What happens when you join a bus full of cosmopolitan 20-somethings on a trek through the sloping mountains of Armenia’s Aragatsotn province? If you ask the volunteers of Birthright Armenia, they would answer, “pure joy.” Last summer, I tagged along on one of their jaunts, and it became one of the most memorable experiences of my six-week stay in Armenia.
We Armenians love our pagan festivals: From Vardavar to Trndez to Boon Barekendan, even the most pious Christians will celebrate these “Christianized” holidays with glee. Yet, the most important date for our ancestors in the pre-Christian era is notably missing from our calendars today. Read on to learn about the ancient Armenian holiday of Navasard!
When Armenian-American composer John Hodian first heard Hasmik Baghdasaryan’s striking timbre, ringing across the sacred columns of Armenia’s Garni Temple, he was transfixed—he knew he had to work with her, but had no idea how. It took several years of ruminating and rummaging through some dusty manuscripts before he came across a fragment of a poem by Mkrtich Naghash, a long-forgotten 15th-century Armenian priest and poet from Dikranagerd (modern-day Diyarbakir). Hodian—at that point, a listless NYC composer who had just moved to Armenia—had finally found his inspiration: or in show tune-speak, the Hammerstein to his Rodgers.
While most people spend a lifetime searching for their passion, painter Manu Harutyunian has always known hers. With several solo exhibitions, interview spotlights, and a swarming buzz on her budding craft, see why this young artist is one to watch.
Arshile Gorky’s pioneering art has made him the subject of several books, documentaries, and even a nonprofit foundation dedicated to understanding his work. Yet, his revolutionary legacy also lives on outside of the art world—in one of the most unexpected of places—his home. We ventured to find this artistic oasis and, in doing so, learned more about the man behind the painting. This year marks the 70th anniversary of Gorky’s passing and the unassuming farmhouse that once inspired one of the 20th century’s best painters continues to inspire new generations.
Garabala has increasingly become part and parcel of musical life in Beirut—a cherished phenomenon that brings the thrill of experimental concerts to the party spirit of modern-day kefs. After a captivating performance at this year’s installment of Innovate Armenia in LA, we met some of the band members before they hit the stage for a hometown concert.
At the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA), interns never make coffee or grab dry cleaning—unless it is for themselves. Instead, they are entrusted with the sacred task of strengthening the political and economic vitality of our communities across the globe. Yet in-between meetings on Capitol Hill and conducting important research, these fascinating men and women took the time to contribute to our platform, adding their unique perspectives on Armenianness. Read on to see the result of this exciting collaboration, and why YOU too should get in on the action!
At first glance, this song about a “red girl” seems like a beautiful, yet ordinary, Armenian folk love song. Except that it is neither a folk song nor Armenian—at least, not quite. “Garmi” meaning “red” in the Hamshen dialect (or “karmir” / «կարմիր» in Armenian) is a song composed by Meluses, a contemporary folk-rock band from Turkey. This soothing version, by two young Lebanese-Armenians, will transport you to the idyllic villages of the Hemshin people.
The lyrics are looped in pursuit of the significant other and the melody makes one dance on tiptoes. They ring down through the ages to spin a jovial celebration of love. Yet, there is more to the newly released video clip of the song by the Hamazkayin Kousan Chamber Choir of Lebanon. It highlights the vibrant side of a pioneering composer’s legacy and imbues his creative world with tangible warmth.
Ever visited a breathtaking trail, a vast blue ocean, or some other natural wonder and thought, “someone should bottle up these soothing sights and sounds to savor them year-round”? Well, that is exactly what Sounds of Sevan has done with Lake Sevan—and they have taken her all the way to Britain’s capital!
The same year Mark Zuckerberg launched Facebook, the world’s tech capital inspired another ingenious endeavor: AGBU’s Silicon Valley chapter set out to create the world’s first online Armenian language program. In true tech fashion, the result was a groundbreaking program, forever changing the game of Armenian language learning