From Tashir with Love: Moscow awards splurge for Armenian showbiz raises a few eyebrows in Yerevan

From Tashir with Love: Moscow awards splurge for Armenian showbiz raises a few eyebrows in Yerevan

This year’s Tashir Pan-Armenian Music Awards has raised a controversy and stirred a big debate on social networks because of luxurious prize awards given away to Armenian and Russian participants in the Sunday show.

It is the sixth year that Tashir Group headed by Moscow-based Armenian tycoon Samvel Karapetyan sponsors gala shows held in one of Moscow’s biggest and most prestigious halls, the Kremlin State Palace, to tribute Armenian pop singers and artists.

This year’s event brought to Armenia live on TV and available for viewing via satellite nearly worldwide stood out by the organizers’ and sponsors’ splashing out on top awards for singers tribute in different categories, with prizes including posh cars and expensive apartments in Yerevan and Moscow.

Among the beneficiaries who were granted apartments in Yerevan or Moscow were singer Nune Yesayan (for making folk songs popular), renowned duduk-player Jivan Gasparyan (for contribution to making Armenian music popular in the world), Sirusho (for making Armenian music popular in Europe), Shushan Petrosyan, Arman Hovhannisyan, Tata Simonyan, and others.

Singer Emmy, who will represents Armenia at the Eurovision Song Contest next month, was named as the ‘Best Female Singer’ and was awarded with a car by Tashir Group companies. Cars were also awarded to singers Razmik Amyan and Lucina

Along with Armenian singers, Kseniya Sobchak, a celebrity in Moscow, will also celebrate a housewarming party: head of Tashir Group Samvel Karapetyan presented her with an apartment in Yerevan’s Northern Avenue, a posh boulevard in the city center whose recent construction resulted in a large number of evictions of residents most of whom have not been properly compensated for their bulldozed homes yet.

Within a few hours the ceremony in Moscow elicited a great response on online social networks. Many are not satisfied with the fact that Armenian stars received luxurious awards, considering that other people needed those apartments more, including residents of the disaster zone in Armenia and of border areas.

A few hours after Tashir Awards, a group, called ‘Appeal to Stars’ was created on Facebook, which appealed to the stars (who do not need additional apartments) to “donate the apartments, presented by Tashir 2011 to those families who are homeless.”