Happenings: Victory, Birthday, Eurovision!
There has been all sorts of excitement happening around here lately, which you must get filled in on. First, this past week, on Monday, May 9th, it was Victory Day! Steve has a short blurb about visiting an community called Ivanovka (also the moniker of a famous, yet less than desirable brand of wine hailing from that particular community) as Victory Day approached:
On the day I visited, it was preparing for the 66th anniversary of the end of World War II. Centre stage was a large Soviet banner proclaiming victory. The act of remembrance is very important to Ivanovka as nearly 300 local men died in the war, nearly all the young men of their generation. Today only four veterans are still alive from that time.
(The picture he includes reads: On Victory) I happened to be in Tbilisi on the day commemorating the end of WWII, so I missed the celebrations here. In Tbilisi, there wasn’t much going on except that it was a day off from work. And then we also saw a short parade of vehicles from one of Georgia’s opposition parties (the Georgia Party, I believe), which was protesting the government. Unfortunately, a reliable source told me that the people in the buses and vans were likely villagers paid to sit on the buses and stand outside the parliament building. The party is a front organization for influence from Russia and former politicians from the Georgian government. Not exactly a legit call for freedom and democracy.
May 10th was also Heydar Aliyev’s birthday. He would have been 88 years old. The day is celebrated all over the country with an incredible amount of flowers. The day is also known as the Flower Festival. There was also a poetry and drawing contest held to honor Heydar for his birthday.
But this is all just excitement leading up to tonight’s amazing feature: Eurovision!
Ell & Nikki are schedule to go on at #19 in tonight’s final round. Fellow South Caucasus country Georgia is on stage at #25 (it doesn’t look like Armenia made it to the final this year-Emmy, singing Boom Boom, got booted in the last semi-final). There’s a great rundown here by oikotimes. Ell & Nikki’s Running Scared has gotten them all the way to the final, but do they have enough to go over the top!? (I would like to say, though, that in their music video, neither of them look like they are running, nor scared…and we are all disappointed that there are no lights and gold tights.)