President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Good afternoon, friends,
First of all, I want to congratulate you and all your colleagues in Moscow and in other Russian regions, on the occasion of Cultural Worker’s Day.
This professional holiday is probably relatable to every person in its own way. Culture and art permeate literally all spheres of public, state, and personal life. Russia has always highly respected, I would even say revered the representatives of this sphere – writers, artists, theatre and cinema workers, museum curators, employees of cultural and educational institutions.
This attitude is largely induced by the very special qualities that you all, people of art, have in common, and that also sets you apart. You have been endowed with a creative talent, you simply cannot live without creating – or at least this is how we see you – and you are giving all your energy, talent and love to your chosen art and your audience.
This attitude very clearly manifested itself during the period of lockdowns during the pandemic. Understanding all the difficulties faced by our museums, libraries, concert and stage venues, the government made every effort to support the entities working in the cultural sphere. And the fact that cultural life continued in Russia, against all odds, moreover, expanded to new formats – you deserve full credit for this.
Such fidelity to your vocation, to your high creative mission can be rightfully described as truly selfless devotion. In those difficult times, your work and its results have given emotional support to millions of people. This was extremely important during that hard period of time. And I would like to once again thank you and all your colleagues for this.
I would also like to congratulate the winners of the prize for writing and art for children and young people and the prize for young culture professionals, who are attending this ceremony online. Unfortunately, the circumstances have prevented us from holding a full-format, traditional ceremony to honour the winners for the second straight year, something we will hold as soon as possible, circumstances permitting.
Today, I would like to discuss topics that are of particular interest to us. I always appreciate the opportunity to exchange opinions with people who can appreciate the value of the written and spoken word and understand the importance of our native language and our outstanding national culture for Russia’s present and future. Without a doubt, you are certainly among these people.
Each one of you, excellent teachers, actors, artists and writers, has made a valuable personal contribution to promoting culture and education, and establishing values and traditions that unite generations and help educate the young citizens of Russia using the best examples of creativity, teaching them to be proud of their country, and realise the size and importance of our people’s contribution to global culture and the global cultural development.
Goethe once said: “Even though the world is progressing, young people have to start over every time.” This is true in many respects, but I will also quote Russian classic writer Leo Tolstoy, who told young people: “Take what is available and move forward. This is what makes humankind strong.” This is also true. Anyway, culture and art are exceptionally important. Often, they make it possible for the younger generations to see, understand and appreciate their predecessors’ achievements and realise that innovation is not about rejecting the past, but about building on it.
I propose discussing the forms and means that domestic literature, art, music and theatre can use to convey the true values that Russian culture has embodied at all times, namely, humanism, morality and justice, to children and young adults. We will talk about what we need to do for the more established and authoritative cultural figures to be more involved in influencing the younger generations, new generations, including promoting the natural gifts and talents of the rising stars in education and art and forming high aesthetic taste and deep meaningfulness.
Again, I congratulate you on your professional day and your laureate titles. I wish you good health, prosperity and great successes in your creative endeavours.