Members of Ani Ensemble in Armenian-populated Chaldr village visited the RA Ministry of Diaspora

On October 31, RA Minister of Diaspora Hranush Hakobyan received members of the Ani Ethnographic Ensemble of Chaldr village in Myasnikyan district of Rostov-na-Don under the leadership of the head of the district Arshak Porksheyan and with the accompaniment of Rector of Yerevan State University Aram Simonyan.

The Ani Ensemble of Rostov-na-Don was founded in 1985 by Professor of Rostov State Conservatory Grigor Khurdayan and has received awards at all-Russian and international competitions. Currently, the ensemble has nearly 40 singers and musicians who perform Armenian national instruments, including the tar, the kamancha, the canon, the ud, the zurna, the dhol and more. The ensemble performs the songs by modern and classical Armenian composers and has given several concerts in Canada and countries across Europe.

The RA Minister of Diaspora praised the ensemble’s activities for preservation of the Armenian identity not only in the Rostov-na-Don region, but in all parts of Russia and in the Armenian communities of all countries in which the ensemble has performed.

“On October 29, the ensemble performed at Arno Babajanyan Concert Hall in Yerevan and in Artashat for the first time in 25 years. I am pleased with the fact that the citizens of Ijevan also had the chance to view the ensemble’s performances,” the RA Minister of Diaspora said, adding that she welcomes the YSU Rector’s initiative to organize Ani Ensemble’s concerts in the Homeland. “I think the MainUniversity should set an example for other universities in Armenia.”

Minister Hranush Hakobyan urged the members of the ensemble to speak only in Armenian during rehearsals since it will help them preserve the native language and improve their knowledge of the language. The minister also invited the members of the ensemble to participate in the master classes for choirmasters and dance instructors during the 2015 “Diaspora Summer School” Program. “In the fall of 2015, the RA Ministry of Diaspora will also hold the “Komitas Vardapet” Festival on the occasion of the Centennial of the Armenian Genocide. I cordially invite you to perform the songs of Komitas,” the minister mentioned and presented the members of the ensemble badges with the Forget-Me-Not flower symbolizing the Centennial of the Armenian Genocide.

The minister was pleased to mention that the boys and girls of the Armenian community of Chaldr village actively participate in the “Ari Tun” Program of the RA Ministry of Diaspora. She gave the members DVDs and called on them to view the films devoted to the “My Armenia” Pan-Armenian Festival and participate in the next festival in 2016.

The minister attached great importance to the compilation of a book devoted to the history of the Armenian communities of the Armenian-populated Chaldr village and the Rostov-na-Don province.

YSU Rector Aram Simonyan mentioned that the YSU has already recorded the history of the Armenian community prior to 1917 and is now working on compiling the historical facts dating back to the period between 1917 and 2013.

RA Minister of Diaspora Hranush Hakobyan granted a certificate of the RA Ministry of Diaspora to Ani Ensemble as a token of appreciation of its activities for preservation and development of Armenian music and for the initiative to give a concert in the Homeland after a long interval.

Expressing gratitude for the warm reception and for appreciating their efforts, Head of Myasnikyan District Arshak Porksheyan mentioned that the Armenian schools of Chaldr village are functioning with the support of the RA Ministry of Diaspora and added that the Armenians of the community are interested in the opportunities that Yervand Zoryan’s ArmenianVirtualCollege has to offer.

The head of the district assured that the Armenian community preserves Armenian customs and traditions, adding that the Armenians of Chaldr speak in the Armenian that is characteristic of the historic Armenian city of Ani and attend the ArmenianApostolicChurch built in the square of the village.

Arshak Porksheyan gave the RA Minister of Diaspora gifts that have already become a symbol for the Armenians of Chaldr, as well as a painting portraying the square and Armenian church in Chaldr.

In the end, soloists Arina Babiyan and Sargis Hakobyan performed some songs from the “Anush” opera and some songs with lyrics based on poems.

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