17 January 2018, Wednesday, 0:29

Belarusian expatriates holding congress in Minsk

Some 300 delegates gathered in Minsk for the Sixth Congress of Belarusians of the World that opened on Tuesday.

Organized by the Batskawshchyna World Association of Belarusians and hosted by the Johannes Rau International Center for Education and Exchange (IBB Minsk), the two-day event is attended by expatriates living in 20 countries.

The congress focuses on the state of the Belarusian people amid globalization.

The organizers said in a statement ahead of the event that interaction between different cultures was shaping a new world and the importance of expatriate communities was becoming increasingly significant.

They warned that many Belarusian expatriates were losing their national identity and interest in their ethnic culture.

The congress was attended by Culture Minister Barys Svyatlow, foreign diplomats and representatives of religious organizations.

Belarusian expatriates have held their congresses once in four years, with the maiden event in 1993 drawing more than a thousand delegates.

The Batskawshchyna World Association of Belarusians has been led by Alena Makowskaya since 2009. Nina Shydlowskaya, a coordinator of the Budzma Belarusami! (Let's Be Belarusians!) campaign, chairs the organization's council.