Interview With Artist Gideon Daniel
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The Russian Centre for Science and Culture in Addis Ababa is preparing to commemorate the birthday anniversary of Alexander Sergeyevich Pushkin, who is considered the founder of Russian literature and to whom the centre was named after.
Established in March 1945, Emperor Haile Selassie I inaugurated the centre as a permanent exhibition illustrating Russian achievements and to bring to Ethiopia elements of Russian culture. Russia has maintained friendly relations with Ethiopia already from the late 18th century, providing medical aid during the battle of Adwa and was one of the few great powers who supported the stand for the freedom of Ethiopia at the UN, then known as League of Nations.
Long before the battle of Adwa in 1896, was however the legacy of Pushkin whose life spanned from 1799-1837, and still seen in Russian Society as the genius of Russian literature.
In what would have been Pushkin’s 213th birthday, the celebrations at the Russian Culture centre will run from the 4th June – 9th of June 2012 alongside a week dedicated for Russian language. On the actual birthday of Pushkin on 6th June delegates from Russia will lay flowers on Pushkin Square, named after him in 2000 with a small monument of Pushkin which was later removed for renovation.
Most of the birthday highlights will take place on the 4th of June at the opening ceremony with a recital of Pushkin’s most famous and celebrated poetry in Russian, Amharic and English. Directed by an Ethiopian playwright Dereje Fikeru, a short drama of 15 minutes, featuring the death of Pushkin, will be performed by the Russian Cultural Centre theatre group.
According to the Center aA Russian Balailaika player will also play the traditional Russian instrument at the opening to welcome the guests associated with the Culture Centre.
An exhibition on display will show contemporary Moscow city that has monuments of Pushkin with restaurants of various cuisine dedicated to Pushkin’s time. Guests will experience the Pushkin style Cuisine, A Russian tea ceremony called Samovar served with assorted Russian cookies.