“Titanic” survivor Neshan Krekorian

titanic survivor

Armenian “Titanic” survivor Neshan Krekorian (seated left) with his wife, Persape (seated right), daughter Angie (center), son George (left), and daughter Alice (right). We all know the tragic sinking story of the Titanic. This tragedy touched all sorts of people from different backgrounds. One of such passengers was an Armenian refugee by the name of Neshan Krekorian. Below is a touching story from Radio Free Europe giving us a glance into this man’s extraordinary life. From The Turks To The ‘Titanic:’ One Armenian’s Fateful Escape By Daisy Sindelar April 13, 2012 Neshan Krekorian was barely in his twenties when his father urged him to emigrate from western Armenia and start a new life far away across the Atlantic Ocean. Thousands of Armenians were doing the same, in a bid to escape rising violence and persecution at the hands of Ottoman-era Turks. So Krekorian fled, making his way across Europe and purchasing a third-class ticket for what would prove a fateful ocean journey. “His father told him to leave the country and seek a new life in Canada and hopefully bring his brothers over,” says Krekorian’s grandson, Van Solomonian. “He had two younger brothers who stayed behind. My grandfather gathered four other compatriots from Turkish Armenia in the area that he lived in, which was Keghi. And they got to France in Cherbourg, and by pure fate got on the ‘Titanic.’” Krekorian was one of over 700 third-class passengers on board the maiden voyage of the celebrated ocean liner. Immigrants from across the British Isles, Scandinavia, Eastern Europe, and the Middle East paid the equivalent of $1,000 for a steerage-class ticket entitling them to modest sleeping quarters and meals in the third-class dining hall for the duration of what was meant to be a week-long voyage.

 
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Armenian flatbread – Lavash

Armenian women producing traditional Armenian flatbread, a production method that has not changed since ancient times. The UNESCO cultural and scientific organization has decided to include Armenian flatbread on its intangible cultural heritage list, recognizing the importance of the foodstuff to the country’s inhabitants. Lavash, a staple of Armenian cuisine, is a type of soft and very thin flatbread that can be consumed as a wrap for cheese, meat or vegetables. It is also popular throughout the South Caucasus, and in Iran and Turkey. According to a note on the UNESCO website, preparation of lavash “requires great effort, coordination, experience and special skills” and “strengthens family, community and social ties.” Lavash was accepted onto the list on Wednesday, with the UNESCO organization saying on its site that it acknowledged “the preparation, meaning and appearance of [the] traditional bread as an expression of culture in Armenia.” The Intangible Cultural Heritage Lists, a daring attempt to recognize and preserve immaterial culture, have been compiled since 2008, and entries from 103 countries are currently recognized by UNESCO. The lavash puts Armenia, a small, ancient South Caucasus nation of 3 million, ahead of much of the pack with a total of four entries on the Intangible Cultural Heritage List. Other Armenian entries recognized by UNESCO include the reed wind instrument duduk, the performance of the medieval epic “David of Sassoon,” and the art of stone cross making.

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UNESCO describes Lavash as the following: Lavash is a traditional thin bread that forms an integral part of Armenian cuisine. Its preparation is typically undertaken by a small group of women, and requires great effort, coordination, experience and special skills. A simple dough made of wheat flour and water is kneaded and formed into balls, which are then rolled into thin layers and stretched over a special oval cushion that is then slapped against the wall of a traditional conical clay oven. After thirty seconds to a minute, the baked bread is pulled from the oven wall. Lavash is commonly served rolled around local cheeses, greens or meats, and can be preserved for up to six months. It plays a ritual role in weddings, where it is placed on the shoulders of newlyweds to bring fertility and prosperity. The group work in baking lavash strengthens family, community and social ties. Young girls usually act as aides in the process, gradually becoming more involved as they gain experience. Men are also involved through the practices of making cushions and building ovens, and pass on their skills to students and apprentices as a necessary step in preserving the vitality and viability of lavash making. Armenian lavash has been prepared in the same way for thousands of years. Archaeologists in Armenia have uncovered ancient fire pits all strikingly similar to the tvonir ovens that are still used to bake lavash. According to the Encyclopedia International, “Common to all Armenians is their traditional unleavened bread, lav-ash, which is a staple in the Armenian diet.” Sources: • PeopleOfAr. (2014, November 28). Armenian Flatbread ‘Lavash’ is inscribed on UNESCO’s list of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

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Armenian Bread Declared Intangible Cultural Heritage by UNESCO. instagram.com/historyofarmenia