This year Jivani day was celebrated on August 26 and 27 in Tbilisi, Akhalkalaki and village Kartsakhi, region of Akhalkalaki. A range of exclusive and unprecedented events took place: a visit to the tomb of Jivani, Tbilisi, solemn opening of Jivani house-museum and, for the first time, ashough competition. Intellectuals, clergy, artists, musicologists, senior officials, many compatriots and Jivani-lovers from different regions of Javakheti, from Armenia and abroad were present.
On the first day of celebration, on August 26, on the suggestion of His Grace Bishop Vazgen Mirzakhanyan, the Primate of the of the Armenian Diocese in Georgia, Armenian intellectuals high-rank clergies, representatives of the Embassy of Armenia in Georgia, representatives of the Board of Trustees and Executive Board of Support to Javakheti Foundation and, Hayartun cultural center representatives, as well as Greta Nizhaladze, Jiani’s great-grandchild, visited the cemetery of Khojivank, the Armenian pantheon of Tbilisi, where Great Jivani is buried. The visit to the tomb of ashough was of great significance. The tombstone was sprinkled with soil and water brought from his native village Kartsakhi, which again restored Great Ashough’s connection with the fatherland, praised in his songs. The ceremony let nobody indifferent.
It was suggested that visiting the tomb of the Great Ashough on the eve of Jivani Day should be a tradition.
On August 27 Jivani day events started from St. Hovhannu Karapet church of Kartsakhi, where a Divine Liturgy was served by Babken Salibian, Vicar General of Javakheti of the Armenian Diocese in Georgia. The Divine Liturgy was followed by a tribute and flowers brought to the bust of Jivani. Later on, the opening ceremony of Jivani house-museum was held.
Sos Sahakyan, the president of the Board of Trustees of Support to Javakheti Foundation, emphasized in his speech the importance of having a house museum mentioning the fact that it’s the only museum established after the soviet years. Jivani’s house-museum opened its doors to the guests after the ribbon-cutting ceremony. There were many museum pieces in the exhibition room concerning Great Jivani’s life and work from different periods of his life, as well as his relatives, family members, photos related to his heirs, the best performers and musicians, who have worked on his songs, all the books and best articles about the Great Ashough, Jivan’s instruments, kyamani and violin, a national costume from of his childhood period, etc.
The first deputy minister of Reconciliation and Civic Equality of Georgia and Artur Poghosyan, RA first deputy minister of culture delivered greeting speeches.
In the range of Jivan’s Day celebrations ashough competition was also unprecedented with the participation of ashough Leyli and ashough Aliq Javakhk, which was a successful beginning/start for the recovery of a nice tradition, ashugh art appreciation and promotion.
Today repairing work of the backside of Jivan’s house-museum was launched. As Ashot Hakobyan, the executive director of Support to Javakheti Foundation mentioned in his speech,”Today the first stage of Jivan’s house-museum construction work was finished but at the same time the second stage started”. The start of the work of the house museum’s backside was given due to many compatriot and jivan-lover donors’ willingness to support, and benefactors who have also stood by Support to Javakheti Foundation throughout the first stage of the museum foundation.
The ”last stop” of the events series was Akhalkalak where a tribute was given to Jivani by the statue of Jivani which was installed about 10 years ago by the initiative of producer Harutyun Khachatryan, founding director of Golden Apricot film festival. The history of the statue was presented and the cultural heritage of Great Ashugh was appreciated and honored once again.
The project of Jivani house-museum establishment in Kartsakh was 2016 year’s main project of Support to Javakheti Foundation. The greatest support to the house museum establishment had been provided by the Board of Trustees of the Fund Support to Javakhk. From the very beginning of the program, a number of compatriot benefactors from Russia, Georgia and Armenia, including people who don’t come from Javakheti, have stood by the fund. Akhalkalak local authorities have also participated in this project by providing improvement and outdoor lighting of the surrounding territory of the house museum…and as a result, we have a house-museum, which is not only an important platform for preserving and introducing the Great Ashough’s cultural heritage but also is an essential step for the revival of cultural life and ”ashughological” center establishment in Kartsakh.