Thursday, January 31, 2013

GRAND OPENING TODAY! KAROUN YOGA, WEST SPRINGFIELD, MA

I f you live within the Springfield metropolitan area, head over to West Springfield this afternoon for

           Karoun Yoga Grand Opening January 31st 4-9pm!
                            235A Memorial Ave West Springfield, MA 01089
Karoun Yoga Grand Opening January 31st 4-9pm!
235A Memorial Ave West Springfield, MA 01089

Free Demo Yoga Classes
4-5pm Level 1 Beginner Yoga
5:30-6:30pm Mixed Level Yoga
7-8pm Power Yoga

Free Yoga Fitness Assessment
- Discuss your goals with a certified yoga instructor
- Work with an instructor to custom tailor your yoga schedule to meet your goals

Deeply discounted package $7 for 7 days
- Offered only at the grand opening
- New students only, must be redeemed in February 2013

Karoun Yoga
235A Memorial Ave West Springfield, MA 01089
www.karounyoga.com
413-244-8477
info@karounyoga.com
Copyright © 2013 Karoun Yoga, All rights reserved. 
You are receiving this email because you have expressed interest in Karoun Yoga classes. 
Our mailing address is: 
Karoun Yoga
122 Chestnut St. #204
SpringfieldMA 01103

Add us to your address book

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Hugs of suspicion!

Latest from NPR: Chinese officials hug each other when they meet, not for love, but in order to pat each other down, making sure the hugged colleague has no hidden listening devices!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Don't allow old age to come in the door!

 Ihtiyarlık kapidan icheri brakma.  Translated: Don't allow old age to come in the door!

That's what Peter used to tell Marash Boy.  That's what Nishan (Marash Boy's father) used to tell Marash Boy.  Though it seemed like an impossibility, an old country joke . . . what our fathers were advising, the doctors of today trumpet: keep active, keep moving, eat healthy, and never open the door to old age!

Monday, January 28, 2013

Amen!

Marash Girl's father, Peter, the original Marash Boy of the family, used to joke a lot, and one of his favorite jokes, picked up and oft repeated by his daughter Marashmellow Fluff,  was the following.

We come from a very religious family, she would say.  In church the men all say, "A-men", but the women all say, "Ahhh, men!"

When Marash Girl told that joke at supper last night, Marash Boy laughed out loud.  "I've never heard that one before!" he said. 

Hope the joke brings a grin to your face as well!


Sunday, January 27, 2013

Looking for a parking space? Follow the keys!

Parking at the Newtonville post office yesterday at noon was non-existent.  The only open post office in town, the post office offered both mailing and passport services and it always closes at one (on Saturdays).  Weather at zero degrees with a wind chill factor of you don't want to know and no parking lot within 5 minutes walking distance . . .  All on-street (metered) parking spaces full. . .  So what to do?  Marash Girl remembered her days living on Beacon Hill when there, too, there were never any on street parking spaces available, but those days taught her to follow the keys.  Follow the keys, you ask?  Here's the trick.  When there is no parking, empty spaces will be taken before you can blink an eye, and not by you.  So Marash Girl always watches for a pedestrian with keys in his/her hands, and she follows those keys.  Invariably, the keys will lead to a soon to be parking space, yours for the taking!

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Ralph Ellison, THE INVISIBLE MAN

Ralph Ellison's The Invisible Man, was no longer invisible at the Huntington Theatre's energetic performance last night in Boston, Massachusetts.  Adapted for the stage by Oren Jacoby, the performance spoke loud and clear of the travails of the black American in the first half of the 20th Century.  At one point, the white woman sitting next to Marash Girl just lowered her head into her hands in order to avoid watching, although she never did cover her ears.  And speaking of white, there were very few people of color in the audience last night.  They didn't have to go to the theatre to experience what their ancestors had.  They know of it first hand.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

More or Less Caffeine? That is the Question!


