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“Dolma – 2018” festival in Tbilisi PDF Print E-mail

1Armenian cuisine is a significant part of the Armenian culture. The popularization of the traditional national dishes is one of the activity directions of the Association of Armenian Women in Georgia “Shushanik”. By traditionally organized festivals, non-material2 cultural assets, such as Armenian gata, harisa, ghapama and other Armenian national dishes are spreading among people. This time it was dolma.
The Dolma festival continuously holds in Tbilisi for the sixth time, broadening its scope year by year. This year like the Harisa festival, Dolma festival also became all-community event, which was solemnly fulfilled in the Armenian populated areas of Georgia. It was organized by the local Associations of the Church-loving Women “Shushanik with the support of the Armenian Diocese in Georgia and was led by pastors”.
3The “Dolma - 2018” festival started on May 10, at the “Surb Grigor Narekatsi” (“Saint Gregory of Narek”) Spiritual, Educational, Cultural and Youth Center (the Armenian Diocese in Georgia) in Rustavi City, continued in the villages of Diliska and Arakova of the Akhalkalaki region and will be ended on May 18, in the Tsalka region. Before that, on May 13, festivals took place in Tbilisi,4 Batumi, Akhalkalaki and Ninotsminda, everywhere it turned into a real festivity and into a demonstration of the unity of the Armenian people.
After the Divine Liturgy on Sunday, celebrated under the leadership of the Diocesan Primate in the Saint 5George Cathedral, the faithful moved to the church's courtyard where the Armenian housewives were waiting for them with originally decorated and delicious various types of dolmas.
In attendance were the chef cook Sedrak Mamulyan, accompanied by Yuri Sargsyan, Edward Simonyan, Vazgen Khachikyan, who specially arrived from Armenia on the occasion of the festival. The honorary guest of the festival was Honored Artist of the Republic of Armenia,6 born in Tbilisi Leyla Saribekyan. The festival was honored with the presence of Diplomats of the Embassy of the Republic of Armenia in Georgia, the Clergymen of the Diocese.
7The church courtyard was crowded with people – local residents, people from Tbilisi's nearby regions, representatives of other nations as well as tourists were followed the event with amazement and interest. The “Dolma - 2018” event was organized by the Association of Armenian Women in Georgia “Shushanik”, with the support of the Headquarters of the Armenian Diocese in Georgia and the “Hayartun” Center.
Opening the festival, Susanna Khachatryan, the chairman of the abovementioned organization, touched upon the traditional8 Dolma festival, called it dish of love which is widespread in Tbilisi. She highlighted the participation of the “Vrastan” (“Georgia”) newspaper, Tbilisi N104 Armenian school, “Hobby House” studio of Shulaveri as well as “Surb Grigor Narekatsi” (“Saint Gregory of Narek”) Sunday school and “Surb 9Movses Khorenatsi” (“Saint Moses of Khoren”) preschool.
The Primate of the Armenian Diocese in Georgia, His Grace Bishop Vazgen Mirzakhanyan congratulated the attendees on the occasion of the Second Palm Sunday, highly appreciated the holding of similar events aimed to spread the non-material values, particularly, national dishes. His Grace also touched upon affairs took place in the Motherland recently, valued the festival as a symbol of the national unity and Armenian national holiday.
The Head of the Press Department of the Embassy of the Republic of Armenia in Georgia Harutyun Hayrapetyan and president of the “Development and Preservation of Armenian Culinary Traditions” NGO Sedrak Mamulyan welcomed the holding of the festival. His Grace Bishop Vazgen Mirzakhanyan and Rev. Father Hakob blessed the pots with tasty dolma and opened the festival.10
While joyful songs and beautiful sounded and people tasted Armenian dolma, the reputable jury of the contest evaluated the various types of dolmas to determine the winners of the festival's “Best Taste”, “Best Decoration” and “Armenian Dolma” nominations.
11Meidan square rejoiced. Patriotic and national songs, performed by Leyla Saribekyan, inspired by patriotism and a call of unity, were very excited and created festive mood and made to dance all the attendees, elderly and young people.
Afterwards, the songs and duduk and dhol performances by singer and actor Armen Dallakyan, who was arrived from Yerevan, as well as soloists of Armenian community in Tbilisi Henrikh Petrosyan, Anna Badalyan, Ani Hovhannisyan, Ruzanna Mikayelyants followed.
According to the decision of the jury, all the participants received certificates and souvenirs, and the winners in the abovementioned nominations received bronze, silver and gold medals.
The bread (Armenian lavash), cold drinks and other goods were served by the “Bebos Lavashi” (“Gradma's lavash”) and “VIVA” company of the “Armenia” store as well as individual donators. The Association of Armenian Women of Georgia “Shushanik” thanks the Armenian Diocese, all the benefactors and donators for the support.

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