Alies Bialiacki is facing hard days and months: the application for pardon is going to be wrung out of him
This is how Alies looked like when he met his future wife
Natallia is waiting for Alies and suffers together with him
Natallia Pinchuk reads the letter she has recently received from the jail
The wedding of Alies and Natallia. Natallia was a fourth year student, Alies was a postgraduate student then
Alies Bialiacki during his school years
Natallia, a university student
Alies Bialiacki in army
Alies played bass in band called Baski
Alies Bialiacki taught Polish priests and nuns Belarusian language
Alies and his father
Bialiacki asked another hunter to let him take a picture with the hare to look like a bit more successful
Alies Bialiacki and Mikalaj Statkievich
The wife of Belarusian human rights activist recalled 10 facts from their life you will not find in Wikipedia or even official biography.
1. Meeting his wife
“My cousin married in Lojeu [a town in Belarus],” says Natallia. “It was in 1982. Alies was among musicians who performed at the wedding. He asked me for a dance, then he walked with me till my house. On the next day, we met again. It could have not grown into something bigger but for several circumstances.”
2. Had internship in camps nearby to each other
“I was a student of pedagogical college in Lojeu, Alies studied in Homiel State University. We all had internships as camp leaders after the third year. It happened that I and Alies were sent to camps next to each other at the same time. Here our relationship started developing actively. I remember night-long dates not leaving any energy for kids’ activities in the morning. I met Alies’ fellow students. Alies had very thick hair then and my friend liked him very much, too.”
3. We lived separately
“We stayed together for a year only: when I was at my first year in the university, and he was doing his last. I remember myself preparing for exam and him learning French, to pass his. We married in 1987. I was a fourth-year student, he was postgraduate student. I asked for three days off from University and we married in Minsk in April. We laid flowers to the monument of Maksim Bahdanovich and then went to a restaurant. We had already passed live-one-separately-from-another stage, when I was in Homiel and he — in Minsk. When I graduated, I was sent to the village of Damanavichy, near Kalinkavichy. I worked as a teacher since September till March. But when I took the maternity leave, I moved to Alies’ parents to Svietlahorsk. I stayed there two month before I gave birth to Adam, our son, and four months after. Then, Alies’ mother Nina gave us money she had made selling strawberries to rent a flat in Minsk.
4. My father didn’t accept Alies at once
“I remember Dziady–1988. Alies came home and whispered to me their rally was dispersed. He gave me his coat with torn sleeve and asked me not to tell parents. I was mending it and my mother was walking and saying: ‘He clashed with police somewhere.’ Her intuition was wondrous.
“I knew what to expect, but realizing this did not reduce the issues. My father was a true communist, a member of the Communist Party of the USSR. He guessed the nature of his future son-in-law at once. He brought home the information letters about Talaka, Tutejshyja [the national revival organisations Alies Bialiacki was a member of] which were sent to Soviet enterprises and institutions. He did not hinder our relationship openly, but did it as if accidentally. I even told him I married Alies some time after the wedding.
5. He messaged after landing
Alies had to travel a lot on his business. Natallia says she feels ok about it, but the only thing that worried her was flights. “It was important for me to know he has landed. So I made him sms me every time the flight is over.”
6. Young bass guitarist
Alies Bialiacki played bass guitar in band called Baski when he was a university student. This was the band invited to perform at Natallia’s cousin’s wedding.
7. Mushrooms and flowers
“You are not mistaken: reading is my hobby,” Natallia quotes Alies’ letter. “However, my philologist’s past spoils my reading. But my true hobbies are two: mushroom hunting and planting flowers in a garden, but not home flowers.” Natallia laughts saying Alies has always brought full baskets of mushrooms. “Then we started arguing whether this mushrooms are edible or poisonous. Alies considered them all to be edible. It all ended when Adam took his father to another room, and I threw away half of the mushrooms and then said the mushrooms cooked down so significantly.”
8. Food and pickles
“Even the friends were surprised at Alies’ love for farming. Everything has always been wonderfully arranged in our summerhouse. He planted potato, cucumbers: we had loads of everything. Now he wonders from prison about our vegetable garden. His friends helped us to harvest last year. What food is concerned, I like everything simple. But Alies is an invenor: he is never tired of experimenting.”
9. Fishing, hunting, football
The Bialiackis’ family album has a photo of Alies holding a shotgun in one hand and a hare in another. “Alies and his friend went hunting. I think, they had only one shotgun for four persons. Surely, they did not kill anything. Still, they met one more hunter on their way back home. Unlike Alies and his friends, that hunter was a more successful one, so they asked him to let them take a picture with the hare.” One more photo — Alies on big fish. “I don’t remember him going fishing. It might be the same story as hunting,” Natallia says laughing.
However, Alies loved to paddle a kayak. He tried to do it every summer. “We sometimes watched football, major matches. But I remember rare TV-evenings. Alies liked reading more.”
“We have always spoken Belarusian. Adam was brought up this way, too.”