When Marash Girl's daughter and friend sat down to coffee at the breakfast table in Marash Girl's kitchen this morning, a conversation on the caffeine content of coffee ensued.  "Did you know that dark roast coffee has less caffeine than light roast?"  No, Marash Girl did not know, although Marash Boy swore that when he drinks a lighter roast, he feels more "caffeinated"!  Marash Girl was in a quandary as to how to respond, since she loves dark roast, but decaffeinated dark roast, so that can't be counted in the discussion!
A bit of research was required and this is what Marash Girl discovered.  All things being equal (i.e., the same size bean, the same type bean), when roasted longer, the  roasted coffee bean loses not only caffeine, but mass, the darker the roast, the less caffeine and the less massive the bean.  The argument goes that if coffee is being brewed at home using a measuring scoop, then the ground dark roasted coffee is likely to have less caffeine than the similarly ground light roasted coffee.  But if the coffee is being brewed by weight, then the resulting brewed dark roasted coffee will have more caffeine than the brewed light roasted coffee.  But this argument makes no sense to Marash Girl.  If there is less mass to the dark roasted bean, then it would take a greater number of beans to be ground into a measuring scoop than the light roasted beans.  Same with measuring by weight.  Given that equation, it seems that the caffeine content would be the same.  Or perhaps folks measure out less coffee when they're using dark roast than they do when they're using light roast!  The way Marash Girl figures it, dark roast has less caffeine than light roast, NOT cup for cup, NOT measure for measure, NOT weight for weight, but roasted bean for roasted bean!

THE ANTHEM OF ARMENIANS FROM MARASH

Recognizing yourself as a Marashtsi is no joking matter.  The Marashtsis even have their own anthem, and here it is.
MARASH OR KERMANIG AND HEROIC ZEYTOON, (in Armenian) COMPILED AND EDITED BY KRIKOR KALOUSDIAN 1934, SECOND EDITION 1988 LONG ISLAND CITY,PAGE 952-953.
 Image courtesy of Garo Derounian,Beirut, Lebanon



 Մարաշի Հայրենակցական Միութեան Քայլերգ
                                      Խօսք եւ եղանակ՝ Գր. Հ. Գալուստեան
                                        Ներդաշնակում՝ ՓրոֆՅ.ՎՄուրատեան

Մարաշքաղա'ք մեր հայրենի,
Քաղցր, անմոռաց քու յիշատակ
Պիտի մնայ միշտ կենդանի՝
Որդիներուդ կուրծքերուն տակ,
Մարաշ քաղա՜ք մեր հայրենի:

Ամէնքս ահա եղբայրաբար
Քու անունով ենք միաբան,
Ուխտ ենք ըրած սիրել զիրար,
Յառա՜ջ քալել յար անխափան
Ամէնքս ահա եղբայրաբար:

Րախ ու վստահ տանք ձեռք ձեռքի,
Ո'վ մարաշցի հայորդիներ,
Թո'ղ չար բերանն յաւէտ կարկի
Մեր ջանքին դէմ բոլորանուէր,
Օ՜ն,եղբայրներ, տա'նք ձեռք ձեռքի:
Աւետի՜ս ձեզ,  մարաշցինե'ր,
Արեան, սուգի օրերն անցան,
Մեր Միութիւնն հայրենանուէր
Նոր յոյս բերաւ եղբայրութեան,
Աւետի՜ս ձեզ, մարաշցինե՜ր:

Շողա', արե՜ւ Ազատութեան,
Փա՜ռք քաջերուն մեր անձնուէր,
Ապրի' ազգը միշտ, յաւիտեան,
Ապրի'ն յաւէտ մարաշցիներ,
Փա'ռք, յարգա'նք քեզ, ազգ  Հայկական:

Transliteration

Marashi Hayrenagtsagan Mioutchan Kaylerk
Khosk yev Yeganag Kr. H. Kalousdyan
Nertashnagoum Prof. H. V. Mouradian

Marash, Kaghak mer hayreni,
kaghtsur anmorats kou hishadag
Bidi mna mishd gentani
Vortinerout gourdzkeroun dag
Marash kaghak mer haireni

Amenks aha yeghpayrapar
Kou anounov enk  Miapan
Oukhd yenk uradz sirel zirar
Haratch  kalel har ankhapan
amenks aha yeghpayrapar

Rakh ou vsdah dank tzerk tzerki
ov marashtsi hayortiner
Togh tchar perann haved gargi
Mer tchankin tem poloranver
On yeghpayrner, dank tzerk tzerki
Avedis tzetz, marashtshiner
Aryan souki orern antsan
mer mioutchoun hayrenanver
Nor houys perav yeghpayroutian
Aredis  tzez, marashtsiner.

