“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

Steve jobs with Bill Gates 1991

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“Steve jobs in his Palo Alto home with Bill Gates. 1991. Sitting upon what appears to be an Armenian made rug from Chahar Mahal region also known as Bakhtiari. The design of this rug with its geometric symbolic elements in panels were mostly woven by Armenians who were mostly concentrated in about 7 different villages of Chahar Mahal region.” – Master Weaver, Hratch Kozibeyokian. Apple CEO Steve Jobs, who was raised in the family of an Armenian mother and an American father. It is said that Steve Jobs spoke Armenian fluently, however I could not find a reliable source to confirm that he did. Jobs’ adoptive mother Claire Hagopian played a very big role in bringing up the genius, Jobs had never been keen to speak about his biological parents. Jobs was born in San Francisco and was adopted by the family of Paul and Clara Jobs (née Hagopian) of Mountain View, California. Paul and Clara later adopted a daughter, Patti. Clara Hagopian was born in New Jersey, where her parents ended up after fleeing Armenia from the Ottoman Turks during the Armenian Genocide of 1915. When she was still a little girl her parents decided to move to the Mission District in San Francisco. Jobs’ biological parents – Abdulfattah John Jandali, a Muslim Syrian immigrant to the U.S from Homs, who later became a political science professor, and Joanne Schieble (later Simpson), an American graduate student who went on to become a speech language pathologist – eventually married. Together, they gave birth to and raised Jobs’ biological sister, novelist Mona Simpson. Jobs experimented with different pursuits before starting Apple Computers with Stephen Wozniak in the Jobs’ family garage. Apple’s revolutionary products, which include the iPod, iPhone and iPad, are now seen as dictating the evolution of modern technology.

 

SOURCES: Isaacson, W. (2011). Steve Jobs the biography. ISBN 1451648537, USA: Simon & Schuster;  instagram.com/historyofarmenia.

Caravan inside the needle

      A caravan of camels made of precious stones, placed in the eye of a sewing needle by Edward Ter Ghazarian the founder of miniature art.] The world renowned Armenian micro miniaturist Edward Ghazaryan is considered the founder of the unique art of micro miniature. In the 1950s the European press was abuzz about an Armenian man who claimed to create tiny works of art smaller than the eye of a needle. One German newspaper reader had his doubts and sent a letter of disbelief to the artist. Weeks later came the reply, hand-written on a human hair. Edward Ghazaryan has exposed his first invisible by the naked eye micro miniature works in Yerevan more than half a century ago. He created about 600 of such miniatures and granted many as tokens of friendship to prominent figures of foreign countries like Honaker, Queen of England Elizabeth II, Chrushev, Stalin, Janise Khaddar, Ho Shi Min, Rockefeller and many others.

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    His exhibitions have been shown around the world. In 1977 Eduard Kazaryan showed his work in Armenian pavilion of Soviet exhibition in Los-Angeles (USA). American visitors of exhibition called his works “the 8th world wonder”(Los Angeles Times Mon., Nov.21, 1977). As if this wasn’t enough, Edward also managed to create asynchronously moving micro sculptures that to date (over 30 years) have not been replicated. He demonstrated this for the first time in Moscow where a set of figures where performing a play inside a human hair. 

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    Edward is a man of many phenomenal talents. Born in Yerevan he has received higher musical education and for many years was one of the leading musicians of the Philharmonic orchestra of Armenia. In addition to his micro-art and musical talents, Edward is an eminent violinist innovator, talented musical sculptor and an excellent caricaturist. His violins are owned by many prominent musicians. Each aspect of his life separately may serve as a biography of an outstanding artist, musician, doctor, ophthalmologist, cardiologist and a scientist. These are the many sides of Edward Ghazarian. The Camel Caravan inside the needle by Edward Ghazarian has been sold for €460000 at an auction in Cannes, France. 

 

Birthday of Yerevan (2769)

We all know that last weekend there was a great celebration in Yerevan: The City Day.  On 10th of October there was an international conference on Yerevan’s development prospects. The day was very interesting with its various events going on in different parts of the city. In front of the City Hall of Yerevan a huge event took place. There were kids from Schools, Universities partaking in this event. Many dance groups performed traditional Armenian dances and a lot of flash mobs took place.

Yerevan City Hall

Yard of the Yerevan City Hall

In the early morning the street washing trucks went around the city washing the streets for the upcoming event, and didn’t miss the monuments as well, as they represent some part of the Yerevan culture.

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Pahlevan; This is a traditional Armenian entertainer who used to be invited to every wedding and event in Armenia back in the day. What he does is mainly walking on a string balancing. 

