Armenian Fire Red or Vordan Karmir

Every Tuesday one though is hovering in my head, what should I write about my beautiful rocky land Armenia that you do not know yet. However the idea for my today’s post was in my mind since yesterday evening when I was listening to one of my favorite Armenian rock bands Vordan Karmir, the name of the band is reference to the Amrenian dye Vordan Karmir the recipe of which has been lost for quite some time. So let’s find out some interesting facts about Vordan Karmir (Carmine) the fantastic Armenian paint which was prepared and  used since  the most ancient times.

  1. Did you know that this fascinating purely natural rich red color is made of small red bugs called Vordan Karmir?59830372-300x199

This unique bug can be found only in Ararat valley, and for observing this rare creature in its natural habitat one needs to travel to the enchanting Ararat valley on an early Autumn morning as the bugs stay on the surface of the earth only 40 days during the year at the beginning of autumn.

The recipe of Carmine has been lost during the last century , however scholars in Matenadaran are currently working on the recovery of the old recipe without significant success so far. Recovering the recipe of the old dye is important not only for scholarly reasons but also to able to restourate ancient Armenian manuscripts, which are illustrated by many beautiful miniatures where the domineering color is the fire red, received from the vordan Karmir bug.

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Now that we spoke about the so Armenian dye vordan Karmir, you already know where the band Vordan Karmir took its name from. Founded in 2005 the band has received positive acclaim among folk rock lovers. The so charming band members say that they are also dyestuff like the so famous ancient Armenian Carmine, but unlike the dye they do not color carpets and manuscripts they color music and lyrics creating very Armenian and powerful rock. They are the new dyestuff, the new fire red in the Armenian music industry!

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Autumn mood in Armenia

Autumn is a spectacular season full of colors and emotions.  Here in Armenia it’s especially colorful and amazing . There are so many beautiful songs dedicated to it, but my favorite one is the song of Ruben Hakhverdyan “Autumn”.

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I liked the song so much, that decided to share it with you, even more, I’ve tried to translate it into English .

Just listen to the song, after try to read the words….

 

Autumn in my Garden now

I and my old dog

Sniff the dunghill of the past

My dog moves its tail happily

Pulling out of the dunghill

Outdated items that nobody needs.

 

Empty garden, and a humid wind,

And smoking piles of leaves,

Empty garden, and a humid wind,

And smoking memories of my past.

 

Regret and love, excessive expectations,

Leaving steps of my past,

Desperate rain, dunghill people,

Outdated items that nobody needs.

 

A worn-out shoes that won’t be wear

A sexless doll: headless,

A black umbrella, a photograph

And a mirror …

 

 

Autumn in my Garden now

I and my old dog

Sniff the dunghill of the past

My dog moves its tail happily

Pulling out of the dunghill

Outdated items that nobody needs.

 

Empty garden, and a humid wind,

And smoking piles of leaves,

Empty garden, and a humid wind,

And smoking memories of my past.

 

 

Wind…crazed old man

Turns the dunghill

And the stroller slept on the branch wakes up

 

Regret and love, excessive expectations,

Leaving steps of my past,

Desperate rain, dunghill people,

Outdated items that nobody needs.

 

 

A worn-out shoes that won’t be wear

A sexless doll: headless,

A black umbrella, a photograph

And a mirror …

 

Autumn in my Garden now

I and my old dog

Sniff the dunghill of the past

My dog moves its tail happily

Pulling out of the dunghill

Outdated items that nobody needs.

dscf6358-copy-watermark     ……………….Enjoy every minute of autumn 😉

 

 

 

Reception party by the Embassy of Armenia to Japan

Today, there was a reception part in Hotel Okura Tokyo, which was organized by the Embassy of Armenia to Japan in order to celebrate the 23rd anniversary of its independence. I was invited to the party and enjoyed a good time there, meeting nice people and eating delicious meals.

 

The ambassador of Armenia is having speech to the guests

The ambassador of Armenia is having speech to the guests

The party was held at Hotel Okura, located at Kamiyacho, Tokyo. The hotel is one of the most prestigious hotels in Japan with its long history (There have been held a lot of parties and receptions by the governments as well as other embassies).

Hotel Okura

Hotel Okura

The participants include those working at the government, presidents of some companies, professors, and some people who have something to do with Armenia (like me!). Everybody came with nice clothes (men in suites and women in party dress).

