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Ashik Song Festival in the Birthplace of Gusan Havasi PDF Print E-mail


On September 3, 2017, the Ayazma village of the Tsalka region hosted an ashik song festival dedicated to the master of ashik songs Gusan Havasi (Armenak Parsami Markosyan), who was born in this village. The traditional festival was held at the initiative of Tsalka Municipality and with the support of the Hayartun Center of the Armenian Diocese in Georgia.

Local and regional officials, guests from different regions of Samtskhe-Javakheti, Tbilisi and Yerevan, and of course admirers of “gusan” art of singing attended the traditional ashik festival to honor the memory of People’s Artist of the Republic of Armenia, gusan Havasi, which has been celebrated every September, since 1991.

The celebration began with the unveiling of a bust of Gusan Havasi during a grand ceremony held at a park named after him. Edgar Aramyan, who was born in Kzlkilisa and is based in Moscow, undertook the sponsorship. The ribbon was cut by MP Kakhaber Okriashvili, Majoritarian from Tsalka, current Deputy of the National Assembly of the Republic of Armenia Shirak Torosyan and benefactor Edgar Aramyan.

Near the bust of Gusan Havasi, Very Rev. Fr. Babken Salbiyan, the Prelate of Samtskhe-Javakheti and Tsalka's General Prelacy of the Armenian Diocese in Georgia; transmitted the blessings and good wishes of the Primate of the Armenian Diocese in Georgia, His Grace Bishop Vazgen Mirzakhanyan; he noted the importance of this traditional festival in terms of strengthening the friendship between two nations and contributing to the rapprochement of two different cultures. Later, under the presidency of Father Babken and with the participation of Rev. Father Tadeos Ter-Mkrtchyan and Rev. Father Ghevond Topashyan the repose of the soul service was conducted.

Member of the Parliament of Georgia Henzel Mkoyan and Tsalka’s Gamgebeli, Ilia Sabadze greeted the people present. They thanked the local residents and the village for presenting the talented Gusan Havasi to the world, honoring his memory and transferring his art of singing to younger generations.

The “Vrastan” Newspaper (“Georgia”) editor, Van Baiburtyan, the President of the “Vernatun” Union of Armenian Writers of Georgia, Zhora Snkhchyan, and Levon Chidilyan, Director of the Cultural Department of the Armenian Diocese in Georgia, delivered speeches and recalled the development of ashik song art in Javakheti and the role of Gusan Havasi as a representative of ashik song art, the diversity of the song topics and his high artistic merit.

Solo performers Masis Hunanyan, Eduard Tamaryan, Hayastan Ispiryan, Aida Bazoyan performed the songs by Gusan Havasi about the greatness of the nature, the beauty of the women and girls and the hardworking character of the people working in the fields in his songs. Liza Torosyan recited her grandmother’s (Anahit Bostanjyan, who passed away unexpectedly) poem, dedicated to the immortal gusan.

The joyful songs and dances began to play in the Ayazma village. Chonguri players group of the Tsalka Municipality, the “Lusaghbyur” Dance Group of the Nardevan village, the “Karmravanq” Ensemble of the Diliska village, “Taron” Dance Group of the Hayartun Center (Armenian Diocese in Georgia), duduk and dhol classes performed at the concert.

Following the concert, an open lesson of Armenian national dance “Kochari” was held at the newly opened park. Young and old participated in the event.

A reception had been organized by Tsalka Municipality and benefactor Edgar Aramyan for all gathered.

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