ORANGE COUNTY—More than 300 community members attended the ANCA-Orange County’s Armenian Genocide Commemoration in the Gugasian Hall at Forty Martyr’s Armenian Church on April 22. The event featured a screening of “Bolis” by Award winning Director Eric Nazarian along with various presentations and performances by Ari Guiragos Minassian Armenian School students, ARF Badanegan, the band Green K.A.R.D., and guest speakers Hrache Novruzyan from the Armenian Youth Federation (AYF), Shant Barin from Armenian Church Youth Organization (ACYO). Tamar Gabriel, from the ANCA-Orange County Board was the Master of Ceremonies.
“We had wonderful and inspirational performances by young adults who will be our future singers, poets, politicians, and filmmakers. They are our future and the performances tonight, not only commemorated the lives lost in the genocide, but further reminded us of the torch that our youth will carry forward through song, poetry, and the very culture that is key to advancing our cause,” stated ANCA Orange County Chapter Executive Director, Talar Malakian.
Performances included “Hayoun Tsayne” and “Sourperou Achker” by Ari Guiragos Minassian School students, the poem “Ap Mu Mokhir Hayreni Doon” recited by Junior chapter member Gorune Keloyan, the song “Sartarabad” performed by the Junior Chorus, and “Prison Song” played and sung by Krista Apardian and Alique Cherchian. One performance to note were two songs performed by a new, young band called Green K.A.R.D., comprised of four Aghpiur Serop Junior chapter members who performed Pari Arakeel and Mardiki Yerk: Krista Apardian, Alique Cherchian, Remi Kassarjian, Dahvid Aleksanyan. High school student, Alique Cherchian, one of the guitarists of the band, explained, “We want to pursue this because it’s a representation of who we are as Armenian-Americans merged with what we love to do- make music”. The band received a standing ovation from members in the crowd, as their performance, along with the other performances by students that day, encompassed the message Eric Nazarian presented as the keynote speaker and award- winning director of the film, “Bolis”. The fillm is about Armenak, a musician who searches for his grandfather’s old musical instrument shop in Bolis. Through his demonstration on screen and his keynote speech, Nazarian stated that it was the youth who would be moving our cause forward, not just through Genocide Recognition, but also through new mediums and forms of art in a global context and for all audiences.
The evening concluded with a Requiem Prayer for the Victims of the Genocide by Archpriest Fr. Moushegh Tashjian and Archpriest Fr. Hrant Yeretzian. All of the guests at the event then received flowers on their way out to place on the Genocide Commemoration Statue near the Hall.
Participating organizations include Armenian Church Youth Organization (ACYO) Orange County chapter, Ari Guiragos Minassian Armenian School, ARF Badanegan Aghpuir Serop chapter, ACF Armen Karo Chapter, Armenian Relief Society (ARS) Karni and Sevan Chapters, Armenian Youth Federation (AYF) Ashod Yergat chapter, Forty Martyrs Armenian Church, Hamazkayin Siamanto chapter, Homenetmen Sartarabad chapter, Orange County Armenian Professional Society (OCAPS), Paros Lighthouse Armenian Foundation, St. Mary Armenian Church, and the University of California-Irvine Armenian Students’ Association (UCI-ASA).
The Armenian National Committee of America – Orange County defends the rights, advances the interests, and promotes the well-being of the city’s Armenian American community and promotes increased civic participation at the grassroots and public policy levels.