There is a unique letter in the Belarusian alphabet – y is short (the Belarusian version is “u is not skladovae”). Since it is often by this symbol in a letter to a foreigner that our native language can be identified, the letter deserves to be immortalized in stone.
The opening of the monument to the twenty-second letter of the Belarusian alphabet took place on the third day of September in Polotsk and was timed to coincide with the Day of Writing. The unusual idea belonged to Pavel Semchenko, a professor and calligrapher who spent a lot of time studying fonts. The author and manufacturer was the chief Polotsk artist Igor Kurzhalov. He argues that although the sculpture is dedicated to a single letter, in fact, it symbolizes the identity of Belarusian culture. The monument was made at one of the enterprises of the city. Today, philologists gather near the stone letter, fierce debates are held on topics related to the Belarusian language, poems dedicated to “ў” are composed.
Monument to the unique letter of the Belarusian alphabet, installed in Polotsk
Meticulous experts, however, have already noted that the short letter y is also found in the alphabets of other languages. For example, “ў” is written in Tatar, Karakalpak, Uzbek, used in Finno-Ugric and in some groups of Iranian languages. However, for the majority of Belarusians it is symbolic, native and unique.
The inhabitants of Polotsk, of course, were not the first to come up with the idea to perpetuate the letter in stone. For example, in Ulyanovsk, we can look at the large letter “Yo” pressed into the slab. This letter is an exact copy of the very letter that was first printed in 1797 in the almanac “Aonides” in the word “tears”. And in Syktyvkar for several years there has been a monument to the letter “?”. Sculptor Alexander Vyborov embodied his idea in a square stone, meter by meter, weighing up to two tons. In the capital of Belarus, next to the National Library, a sculpture of the letter “A” is installed.
It has already been noted that such interesting monuments attract much more attention and interest among tourists than buildings with the status of cultural and historical value and monuments to famous personalities.