Saturday, March 17, 2012

The Minister Is Sick!

One of the characteristics of growing up Armenian was the intermingling of three languages -- Armenian, English, and Turkish, and the jokes that resulted therefrom.  As well, humor was often played off between the traditional Apostolic church goers and the new (as of the 19th Century) Armenian Protestants. (See Marash Girl's blog on Protestants and Pambook Jack.)

Here's a joke that plays off of both language and religion, a joke that was told to Marash Boy on his first meeting with his first cousin who had recently arrived from the "old country":

The 19th Century Armenian-American Protestant congregation in Marash (or was it Aintep?) had gathered on Sunday morning, as was the custom, to hear their minister give the sermon.  One of the congregation got up and announced that the minister was unable to attend church that day.  Mixing English and Turkish, as was often done even then, the Armenian, whose knowledge of English was far from perfect, said,  "The minister will not be attending church today.  Sick dir!"

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