It is often said that literature is the most accessible way to see the world—and worlds beyond our own. Growing up outside of the traditional diaspora, there were few opportunities to tap into my Armenian roots. The stories of Armenia’s national poet, Hovhannes Tumanian, were my window into the unfamiliar lands of my forefathers. Last summer, my family and I ventured to two of the writer’s former homes, to see what inspired the man who inspired generations.
Have you ever witnessed the age-old Armenian tradition of jumping over a ceremonial bonfire in February? Perhaps you’ve participated the longstanding custom, but never understood the story behind it. The ritual has many names: Trndez, Tiarnundaraj, Derendez—but whatever you call it, it’s definitely one of the most fascinating—and potentially dangerous—Armenian traditions, still carried on today.
Imagine showcasing 1,300 years of Christian Armenian history in one exhibit. Now imagine that exhibit in one of the world’s most prestigious art museums. Exciting, right? 2018 has definitely been an exciting year to be Armenian. The latest string of exciting developments for our community is the “Armenia!” exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, which highlights the intersection of art, religion, and trade. Read our honest thoughts on this exhibit, then check it out for yourself before it closes next month!
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!
Once important figures aside historic fedayis (guerrilla fighters), Armenian women are often left out of our stories of resistance. Delving into this history, we can see that they had major roles as writers, political activists, and revolutionaries, and that Armenian women continue in this tradition of resistance today. In Armenia’s regions under direct military threat, they are the backbone of a non-violent resistance movement supporting military action and forging new paths to Armenian strength and unity.
Many lists float around the Interweb for everything from the "Top 10 Reasons to Recycle" to the "11 Best Pizza Toppings, Ranked." Though environmental conservation and delicious pizza are no doubt important, there also exist a range of topics that have not yet been explored, uncovered, or synthesized on the web. To date, no such user-friendly resource exists for visiting the western half of our historic homeland, which we commonly refer to as Western Armenia, but is located today within the confines of the Republic of Turkey. A land that, for over two millennia, teemed with Armenian culture has been all but relegated to our dreams, with few Armenians ever having visited the towns and villages of their ancestors in the past century. We hope to change that with this guide...and with your help!
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
"Avlem Tapem Poshin" (“I’ll sweep and discard the dust”) is perhaps the funniest and most salacious traditional Armenian song we have ever come across. What began as a folk standard has become one of the most popular rabiz songs—in fact, most covers are in the rabiz genre.
If there were any misgivings about Armenian being a language of love and romance, this song should put those doubts to rest. "Sareri Hovin Mernem" (“I’ll Die for the Wind of the Mountains”) is just one of those songs that can have you drop whatever you are doing to listen. Every. Single. Time.