My Belarusy

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Дзяржаўны гімн Рэспублікі Беларусь
English: State Anthem of the Republic of Belarus
Dziaržaŭny himn Respubliki Bielaruś
My Belarusy 1.png
First page of the sheet music for "My Belarusy".

National anthem of  Belarus
Also known as Мы, беларусы
English: We, Belarusians
Lyrics Mikhas Klimkovich and Uladzimir Karyzny, 2002
Music Niescier Sakałoŭski, 1944
Adopted 24 September 1955 (music)
2 July 2002 (lyrics)
Music sample

"My Belarusy" (Belarusian: Мы, беларусы (My, Bielarusy); "We Belarusians") is the unofficial title of the national anthem of Belarus and the first line of its lyrics. Officially, "My Belarusy" is titled "the State Anthem of the Republic of Belarus" (Belarusian: Дзяржаўны гімн Рэспублікі Беларусь, Russian: Государственный гимн Республики Беларусь). The anthem was originally written and adopted in 1955 for use in the Byelorussian Soviet Socialist Republic.[1] The music of the Byelorussian SSR anthem was composed by Niescier Sakałoŭski and the lyrics were written by Mikhas Klimkovich. After the dissolution of the Soviet Union, the music composed by Sakałoŭski was kept and the lyrics were discarded. New lyrics, which were written by Klimkovich and Uladzimir Karyzny, were adopted by a presidential decree issued on July 2, 2002. The lyrics of the anthem now sing of a friendly Belarus, honoring past military battles and looking forward to the future. The music was kept due to the historical connections it has to Belarus.

Anthem of the Byelorussian SSR[edit]

"My Belarusy" was originally used as the anthem of the Byelorussian Soviet Socialist Republic (Belarusian: гімн Беларускай Савецкай Сацыялістычнай Рэспублікі, Russian: гимн Белорусской Советской Социалистической Республики) starting from February 24, 1955. The original anthem was composed by Sakałoŭski and the lyrics were written by Maxim Klimkovich. It was presented in front of a jury in 1944, but it took 11 years of modifications before it was officially adopted.[2] Soon after Belarus became an independent country, the national anthem was modified to drop the Communist-era lyrics. An attempt was made in 1995 to adopt Natalla Arsiennieva's poem "O God Almighty" as the national anthem, but the suggestion was not acted on even though it was supported by a parliamentary committee.[3]

Anthem of the Republic of Belarus[edit]

The only legal mention of the national anthem before 2002 is in the Constitution of the Republic of Belarus. Section One, Article 19 of the constitution states that "The symbols of the Republic of Belarus as a sovereign state shall be its national flag, national emblem and national anthem." While the constitution only mentioned the use of the flag, anthem and arms as national symbols, each symbol had to be defined by law.[4] A law introducing an anthem was not enacted until Presidential Decree 350 took effect, on July 18, 2002, the day before Belarus's independence day. The decree's main objective was to establish lyrics for the anthem and introduce musical notation along with the new lyrics. Moreover, the decree designated when, where, and how the anthem was to be performed.[5]

Before issuing the decree, President Alexander Lukashenko listened to five possible candidates for the national anthem. Three out of the five candidates, including the one ultimately chosen, used the music composed by Sakałoŭski and began their lyrics with the line My Belarusy.[citation needed] According to the newspaper Soviet Byelorussia, President Lukashenko decided on the anthem on June 12, 2002 and chose to have its first performance on July 3, Belarusian independence day, the anniversary of the date in 1944 when the Wehrmacht was driven away from Minsk by the Red Army.[6] However, the first performance actually took place on July 2 at a concert organized by the government as part of the Belarusian independence festivities.

