In the words of a visiting Diaspora Armenian, the Tashir 2009 awards concert in Moscow was “a collection of degenerates, singing and dancing in various Moslem, middle-eastern styles, many of whose performances were nothing short of embarrassing. But there were two high points. One was a tall Armenian female singer, from where I don’t know, who sang Sayat Nova’s ‘Tamam Ashkharh’ with real style, far better than the pitiful attempts by Armenia-based pop stars. The other was the speech by Vladimir Zhirinovsky, who went on and on about today’s Turks being no different than those in the past, that the Russians should have driven the Turks all the way back to Central Asia when they had the chance, and that he hoped Armenia would plant their flag on Mt. Ararat.
“Zhirinovsky’s talk made me think about the issue of opening the border with Turkey,” continued the Diaspora Armenian. “I understand the economics of it all. But I’m worried about how some of our girls will welcome the Turks with open arms. With that, I have to say that 80-90% of our girls are still pure, although I see some change in the wrong direction. With what television is promoting, I worry about what might happen with the next generation. Already girls are ashamed to admit they’ve never been with a man, even though they haven’t.
“I used to think things were too strict in Soviet times, but maybe strictness is needed. I know that in Soviet times if a girl had an affair before marriage, the family would likely throw her out of the house. And if a married man got a divorce, he’d probably lose his job or position, especially if he was a member of a political party. Now, if a man gets a divorce, and is criticized, he says, ‘why not, just look around…’”