Examining the elements and making connectionsPhoto credit: Norayr Kasper, "I Will Talk to You About Time." Fotoistanbul 2015.
Syunik churches and monasteries: Armenia’s majestic frontier in a nutshell Once again Armenia’s borderlands are in distress. Syunik, the fortified realm of Armenian kingdoms, princedoms and dioceses with two millennia of turbulent history, is braced for its next reckoning as a pillar of defense against foreign powers—one of the toughest since the announcement of the independence of the Republic of Mountainous Armenia in 1921. Incorporated into fortresses, covered with forests, or towering over massive gorges, Syunik’s breathtaking churches and monasteries have become a symbol of continuous presence in Armenia’s southernmost province; their evocative power bringing us closer to our own reality and identity as bearers of our rich heritage. At h-pem we take a bird’s eye view of the region's age-old monastic and cultural legacy that thrived through wars, invasions, and occupations, to become a cornerstone of enlightenment and spiritual renewal in the Armenian world.
A brief introduction to Artsakh's culture: Part II – The Artsakh/Karabakh dialect With the recent outbreak of war in Artsakh, it is now more essential than ever to learn about the history of Artsakh when trying to understand the intensifying situation. Conflicting reports are widespread, misinformation is prevalent, and individuals with suspicious motives are a constant threat in falsifying the history of Artsakh. Through h-pem and its efforts to inspire young Armenians to learn and embrace the Armenian homeland and its culture, we provide our readers with a brief introduction into the culture of Artsakh, consisting of some essential “facts you should know.” This series is not intended to be exhaustive and we welcome any suggestions for additions you may have!
A brief introduction to Artsakh's culture: Part I - Churches & monasteries With the recent outbreak of war in Artsakh, it is now more essential than ever to learn about the history of Artsakh when trying to understand the intensifying situation. Conflicting reports are widespread, misinformation is prevalent, and individuals with suspicious motives are a constant threat in falsifying the history of Artsakh. Through h-pem and its efforts to inspire young Armenians to learn and embrace the Armenian homeland and its culture, we provide our readers with a brief introduction into the culture of Artsakh, consisting of some essential “facts you should know.” This series is not intended to be exhaustive and we welcome any suggestions for additions you may have!
Yarkhushta: The epic war dance you didn’t know you were missing In the family of Armenian "clap dances" (ծափ-պարեր | tzap parer), Yarkhushta sits at the head of the table. In addition to its emotional, spiritual, and historical attributes, this folk and martial dance is a great all-body workout: cardio, squats, upper arm conditioning, and a whole slew of benefits that come with clapping! Just a few minutes of Yarkhushta-ing a day will have you toned like Vahagn, the Armenian Hercules. Read on to learn about this epic dance of the Armenian warriors!
Putting DNA to the test: An Armenian perspective on genetics and identity AncestryDNA, 23andme, LivingDNA: Just a few years ago, outside of the genetics community, these terms would have drawn blank stares. Yet, today, it seems like these DNA testing kits are everywhere, from drug stores and cheesy commercials to skits on late-night comedy talk show routines. And while there are many benefits of “discovering” one’s DNA, there is also a dark side that needs reckoning. Through the example of Western Armenia’s “hidden Armenians,” we see both perspectives of this debate.
Celebrate St. Sargis/Valentine's Day with the most romantic word in the world The season of love has officially begun! From poems and chocolates to songs and flowers, love birds flex their devotion, in hopes of impressing their "amour." With words like "amour" and "amore," French and Italian have long been regarded as the bastions of romance. But what if I told you an Armenian word that can rival those of her Romance counterparts in expressivity and passion? Curious to know what it is? Read on to find out!
From blackface to 'filthy Armenians': A commentary on Hollywood’s ‘casual’ racism From blackface to “Cowboys vs. Indians,” Hollywood has had a long and troubled history with the way it portrays certain groups of people. As one of the “newer” immigrant groups to the United States, the Armenian community is one of the punchlines du jour in the American entertainment industry. After many decades, it is high time that we collectively demand fairer, more accurate representation on our screens, both big and small.
The dying art of letter writing In this age of go-go-go, time is our biggest commodity and our most precious resource. Yet, for every “upgrade” our high-tech gadgets provide in immediacy, we lose that much in intimacy. What was once the go-to mode for communication, letter writing has been lost to an ever-changing world. But is it really “replaceable?” And why should we even care at all? Experience the author’s journey of uncovering an old family letter, and discover why this neglected art form deserves a զարթօնք (zartonk | renaissance).
Ring in the New Year and Armenian Christmas with our holiday playlist! As we enter the nameless hump period between (Western) Christmas and New Year’s Eve, one may feel a sense of restlessness. But do not cry or pout! Santa Claus may have left town, but Kaghand Papa/Gaghant Baba/Dzmer Papik (Armenian Santa Claus) is on his way for New Year's Eve and Armenian Christmas (Jan. 6). To gear up for the impending festivities, why not keep the holiday cheer rolling with some sweet tunes? Check out our New Year’s Eve playlist!