Pahlevan

Pahlevan

Even though it might sound strange, but there was a windsurfing event in the heart of Yerevan, in the Swan Lake, near the Opera House. And though the weather wasn’t really windy, the participants still managed to windsurf. WINDSURFING FOREVER!

Windsurfing in Swan Lake - Opera

Windsurfing in Swan Lake

How strange would have been a celebration without a Farmers’ Market? So there was one organized in special for the City Day (even though there is always a Farmers’ Market every weekend in Yerevan). So, the guests of our capital were able to try out the pure and fresh fruits and vegetables of Armenian farmers.

Open air market - Armenia / Yerevan

And the Final chord of the celebration and basically the culmination of the day was the great Fireworks’ Show after the big concert with the participation of famous Armenian stars. The Firework Show was a really huge one as it was heard in all parts of the city. Literally, one could hear it from anywhere in Yerevan.

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Fireworks – Republic Square

 

 

Yerevan’s 2796 Birthday

#ErebuniEVN2014 this is the official hash-tag for the celebrations dedicated to the birthday of Yerevan. We start celebrating Yerevan’s birthday every year on October 10 and the celebration usually lasts a few more days. Thousands and thousands of people go out in the streets to celebrate the birthday of their hometown. There is always a lot of fun stuff going around the city, numerous concerts, dance festivals, events for people of all ages… Here is the list of events for the coming two days;

11.10.2014

 The area adjacent to «Erebouni» historical and archaeological reserve-museum-Erebouni street

  • 14.00 Exhibition of the folk artworks, national costumes, cuisine
  • 15.00 National games
  • 16.00 Concert “Yerevan of young musicians”
  • 16.30 Competition of rope-walkers
  • 17.00 Concert of national and folk music
  • 19.00 Conert-program «There is a festival in Yerevan…»

12.10.2014.

  • 10.00 Flashmob-parade of water sprinkling trucks along the streets of Yerevan
  • 10.30 Yerevan-ART stage /Saryan park/
  • 11.00 Flashmob-washing of the monuments of Yerevan
  • 12.00 “Yerevan sketches” exposition of urban development projects /nearby the monument to architect Tamanyan/
  • 13.00 Open-air exhibition of children & youth works /nearby the national center of aesthetics after Henrikh Igityan, Abovyan 13/
  • 14.00 Festive parade /from the Municipality of Yerevan to Republic square/
  • 14.30 Marathon race of 2796 m /from Matenadaran along Sayat-Nova, Abovyan street to Republic square/
  • 15.00 Choreographic show “My old and new Yerevan” /Republic square/
  • 15.00 “Yerevan for children” – Children’s festive stage /puppet shows, entertaining games, clowns, conjurers, fairytale heroes, etc./ Children’s park after Kirov/
  • 15.00 Students’ stage /Conservatoire park/
  • 15.00 “Festive stroll” theatrical-ballet performance/Northern avenue/
  • 15.00 “Sportive Yerevan” sport-show / Azatutyan-Freedom square /
  • 15.00 “Three phases of time” photography pavilions /The service entrance to the National Academic Theater of Opera and Ballet/
  • 15.30 “Peoples of the world greet you” stage /Performances of national minorities living in Yerevan & ethnic ensembles /Stepan Shahumyan square/
  • 15.30 Concert of national and folk music /Crossroad of Mashtots-Buzand streets/
  • 15.30 “Yerevan games” competitions of Yerevan yard games /English park, nearby to the Sundukyan theatre/
  • 15.30 “Yerevan singing” karaoke-stage /Ch. Aznavour square/
  • 16.00 Windsurfing show /Swan’s Lake/
  • 16.30 Cycling races /Argishti street-Italy street- Nalbandyan street-Sayat Nova avenue- Mashtots avenue-Isakov avenue up to Yerevan cycle track/
  • 17.00 Chess tournament with famous chess players/Ch. Aznavour square/
  • 17.00 “Yerevan dance” national dance stage / Azatutyan-Freedom square/
  • 17.00 Classical music stage /Conservatoire square/
  • 17.30 Pop concert / Stepan Shahumyan square/
  • 18.00 Jazz concert stage /Cascade complex, Cafesjian Center for the Arts/
  • 18.30 Bard singers stage /Moskovyan park/
  • 19.30 “Yerevan – my home” Gala-concert /Republic square/
  • 20.00 “Yerevan Rocks” rock-concert /Azatutyan-Freedom square/
  • 22.00 Youth disco /Republic square/

HAPPY BIRTHDAY YEREVAN

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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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.