 

Me with Ambassador

Me with Ambassador

Well, it sounds just another party of embassy and government. But, what made it distinctive from other parties as Armenian was that they served Armenian Cognac!!! Unfortunately, I could not get 20 year old Armenia Cognac this time because it was so popular that everything had gone in 10-15 minutes So, I ended up having 6 year old one instead… Also, another one was probably “dolma”. Of course, the dolma I mean is the genuine Armenian dolma which was made of leaf of grape!!! I heard of a rumor (just a rumor so I don’t know if it is true or not) from someone last year that the recipe of the dolma was provide to the hotel chef by the wife of the ambassador. Viva ambassador’s wife! The taste was of course excellent! I guess that the guess was able to understand the taste of Armenian dishes by its dolma at least.

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Anyway, it was a good time. You can see several photos from the party (I hope those photos would make you feel how it was even a little.

I will visit Tourism Expo tomorrow (Currently, it is being held in Tokyo) and stop by the Armenia booth.

Yerevan Urban Fest

September 20 was not an ordinary day in Yerevan. Our partner Imyerevan.com in cooperation with Boghossian Gardens and the Yerevan Municipality organized the first Urban Fest 2.0 in Yerevan. The event was organized in the Boghossian Gardens, more widely known as “Lovers’ Park”. The weather wasn’t the best, but even that couldn’t be an obstacle for this amazing even to take place.

The festival actually included so many things: there was something for everyone to do. There was a part for people to workout and get some master class from the guys of Yerevan Street Workout. There were so many kids going up to them and trying to do stuff on the equipment. And for those who like more relaxed way of “working out” there was a special yoga class, actually several of them.

There was a special place for the fans of graffiti, there were again people teaching how to do it to the beginners, and here is the wonderful graffiti that was created as a result.

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As I already mentioned there was something for everyone to do. For those who like books and readying, there were free books and a special zone for them to sit/lay down and read the book they have brought or have just found there. There were also entrepreneurship classes offered for those interested. Here are some pics of the education room.

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One of the most active event was the battle between the ArmBreakDance and the Street Workout. And guess who won…. Of course FRIENDSHIP. 🙂 Here are some of the kids performing (they were actually amazing).

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There was still so much more. A group of young people were knitting warm “dresses” for the trees in the garden and thus making it a much more comfortable place to be. A group of people made art-installations with old CDs. It looked so simple but actually made the surrounding much more pleasant.

art   knitting

So, as you can see this was a very nice festival out in Yerevan. Hopefully festivals like this will take place more often and will be contentious.

 

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Komitas: the portrayer of the Armenian spirit.

As I previously said I am going to write more about Armenian culture. Today I would like to introduce you to the founder of Armenian classical and secular music Komitas. Born In Turkey to Armenian parents Soghomon Soghomonyan was orphaned at the age of 11 after which he was sent to Armenia to study liturgical singing at the Seminary in Etchmiadzin.  After graduating in 1893 He adopted the name Komitas that of the seventh century Armenian Katholicos. Already interested in composition and Armenian folk music he decided to go to Berlin and study music at Kaiser Friedrich Wilhelm University from 1896 to 1899. After graduation he acquired the title of a Doctor of Musicology and returned to Echmiadzin where he took over conducting a male choir. Komitas started collecting folk songs and travelled widely around the country listening and recording details of Armenian folk songs and dances. This way komitas collected about 3000 songs which he later also adapted for choir singing.

in 1892 Komitas started his major work Badarak (devine Liturgy) and never finished due to the upcoming World War I. Badark is still used as one of two most important musical settings during the Armenian Church Liturgy.

Komitas’s music is hearful, it carries the history of this land and the memories of the people of Armenia. To Understand his music one needs more than a musical ear say many musicologists.

“O crane, fly high above the mountains
Where the winds of change shall carry you to freedom.
Soar high above the wilderness plains of our people,
Glide through the rain of a deluge of tears,
And build your nest upon the sheltered crests of Ararat.”

Armenian eyes

Oh….these armenians…

armenian-eyes

…there is such a lot to tell you about this unique nation, their traditions and history, their achievements and about beautiful armenian eyes……

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They say the shape and color of your eyes can tell about your character, but armenian eyes tell more then just some details of the character. They can tell you the world history with their own perception, they can tell you a lot of pain  and victory.

Armenian eyes  have cried a lot, they seem to be wet but at the same time shining brightly. These eyes are full of smartness and search. Cause during the history they had to travel a lot, searching for the life, skipping from death and looking for the opportunities. These eyes have experienced a lot, may be that’s why they seem different.

