Off The Beat & Path: Unique Stories in the Armenian World

Armenian Media isn’t always the easiest thing to follow. Website’s, blogs, tweets and Facebook pages abound. Armenian news happens fast and there’s just too much content and not enough time to keep up with it all.

As a result, many of us usually get caught-up in the daily news feed of cease-fire violations or presidential meetings, while missing some of the more unusual and unique stories floating around the vastness of the Internet. Every Monday, we’ll feature some of these stories and share with you what we thought stood out from the crowd.

This week we share a story of an Armenian Thanksgiving, a Turkish Facebook gallery dedicated to Historic Armenia, and the history of the Sole Armenian Village in Turkey.

Thanksgiving: Armenian Style

Doug Kalajian shares his Armenian-American thanksgiving traditions at This tasty Armenian Food blog brings the rich culinary heritage of Armenians to life with regularly updated recipes of traditional cuisines, combined with highlights from modern experiments and interpretations.

In the blog’s November 24 post, Doug, recalled his family’s Thanksgiving tradition of serving “two complete holiday menus, one Armenian and one American.”

For Doug, the Turkey was filled not with traditional stuffing, but chestnuts, lamb and rice, while the desert menu included Paklava, Armenian walnut cake, apricot pie and “piles of Mom’s flaky, buttery Dikranagertsi lavash.”

If your family is anything like Doug’s, the table this year was overflowing with both Kufta and Ham. Comment and share with us your Thanksgiving traditions. Read the story here

Once Upon a Time in Anatolia – Photos of Historic Armenia

Millions of profiles, pages, and groups abound on Facebook, ranging from the silliest of topics like Farmville to the most serious focusing on domestic violence in Armenia. Buried within the universe of Facebook is a page in Turkish, dedicated to sharing the heritage of Armenians in Historic Armenia.

The page, titled “Once Upon a Time: Armenians in Anatolia,” brought to our attention by a blog post on Blogian, contains dozens of galleries of historic and present day photos from the Armenian highland, depicting Armenian life in the former Ottoman Empire.

In these galleries, one can find pictures from Erzerum, Urfa, Aynteb, Diyarbakir, Kayseria, Malatya, Marash, Izmir, Bursa, Adana, Kars, Sivas, Bingol, Konya, and the list goes on.

Whether you trace your roots to these regions or not, these pictures, numbering in the hundreds, reveal a rich legacy of Armenians living, working and thriving in a land that was stolen from them through murder, rape and pillage. You will need to be logged into Facebook to see the photo gallery here.

Turkish Paper Explores History of Sole Armenian Village Still Inhabited in Turkey

The Turkish Today’s Zaman on Sunday, interestingly enough, published a piece by Sevim Senturk about the last Armenian village in Turkey—Vakifli. The village, founded on the slopes of Musa Dagh, is one of 35 villages connected to the district of Samandag in the present day province of Hatay.

The significance of this article is in the fact that a Turkish newspaper is acknowledging not just the existence of Vakifli, but also that it is the “only village left that has been inhabited from the very beginning by Armenians.”

Until 1938, there were six Armenian villages located around Musa Mountain. But turmoil in the years following the Armenian Genocide, as well as the turning over of Hatay (which had been under French occupation) to the Turkish Republic prompted many of the local Armenians to leave. In the end, most of the people living in the other five Armenian villages in the area moved to Syria.  Read the story here


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