Belarusians "get undressed and work" at president's behest

Belarusians
When the going gets tough, the tough get buff, is the message young Belarusians extracted from their president's recent speech.
By Vladimir Kozlov in Moscow June 29, 2016

Tighten your belt in tough times? How about removing it altogether, plus the rest of your clothes, as you knuckle down for a brighter future, as many young Belarusians chose to understand their President Alexander Lukashenko's fluffed exhortation in a recent speech.

When Lukashenko addressed the people's national assembly in late May, he certainly didn't mean anything indecent or provocative. The deluge of "strip and work" pics that have since flooded social media in Belarus and some neighbouring countries is rather down to a slip of the tongue, as the republic's authoritarian leader mixed up two very similar Russian words - razvivat'sya, to develop, and razdevat'sya - to get undressed.

"Innovations, IT technology, privatisation and such like – it's all clear, we have mastered that already," Lukashenko said. "But everything, including our life, comes down to something very simple: we need to [undress] and work." He did not correct himself or reiterate, and the die were cast - and the clothes cast aside. Instagram, Facebook and other forums have seen a rush of cheeky nude-at-work snaps as Belarusians heeded the sage advice of their leader of the past 22 years.

With national economies struggling and the idea of losing some garments enhanced by the heatwave of recent days, the fad also struck a chord in Russia, Ukraine and the Baltic states, reports say.

There was no official reaction from the presidential administration, but with the Belarusian economy in worse shape than most in the region, former state farm director Lukashenko hasn't skipped a beat in his public calls for people to get stuck in: "I see the eagerness of the young generation to work productively and take the initiative. I welcome this," he said on June 28.

“I see the eagerness of young generation to work productively and take the initiative. I welcome this.
Read full text at: http://eng.belta.by/president/view/lukashenko-welcomes-eagerness-of-young-people-to-work-and-take-initiative-92594-2016/
If you use BelTA’s materials, you must credit us with a hyperlink to eng.belta.by.
“I see the eagerness of young generation to work productively and take the initiative. I welcome this.
Read full text at: http://eng.belta.by/president/view/lukashenko-welcomes-eagerness-of-young-people-to-work-and-take-initiative-92594-2016/
If you use BelTA’s materials, you must credit us with a hyperlink to eng.belta.by.

 

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