May Holidays in Bragin


On May 6-9, life in Bragin was full of events. Members of family clubs, the manager, experts and volunteers of the project “Development of the Network Capacity of Family Clubs in Chernobyl Area in order to Improve Social and Economic Situation”, funded by the EU, held meetings, rehearsals and competitions, as well as the final preparations for the feast which took place on May 8-9.

On the first day, May 6, members of the Vdokhnovenie” (“Inspiration”) club and the local theatre community of Bragin discussed the design of the museum hall and prepared it for theatre plays. There were scenery depicting historical scenes, portraits of Marina Mniszek and False Dmitriy in the hall. Moreover, there were an exhibition of the “Batleyka” theatre and a souvenir tree. As a result, the hall transformed, and the last rehearsals of the play “Legend about Love”  were held a theater hall rather than in a museum one.

The day before the feast was full of meetings. In the evening, managers announced results of the contests “My Family”, “My Village”, “My Favorite Hobby” the initiator of which was Aleksandr Chubsa, the local coordinator of the project. Families from different settlements of the district participated in the contests, who tried to comprehensively show in own presentations their family life and hobbies, how the family life contributed to the development of their settlement and how their hobbies affected their lives and changes.

The jury board was composed by Natalya Svyatkina, the project manager, Elena Popova, the project assistant, Nikolay Yashchuk, the deputy head of the district executive committee on social issues, Nina Sinilo, a journalist of the “Mayak Polesya” newspaper.  While watching presentations, members of the jury highlighted that optimism and belief in future characterized the participating families. In their opinion, each of 13 works was worth attention and awards.

The second half of the day was marked with another useful meeting, which was held at Bragin Historical Museum with Art Gallery. The town’s residents talked about the part of the town, famous people born in there, remembered where various establishments and facilities had been located.  Some people brought old photos that captured the town and its residents living their everyday life and celebrating holidays. The photos aroused great interest and led to new memories. The experts and museum staff told that they would like to get at least digital copies of the photos for further work. The main idea of the meeting was to create an initiative group from residents of the town, maybe under the guidance of the museum staff, to collect, organize and preserve the memory of Bragin. At the end of the meeting, the guests from the Institute of Language and Literature of the NAS of Belarus, Yulia Bozhok and Maksim Gintov, talked about Polesye song traditions, the work done by folklore specialists to preserve them, and sang a few Polesye songs recorded in areas historically related to Bragin district.

May 8 and 9 were the richest for events as the feast “Bragin Fair” was held in Bragin. The main task of the holiday was to show results of the work of family clubs and local initiatives and to acquire experience on the organization of a nice cultural and recreational activity. The holiday was held within the framework of the project. The first day was silent and chamber as all events were held at the Recreational Centre and the Museum. They included plays and theatre performances. On the second day, all events were held outside: there were contests and sports competitions for children organized near the school, family clubs and initiatives showed results of their work, knights gathered in a camp. In the evening, live music played at the amphitheater. A big tourist town map was presented as a gift which was made within the framework of the initiative “Incubator for Cooperation (Incubator of Initiatives for the Sustainable Development of Bragin district”)” funded by the European Union and supported by the UNDP. From that moment, every visitor could learn a little about the town and get his/her bearings.

The festive days were rich for events and allowed members of the clubs and initiatives to show other residents what they could do for themselves and others if they weren’t indifferent but active. Every person got vivid impressions and memories who had participated in the feast.  We hope that such events will be continued and more and more residents of the district will be active when organizing them.

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This publication has been produced with the supportoftheEuropeanUnion. Responsibility for the content of the publication rests with the Green Cross Belarus NGO, and can in no way be taken to reflect the views of the European Union.