How Belarusians can resist the 'Russian world'

Cultural resistance will help Belarusians / EPA/YAUHEN YERCHAK
Cultural resistance will help Belarusians / EPA/YAUHEN YERCHAK

The disappearance of the monument to Belarusian poetess Larysa Heniush in Zelva is another alarming sign that supporters of the "Russian world" are squeezing Belarusianism out of Belarus. As soon as pro-Russian activist Volha Bondarava complained about the monument, it magically disappeared. How can Belarusians fight for their heritage in the face of repression? Political scientist Pavel Usau shares his thoughts on the problem and possible solutions on Euroradio.

"Tomorrow this Bondarava will be Lukashenka's spokeswoman. And she's not the only one. Shpakouski and Hihin will also be there -- that's what the domination of the "Russian world" looks like.

In fact, a nuclear cultural war is already taking place. It was started by Lukashenka in 1995. Now this cultural nuclear winter is already dominating. That is, it will be total. Soon the monuments to Stalin will return. Monuments to Ivan the Terrible will be erected in Polatsk and Vitsebsk, because he "liberated" the Belarusian territories from the Poles. There will be a total annihilation of everything Belarusian".

What could Belarusians, especially those who stayed in the country, do in such a situation?

"Those who don't what to do should speak Belarusian at least once a day, for an hour. After all, the only way to survive in this nuclear winter of culture is to preserve the Belarusian identity, consciousness, and national language. Meet with friends, speak Belarusian. That is what can help survive this nuclear winter.

The monument to Larysa Heniush will return. She's not the only one. There will be a monument to Kalinousky and Vasil Bykau Square in the center of Minsk. All this will come back, but we must preserve Belarusian culture even in the conditions of terror and repression.

In the camps where Larysa Heniush was imprisoned, she wrote poems. And these poems were memorized and taken out of the camp. And we will get through this.

Resistance on the cultural level is very important, emphasizes the political scientist.

"Let's speak Belarusian at least one hour a day at home. At least in today's political reality, in the opposition, the Belarusian language must dominate. The Belarusian language must become the language of politics, of the democratic community. There is no place for the Russian language here," concludes Pavel Usau.

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