Gomel oblast lies to the southeast of Belarus and borders on Briansk oblast /Russia/, Kiev , Chernigov and Zhitomir oblasts /Ukraine/.

The territory of Gomel oblast is 40,400 square kilometers. One third of the territory is covered with forests; the biggest rivers the Dnepr, the Sozh, the Berezina and the Pripiat are the most important navigable ways of Belarus .

There is the national park Pripiatskiy and the Polesye radiation-ecological reserve in the oblast.

Today there are 23 museums and 4 theaters and philharmonic societies in Gomel oblast numbers.

The region has 2,540 monuments, 1,360 of them are monuments of history and culture, 140 of architecture and 1,040 of archeology. And if the latter /they include ancient settlements and burial places/ are of interest only to archeologists and historians, the other places stir deep interest of the people who appreciate architectural masterpieces and are fond of the Belarusian history.

Summer camp for ethnographers in Petrikov District on 19-22 August

GOMEL, 19 August (BelTA) A summer camp for ethnographers is taking place in Petrikov District, Gomel Oblast, on 19-22 August. The summer camp is held within the framework of the international festival of ethnic and cultural traditions Call of Polesie. The festival will take place in the agrotown of Lyaskovichi on 13 September, BelTA learned from the organizing committee of the festival.

Every year experts in Belarusian folk art flock to Petrikov District to take part in the summer camp. They represent research centers, universities, and secondary schools. Among them are both professionals and other people interested in Belarusian folk art.

The participants of the festival will tour 13 villages of Petrikov District that have preserved old Polesie traditions in singing, dancing, arts and crafts, rites and games. The researchers will meet with local residents to document and record their rites. The records will be compiled and published.

It is for a reason that ethnographers are so keen on studying Pripyat Polesie. In fact, this region has preserved the features of authentic culture of the Poleshuks feasts, rites and rituals, folklore and crafts. These unique features should be thoroughly studied by historians, ethnographers and culture experts. The authentic culture of the region should be adapted to modern-day conditions. This is the major objective of the Call of Polesie festival. The festival seeks to preserve and promote ethnic and cultural traditions of Polesie, study and support historical and cultural heritage of the region.

This year the Call of Polesie festival has been granted the status of an international event. Taking part in the festival will be representatives of Gomel Oblast and Brest Oblast, and folklore experts from the neighboring countries.

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Development, informational and technical support: BELTA, 2006