Strengthening Cooperation Between Brotherly Countries
Belarusians are distinguished by patience and hospitality. Living in one country, we have learnt traditions, culture and cuisine of the friendly ethnos. More than sixty thousand representatives of the Belarusian ethnic group live in Kazakhstan, in 12 ethnocultural centers of the country Belarusians keep their traditions and culture.
The first public association of Belarusians was registered in 1992 in Almaty. The name of the association "National-cultural center "Belarus" was approved at the meeting of outstanding Belarussian public figures. Professor Pavel Atrushkevich was elected the chairman of the association.
In 1995, Belarus Center was included in the membership of the Assembly of People of Kazakhstan, and Pavel Atrushkevich was elected Deputy Chairman of the Assembly’s Council. In due time the Center started its activity collecting information about its fellow countrymen, establishing communication with state and public organizations, Embassy of the Republic of Belarus in the Republic of Kazakhstan. In 2000, Leonid Pitalenko was elected Chairman of Belarus Center. In 2009, Belarusian Cultural Center in Almaty and Almaty Region was registered, and Sergey Sazonov was appointed director of the Center.
According to Leonid Pitalenko, he arrived in Kazakhstan with his construction team in 1964 after graduating from Vitebsk Pedagogical Institute. He met his future wife in the construction unit here on Kazakh land. For many years he worked in the sphere of education, was the director of the station for young naturalists.
The chairman of the center also tells that Pavel Atrushkevich did a lot for the association. After graduating from Belarusian Agricultural Academy in 1958, the young engineer and land surveyor Pavel Atrushkevich was directed to Almaty, where he began his career as an engineer and head of the department of the Central Complex Expedition. From 1961 to 1980, he taught at Kazakh Polytechnic Institute, having worked his way up from assistant, senior teacher, associate professor to the secretary of the party committee and head of the department. Professor, Corresponding Member of the National Academy of Sciences of the Republic of Kazakhstan was the Head of the Department of Engineering Geodesy at Alma-Ata Architectural and Construction Institute. Prominent scientist in the field of earthquake prediction using geodetic methods and stability studies of large national economic objects located in earthquake-prone areas, has developed a unique method of deformation of the earth's surface, which is used in many geodetic testing sites in the CIS and abroad. The author of the monograph "Geodynamic research at the Almaty landfill", Atrushkevich, being the Deputy Chairman of the Committee on Science and Education of the Supreme Soviet of Kazakhstan, directly participated in the formation of legislative acts, regulations, development programs of higher school and research centers of the country. The author of more than 100 scientific works, publications in domestic and foreign editions in November 1999 was appointed a deputy of the Senate of the Parliament of the Republic of Kazakhstan, a member of the Committee on international affairs, defense and security, later a member of the Committee on social and cultural development.
The Center not only honours the traditions of ancestors, but also marks state and national holidays - Nauryz, Kazakhstan’s People Unity Day on May 1, Gratitude Day, Dombra Day, Maslenitsa, Ivan Kupala Day and others. On anniversary dates of the Great Victory and on the Liberation Day of Belarus, veterans who participated in the liberation of Belarus are awarded anniversary medals of the Republic of Belarus, monetary rewards and valuable gifts.
Almaty mayor’s office, APK’s Secretariat in Almaty and the STV channel have prepared a series of programmes entitled "Tugan El" on culture, literature and the national cuisine of the ethnic groups of Kazakhstan. Representatives of the Belarusian Cultural Centre have become active participants in all the programmes.
Resettlers who arrived in Kazakhstan in search of a better share and to provide fraternal assistance were hospitably received by the Kazakh people. This was how the bonds of our brotherhood were formed and strengthened.
The descendants of the resettlers continue to work for the successful and progressive development of Kazakhstan. They work in the sphere of economy, culture, education, are engaged in business, and are represented in state bodies and in the Council of the Assembly of People of Kazakhstan. In August 2009, events were held in Eastern Kazakhstan to mark the 100th anniversary of the existence of Belarusians in Kazakhstan.
Many young Belarusian poets have visited the Kazakh virgin land as part of student construction teams. They returned home with poetry books and collections of patriotic and romantic poems. The Kazakh poetry book by Rygor Borodulin was highly appreciated at the All-Union Literary Competition dedicated to the World Festival of Youth and Students in Moscow in 1957.
The State also provides considerable attention and financial support to national cultural centers - media development, national theatres and Sunday schools. Our Center was supported by the first Ambassador of Belarus to Kazakhstan, Larisa Pakush, whose parents lived in Kazakhstan. She paid much attention to strengthening Belarusian-Kazakh relations and wrote a book on bilateral economic and cultural relations. She has always been a welcome guest at the Belarusian Cultural Center. Kazakh young people receive higher education in Belarusian universities, and children have a rest at Zubrenok camp. On 15 September 2017, the Belarusian Cultural Centre held an event entitled "Good Neighbourly Relations" at the Friendship House in Almaty to mark the 25th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Kazakhstan and Belarus.
For Belarus, Kazakhstan is a key partner in the Eurasian region, a reliable and longstanding ally in international relations, which is confirmed by double increase in trade turnover between our countries.
As the head of the Belarusian Cultural Center and a member of the Council of the Assembly of People of Kazakhstan, a member of the Committee on Ecology and Nature Management, a member of the deputy group "Zhana Kazakhstan", I am well aware that the stability and prosperity of Kazakh society, the upbringing of patriotism among the younger generation is largely determined by the purposeful work with young people in the cultural centers of the Republic and Almaty.
Presentations of books, research on Kazakh-Belarusian literary ties, international conferences and round tables in Almaty and Minsk, participation in the Day of Belarusian Writing and the International Symposium of Writers "Writer and Time" strengthen the humanitarian cooperation.
We are actively involved in building civil society in Kazakhstan, strengthening ties in all areas of economy, science, diplomacy, humanitarian cooperation between the Republic of Kazakhstan and the Republic of Belarus” concluded Leonid Pitalenko.