An unusual event was held in Vilnius at the night of 8 to 9 July. It’s the Kupala Night with Our House. For the participants it was more than Festival-Concert. It was an action of support to all Belarusians, who continue to struggle against the evil that has invaded our motherland Belarus. In Lithuania round dancing are not a criminal offence, so Our House decided to give the Belarusians and Ukrainians an opportunity to spend the night dancing Ukrainian and Belarusian round dances, without fear of being arrested.
In Lithuania, round dances are not a criminal offense, so our House decided to give the Belarusians and Ukrainians the opportunity to have fun dancing Ukrainian and Belarusian round dances, and not be afraid of being arrested.
But in Belarus, right out of the circle dance, you run the risk of ending up in the dock. This is exactly what Our House discussed in its monitoring of the Brest “Round Dance” case.
You may read about what happened on September 13, 2020 in Brest and how many people suffered from arbitrariness in the materials of Our House:
This is Revenge: 244 years of penal punishment for a peaceful round dance and songs in Belarus. 130 people have already been affected
They Ruin People’s Lives: Who Passed the Sentences on the “Round Dance Case” in Brest?
“Round Dance Case” in Brest, Belarus. They did not have mercy even for pensioners.
The rubric “Defence and Solidarity” of Our House’s website provides numerous materials on the repressions that Belarusians are subjected to for their active civic stance. In the sections “Monitorings” you can find analytical materials on the pressing issues of Belarusians inside the country and abroad.
And on July 8, Belarusians and Ukrainians gathered on the banks of Vilia, in solidarity with those who would never back down in their fight against the usurpers.
All the more so because today both Belarusians and Ukrainians have common enemies. Their effigies were burned during the Kupala Night celebrations organised by Our House.
The water element was particularly obnoxious that evening, but that did not stop the participants from observing all the traditions. All the more, the organization was helped by professionals – talented choreographers-directors from Minsk. Thanks to them, the Kupalskaya Night with Our House turned into a real costume show, which was attended by both actors and viewers.
Traditional songs and dances, four elements, evil spirits and mermaids, weaving of wreaths and fortune-telling, ritual farewell to the Sun – the evening slowly turning into magic night was full of a lot of amazing events.
And when the nature finally made sure that Belarusians will not retreat and will not leave the beautiful beach on the shore of Villa, it gave up. And even though the rain was warm, the sun looked out. Just as the day was nearing sunset, a huge rainbow appeared over the future campfire! So the participants of the festival really said goodbye to the Sun and got ready to look for Paparazzi-Kvetka (fern flower)…
Already later, all the guests and artists gathered around the campfire. For the past two years, Belarusians have been meeting with each other quite often, but the occasion for the meetings is not the happiest of events. And most often they happen in squares or near embassies, with flags and posters, often on very sad occasions – another arrest or trial or even the death of a person who went against the regime.
Our House tried to make the night of July 8 to 9 not so sad after all. Of course, the Belarusians recollected how they ended up in Lithuania, shared their stories with the Ukrainians, and listened to the protest songs of the famous Kosmos. But still, it was a holiday – with smiles and laughter… even if a little sad, but everyone felt a little warmer on their souls.
Solidarity is what the Belarusians saw and felt in each other in 2020. It is what we are all still learning. And what keeps us from losing faith in the victory of justice in our beloved country. Our House is sure that there should be more occasions for kind and warm meetings, because Belarusians need support and help. We hope that for many Belarusians and Ukrainians of Vilnius our House has already become that place where they with pleasure come themselves and bring their children!