Shogha, arev, Azadoutchan
Park katcheroun mer antznver
Abri azku, marashtshiner
Abri azku mishd, havidyan
Abrin haved marashtsiner

Park,harkank kez, azk Hasygagan.

Translation:

Nation of Marash, our Homeland
Your memory will be imperishable
Alive will it remain forever
in the hearts of our children
Nation of Marash, our Homeland.

Good news for you, oh Marashtziner
The days of blood and grief have passed.
Our patriotic union brought hopes of brotherhood
Good news, oh Marashtziner.

May the sun of freedom shine
Glory to the abnegated heroes.
May our homeland live forever
Live eternally, Marashtziner.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Don't throw your rose petals to be crushed underfoot!

The wedding that approaches this fall brings memories of the very first wedding in which Marash Girl participated, little Marash Girl then 4 years old with her three year old cousin . . . an argument as they walked down the aisle, two flower girls, each carrying a basket of rose petals, one throwing the rose petals from her basket onto the unfurled white carpet, little Marash Girl salvaging the discarded rose petals and placing them into her basket, all the while stage whispering to her partner flower girl, "Don't throw your rose petals on the ground! Don't!" It made no sense whatsoever to little Marash Girl.  Why would anyone want to throw rose petals on the ground only to have them crushed underfoot . . .

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Karoun Yoga Opens Today in West Springfield, MA!!

KAROUN YOGA is open for business today, Tuesday January 22nd! 
"It is with great excitement that we open the doors to our new expanded state-of-the-art
yoga studio in West Springfield!   Situated conveniently between TJMaxx and Radio Shack
at 235A Memorial Ave in West Springfield, Massachusetts, we offer ease, convenience, 
amazing instructors, and a gorgeous space to practice in."

The new and expanded Karoun Yoga Studio
Open on Tuesday January 22nd
Location: 235A Memorial Ave, West Springfield 01089
Hours of Operation:  Monday - Friday 9am - 7pm; Saturday 8am - 4pm; Sunday closed
Expanded team of instructors: Karoun Charkoudian, Paul Menard, Kim Perry, Maggie Kortchmar, Amanda Leonesio, Erin McNally, and Lisa Page
Receptionists: Kayla Smith and Samantha Euell

YOGA SCHEDULE BEGINS TUESDAY JANUARY 22ND:

MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFridaySaturdaySunday
Iyengar
Level 1
Paul
8:30 – 9:45
Vinyasa Flow
Level 2-3
Amanda
9:30 – 10:45
Vinyasa Flow
Level 2-3
Amanda
9:30 – 10:45
Vinyasa Flow
Level 1-2
Kim
9:30-10:45
Iyengar
Level 2-3
Paul
10 – 11:15
Power
Level 3-4
Kim
12-1pm
11:15-11:45am
Open Meditation
Free
Iyengar
Level 1
Erin
2-3pm
Kids Yoga
Lisa
4-4:45pm
Vinyasa Flow Level 2-3
Maggie
4-5:15
Vinyasa Flow
Level 1
Maggie
4-5:15
Iyengar
Level 2-3
Paul
5:30 – 6:45
Power
Level 3-4
Kim
5:30-6:45
Iyengar
Level 1
Karoun
5:30 – 6:45
Vinyasa Flow
Level 1
Maggie
5:30 – 6:45
Vinyasa Flow
Mixed Level
Maggie
5:30-6:45
Iyengar
Level 1
Paul
7-8:15
Iyengar
Level 2-3
Karoun
7-8:15
Power
Level 3-4
Kim
7-8:15

