“Armenia is our home, and we must strive for its development and dignified future” - PM attends Step to Home training program’s closing ceremony
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Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan today attended the closing ceremony of Step to Home training program in Tsaghkadzor, Kotayk Marz.
The Premier watched Karno Kochari, a traditional Armenian dance performed by program participants. The Head of Government delivered a speech, in which he stated:
“Dear Chief Commissioner for Diaspora Affairs,
Dear members of government,
Dear public figures,
Dear guests and Step to Home program participants,
When Kochari sounded at the beginning of the program and you danced, I thought how amazing it is that today this thousand-year-old music and this thousand-year-old dance are performed and portrayed in such a new way. This dance we performed for centuries, this dance was performed by our ancestors, this dance was performed by our grandfathers, this dance is performed by you, and this dance does not become obsolete: every year this dance sounds more modern, every year this dance becomes more promising.
This, in fact, is a very logical end of the working day for members of the government, because today the government in an informal atmosphere discussed the strategic vision of the Republic of Armenia. We have made several decisions, and I want to talk only about one of these decisions, the so-called culmination of this decision.
When we thought what slogan should guide us, our country, our people in the coming years, as a result of discussions, we finally came to the conclusion that the slogan for Armenia and the Armenian people should be the following: Armenia is my hearth, people are my family.
I would like to present some of the nuances of our discussion today, because it is appropriate to present this phenomenon, the content of this discussion in this particular environment. There is an image here: we are talking about a house with a roof, walls, in the modern sense - also with a fence. We decided that in the new Armenia we should completely eliminate the walls from the life of the individual, and the possibilities of the individual in all directions should be unlimited.
However, on the other hand, it is very important for us that today's Armenia, the new Armenia, be based on our national traditions and values. Therefore, our government, we propose to take from this tradition the most important, most key, most genetic element - our focus, and create a completely new reality around this focus, where there are no shackles, where there are no walls, where there is no violence, where there are no restrictions.
We want to create such an atmosphere and such a space around this hearth that will stimulate continuous creativity, which will lead to continuous flight, forward, upward movement.
In general, our thought, our view, our worldview should not be limited and shackled in any direction. And that is why today, in my eyes, “Karno Kochari” sounded and appeared in a new way, because it is an old Kochari, because it is a new Kochari, because it comes from our roots and strives for dreams that we must realize with each other.
Yes, Armenia is the center, because Armenia is the center of our, your identity, and the life of the entire Armenian people should be built around this center.
The prosperity, dignity and strength of this hearth should be on the agenda of each of us, and yes, the land of Armenia should boom to the music of yours, our Kochari. And this is a sign that we are determined to build a new country around our old hearth. This hearth will be the Armenian hearth, this hearth will be built in a new way, where freedom, legality, fraternity, democracy, the law will prevail, and it should be based on our traditions.
For me, living in Armenia in a sense also means living in Armenia, and we must first of all fix this in our minds. Today, some of those present here live in Armenia, some do not live in Armenia, however, I think that the most important factor that unites us should be that we all, regardless of whether we physically live in Armenia or abroad, we live in Armenia, and that is what unites us.
I want to consider this day, this meeting, this event a victory of Armenia within us. I want to believe that our meeting today and these events, which are ongoing and will continue for many years, should mean that Armenia inside us is strong and indestructible, and this should also be expressed in reality.
Armenia is what we dreamed about, because today's Armenia is an expression of our thoughts, our dreams. And, therefore, we should not be afraid to dream of a better, stronger and more powerful Armenia. We must not be afraid, and we must be confident and decisive - to walk, act, live with firm determination to make this dream a reality.
I want to congratulate all of us on today's event, because I believe that this is the result of our single, nationwide, pan-Armenian agreement, pan-Armenian decision to have a new and happy, free and happy, powerful and happy Armenia.
Your Kochari sounds so new because he expresses our determination that the Republic of Armenia should exist on the planet forever, and that the Republic of Armenia should be a stronger, more legal, more free and more democratic state every year.
I see you and all of us as citizens of this free and happy Armenia. And therefore, we are all citizens of a free and happy Armenia, regardless of whether we live in Armenia or not, because the most important fruit of citizenship being in and with Armenia. And, therefore, we lived, we live and will continue to live in Armenia. Thank you for living with Armenia in your heart.”
Later on, Prime Minister Pashinyan attended a concert organized as part of the closure of the Step to Home program.
Step to Home is one of the programs implemented by the office of the Chief Commissioner for Diaspora Affairs. The program participants are representatives of Armenian youth from the Diaspora aged 13 to 18 years. In 2019, the program was implemented in two stages - from July 29 to August 25. There were 357 participants from 28 countries.
The Step to Home program features courses in the Armenian language, as well as ethnic song and dance, visits to educational and innovation centers, historical and cultural sites, as well as meetings with statesmen, public and cultural figures.