THE BIG WEDDING AND ARTSAKH KIDS

Setting the vision

In 2008, a real wedding marathon was held in Artsakh, where 700 couples were married on one day.

With live television coverage and mass events throughout Artsakh, it was the biggest public event for years and had been initiated by Levon Hairapetian, a Russia-based, Artsakh-born entrepreneur. The couples were married in Gandzasar Monastery and Ghazanchetsots Cathedral in Shushi. They danced a waltz together on Revival Square before walking down the steps to the central stadium of Stepanakert, where they celebrated together at a mass wedding feast at long tables. The initiative helped revive and promote Armenian wedding traditions, local cousine, as well as elements of Karabakh folklore, like donkey-races.

The project donors pledged $2,000 for each child born to those who took part in a mass wedding for 700 Karabakh couples. Within 5 years, about 1 100 children were born into these families, fostering infrastructural improvements and policy reforms in Artsakh starting from maternal healthcare to early childhood education.

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