Svetlana Alexievich opens up about her native language and culture

Already during the autumn census, citizens of Belarus will answer a number of questions. One of them will be about their native language. Nobel laureate and writer Svetlana Alexievich already knows which language she will specify as native.

“Of course, I am Belarusian, and, of course, my native language is Belarusian, although I don’t speak it, since the whole practice of my life is Russian, the Russian culture. But I feel Belarusian, that I am on the Belarusian land, this is my land, my father is from here. I do not know of another life, despite the fact that I lived in Europe and in many other places in the world. But my land is Belarus,” says Svetlana Alexievich.

Svetlana Alexievich notes that the language is also an important factor for the security of Belarus.

“The sooner the process of self-identification of people in the head happens and each of us will say “I am Belarusian! This is my land, the land of my children! And I will decide what to do,” the sooner our life will change,” the Nobel laureate believes.

The population census will be held in Belarus in 2019 and will include a question about the person’s native language. The answer is not only symbolic, but also practical. The future state policy will depend on the number of people who will call the Belarusian language their mother tongue.

The Belarusian language is an integral part of our culture and a guarantee of our future as a unique people. By the results of the census, we are able to testify to ourselves and the whole world that we are a full-fledged nation, worthy of interest and respect from other nations of the world. We support our national treasure — the language of our ancestors, which unites us all and makes us unique.

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