It’s a picture perfect Sunday morning in Tatev, a serene and remote corner of Southern Armenia. The beauty of this place is so stunning that you have to remind that you are not looking at a computer-generated Hollywood backdrop or an image on an HD screen. This is the real deal. This is the Armenia many will soon discover and want to experience. Sitting in the morning sun, on a green hill across the gorge from the majestic Tatev Monastery Complex is 16-year-old Seryoja. Next to him on the ground is a pick axe, and he’s carrying a burlap sack.
You’re belted into seat 38C on Air New Zealand flight 2 from LAX to London Heathrow, and this 10-hour flight is only the second leg of a four-legged journey from Central California to the ancient monastery of Tatev in Southern Armenia.
Hundreds of others are on the same Atlantic-crossing path as you, but three people you will meet on this journey will explain that your people’s experience is one part of a looping cycle.
Once there were and there were not … a fashionable shoe that is now known as “the world’s oldest shoe found in an Armenian cave.”
And what was found in a cave in Armenia this week was not just the world’s oldest shoe, but there were scarves and pots and pans and two skulls with missing jaws. This story feels like Armenians have just put on a pair of new shoes, and everything feels alright (Nutini 2007).
And Where Else Shall We Go?
BY PAUL CHADERJIAN
Once there were and there were not … a people so ancient and devoted to their culture and identity, that their sons and daughters can be found in the most unexpected places in the world.
It’s graduation season, and my niece Ani (who was just born yesterday!) is heading [...]
I’ve been thinking about my dad all week. He would have been 80 this year, and we would have celebrated his birthday this week. Shy of his birthday, I received an e-mail Tuesday night from Steven, my best friend in junior and high school. Steven was alerting me that our mutual friend James’ father had passed away and the funeral was Friday, on my dad’s birthday.
It’s past one o’clock on a Thursday morning, and “Coast to Coast AM,” my favorite late-night radio talk show is beaming via headphone into my left ear from an AM radio station in Los Angeles. It has just rained, and inhaling that fresh, clean smell of fresh air after a downpour prompted my first thought of gratitude on this day.
While most of the world has finished celebrating the New Year and gone back to work, the holiday season is only now coming to a close in Armenia. Most post-Soviet countries like Belarus, Georgia, the Russian Federation, Moldova, the Ukraine, and Armenia continue to celebrate the Old New Year according to the Julian calendar, which falls on January 13.
… one moment in our collective history when we came together despite our differences to celebrate our diversified popular culture. On Sunday, December 13, our hyphenated people came from the north and south of the Equator and the left and right of the Meridian to the entertainment capital of the world, to honor the Armenian stars, the modern makers of Armenian Culture, the ones who shone bright center-stage at the Nokia Theatre.