Hamazkayin Forum 2015 day 4 covered a wide spectrum of our culture; it was emotional, educational, social and entertaining at the same time. The Arch of Charents (Charentsi Gamar) greeted the participants, some of whom, inspired by the famous poet’s words recited ‘Kovk Hayasdani’ (Yes im anoush Hayasdani). Taking advantage of an acapella group’s presence, the participants listened to fascinating performances by Komitas and Sayat Nova, followed by the entire group singing of Yes Im anoush Hayasdani.
The world famous ‘Garni’ temple was the next stop; on the way, Forum participants were given a brief explanation about the history and significance of the temple and once there, took their time to explore the surroundings and take lots of pictures. Geghard followed; inspired by the local musicians, the ‘Yarkhoushda’ of Sasoun broke out. Despite the fact that it is a masculine dance, Forum participants Gohar and Anahid did a fantastic job with their performance. Forum participants were provided with very helpful and educational pieces of information about the monastery, which is classified as a World heritage site by UNESCO. Carved out of the adjacent mountain, the monastery is a masterpiece indeed. Followed by the famous hymn ‘Our es mayr Im’ performed by the local priest and prayers and well wishes for the group, some of the Forum members stayed back to sing ‘Der Voghormia’, taking advantage of the perfect acoustics of Geghardavank. It was an emotional experience for all indeed.
On their way back to Yerevan, the entire group were singing folk songs and national songs, accompanied by the guitar, as well as the shvi and flute.
Following lunch, a discussion session was held, with the topic ‘who is the Armenian?’. The session was run by Garo Hovhannesian; it generated a lot of discussion among the participants and it was very interesting to listen to the varying opinions and rationales. The question brings to light today’s reality of our nation and it presents a challenge to all of us as we reflect on our differences. 'Yergir Media’ was present during part of the discussion and an interview was held with one of the directors of the Forum, Tamar Donabedian Kuzuian.
What followed was a visit to the ‘Jivani’ school of music and a full hour with the world renowned Tovmas Boghosian, head of the school, as well as the members of the Sayat Nova musical group, which has performed in many countries around the world. Following educational pieces of information provided by Boghosian about the music of troubadours, including Sayat Nova, Ashough Jivani and others, the Sayat Nova group members dazzled everyone with their superb performances of Sayat Nova’s Kamancha, Nazani and a few other songs, finishing off with a famous national song, widely known as ‘Menk angeghdz zinvor enk’.
The participants were highly inspired; it was a memorable day for all.