“But,” she continues, “the real Belarusian language, living and warm, became a secret knowledge, just like the Jewish faith was for the forcibly baptized Spanish Jews.
And do Russians know “why Alyaksandr Lukashenka has held power for so many years? Because he is conducting the very same colonial policies [the Soviets did] in exchange for oil and gas at domestic Russian prices. In 24 years, not one Belarusian-language university has opened in Belarus; and Minsk with its two million people has only seven Belarusian-language schools.”
“The Soviet bureaucrat Alyaksandr Lukashenka is not in a position to destroy his internal raykom matrix and therefore issues forth phrases like ‘in Belarusian it is impossible to express anything great.’” But precisely because he and Moscow say these things, the Belarusians themselves have taken it upon themselves to save their language and their nation.
Belarusians, she says, “speak their language. They use it consciously in their families and in their company offices. Belarusian-language stores and automobile dealerships are appearing. The books of Svetlana Aleksiyevich are popular. And other Belarusian books are distributed by mobile phones.
As a result, “international brands coming into Belarus order ads in the Belarusian language.” And because this is so, the Novaya journalist and ethnic Belarusian insists, the Belarusian people are reviving their language and ensuring the survival of their nation well into the future.
“They will return their language, and they will open universities, and they will be happy,” she says. But under one condition: that they won’t again be shot by those who want to build an empire rather than a nation.