Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Lessons for Armenia which should be learned from Eurovisian contest

In a recent article written by Hakob Badalyan at Lragir.am, he pointed out some excellent points. For this reason, I have included entire article and here is the link where it can be found.

Hakob Badalyan

22 May 06

On May 20 almost the entire Armenia watched the final of Eurovision Song Contest 2006, where Armenia was participating for the first time, and Armenia was represented by Andre. The Greeks had really organized a great show, pleasant to watch. I am sure that besides being enjoyable and arousing joy and pride in Armenians for Andre's performance and points, Eurovision also taught lessons to many Armenians; for instance, many people learned names of new European countries which they might not have known before.

Generally, even the most delightful moments of life carry cognitive elements along with pleasure, which are surely more important than pleasure. Pleasure is transient, whereas a lesson is for all our life and may even prove useful before and maybe also during other moments of joy. In this sense, Eurovision 2006 is the first lesson to Armenia. The point is not just participation. However, in this sense we also have
much to learn. The song that won would not be competitive even on ALM TV. It is surprising that quite good songs, potential hits, took lower positions, and many did not even appear in the first ten, maybe because they do not have a Diaspora. But the victory of the Finnish song also teaches much to those nations which are too sensitive on their origin and tend to believe in archaeological sentiments on a
thousands of years old civilization more than the others. The Finnish song was not exactly rock, and the band was not exactly a rock band, it was imitation and irony rather.

And by voting for this song, the European youth displayed that songs and the contest are simply entertainment. The victory of Finns is the victory of the European youth rather than theirs, who voted for lightness (though the title of the song is "Hard Rock"). The other countries, which presented undoubtedly better songs, may say that
the Europeans are tasteless, and the victory of the Finnish band was the defeat of taste. This argument may have an element of truth but not more. The point is that musical taste is a relative notion, and it cannot be put out for a contest, and whenever it is put out for a contest, only for maximum enjoyment. The European youth decided to entertain themselves at full this time, and in this case musical imitation does not matter much.

Indeed it was high time that a country or a song win on Eurovision, which is not going to become a tool for propaganda of patriotism; it was high time that a country speak up which would not make its victory a tool for internal and external goals.

There has been a lot of consideration that the winners of Eurovision are determined by the current geopolitical situation or economic and political tendencies. In fact, such a large-scale event cannot be free from influence. However, it should not be denied either that the voting youth simply decided to increase their influence, and
Eurovision 2006 could even be considered as the continuation of riots of French young people protesting against political decisions, which ignore public opinion. In this context, the public debates on Andre's song in Armenia were simply ingenuous and funny. Only the president and the patriarch did not express their opinion on the song. Whereas they should take it easy and not make a national matter out of a song,
although it is represented under the Armenian flag.

After all, the Lithuanian flag did not suffer when the band representing this country sang a humorous song and received more votes than Andre.

Yet the song contest in Athens taught another important lesson to Armenia. Many in Armenia have probably noticed that the former Yugoslavian countries, which had been slaughtering one another several years ago, gave their votes to one another. It was interesting that the Russian singer got the highest points from the Baltic States,
which have an extremely negative attitude to this country. And Turkey gave a surprise to the Armenians in Armenia and all over the world, giving 12 points to Armenia. Even in many countries with large Armenian communities Andre did not get such high points. This can be considered as the victory of the Turkish youth.

They simply let everyone know that they can be members of the friendly and tolerant European family. Though outwardly, they showed that they can use human values in treating people, notwithstanding historical and political problems. Moreover, it should be noted that the Turks did the same during Eurovision 2005 when they gave 12 points to the Greek singer despite the historical and political problems between
Turkey and Greece, like between Turkey and Armenia.

One may say that there is politics behind all this, and the voting results are simply coined to preach friendliness, to instill tolerance in societies. Everything can be said, and everything can be explained somehow. After all nothing else is left to do, when the Turks give 10 points to our singer, and the Turkish singer does not get a single point in Armenia. Maybe we are fairer and we have a better taste.

In the fact, the problem is really political, and addresses the outlook of countries and governments. In Turkey they surely dislike Armenians like the Armenians dislike Turks. However, our neighbors seek to teach their youth to live without hatred. Moreover, their motive is purely national rather than moral or universal. They teach
that it is possible to achieve much more through love and diplomacy, for such is the system of values of the 21st century, when love is a political necessity rather than a compulsion. Probably, however, it is pointless to go in for formalities, and perhaps it is more reasonable to go to an international tribunal, as the president of
the Union of Armenians of Russia proposed. Especially that besides the recognition of the Genocide we can claim to recognition of Formality, accusing the Turks of a Formal vote for the Armenian singer.


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