Saturday March 17th saw another success through with Homenetmen London as She celebrated Her 33rd birthday. The day was filled with celebrations on behalf of both the scouts themselves and the audience, marking the momentous occasion. The event only added to the already wealthy bank of memorable Scouts Days, and everyone who took part, either in performance themselves or helping backstage, was filled with pride by the end of the evening.
To begin, the scouts started with the traditional marching sequence conducted and performed by senior scouts. Subsequent to this was the opening ceremony, which consisted of all of the scouts standing on stage in uniform, some receiving ranks, grades and certificates of sorts, as well as a range of speeches given by senior members of both Homenetmen and the wider community.
This formal section was followed by a short interval, after which the show itself began. The theme of the production was ‘The Life of a Scout’, starring Tigran Poghosyan as Antranik, your typical Homenetmen-agan Scout. Following the format of an interview the show highlighted key points in the scouting life of Antranik, whose memories were played out by the rest of the scouts.
Kaylig Ardzvig, the younger scouts, started off the performance with a gymnastics-style routine to demonstrate the discipline and perfection, as well as the recreation which Homenetmen provides for their scouts. They followed this with a distinctive ‘raid’ sketch from camp, where Antranik was left crushed after he accidentally allowed raiders to steal the flag while guarding the campsite at night. Ari Arenoush, the older scouts, took over from this point, portraying a number of short performances such as a contemporary Armenian song and a more traditional Homenetmen song which was sang in uniform. One section entailed the display of the opinions of some scouts on what it is to be Armenian, to signify the stage of realisation of identity within the youth of the Diaspora. The younger girls of Ari Arenoush then performed a traditional Armenian dance, followed by a ‘human construction’ by the boys, on top of which sat one of the Ardzvigs, waving an Armenian flag. This picturesque display was the perfect ending for all of the performances.
Homenetmen London was lucky to receive a number of short video messages from other chapters of the organisation around the world such as Armenia, Lebanon and France, wishing the London chapter a happy birthday. These clips were shown towards the end of the production, portraying the real sense of global community which Homenetmen as an organisation symbolises.
The evening ended with the ceremonial cutting of the birthday cake, followed by the ‘Miyoutyan Yerk’, which brought all members of the organisation, leaders and scouts, onto the stage, portraying the genuine sense of family which exists, and always has done, within Homenetmen.
Credit must be given to Anieka Sayadian and her group of artistic helpers for the perfect construction of the amazing backdrop, as well as to all members of the technical crew and to those behind the scenes who ensured that the evening ran smoothly and seamlessly. The leaders and scouts worked together harmoniously, and successfully depicted the values and principles of Homenetmen’s scouting life.
Attending the event were not just the parents but also community dignitaries including Bishop Vahan Hovhanessian, Primate of the Armenian Church in the UK; H.E. Karine Kazinian, Armenia’s ambassador to the UK; Mr Ara Palamoudian, chairman of the ACCC; Reverend Father Shenork Baghdassarian, honourary guests Mrs Violet Tadevossian and Mrs Sella Tenjukian; and of course representatives from Homenetmen’s sister organisations. The evening was spent, the children exhausted, the parents and other audience members beaming with pride. Overall, any attendee would tell you that Scouts Day 2012 was another phenomenal success. Happy Birthday Homenetmen London!
— Ike Stepanian