On this day - Feb. 19, 1869: Hovhannes Tumanian was born and that's why we celebrate Book Gifting Day today!
February 19, 2020
On this day, in 1869, Hovhannes Tumanian was born in Dsegh. That's why Armenia celebrates Book Gifting Day today!
Today is Book Gifting Day in Armenia! The holiday honors storyteller, translator, activist, and impressive library collection holder, Hovhannes Tumanian | Յովհաննէս Թումանեան (Feb. 19, 1869-March 23, 1923), who was born on this day, 151 years ago. Best known for his children’s tales, “Armenia’s National Poet” used simple prose, meant to be read by the masses, who were often the heroes of his stories.
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.
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Perhaps no author has captivated the hearts and minds of Armenians—young and old alike—as intensely as Hovhannes Tumanian. Often mislabeled as a children’s writer, Tumanian’s “simple” style represented literature that was of, and for, the masses—meant to be consumed by all—regardless of age, class, gender, or education level. No wonder, then, he is considered the national poet of Armenia.