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Belarus census: High-ranking MP speaks in support of Belarusian language

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Valery Varanetski / Euroradio

International Affairs Committee chair Valery Varanetski has voiced support to the Belarusian language as several Belarusian civic organizations are urging Belarusians to indicate the Belarusian language as their mother tongue during the ongoing census.

Activists point out that the mother tongue is described as ‘the first language you learned in your childhood’ in the census questionnaire. They disagree with the definition. "The mother tongue is your emotions and feelings. It is the language that you consider to be yours, the language of your grandparents,” they said in their appeal.

Varanetski shares this opinion. “In my opinion, the first language you learned is not necessarily your mother tongue. Your mother tongue is a language you are emotionally connected with. I believe that the mother tongue is the language of a people or an ethnic group a person belongs to. A language connecting people with the previous generations, their spiritual legacy. This is the basis of ethnic and national self-identification,” he wrote on Facebook.

“Our mother tongue is a source of our national culture, mentality and world outlook,” Varanetski stressed.

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