Questions? Email  info@karounyoga.com

Pricing and Membership Plans
Drop-in $14
This plan is the most beneficial for those with constantly changing schedules. 
No commitment, pay as you go.
Drop-in for college students with ID and senior citizens (65+) $12
Teen (through highschool) $6
Child accompanied by parent (with prior permission from studio) $6

5-class card $55
The best way to feel the effects of yoga is by coming regularly.  This is a commitment to yourself and your wellness.  The more regularly you come, the less expensive the yoga!  This card purchase brings the price down to $11 per class.  Good for 2 months. Extended only if due to illness or unexpected leave, must contact studio via phone or email to extend this card.
5-class card for college students with ID and senior citizens (65+) $50

Monthly Unlimited Membership $85
This is one of the most economic plans.  You can start this on any day of the month, and it will be valid for 30 days from the date of start.  If you go to 3 classes per week you will feel amazing and you will take class for only $7 per class.

Yearly Member $750 
This is the most economic plan.  One-time payment only.  With this plan you get to bring 3 guests with you for free every month (that’s a $504 value).  Guests cannot already be members of the studio.  Guest can only attend 3 classes per month total as a complimentary yearly member guest at Karoun Yoga.

Yoga Class Descriptions
Level  1:  Are you a beginner, think you’re not flexible, and can never do yoga?  Start with any Level  1 class at Karoun Yoga!  In Level  1 classes, breathing, stretching, and strengthening poses are introduced in an accessible way at a slower pace.  More attention is given to helping each student in their pose.
Level 2:  In Level 2 classes more advanced strengthening and balancing postures including headstand are practiced, pacing tends to be faster, and a fundamental knowledge of yoga is recommended.
 Level 3:  In Level 3 classes balancing and strength poses may be held longer (for example headstand may be held for 5 minutes) or linked postures may be linked together in more complex ways.  A solid understanding of yoga is necessary for this level.
Level 4
This class is for students with a maturity in postures through Level 3 and a consistent self-directed practice.
Iyengar:  Based on the traditions of BKS Iyengar, these classes focus on detailed alignment of each pose.  Your depth of understanding on a muscular and skeletal level of your own body within each pose will be enhanced and your understanding of yourself and the pose deepens.  You will find that a “simple” pose can actually be very complex, and very challenging!  This is a great class to attend for beginners looking for fundamentals, and seasoned practitioners to deepen and broaden their knowledge of each pose. 
Vinyasa:  Vinyasa literally means “to place in a special way”.  Vinyasa is a style that links breath to movement.  There is a meditative quality of posture and breath.  The feel of the class can be a seamless flow of poses.  The flow will be slower in Level 1 classes and faster in level 2 and 3 classes.  These are generally more active and movement-based classes, students move actively up and down from the mat.  Linking pose with breath can give you a wonderful feeling of flow, which you can take with you to “flow” in your life. 
Power:  Power yoga is a strengthening, athletic form of Vinyasa.  This is a vigorous, strengthening class, with movement on the breath.  At the Karoun Yoga studio, a solid foundation of yoga is required before coming to this class.  When properly prepared for Power yoga this can be an incredibly cleansing vigorous workout while still incorporating all of the benefits of mind-body-breath connection from the classical yoga system.
Kids Yoga (Ages 6-9):  In this playful yoga class, kids will learn techniques and exercises to help them relax and calm their minds, improve balance, coordination, and strength as well as learn self-awareness and respect for themselves and others through yoga poses, games, partner and group poses, simple breathing and mindfulness techniques, and lots of fun!  Class is 45 minutes.

Monday, January 21, 2013

At the request of author Nancy Kricorian and Marash Girl

On MLK day, please read this powerful and moving speech that  the editor of the Armenian Weekly Khatchig Mouradian gave IN TURKISH IN ANKARA a few days ago. Armenians demand the language of justice.

http://www.armenianweekly.com/2013/01/20/mouradian-delivers-talk-on-genocide-justice-in-ankara-full-text/

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Any fish . . .

