Saturday night was the annual museum night in Yerevan. So many museums to go to – all free! From 6pm until midnight you could go to your favorite museums, and they were all having events coinciding with museum night. The result? The streets were packed all over downtown with people and families walking. The museums of course were even more packed than the streets. It was really really great, as everyone was having a great time. The only downside was that it may have been too successful. It could be hard to see much in the museums, since the crowds were so large. It’d be great if they would make this a monthly event, but perhaps that would hurt revenue too much? If that’s the case, how about making it at least twice a year. Something like this early in the winter would be really nice.
Yesterday (May 20) was Rose Day – an annual celebration of Sayat Nova’s birth – though I have conflicting dates for his birth. In any case, this celebration was started by Hovhannes Tumanian while he was still in Tiflis and it carries on to this day. This year celebrated Sayat Nova’s 300th birthday. The mayor of Yerevan participated in a march down Sayat Nova Ave, to the Sayat Nova statue. There was music, girls in traditional costumes. It was cool.
Today there was a march of tolerance in Yerevan. There have been two late night attacks on a bar in Yerevan known for being accepting of people of all sexual orientations, and this march was to show support for tolerance. It seems strange to me that a small Aryan group here would target the gay community. It’s even stranger that the Tashnagtsutyun seems to be backing the attackers publicly. Two Tashnag politicians have bailed out and publicly supported the attackers, and I heard there was a Tashnak anti-tolerance group following the marchers. Disgraceful. I hope the US Tashnagtsutyun stands up strongly against this kind of attitude and violence. Sexuality is not a choice, and therefore no amount of discrimination and violence has ever managed to “stamp out” homosexuality. It never will. Trying to force people into the closet only creates miserable people and broken families and marriages.
The fact that there is an Aryan group in Armenia confuses me. Armenians and other people from the Caucasus are beaten to death in Russia by white supremacists there for being “black”. So does this Aryan group in Yerevan agree that Armenians are inferior to Russians? I’m really curious about this best kitchen knives