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Andrei Yahorau: Political regime in the country is a challenge for Belarusization

23.11.2013  |  Society   |  EuroBelarus Information Service,  
Andrei Yahorau: Political regime in the country is a challenge for Belarusization photo by gazeta.by

What is Belarusization? Should we narrow it to the problem of language and the development of the Belarusan culture? In what way should we start “Belarusization” of Belarus?

On November 22 an international conference “Belarusization: Whether it is Possible to Complete the Process of Institution Building of an Independent State?” took place in Minsk. The conference was organized by the Centre for European Transformation under the aegis of International Consortium “EuroBelarus” (Lithuania, Belarus) and Heinrich Böll Foundation. The event gathered together experts on transformation processes from Germany, Ukraine, Russia and Belarus.

What is meant by “Belarusization”? Is Belarusization possible under the current political regime? If the leader of the country cannot speak without mistakes in Belarusian and in Russian, the country can’t pursue civilized language policy. What we should do?

Andrei Yahorau, political scientist and the head of the Centre for European Transformation fielded the questions asked by the “EuroBelarus” Information Service.

- The transformation of Belarus includes a trilogy of desovietization, Belarusization and Europeanization, and Belarusization is high on the agenda now. Does it mean that desovietization has already taken place?

- The trifecta of desovietization, Belarusization and Europeanization is indeed a base for transformation in Belarus. However, these are processes developing in time simultaneously and not static stages. Soviet legacy is disappearing in the past, but what comes as a replacement for it? It could be a reformed Soviet lifestyle, or unreflective adoptions from the globalized culture. But our will and mind should control the transition process in order to replace old regulations and standards with the new one in form and Belarusian in content.

- Can we talk about Belarusization in the country where Russianization took over after the referendum on state language in 1996?

- Not only we can and should talk about Belarusization; we should carry it out despite the nonconductive situation we are in. Still, we shouldn’t narrow Belarusization to the problem of language and the development of the Belarusan culture. We have to involve the whole country and all the institutions which organize our life into the Belarusization process. Belarusization is the formation of a new order in the independent country, and it should happen in all spheres: in economy, politics, education, science, architecture and design, legal system… Each sphere would consider Belarusization differently; however, it would exceed the narrow question of language.

- What do you mean by “Belarusization”? What should we start with to get back to our roots?

- We should start changing the direction of our thoughts: not getting back to the past, but stepping to the future. We cannot always rely on tradition; we should rather adopt modern practices and make them Belarusian. In certain aspects we, Belarusians, face the challenges that no one before us has never faced. And the process of deforming Belarusian nation and national identity cannot be based on modern conventional methods, as the modern national complex “ethnos-language-territory-national state” is being diluted. And this challenge requires an adequate answer.

- Is Belarusization possible under the current political regime?

- The current political regime in the country is a challenge for Belarusization, too. It is but evident that it is not adequate to the modern needs of the country’s development; it hinders the development, causes crises and stagnation. And this regime has to turn from outdated and non-Belarusian to modern and Belarusian. We should introduce up-to-date Belarusan reforms on how political relations are organized in the country.

Don’t you think that this is going to be more difficult than, for example, reform of science?! 

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