country of Belarus is a result of the long road our nation has travelled – from the Polotsk principality to the present days. Unfortunately, due to the lack of clarity some politicians often start juggling historic facts in order to justify their goals, not always noble ones. Since citizens know little about a number of events, they try to raise tensions in the country,” noted Gennady Davydko.

Alexander Kovalenya, academician-secretary of the Humanities and Arts Department of the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus, agreed with Gennady Davydko. “A lot of work will have to be done to repulse the forgeries, which have been attacking our historical past from all sides,” he said. Alexander Kovalenya is convinced that the history of Belarus and its statehood should be more widely discussed by the nation. It will help bolster patriotism and the sense of civic duty, help consolidate the nation, and enhance interfaith peace in the country.

The project Belaya Rus about Belarus. Belarusian Statehood: History and Present Day is being implemented by the public association Belaya Rus, the History Institute of the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus, and the History Department of the Belarusian State University with BelTA providing information support.

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