Homiel residents illegally celebrated New Year’s
13:44, — society
City authorities forbad New Year Eve’s public festivities.
The department for ideology, culture and youth of the city executive committee informed about that in several days before the holiday. The ban was explained as the “workers’ request”, who were allegedly disturbed by noisy New Year Eve’s festivities, Radio Svaboda reports.
This would probably be the first notable initiative of the local authorities under the chairmanship of the new head of the city executive committee Piotr Kirychenka and the united ideology department, which after having been reformed embraced former culture and youth departments.
Despite the ban, dozens city dwellers came to the New Year’s tree in the main square after midnight. The thick fog made a fantastic picture. City residents wondered around like ghosts. The red and green illumination, decorating the Lenin Square with the main New Year’s tree, took obscure shapes. Petards exploded in the sky.
Metal fences, which cordoned off the square and were guided by policemen, amplified the general ambience. At two entrances there were riot policemen, who inspected even women purses. Men were ordered to put hands up for a body inspection: they looked for bottles, sharp and cutting objects.
A program of Homiel radio was put on through sound amplifiers – Russia pop-music played, Homiel’s Soviet district described.
People round danced at the tree or danced in small groups on the slippery asphalt. A young man came to the square dressed as Santa Claus, and the youth rushed to make photos with him.
Among the participants there was a young resident of Homiel Viachaslau, who took the ban of public festivities very negatively:
“New Year’s Eve is worth being a public holiday. Whoever wants to celebrate it, should be able to do so. This fence, the reservation, created around the New Year’s tree – this is all wrong. We allegedly have democracy, freedom of speech…. and this. New Year’s Eve is related to childhood memories for me, when parents took me to the square. They came together with all the relatives. We lit Bengal fires. It is not there anymore”.
Another Homiel resident Alesia is more reserved in her comment on the decision of the authorities: “It is unpleasant, of course, but I was not upset. I celebrated New Year’s Eve in a good company, with parents, now I have come here with friends. I would like there to be dances, contests, a scene with ensembles. But every person, I think, creates their own holiday”.