On June 28 there was a meeting with historian and luminary of the Belarusian emigration Yanka Zaprudnik in Minsk.
A few week ago Yanka Zaprudnik and his wife arrived to Belarus to see their relatives. Within a week and a half they dropped into Palesie, his wife Nadzeya Rahalevich-Zaprudnik was born in Zhytkavichy region, Mir - the place Yanka Zaprudnik comes from.
In the end of the last week they returned to Minsk to take part in the presentation of presentation of "Contacts" based on letters sent by Belarusians to Mr. Zaprudnik in New York. Natallia Hardzienka, Lyavon Yurevich are redactors, nn.by recalls.
Additional chairs were brought in the hall.
Natallia Hardzienka held the presentation. Adam Maldis, director of Belarusian record museum of literature and art Anna Zapartyka, author Uladzimir Arlou, research worker Valery Herasimou took the floor.
Leanid Lych and granddaughter of Yakub Kolas Mary Mitskevich also congratulated the author.
The first leader of independent Belarus Stanislau Shushkevich presented his congratulations and reminded about 25th anniversary of independent Belarus.
Civil rights activist Ales Bialiatski, painters Aliaksei Marachkin, Mikola Kupava and Ales Shaternik, former minister of culture Anatol Butsevich, writer Leanid Marakou visited the presentation. Such people like Mikalai Statkevich and Maryna Adamovich, editor Zmitser Sanko, Volha Patapava from Canada also came to the presentation.
Zaprudnik himself was terse and thanked for congratulation and shared his impressions about visit to Belarus.
"There have been many talks recently about double character of Belarusian soul. After three years of absence I turn to thinking. The soul of a Belarusian has two aspects. First - martyrdom, second - hope.
First part of soul feels pain, because it can't hear Belarusian language.
But the second part facing all challenges has hope and it makes us take efforts hoping for the better."
Zaprudnik quoted the poetry of Natallia Arsenyeva "Got to Live" written in 1943:
Got to live and have hope for something, feel like part of Motherland, small, but alive.
"This feeling makes us take efforts in hope that this can deliver benefits," he said.
I was asked by journalists of Belsat: "What is your impression and what is new here?" I said that there were many good and bad things - such as decrease of wages, problems with employment."
It was planned to end the presentation at 8 pm, but most of guests wanted to get the autograph. There were other activities specified by the meeting.
Yanka Zaprudnik said that he would return to America with hope that his activity was popular here.