On Belarusian military glory Day, September 8th, the author of the book "Belarusian National Idea in Exile and at War" held a creative meeting with Belarusians in Bremen.
What is the Belarusian national idea, and does it exist at all? These questions have been explored for several years by Dzmitry Lukashuk, the host of the Euroradio program "Idea X," along with his studio guests. The third volume in a series of books brought to Bremen by Lukashuk delves into the origins of Belarusians, who they are, and where they are headed. The book compiles 67 interviews conducted within the framework of the program. They are dedicated to the challenges of maintaining one's Belarusian identity abroad and preserving one's humanity even in times of war.
This time, among the book's heroes are representatives of the "young diaspora" from Poland, Lithuania, Georgia, as well as Belarusians who moved abroad many years ago and were scattered across both continents. Belarusians from the USA, Canada, Brazil, Australia, Israel, and New Zealand are featured in the book. Among the true heroes of the book are Belarusians fighting for the freedom of Ukraine and Belarus in Kalinouski regiment, the "Terror" battalion, the "Pahonia" regiment, and in the ranks of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.
The meeting, which lasted for more than two hours, evolved into a discussion between the author and the event's participants. According to Dzmitry, despite the deep-rooted influence of Russian culture on Belarusians, national identity still emerges at certain times, as it did in 2020:
"The year 2020 was a significant turning point, and it turned out that somewhere deep down, beneath the thick layers of Russification or something else, everyone had a piece of Belarusian ornament. I remember attending one of the huge processions on the avenue near Independence Square and seeing a sea of flags – white-red-white flags. Where did they come from?"
The book's author also believes that despite the massive migration, which by some estimates may exceed one million people, even this moment can positively impact Belarus' future.
"Some sociologists believe that our country has great prospects. Now Belarusians will truly get to know the world, gain education and experience. We understand that the longer we stay abroad, the fewer people will return to Belarus. But many will return with experience, money, knowledge, and a desire to build a new Belarus. We understand perfectly well that if Lukashenko disappears tomorrow, it doesn't mean we can go back the next day. Even if we can return, we will have a lot of work ahead."
After the official presentation, event participants had the opportunity to purchase books and have a chat with Dzmitry Lukashuk over a cup of coffee.
More than twenty Belarusians took part in the event, which was held at Bremen University with the support of the Belarusian community in Germany, "Razam," and the "Salidarnast" Association.