There is a phrase “armenian eyes”, which is describing so many complex feelings of human being . It’s very armenian and for the armenians. Nowadays it is very difficult to differentiate what color or shape should be typical armenian eyes, but you can see similarities , collective lines, which will tell about their identity. They are blue, green, brown, black, dark and light, small and big, though mostly they are big, narrow and wide, but they all are full of pain, love, patience and wisdom. Just look at them :

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Women’s eyes are especially beautiful, underlined, expressing their armenian strong and at the same time modest character. They look at you with wonder, with love and belief . Don’t make them cry and just enjoy them smiling 🙂

It is also said that eyes are the person’s mirror, so what do these eyes reflect ?

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I could not resist of sharing these wonderful pictures of beautiful and armenian faces . Visit Armenia to meet armenians and look at their eyes, find out the mystery of this old but always modern nation 😉

And a good song of Harout Pambukchyan :

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FB3ojBQTdOo

The Independence and ArMania

Today is the independence day of Armenia. Today the team of ArMania organised a small surprise for people especially for children. They piked a place where most children visit on this day: The Park of Victory – there are usually a lot of things for children to do. The surprise was that day painted flags, stars, hearts on the chicks of children. Please enjoy a little photo report of the birthday of Republic of Armenia.

A newly opened place! “Café Abovyan 12 & Dalan Art Gallery”

There is a souvenir shop in the center of Yerevan that I visit every time I am in Armenia to buy presents for my friends in Japan. It’s called Dalan Art Gallery. Why art gallery? Because they not only sell souvenirs but also exhibit works of contemporary Armenian artists. You can go there and enjoy art works without paying any entrance fees, as well as have a pleasant conversation with their staff. The exhibition is different every time, so if you visit the place once in a while, you can enjoy works of different artists, and what’s more important, you can know what’s going on in Yerevan’s art life.

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This time I went there as usual to look at some souvenirs and I discovered that they had opened a lovely café! It’s in the backyard; you go there right through the souvenir shop and find yourself in this very green and a little rustic space right in the center of Yerevan. This outdoor café and restaurant serves Armenian style barbeque, tolma, salads, and many other popular Armenian dishes. They have an open kitchen, and you can actually see what and how they cook, what ingredients they use, etc. Unfortunately I went there right after lunch, so I was too full to eat, but I didn’t spare my chance to have a glass of beer and engage in conversation with the staff. Next time I go there, I’m definitely going to try some delicious barbeque, yum-yum.

Cafe Abovyan 12 5Cafe Abovyan 12 1

What I really loved here is the atmosphere! This is such an amazing, green little café that will make you relax and enjoy even the hottest Yerevan days. And I am also sure you will enjoy talking with the staff, too. They (well, some of them) speak not only English and Russian, but also German, and sometimes other foreign languages. They also told me they have regular cooking lessons for foreigners and Armenians who want to learn to cook amazing Armenian dishes. If you have always wanted to learn how to cook tolma, here you go!

Cafe Abovyan 12 2

Address: Abovyan street 12

It’s just 5 minutes’ walk from the Republic Square. You walk to Abovyan street and go straight for several minutes until you see Dalan Art Gallery.

Armenian Breakfast: then and now

“We would wake up early in the morning and gather around the table, await for my grandmother to bring our breakfast to the table. Fresh eggs, fresh milk… everything was fresh and 100% natural. We could not even imagine how we would be missing our holidays there in the village without grandma.”

My mom still remembers the breakfast her grandmother used to make when she was a little kid. She tells me how she used to enjoy those breakfasts. The way she describes them, every time makes me jealous, because I can imagine how good and tasty the morning breakfast in a village can possibly be.

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Traditional Armenian breakfasts are usually full and kind of heavy. But this is only from the very first sight. A traditional breakfast would usually look like this – boiled eggs, homemade cheese with greens in it, fresh milk, Armenian fried bread lavash (read more here), and of course homemade butter.

But of course time changes and the Armenian breakfast had slightly changed too. You would usually recognize. Now more often there is also meat like sausages is present for the breakfast. People drink more tea than milk (It defers from family to family).  As of my family we usually have omelet, butter with some marmalade, usually tea and most importantly cheese. The breakfast cannot be full and satisfactory if there is no cheese. And I think this is the case for maybe 90% of Armenian families. Sometimes we like to have really heavy breakfast with a lot of meat like khorovats or Kebab, but this happens from time to time. In general breakfast Is considered to be one of the main courses of the day, but maybe the most important one still stays supper.

And what is more than common is the sweets people put on the breakfast table. By sweets we don’t mean candies instead we mean traditional Armenian cake especially gata, which is not too sweat and it is healthy.

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