"Belarus” Fan Club. The history of success.04.10.2016
This is a story about the adventures of Belarus tractor beyond the borders of our country. It appears so that foreigners like tractors, manufactured in Belarus, like to take photographs near them and even to drive them. Do not believe me? I will try to persuade you.
Admiring the graceful contours of powerful European, Japanese and American cars, we tend to forget about our, so to speak, national treasure - Belarus tractor. Several months ago, I, just like many others, would have just shrugged my shoulders: well, why we, who were born and raised in the capital, shall carry about some tractors? And that's untrue, my dear friends, that is so untrue! And the Europeans, according to the old tradition, were the first to feel the breath of a new wave, which soon will come to our country also. It turns out that in Finland there is a fan club of Belarus tractors. And just in the middle of September strong Finnish guys organize a show called Rauta ja Petrooli Riihimäki, which I have discovered by chance.
Local farmers and guests of the festival demonstrate refurbished equipment, which many of us have never seen. These are rare tractors, cars, trucks and mechanisms. There is also a parade of such machines. Here you can find tractors from around the world: European, American, Chinese. Guests are invited to examine them closely, learn the operation of certain mechanisms. Young people try themselves as tractor-drivers – why not? There are lambersexuals, why tractor-drivers are worse?
This year more than 200 tractors and combines, trucks and other mechanisms took part at the exhibition. One of the most breathtaking entertainments at the feast was the time challenge assembly of the tractors by a group of four professionals. An elegant, gray, chrome Fergusson within several minutes was ready- assembled and even was operating.
- Actually, - says the participant of the event, and a part-time member of "Belarus” Fan Club Jarkko Hallamaa, - the farmers do not trust the post-Soviet machinery brands. But I believe that Belarus tractors are good tractors.
However, it seems to me, my collocutor was a little bit exaggerating talking about distrust of Finns to Belarusian tractors. You should have seen the faces of the festival visitors! They were totally involved in action and admired all the beauties made of iron, whether Leyland, Hanomag or Belarus.
- Would you mind telling a couple of words about your club - I asked and Jarkko willingly shared with us.
- After the collapse of the Soviet Union the sales of new MTZ tractors in Finland has decreased significantly, which led to reduction in the number of our MTZ tractors. This mark has, however, its supporters, who are convinced of its virtues. In Finland we have had very small quantity of MTZ tractors to surface area, which has been caused by the fact that the owners live far from each other. In the 2000s, when the Internet began to spread, also began the MTZ tractor owners to converge. In 2006-2007, it was found that there appeared a need to establish an organization which unites the scattered crowd. In 2007 we started to put pressure on the dealer of Finland, to organize a trip to the Minsk Tractor Plant, and it was arranged in June. During that trip, it was decided to found The Belarus Tractor Club of Finland, called Belarus Gruppa Finljandija.”
Today we have exactly 294 members and 758 users of forum. These numbers may be not so big, but one has to remember - we are a little nation. The most important thing is the forum. There one can write about all the problems with tractors. Usually there is always somebody, who can help and the problem will be settled soon. According to club’s rules, the club is not just for MTZ tractors, but for all tractors and machinery made on the territory of former USSR. Every year we try to arrange a trip to some tractor plant, so we have visited Minsk three times, OTZ Petrosavodsk in 2009 and PTZ Saint-Petersburg in 2012, this year there was a plan to go to “Russentreffen” in Germany, but there were not enough passengers.
- And what are your plans for the future?
- Our future plans… to organize a competition between Finland and Estonia, - my interlocutor smiles…
I would like to write some sort of a conclusion, but I've already said everything. Although there is something more: perhaps, all of us would do well to learn to be proud of what is worthy of respect in our history and culture, economy and industry. And then we will not have to hide a surprise to hear from foreigners positive assessments of the things that we usually do not appreciate.
Author: Irina Grinchuk