Armenian Independence Day was celebrated in San Rafael Plaza Oct. 4 with music and dancing, followed by a dramatic release of white doves.
Sponsored by the Armenian Student Association, the festivities commemorating Armenia?s separation from the former Soviet Union on Sept. 21, 1991, were postponed after the tragic events earlier this month.
On a stage flanked by American and Armenian flags and overarched by red, white and blue balloons, ASA President Sarkis Nazaryan began the commemoration with a short speech encouraging students to ?unite and celebrate freedom everywhere in the world…?
Student government President Dan Wengert gave a welcoming speech to the crowd, and Tanya Gregorian, a former ASA student advisor, recited a poem, ?A Son?s World to his Flowering Fatherland,? by Hagop Norashkarian. The poem tells the story of the creation and growth of the Armenian nation.
Through the Lens: Glendale College Celebrates Armenian Independence Day
Aram Asatryan, a well-known singer in the Armenian community, performed several of his latest Armenian songs, beginning with a song about independence. He was both a surprise and a key factor in warming up the crowd and encouraging people of different ethnic backgrounds to join in Armenian dancing. More than 50 people joined in, with many non-Armenians sharing the fun and laughter as they attempted to imitate the dance moves.
Midway through Asatryan?s performance, the ASA released 10 white doves in honor of Armenia’s 10th Anniversary of Independence.
He later expressed his wish for Armenian youth to look to the past to remember their independence day, and to also to look to the future by providing their children with the luxuries that many Armenian people haven’t been able to enjoy because of years of struggle.
ASA?s adviser, Onik Hayrapetian, gave thanks to those who had joined the celebration in spite of the hot weather.
?We should have more events that bring everyone closer together,? said student Melineh Petrosuian. Vartan Achabahian said the celebration ?raised cultural awareness.?
The program ended with a second series of 40 doves released as a message of world peace and unity.