On May 30 President of the Udmurt Republic Alexander Volkov held a state reception celebrating Buranovskiye Babushki’s successful performance at the Eurovision-2012 song contest. The head of the region hosted the famous performers, their friends and relatives, and representatives of the cultural and political community of Udmurtia.
“I am very pleased to see you here in this celebratory atmosphere. You glorified Umdurtia with your successful performance. Today the whole world is aware that there is a wonderful village of Buranovo, the home of wonderful Udmurt women who can surprise people and make them happy. We are very grateful to you for such a mighty contribution to increasing the recognizability of our republic,” Alexander Volkov said.
The Udmurt President noted that all citizens of Udmurtia excitedly watched our babushkas performances at the prestigious international contest. He told the audience about his visit to Buranovo, shared his impressions of what he saw there, and confirmed that a decision had been made to provide effective assistance to the village that would be provided with lacking services and utilities.
Speaking about the awarding of the honorary title of People’s Artist of the Udmurt Republic to eight Buranovo babushkas, Alexander Volkov noted: “Throughout the time that this title has existed, it has never been awarded to so many people at once. However, never before an amateur ensemble has so widely glorified our wonderful land.”
“One of the participants of the live show [on the Russian TV] said after your performance: “The Swedish singer might be forgotten in a year or two, but the Udmurt babushka’s performance will be remembered forever.” One can hardly disagree with this opinion. Your “silver” is more valuable than the “gold,” stressed Mr Volkov. “It’s clear that it was your naturalness that brought you success. In spite of emotions overwhelming you and a sense of a greatest responsibility of people representing Russia, even there, on that stage, you remained sincere villagers, just like our own grandmothers who are associated with warm recollections of pleasant childhood scenes in every man’s heart.”
“I know that you grew up in large families and have raised your own children, and that now you are busy with your grandchildren, about thirty of them in for your whole ensemble. Half of you have great-grandchildren. This makes one think that maybe success is directly associated with one’s way of life. I believe you’ll agree that in families with many children where traditions are revered, children are more courteous and better prepared for overcoming various hardships that people meet in their lives,” Alexander Volkov said.
On May 17 there was a reception at the Presidential Residence in honor of mothers of many children. Then one of the guests, a teacher from the Yakshur-Bodya rural disctrict Albina Veretennikova proposed that a new holiday should be established in Udmurtia – the Grandmother’s Day.
On May 30 the President of the Udmurt Republic recalled that suggestion: “Frankly speaking, at first I was somewhat hurt by such “discrimination” – well, what about grandfathers? I’ve been a grandfather for some years now, and it gives me great pleasure to spend my free time with the grandchildren. But then I considered the proposal, discussed it with my colleagues, and came to the conclusion that such holiday should exist in our republic. Someone told me that in this case grandchildren would start recalling their grandmothers only once a year, on this day. I don’t think that it’s going to be this way. It wouldn’t and shouldn’t ever be this way in a good family. We’ll just create another reason for people to meet their grandmothers, greet them and thank them. And the grandmothers will get an additional reason for seeing the dear faces of their grandsons and granddaughters. There can’t be too much attention.
In homage to our parents, grandmothers and grandfathers, and in honor of your brilliant victory in a prestigious contest I see fit to declare May 26 in the Udmurt Republic a Grandmother’s Day. In my view, this day should be a family holiday. I mean that there should be no need for state participation, or any official festivities, or excessive organization. The main thing is that each of us should pay attention to their elders, support them and say kind words to them.”
The head of the region said that a special Executive Order would be issued to this effect.
Alexander Volkov presented to Nikolai Zarbatov, a member of the “Buranovskiye Babushki” team, an accordion that he’d recently bought for himself. “You need it more than I do,” Mr. Volkov remarked.
The President of the Udmurt Republic presented eight members of the ensemble with badges and handed certificates of the People’s Artist of the Udmurt Republic title to them. Guests present at the reception expressed their respect to Buranovo women and gratitude to the administration of the Udmurt Republic for their support of the now famous performers: Pavel Pozdeyev, stage director at the Udmurt State Philharmonic, who was the first person to notice the extraordinary creative potential of Malaya Purga performers; Nikolai Musalimov, Deputy Chairman of the Covernment of the Udmurt Republic and president of the Udmurt Kenesh association; Dmitry Ivanov, Minister of Culture, Press and Information of the Udmurt Republic; Anatoly Mamontov, Honorary Citizen of Udmurtia, leader of the Italmas song and dance ensemble; Bekhan Agayev, deputy of the State Duma of Russia, and a number of other guests.
In return Olga Tuktareva, the artistic director of the Buranovskiye Babushki group, said on their behalf: “I am moved by such attention and feel somewhat awkward receiving so high an award. But I am glad for my babushkas – they have really deserved it. Each of people present here, and a lot of other people who were near to us have contributed to our success. We have always felt your support and are grateful to each and every one of you.”
After the exceptionally cordial meeting with the President of the Udmurt Republic the People’s Artists of the Udmurt Republic, together with other participants in the reception, lay flowers to the monument to Kuzebai Gerd, a great son of the Udmurt people.