GOMEL, 1 July (BelTA) – An opening ceremony of the international festival Slavonic Unity 2013 was held near the Monument of Friendship at the border of Belarus, Russia and Ukraine, BelTA has learnt.
The ceremony was attended by the official delegations of border regions of the three Slavic countries. Partaking in the event were also art collectives, sports teams and thousands of young people from different oblasts of Belarus, Russia and Ukraine.
In 2013 the traditional festival is timed to the 1025th anniversary of the baptism of Rus and is organized by Ukraine. The event began with the church service held by the clergy of the three countries. The administrations of Bryansk, Chernigov and Gomel Oblasts sent their welcoming addresses to the guests and participants of the forum.
Chairman of the Gomel Oblast Executive Committee Vladimir Dvornik noted that the forum has become a symbol of friendship and spiritual unity for the residents of the border oblasts. “In the course of thousands of years our peoples have been linked by the ties of brotherhood, centuries-long traditions, cultural and spiritual heritage and moral values. Today three independent states, Belarus, Russia and Ukraine, are an example of good-neighborly relations. We maintain good economic ties and cooperate in education, healthcare and culture. The secret of our good-neighborly relations is simple: we cherish and bolster the foundations laid by our forefathers who were guided by the principles of mutual respect and Christian faith,” Vladimir Dvornik said. He went on to thank the organizers and participants of the festival for their loyalty to traditions and the ability to safeguard and augment the Slavonic heritage.
The festival will feature sports competitions, entertainment games and the concert of youth and children’s art collectives of Bryansk, Chernigov and Gomel Oblasts “We are Together.” The South-Eastern region of Belarus will be represented by 200 craftsmen. The guests of the forum will be offered to visit the thematic sections of the Belarusian, Russian and Ukrainian oblasts along with consumer goods fairs and the exhibitions featuring the products of the enterprises of the three states.
The international festival Slavonic Unity at the Monument of Friendship at the border of Belarus, Russia and Ukraine is the largest international event which has acquired great popularity far beyond these border oblasts. The first such meeting of delegations of Gomel, Bryansk and Chernigov Oblasts took place in 1969. Every year the forum is attended by several thousands of Slavs from the three countries, representatives of the most important industries, people of culture and arts, youth leaders, representatives of the Moscow Patriarchate of the Russian Orthodox Church, political parties and social movements.