Cultural mess at the expense of destruction of Armenian traditions’
Armenian is deeply tied to his land, water, home and country. He is a creator, builder, leader and soldier. In various time periods being under onslaught by different nations and countries, a strong dedication and love to our own country has been passed to us through the genes and blood. The “Crushing machine” of globalization has mixed together cultures and civilizations, nations and religions. In this everyday changing world phenomena and events that are taking place have different type of influences reflected on various stages of our Society’s Development. Progress can always be welcomed but at the same time along with those development attempts some dangerous circumstances may come up such as losing for good our customs and traditions, national culture and most importantly our language.
Instead of expanding and “exporting” powerful Armenian Culture we easily “import” the foreign one. Of course, we should notice that preservation of the national identity, popularisation and development of our culture ought to be the mission that belongs to our entire nation, starting from ordinary citizens up to the State institutions and ministries. Unfortunately, for some reason, responsible people and institutions often forget their main priorities and tasks thereby ignoring our own, Armenian interests. The latest, most vivid example is the celebration of Halloween. For instance, in different parts of our capital we could meet people with some obscure make-up showing off as sorcerers, witches, ghosts, vampires, skeletons, representing evil forces, wearing different masks and dresses. Entertainment centres also were decorated in an unusual way.
But we, Armenians, have our own national celebrations like Barekendan, Vardavar, Easter, the feast of St. Sarkis, the patron of love, and so the list goes on. Anna Hovhannisyan studies at the Yerevan State Institute of Theatre and Cinematography and is fond of all kind of happy occasions. She is ready to postpone her important deeds, just not to miss any celebration and to have fun. By the way Anna likes all types of festivities without being concerned whether they have Armenian origin or not. She says that admits and envisions why in Armenia not everyone likes to celebrate Halloween, although she herself has no problems with that. Anna is saying that one wouldn’t care where the celebration is coming from as long as you are happy and moreover, Armenians know how to have a good time…
A couple of days ago after Halloween celebration, Anna’s memories were still fresh, and she was enthusiastically telling Culture.AM about how much she loves to party, mentioning also that Armenian traditional festivities are also close to her heart. “My friends and I always take part in celebrations dedicated to our city Yerevan. On that day we wear traditional garments and other items that have Armenian elements on them. Soon we also have a wonderful Armenian holiday coming, called St. Sarkis, the patron of love and we certainly going to celebrate it with a great passion. Especiallyon that day, together with friends we try to show our love, whishing each other the best, something that people forget to do on their ordinary days.
To our question about her most favourite celebration day Anna answered that she wants to see more Armenian traditional festivities as they show the nation’s culture, habits, and characteristic features in a best possible way. “We are rich with our culture and must present it to the world with dignity” she added. According to her if the Armenian traditional festive days are well organised then she will more likely prefer to attend them rather going to parties that celebrate foreign festivities.
There is no need to imitate others. We must have the responsibility to present our culture in an exceptional manner and do everything possible to preserve it. That’s not a try of putting our culture in front, ignoring or demoralising what was created by other nations and the wide use of Internet in our country is a good example to that. However still why not to start even from here, developing further our national cultural policy, thus writing online in Armenian instead of using Latin characters.
Ani Hovhannisyan (Culture.AM)
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