"Any fish can swim downstream, but it takes a fish with backbone to swim upstream."   
 . . . Peter Bilezikian, Recreational Fisherman, Recreational Philosopher

Saturday, January 19, 2013

A friend in need . . .

A friend is a friend is a friend, but is that friend there for you when you need him?  Peter is!  Peter, Marash Girl's father's name, Marash Girl's father who is no longer with us . . . Peter, Marash Girl's friend and neighbor, a friend indeed.  Yesterday Marash Girl received a desperate call from Western Massachusetts . . . Karoun Yoga is to open on January 22 in West Springfield, Massachusetts, and essential ingredients of the studio --  large pieces of furniture -- were in storage here in Newton Corner.  But how to load them up with only one person who has poor spatial relations . . . A call to Peter, and moments later he was there, eyeing the pieces that could never fit into Marash Girl's station wagon, thinking and rethinking, despite the cold and the dusk, in the gathering darkness, and an hour later, every piece of furniture was jammed into that wagon.  His comment?  "I don't think you're ever going to be able to get those pieces out!"  How he did it, only MIT knows!  Thank you so much, Marash Girl's friend in deed!

Friday, January 18, 2013

Eat burned toast and find money!

Burned toast?  Why would anyone eat burned toast? you ask.  That's a question only folks today would ask . . . Marash Girl is tempted to be sarcastic and answer, "Because they didn't have cake!"  Or perhaps they ate the burned toast because they knew that if they ate burned toast, they'd find money.  At least that's what kids were told during the depression and post-depression years (late 1930's, 1940's) in the good old USA.

When Marash Boy was a young 'un in Springfield, Massachusetts, his grandmother, Turvant Dakessian Sanjian (a survivor of the Armenian Genocide, born in Marash) would promise him that if he ate the toast that had burned, he would find money.  He believed his grandmother, because his grandmother's words always proved true.  Whenever the toast was burned (and why it would be burned so often, one can only guess -- perhaps the bread slice was too fat for the slot in the pop-up Sunbeam toaster of the day and did not "pop up" as quickly as it should have -- perhaps someone had gummed up the works by sticking a knife into the toaster to salvage the stuck toast and instead of spearing the toast, had speared the delicate wire basket holding the toast, ensuring the burning of future toast, or perhaps someone had set the dial incorrectly for the slice of Menzmama's home made, home sliced bread),  Marash Boy ate it, and soon after the eating, would head out with his grandmother, following the trails through the wooded back lots, and as sure as shootin' (to use an old cowboy phrase), Marash Boy would find coins along the trail.

Now how could that be?

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Young voices from the past (and a few older ones, too!)

Whatever happened to that wonderful elementary school custom of collecting autographs in leatherbound autograph books? Recently, Marash Girl retrieved a box of warehoused books that had been salvaged from her father's house before the family home was sold.  At the top of that box was a small red leather bound book with the gilt embossed title, "Autographs"!  Carefully opening the book (Marash Girl had hoped that it was her own), she found the name and address of her sister with their home's first phone number, Lasell 7-2854 and the Claflin School year, 1954.   Would you like to take a peek through some of  those pages?






















 
















Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Spinach and Eggs for a Crowd, Armenian Style

Spinach and Eggs for a Crowd, Armenian Style

Looking for a quick and easy brunch dish for the many? a dish with a touch of the ethnic? Here it is! The Armenian favorite, spinach and eggs. To the "American" ear, it does not sound delicious, but to the American palate, it's delicious! Served hot, cold, or at room temperature, this dish is one that folks come back for, a dish Marash Girl always serves for hors d'oeuvres at her Christmas Eve party. Yes, it's that good. And simple. The trick is buying fresh spinach and using freshly shredded parmesan or romano cheese (shred it at home in your Cuisinart). Recently, Marash Girl was shopping for fresh spinach and she found the freshest spinach she has ever found outside of her very own garden.  No, it was not at a farmer's market, nor was it at a greengrocer's.  Surprising as this may seem, she found spinach so fresh that it still had its roots in a nearby Market Basket (in this case, the Market Basket next to Burlington Mall).