Belarus did not have an anthem before one was adopted in the Soviet-era. When Lukashenko issued his decree selecting a new national anthem, only slight changes were made to the Soviet-era hymn. While the references to Russia, the Communist Party of the Soviet Union and Vladimir Lenin were replaced; the overall theme of "friendship of peoples" and the original music composed by Sakałoŭski were preserved. The government decided to keep Sakałoŭski's music in order to maintain historical continuity, and also on account of its popularity and musical quality[7] After the national anthem was adopted, the process of adopting national symbols was completed.[7]

Reaction[edit]

The organization Freedom House commented on the adoption of the anthem in a report about the country, published in 2003. On page 125 of the "Country Report of Belarus", Freedom House says that President Lukashenko has "reintroduced the state symbols used by the old Byelorussian Soviet Socialist Republic. In 2002, the president approved a streamlined version of the Soviet-era anthem "My Belarusy" ("We Belarusians"), as the country's new national anthem." The report also mentioned President Lukashenko's ban of the symbols that were used since Belarus's independence in 1991, such as the Pahonia arms and the white, red, white flag, which Lukashenko claims are associated with fascism (due to the fact that the pro-Nazi Belarusian Central Rada in World War II used these symbols) .[8] In 2003, Dr. Taras Kuzio wrote in Radio Free Europe that President Lukashenko "is the quintessential Soviet Belarusian patriot who presides over a regime steeped in Soviet nostalgia." Kuzio said that the motives of Russia and Belarus in re-adopting Soviet-era symbols are part of restoring that nostalgia.[9]

Regulations[edit]

The anthem must be performed in accordance with the lyrics and sheet music established by law. Every day, state-owned Belarusian television and radio stations are required to play the national anthem upon signing on at 6 a.m. and again upon signing off (usually around midnight). The anthem can also be performed on certain occasions, such as at government meetings, before sporting events and presidential inaugurations. While the anthem is being performed, citizens are required to stand at attention and those in military or police uniform must salute.[10]

Other songs[edit]

A favorite in the anthem competition was the poem called "Young Belarus" (Маладая Беларусь) by Janka Kupala. However, the poem was never set to a musical composition so Young Belarus could not be selected as the anthem.[11]

Belarus and Russia have been working towards a closer relationship with each other, resulting in the proposed Union of Russia and Belarus. While Belarus and Russia will be able to keep their own symbols, a song called "Sovereign Union of Nations" (Belarusian: Дзяржаўны саюз народаў, Russian: Державный союз народов, Derzhavny soyuz narodov) has been proposed as the Union's unofficial anthem. The song, which was modified from the National Anthem of the Soviet Union, refers to a wider union of the two nations.[12]

Some Belarusian emigrants use "Vajacki marš" and "Mahutny Boža" as their anthem. "Vajacki Marš" was the official anthem of the Belarusian National Republic,[13] a state that was created in 1918 but lasted only 10 months,[14] during the German occupation of Belarus in World War I. "Mahutny Boža" is a hymn, but is now used as a song by those who oppose the Lukashenko Government.[13]

Official lyrics[edit]

Belarusian Transliteration English translation[15]
Мы, беларусы – мірныя людзі,

Сэрцам адданыя роднай зямлі,
Шчыра сябруем, сілы гартуем
Мы ў працавітай, вольнай сям'і.

Прыпеў:
Слаўся, зямлі нашай светлае імя,
Слаўся, народаў братэрскі саюз!
Наша любімая маці-Радзіма,
Вечна жыві і квітней, Беларусь!

Разам з братамі мужна вякамі
Мы баранілі родны парог,
У бітвах за волю, бітвах за долю
Свой здабывалі сцяг перамог!

Прыпеў

Дружба народаў – сіла народаў —
Наш запаветны, сонечны шлях.
Горда ж узвіся ў ясныя высі,
Сцяг пераможны – радасці сцяг!

Прыпеў

My, bielarusy – mirnyja liudzi,

Sercam addanyja rodnaj ziamli,
Ščyra siabrujem, sily hartujem
My ŭ pracavitaj, voĺnaj siamji.

Prypieŭ:
Slaŭsia, ziamli našaj svietlaje imia,
Slaŭsia, narodaŭ braterski sajuz!
Naša liubimaja maci-Radzima,
Viečna žyvi i kvitniej, Bielaruś!

Razam z bratami mužna viakami
My baranili rodny paroh,
U bitvach za voliu, bitvach za doliu
Svoj zdabyvali sciah pieramoh!

Prypieŭ

Družba narodaŭ – sila narodaŭ –
Naš zapavietny, soniečny šliach.
Horda ž uzvisia ŭ jasnyja vysi,
Sciah pieramožny – radasci sciah!

Prypieŭ

We, Belarusians, are peaceful people,

Wholeheartedly devoted to our Motherland.
We are faithful friends, growing up and
Living in a hardworking and independent family.

