White Cranes of Russia
In Moscow, the Central House of Writers hosted a ceremony of awarding the winners of the Fifth International Festival of Friendship of Peoples ‘White Cranes of Russia.’ The educational project ‘White Cranes of Russia’, dedicated to the memory of the national poet of Degestan, Rasul Gamzatov, has been held as an international literary and music festival for 5 years in a row. This project is supported by the Federation Council with the assistance of the authorities of the North Caucasus. The purpose of the festival and the project as a whole is to promote the conservation, development and mutual enrichment of the national cultures of our country, as well as the restoration and consolidation of friendship of the Russian peoples. The competition program of the festival is attended by well-known writers, actors, musicians, artists, and by creatively gifted children as well.
The creator of the festival, Sergei Sokolkin, told Vestnik Kavkaza: “After the particularly fearsome wars of the past, Central Russia’s people and the Caucasus peoples haven't had perfect relations. Moreover, in general, the television worked on this, and the state ultimately ceased to be engaged with these issues. Today the situation is changing… We are engaged in a specific case, we have been translating, say, the verses of poets of the Caucasus, from the different republics. We also have a new book, ‘Magic Balkaria’, we have published the book ‘Tatar Train’, a book about Bashkortostan. We try to publish these translations in the national press, we publish them as books.”
Sergei Sokolkin thinks it is important that children are involved in the educational project, including children with disabilities: “Children write poems, fairy tales, stories, make pictures, draw. We are currently holding an exhibition of the best children's drawings. Some of them are even making paintings in oil. I got the idea that children should write essays on the theme ‘The friendship of nations is a greatness of Russia." We were supported from the start in Dagestan, then in Kaliningrad, Moscow. Starting this year, the competition here in Moscow received the status of state one. This is very important. Firstly, children are busy with something, and plus, people are aimed at explaining to children that we are not the enemies of each other, we are friends, we are brothers. Moreover, no color, no nationality, no religion should be an occasion for discord, hatred, and so on.”
The daughter of Rasul Gamzatov, Patimat, told Vestnik Kavkaza that ‘White Cranes of Russia’ started with a chamber, a very small event, but each year it is gaining speed: “There are more and more participants of the event, awards have been established in several categories. This is the evening of poetry, and the evening of the memories about the people who left us, left defending their homeland, their homes, their loved ones. I think it's important that there was such an hour, a day when we remember all who have gone.”
The song ‘Cranes’ with lyrics by Rasul Gamzatov is well-known all over the world, beloved by millions of people, and has become a requiem for all soldiers who were killed in the bloody wars of the 20th century. The song is sung in dozens of languages; it is close to every person as a prayer. The song has no analogues in the world; the winged myth of the white cranes has been given shape in marble, bronze, and concrete in more than 60 cities of the world, including in America and Japan, which inspired Rasul Gamzatov to write the lyrics.