Glendale community celebrates Armenian independence

Meneish+is+a+classic+breakfast++plate.

Karla Solorzano

Meneish is a classic breakfast plate.

Karla Solorzano, Section Editor

Glendale residents celebrated Armenian Independence Day Sept. 18 at Verdugo Park from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. with ethnic cuisine, music and cultural performances. The 18th annual festival was organized by the Nor Serount (New Generation) Cultural Association, the Armenian Council of America (ACA), and the Gaidz Youth Organization (GYO). The purpose of the event was

One of the many booths present during the festival
Karla Solorzano
One of the many booths present during the festival

to commemorate the 25th anniversary of Armenian independence from the Soviet Union. According to MassisPost, over 10,000 people were in attendance. They were greeted with the familiar smell of khorovats (Armenian barbecue) and the tune of the age-old Armenian folk song “Kilikia.”

The festival featured live performances from the Armenian cultural dance group, Gevorkian Dance Academy. One of the dances the group performed, “Sevani,” was choreographed by Sona Gevorkian to portray the beauty and grace of the Armenian woman, performed in traditional Armenian dresses and headpieces.

Anni Zeynalvand, a junior at Clark, was one of the 20 dancers who performed in the festival. She said that the experience enriched her appreciation for her culture and people. “This isn’t the first time I’ve performed with my dance group, and I’m amazed every time at how beautiful our customs are and how united our people is,” she said.

This isn’t the first time I’ve performed with my dance group, and I’m amazed every time at how beautiful our customs are and how united our people is”

— Anni Zeynalvand

The festival also featured a variety of Armenian nonprofit organizations, including Armenian Autism Outreach Project. Aside from the performances and nonprofit displays, there were several booths that sold crafts, clothing, and food as well as games for the children.

“Being with my family and the rest of the Armenian community made me feel as if I were at home enjoying delicious food while dancing to traditional Armenian music,” said senior Liana Shaverdian.