Refrain
Glory to the blessed name of our land,
Glory to the brotherly union of peoples!
Our dearly beloved Motherland,
May you live long and prosper, Belarus!

Together with our brothers, we for centuries
Courageously defended our home's threshold.
In battles for freedom, and battles for our lot
We have won our banners of victory!

Refrain

Friendship of peoples is the strength of peoples
And it is our sacred sunlit path.
Proudly we fly in the clear blue skies,
The banner of victory, the sunshine's flag!

Refrain

Anthem of the Byelorussian SSR[edit]

For comparison, below is a part of the anthem of the Byelorussian SSR.

Belarusian lyrics:

Мы, беларусы, з братняю Руссю
Разам шукалі к шчасцю дарог.
У бітвах за волю, у бітвах за долю
З ёй здабылi мы сцяг перамог!

Нас аб'яднала Леніна імя,
Партыя к шчасцю вядзе нас у паход.
Партыі слава! Слава Радзіме!
Слава табе, беларускі народ! (2x)

Transliteration:

My, biełarusy, z bratniaju Ruśsiu
Razam šukali k ščaściu daroh.
Ŭ bitvach za volu, u bitvach za dolu
Ź joj zdabyli my ściah pieramoh!

Nas abjadnała Lenina imia,
Partyja k ščaściu viadzie nas u pachod.
Partyi slava! Slava Radzimie!
Slava tabie, biełaruski narod!(2x)

English translation:

We, Belarusians, together with fraternal Rus',
Looked for roads to fortune.
In struggles for freedom, in struggles for fate,
We have gained our banner of victories.
The name of Lenin united us,
The Party leads us in the quest to happiness.
Glory to the Party! Glory to the Motherland!
Glory to you, Belarusian people!(2x)

Media[edit]

2002 recording by the Belarusian Government

2000 recording by the United States Navy Band

Problems playing these files? See media help.

Sheet music[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Belarus - My Belarusy". NationalAnthems.me. Retrieved 2011-11-02. 
  2. ^ СКАЛАБАН, Виталий (2001-01-09). "Когда авторы будут вскрыты...". Беларусь Сегодня (in Russian) (Советская Белоруссия). Retrieved 2008-02-23. 
  3. ^ "The National Anthem of Belarus". A Belarus Miscellany. 2005. Retrieved 2008-02-23. 
  4. ^ "Constitution of Belarus, Section 1". Press Service of the President of the Republic of Belarus. Archived from the original on February 16, 2008. Retrieved 2008-02-26. 
  5. ^ "Указ № 350 ад 2 лiпеня 2002 г." (in Belarusian). 2002-07-02. Retrieved 2008-02-06. 
  6. ^ МАСЛЮКОВА, Людмила (2002-07-12). "Конкурс гимна: решающее мнение". Советская Белоруссия (in Russian). Retrieved 2008-02-12. 
  7. ^ a b "State System — State Symbols". President of the Republic of Belarus. Retrieved 2007-10-13. 
  8. ^ "Country Report of Belarus" (PDF). Nations in Transit. Freedom House. 2003. Retrieved 2008-02-23. 
  9. ^ Kuzio, Taras (2003-08-13). "Attitudes to Soviet past reflect nostalgia, pragmatism". Radio Free Europe. Retrieved 2008-02-12. 
  10. ^ Law of the Republic of Belarus. On National Symbols of the Republic of Belarus. Passed July 5, 2004. Retrieved July 18, 2007.
  11. ^ "Belarus — The National Anthem". 1997. Retrieved 2008-02-22. 
  12. ^ "ДЕРЖАВНЫЙ СОЮЗ НАРОДОВ" (in Russian). 2003. Retrieved 2008-02-22. 
  13. ^ a b "National anthems of Great Litva". Heraldica Litvaniae. 2003. Archived from the original on 2008-02-23. Retrieved 2008-02-06. 
  14. ^ Birgerson, Susanne Michele (2002). After the Breakup of a Multi-Ethnic Empire. Praeger/Greenwood. p. 101. ISBN 0-275-96965-7. 
  15. ^ "National Symbols, Anthem". Belarusian-Chinese Committee on Trade and Economic Cooperation. 2006. Retrieved 2008-02-26. 

External links[edit]