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February 2, 2023

Ukraine wins Eurovision, Russia wins “Voice of the World”

Two important artistic competitions took place on Saturday, one in Stockholm, Sweden, and the other in Bucharest, Romania. Ukraine’s Jamala won Eurovision, while Russia’s Maria Parotikova (photo), a 13-year-old pupil from Saint Petersburg, won the “Voice of the World” song contest, her performance receiving standing ovations and impressing the international jury in Bucharest. Maria Parotikova sang “Vdol Po Piterskoi” (Through St. Petersburg).

“It is my first gold medal at an international competition. All my friends present at this competition deserved this award, because they all are just as talented as me,” an emotional Maria stated immediately after winning the trophy.

She emphasised that the time she spent in Bucharest brought her new friends and that “although we speak different languages we get along very well.”

Romanian singer Alin Oprea, chairman of the jury, handed Maria Parotikova the trophy.

Romania, represented by Bianca Nita, from Constanta, won the second place at this international song contest, alongside Slovenia’s representative, while the U.S. and South Africa finished on third place. “It was difficult to select the winners on this wonderful evening, because they all have extraordinary voices and I’m convinced they will be great artists in their countries,” Chairman of the Jury Alin Oprea stated before the awards ceremony.

The “Voice of the World” international song contest brought to Bucharest children from all over the world, who competed on the stage of the Palace Hall. Lumina Institutii de Invatamant Foundation and Turckceder Association organised the international song contest. Competitors from 14 countries (U.S., Germany, Belarus, Brazil, Philippines, South Africa, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Macedonia, Nigeria, Romania, Russia, Slovenia and Senegal) performed on stage. An international jury, made up of professionals from Germany, Russia, Japan, Sri Lanka, Kazakhstan and Romania selected the winner of the “Voice of the World.”

Romania’s representatives in the jury were Carmen Trandafir, Liana Stanciu, Alin Oprea and Serban Huidu.

Having arrived from the U.S. for this special cultural event, Gordon M. Johnson and Paul Moriarty, members of New Jersey’s General Assembly, conferred to the Lumina Foundation, on behalf of the institution they represent, a diploma of recognition for the merits and efforts exerted for harmony and peace in the world. The conferring of this diploma to Lumina Foundation representative Mr. Huseyin Padem represented a special moment at the event. Just as special was the Romanian Government’s message, read out by Communications Minister Marius Bostan, who confessed he was struck by the children’s performances and by the cultural message conveyed by the event.

Likewise, a special message came from Romania’s National Commission for UNESCO, which saluted the organisers’ efforts, congratulating them for “the opportunity given to youngsters not only to discover their own cultural richness but also to share it with others.”

Apart from the children’s extraordinary voices, the audience also enjoyed folk dances from Serbia, Kazakhstan and South Africa.

Andreea Marin and George Donikian, a well-known Australian television personality, hosted this special artistic event.

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