10 December 2019, Tuesday, 2:39
The Wait Is Nearly Over

The Country In The Throes Of A Monumental Hangover

The Country In The Throes Of A Monumental Hangover
Iryna Khalip

Ignore Lukashenka's holidays.

We barely have time to bury the deceased and bandage the wounded, as the next holiday leans all its weight on us. A slight hangover turns into a normal state of an ordinary Belarusian. Even relatives of those who sing and dance at the next holiday don't recognise their painted faces. Inhabitants of holiday points prefer to evacuate families at least to the village and learn to hide in bomb shelters at the first firework.

Frankly speaking, I thought after the tragedy of July 3 they would refrain from other fireworks in Shklou district with a booze and dance party called "Alexandria makes friends come together". I thought they would gather and booze in peace in a gazebo somewhere in Drazdy and would not attract the attention of the public. I was mistaken again. The injured of July 3 were still in hospitals and the victim of that "state holiday was not buried, while two hundred kilometres away from Minsk the victory salvos rattled again, DJs were shouting into the microphone, Lukashenka wiped his tear with his sleeve and said that it was "exciting". He was "excited" at that moment (by the way, this word does not exist in the Russian language at all, and anyone who studied in high school knows it). He did not feel ashamed, not uncomfortable, not hard, not bad. He was damn "excited".

And again, salvoes were rattling, people were dancing, leaders of agricultural complexes were awarded, breeding cattle were exhibited, and Russian Cossacks were waving whips. Everyone forgot about the tragedy, as well as about the fact that local fireworks could be fatal. Drazdy inhabitants were having fun together with their master.

And Natallia Maksimchuk, who died on July 3, was buried at that very time. Since Drazdy were having fun near Shklou, only several soldiers from the Ministry of Defense and several executive committee officials came to the funeral. The tragedy of July 3 turned into an emergency of district level.

By the way, the name of the deceased was voiced by media only on the day of the funeral. Prior to that, she remained a "woman born in 1955" for three days. None of these useless officials remembered that one of their main duties was to make the dead list albeit with one name. Imagine how many women were born in Minsk in 1955. Now imagine how many relatives, friends and colleagues of these women were frightened when they heard about the death of an anonymous Minsk woman. However, I may require too much from the officials - to think, for example. I won't do it again.

Well, some people danced, others cried. But nothing has changed both after the funeral and after the Shklou booze. No person from Drazdy expressed condolences to the family of Natallia Maksimchuk. May they be just very busy? The European Games were followed by July 3, then the Shklou agricultural booze, and as soon as it was over the Slavic Bazaar followed. It was time to welcome Stas Mikhailov. When life is a holiday, there is no time to think about the dead.

But Lukashenka likes nothing better than to express condolences to someone. Not because he is pitiful, but because when a person is a world outsider, the only legal way to contact the world is congratulations and condolences. He can't just call Trump, for example. And he cannot come - they don't invite him, don't accept him, and get rid of him. But if there is a shooting or massacre, he may send a letter of sympathy. It's kind of talk to Trump.

If you cut back the news feed, you may really think Lukashenka is pitiful. On 5 July, two days after the bloody fireworks, he expressed condolences to Putin and flood-affected families in Irkutsk region. May 31 - to the President of Korea in connection with the death of Korean tourists in Hungary. May 23 - to the ruler of Malaysia on his father's death. May 7 - again to Putin on the plane crash in Sheremetyevo. May 4 - to Secretary General of the Communist Party of Vietnam on the death of his predecessor at the age of 99. April 26 - to relatives and friends of Elina Bystritskaya. April 25 - to the Duke of Luxembourg on the death of his father. April 22 - to the leader of Sri Lanka after the terrorist attacks. April 18 - to the President of Germany on the bus accident with tourists in Madeira. April 17 - to French President Macron on the fire in Notre-Dame de Paris. And it was like that almost every day. The world has enough reasons. Last year he even expressed his condolences to Valentina Matviyenko in connection with her husband's death. He has a big heart. What else can I say? He has enough grief for everyone. Except for the Belarusians.

Weren't decades enough to understand that people are dust, garbage, biomass for this power? Natallia Maksimchuk died. It's okay, but there was a great holiday! And then holidays are near at hand, and sit is like that up to the harvest festival. If more people die during these holidays, it will be okay. The executive committee will help with the funeral. People still have enough, and women give birth, so there is no need to waste time and money on safety equipment and professionals.

The only way not to be this garbage and not to become a victim is to ignore Lukashenka's holidays. Of course, one can argue: what about the explosion in the subway? Juice bags and firing installations explode not only on Lukashenka's holidays. In theory, yes. Everyone on the planet is at risk of being a victim of a terrorist attack, disaster or crime when he leaves home. And even if one stays at home, one is still at risk. But participation in "holidays" like the bloody fireworks on July 3 is like a volunteer marching to the slaughterhouse.

Iryna Khalip, especially for Charter97.org