Cultural Dialogue in Azatan
The project “Active cultural life in Azatan community through cooperation between nations” project has been implemented by “Union of Yezidis of Northern Regions” NGO in Azatan community
The project is a typical reflection of successful cooperation and high level of awareness of two nations about each other’s traditions and culture.
Husik Feroyan’s words express the main philosophy of the project. He states “Due to the project, Yezidi children got education in Armenian culture and the opposite. Learning national dances and music helps children to also learn about tolerance, mutual respect and solidarity from an early age”.
The goal of the project was to contribute to the activation of the cultural life of the community through awareness rising about national values, their preservation and transfer to coming generations by means of harmonic development of an individual and organization of community events.
As a result of the project the Cultural Center of Azatan community is equipped with a projector, audio enhancement system, a computer and stage lighting system. The Center has become the cultural cradle of community. It hosts 70 Yezidi and Armenian children attending the dance and music classes.
Fulfilling its objectives the Cultural Center hosts movie screenings and other events. The most beloved and awaited events though are the dance and music concerts of the groups. The specially made national dresses make the performances more attractive, professional, festive and welcoming for the public. The Dresses differ for man and women and they reflect the cultural features of the Armenian musical traditions making them vivid and lively.
The project would not be as successful without the immense contribution of the local government and the cooperation between Yezidis, NGO and community. As Ghukas Murazyan the Chief of Staff of Azatan stated, “If there is one lesson learnt it is that if we want we can. We should all believe in success and have a common goal”. This statement was embodied in the cultural event organized in the Center for more than 100 community members and about 5 performing groups from various communities.
‘Many children, especially children from national minorities and disadvantaged groups have an opportunity to receive cultural and aesthetic education. If it were not for the program, most of these children would be left in street self-entertaining with great risk of engaging in crime activities. They value family; they become more educated and better citizens,’ – said dance teacher Telman.
The publication has been produced within the project ‘Equal Opportunities for National Minorities and Disadvantaged Groups in Realizing Cultural Rights: Richness in Diversity’ funded by the European Union under Eastern Partnership Culture Programme and implemented by GURT Resource Centre (Ukraine) in partnership with the Civil Society Partnership Foundation (Republic of Armenia) and Center for NGOs Development (Republic of Armenia) and aimed at developing cultural diversity and support the culture of national minorities through strengthening capacity of local self-government bodies, public authorities, civil society organizations, local culture institutions in communities in Ukraine and Armenia.