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Belarus lauds Tagore - says Nobel laureate links India with Minsk

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India's national poet Rabindranath Tagore's poetry and prose has been translated into Belarusian for a long time (Image courtesy: National Library of Belarus)

The eastern European country of Belarus will celebrate the work of India's first Nobel laureate, Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore and Belarusian literature great Yakub Kolas in Minsk on Thursday showcasing once again India's historic connect and remarkable affinity with the region.

Titled 'Far in versts, but close in songs: Rabindranath Tagore in the Belarusian cultural space', the event will be organised at the Yakub Kolas Museum, a leading cultural centre of the country that preserves the life and work history of one of the creators of the Belarusian language and literature.

It will feature translations of the works of Tagore into Belarusian, as well as poems dedicated to the Bengali literary giant. The highlight would be the musical compositions written on the works of Tagore and Kolas, as well as the screening of the film 'Gitanjali', dubbed in Russian.

"The joint project of the museum with the Embassy of the Republic of India is dedicated to Rabindranath Tagore and Yakub Kolas - important figures of their countries, whose work is difficult to overestimate. The poetic works of Rabindranath Tagore were so popular among ordinary Bengalis that they often perceived them as folk. The poetic lines of Yakub Kolas are also close to the Belarusian people. Therefore, by right, both figures can be called folk poets," Belarusian Telegraph Agency or BelTA quoted the museum agencies as saying.

The Yakub Kolas Museum is the only memorial estate museum in Minsk and is located in the house where the classic writer of Belarusian and world literature lived from 1945 to 1956. It preserves the personal belongings of the poet and his family, books, manuscripts, documents, artworks that perpetuate the image of the people's poet and the heroes of his works. Located in the Stolbtsovsky district of the Minsk region, it is also famous for holding the scientific conference 'Kolasovina'. 

Tagore

(Image courtesy: Yakub Kolas Museum, Minsk)

Kolas was also known to the Soviet readers for his translations of Tagore's works which appeared in the literary and artistic supplement of newspapers in the mid 1920s.

According to Zvyazda, which claims to be the only daily Belarusian-language socio-political newspaper of Belarus, Rabindranath Tagore's first book published in Minsk in 1927 was 'The Gardener' translated by Arkady Mardvilko.

Also among the translators of Rabindranath Tagore's poetry and prose into Belarusian are Siarhei Hrahouski, Ales Rzanau, Yazep Semyazhon and Halina Sharangovich. 

Tagore

(Image courtesy: PIB/The National Gallery of Modern Art)

Authorities at the Yakub Kolas Museum believe that the theme of the life of the common people is present in various works of Tagore, just as the life of the Belarusian peasantry is reflected in the works of Kolas, especially his poem 'New Land', in which ordinary people became the main characters of the work.

In 2015, during a meeting with his counterpart Alexander Lukashenko in Minsk, Indian President Pranab Mukherjee had mentioned Tagore's influence on the region much before Belarus emerged as an independent nation in 1991.

"India and Belarus relations have a history of friendly and mutually enriching interactions. As I had mentioned to you during our talks, India's national poet Rabindranath Tagore had visited Minsk in 1931. He had very intense and fruitful discussions with leading intellectuals of your country on international and topical issues of the day. India and Belarus are the inheritors of this glorious philosophical and intellectual tradition," said the late President.

Thursday's event in the Belarusian capital will take forward the legacy of the cultural relations in a week which began with the Tagore Jayanti or Rabindra Jayanti cultural celebrations to mark the birth anniversary of the Nobel luminary on May 9.

Also Read: Bangladesh pays tributes to Rabindranath Tagore on his death anniversary with songs and poems