7th Annual ARS Festival Set for This Weekend

GLENDALE–The exciting ARS Armenian Cultural and Food Festival will be held this year on May 3 and 4, 2008, at the Glendale Civic Auditorium. The Armenian Relief Society of Western USA (ARS-WR) promises great fun for the entire family for their seventh festival celebration.
We would like to invite you to come to the festival and be transported into an atmosphere of Armenian hospitality and culture; enjoy traditional festivities and an Armenian Costume Show with those who have figured out how to enjoy life; have your picture or your children’s picture taken in traditional Armenian costumes. Learn to dance with Armenian dance groups of beginners and join in with the more advanced. Learn how traditional “lavash” bread and string cheese is prepared. Listen to lively children’s music and stories. Take pleasure in roaming around unique exhibits of local and Armenian products such as books, arts and crafts, food and drinks. Listen in to live music and dance with the youth. We’re sure you will meet old friends and make new ones. Let your children spare no energy in the kids’ zone. Come and have fun with your entire family and friends.
The festival is an ideal place to bring three generations of families together to have a relaxing and enjoyable outing, where Armenian music, art, dance, history, culinary heritage and children’s games can be enjoyed under one roof. Much of the interesting programming enjoyed by Armenia’s and non-Armenia’s alike will return, along with expansion of activities and games for young children.
“I am excited to see the 7th year of a small idea turn into a huge success ‘s Thanks to our hard working volunteers. Seven years ago we wanted to share our anniversary celebrations not only with our members but with our community, the community which we have been serving for the past 98 years. I would like to personally invite each and every one of you to come and enjoy the various aspects of our culture; it’s an experience you should not miss,”.expressed Sonia Bedrossian-Peltekian, Chair of the ARS of Western U.S.A., Regional Executive Board.
The ARS was founded in New York City New York, in 1910, the establishment of the first two ARS-WR chapters west of the Mississippi River followed in Fresno in (1915 and Hollywood 1918. The region has grown since to include 26 chapters, 6 Social Service Offices, Child Youth and Family Guidance Center, fifteen Saturday Schools and after school programs and the list goes on. Our Social Services and the Guidance Centers are open to every member of our community, Armenia’s and non-Armenia’s alike. We also have programs in Armenia and Artsakh; the “Sponsor a Child Program” , Food for Orphan Project as well as other humanitarian assistance in the region is very important edge of the ARS-WR.
The Glendale Civic Auditorium is located at 1401 North Verdugo Road, Glendale (the cross street is East Mountain Street). Admission is $5 for the public (very young children are admitted free of charge). The non-stop entertainment at the festival will begin on Saturday, May 3 at 1 pm, with official opening ceremonies at 2 pm. The entertainment will continue until midnight. On Sunday, May 6, the festival will resume at 11 am and end at 7 pm.
New Book Peers Into Lives of Post-1915 Armenia’s Living in Turkey
YEREVAN–The Armenian Genocide Museum-Institute announced the publication of a new book entitled “And Those Who Continued Living in Turkey after 1915” by Dr. Rubina Peroomian, which was published under the auspices of the AGMI publishing-house.
The book is about the metamorphosis of the post-Genocide Armenian identity as reflected in artistic literature.
In the atmosphere of the instability of minority rights in Turkey and the government’s persistence in denying the existence of the Armenian question as well as its continuing policy of pressure and selective approach to history, a prescribed national identity covering all ethnic groups in the Republic of Turkey was enforced and the Armenian collective suffering of the past was buried in silence.
With the recent political developmen’s in the world, the wall of silence has been broken. The events of 1915 and the plight of the Armenian survivors in Turkey, be they Christian, Islamized, or hidden, are espoused and fictionalized in literature produced in Turkey.
Artistic expressions echo the continuing trauma in the life of these "rejects of the sword," a Turkish moniker for Armenia’s, having "undeservedly" escaped from death. The stories that Turkish writers unearth and the daring memoirs of Turkish citizens with an Armenian in their ancestry, as well as obscured references to these same stories and events in Turkish-Armenian literature, have unveiled the full picture of survival, with an everlasting memory of the victims, but also of forced conversions, of nurturing the "enemy" in the bosom, and of the dehumanization and sexual torture of men and women.
A multifaceted image, an identity, of what is broadly generalized as Turkish-Armenian, thus emerges, a phenomenon that contradicts the long-researched and explored concept of the Diasporan-Armenian post-Genocide ethnic identity.
Nevertheless, the sociopolitical and religious impositions and the hegemony of Muslim identity have not been fully challenged yet. Outside pressures may influence the metamorphosis of Turkish state of mind, but the change should come from within the Turkish society. The change may be underway.
This annotation was taken from the book “And Those Who Continued Living in Turkey after 1915” by Rubina Peroomian.

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