Полоцкий государственный университет

Polotsk
State
University

Polotsk State University is an international university. Students from more than 20 countries study here. Most of them come from the countries with cultures and traditions that differ a lot from ours. To get to know Belarusian people better, our students visited the Handicraft and Traditional Culture Centre at Novopolotsk Cultural Centre. Ekaterina Fedotova, Head of the Handicraft Centre, gave a tour around the Centre, informed the students about folk traditions and ceremonies and showed some works made by craftsmen.

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The Centre was founded in April, 1992. It is aimed at supporting the traditions in folk art, life, ceremonies and arts and crafts traditions reviving. There is a great variety of different interest groups. A large number of Belarusian souvenir items have been created and collected for 25 years. Here, craftsmen create real masterpieces like:

  • ceramics (kitchenware, panels, bells, magnets);
  • products from flax (towels, ties with embroidery, bags);
  • straw souvenirs (flowers, vases, hobgoblins, paintings with application);
  • ritual dolls;
  • art painting examples (nesting dolls, cutting boards, plates, panels, magnets, spoons, etc.);
  • knitted things (napkins, tablecloths, hats);
  • paintings (pictorial art, drawings, prints on the canvas);
  • accessories (beadwork, felting).

During the tour, the students could touch every piece of art and learn about its creation history. Besides, the participants visited workshops, where they could get acquainted with the craftsmen and watch the handiwork creation process.

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Having been inspired by art, the international students wanted to make something by themselves. Together with Belarusian students and lecturers, they visited master classes in creation of ritual dolls and ceramics.

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Under the supervision of a professional, the participants have made their own pieces of work that can be used as charms.

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Kakageldi Kurbanov, 3rd-year student: “It was very interesting and I liked everything very much. I learnt new things about Belarusian art. What I remember best is pottery, belts braiding and ritual dolls creation. It is amazing that here you can make a souvenir by yourself and not only buy it. We created bells during the master class. This souvenir will be a reminder of Belarus for me”.

Bedimyrat Dadebayev, 1st-year student: “I learnt a lot of new things about Belarusian culture here, at the Centre. Each kind of handicraft has its own meaning. Everything is made with our own hands. We appreciate manual works. It was wonderful that we could not only watch, but also touch the works. I’d love to visit the Centre once again…”

Maksat Khudaiberenov, 1st-year student: “The tour was very exciting. It was very interesting to learn more about traditions of the country. Besides, nowadays it is fashionable to make things with your own hands. Thus, I tried to make a souvenir and I did it! Thanks to the craftsmen for the master class!”

Tatiana Krivitskaya, a teacher-psychologist