Enough of the palaver.  Here's the recipe.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Prepare

1 pound of very fresh spinach, roots removed, washed and drained in a collander.
1 dozen eggs, shells removed (of course) and gently beaten
1 large onion, peeled, chopped, and sauteed
1/2 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
1 tsp. sea salt or coarse kosher salt
1 tsp. Aintab red pepper (now known as Aleppo red pepper, available in Middle Eastern stores)
1/2 pound parmesan or romano cheese (freshly grated at home in your Cuisinart)

Add drained spinach to the sauteed onion and cook only until wilted.  DO NOT OVERCOOK!
Again, drain spinach from any liquid in the bottom of the pot; (save the liquid for your next soup).
Cool the spinach for a few minutes; then add the drained spinach/onion mixture to the already beaten eggs along with the salt, nutmeg, Aintab red pepper, and freshly grated cheese.  Stir to blend.
Grease a large stainless steel rectangular roasting/baking pan, pour in egg mixture. Bake at 425 degrees for about 1/2 hour or a bit longer.  Eggs will puff up, but then flatten out when removed from oven.

When slightly cooled, eggs may be cut into squares and served in pan while still hot, or if room temperature, may be removed from pan, and squares arranged on serving platter.  (This dish may be eaten as finger food, hot, room temperature, or cold straight out of the refrigerator!)

[Some folks say that grated zucchini may be substituted for the spinach, but if you were to use zucchini, you'd have to use very young, very firm zucchini.  Marash Girl prefers the traditional use of spinach.]

After you've prepared and tasted this dish, you'll be thanking Marash Girl's mother (Jennie) and grandmother (Yepros), both superb Aintepsi cooks!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Frisky, the Blue Jays and the New York TImes

Recently, the New York Times made note of the compassion that Blue Jays have for each other:  Jays Appear to Mourn Dead Winged Comrades.  The article revealed nothing of surprise to Marash Girl.  Since childhood she has been aware of the support that jays have for each other, support that they act out when needed.  

In Marash Girl's childhood, there was a big golden tomcat named Frisky, a cat Rev. Stengaard had gifted to Auntie Zabelle and Uncle Paul. (For more on Rev. Stengaard, see http://marashgirl.blogspot.com/2011/01/how-do-you-like-your-egg.html) Frisky lived upstairs in the big old two-family house on Lowell Avenue.  Frisky would prowl the backyard, allow no dogs within the borders (how he knew the borders of the yard was always a surprise, as there were no fences), and in his spare time, catch birds -- couldn't be because he was hungry, as our Armenian household, both upstairs and down, always kept Frisky well fed.  Yes, Frisky would catch birds and eat them, whether or not he was hungry.  The blue jays on Lowell Avenue (and there were many) would have none of it!  One day the family observed the blue jays screaming at Frisky and dive bombing, attacking Frisky's head with their beaks , as Frisky went diving to hide under the wooden picnic table. (To look at Frisky, one would never guess he could move so fast, muscle bound as he was.)  Marash Girl and the family all knew what had happened.  Frisky had eaten one of their young.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Poking a Finger into the Soil of Other People's Plants

This winter has caused havoc on Marash Girl's plants.  Keeping the house at a cool 62 or 64, Marash Girl and her plants are happy; not so her family, and so the heat gets cranked up to 68 and 70 and the plants (not to mention Marash Girl) start wilting.  Marash Girl always wondered why, with so little sun, her plants could survive; the answer was, not over watering.  But then, how do you know?  She was unaware of the fact that, as she walks through her house, should she pass a plant, she surreptitiously pokes a finger into the soil to determine whether or not the plant is ready for another drink, and in doing so, she brushes the plant leaves with her arm.  This habit became so ingrained, that one day, she found herself in someone else's house, surreptitiously putting her finger into their plants' soil (and finding it far too dry)!  Yikes.  She hopes she wasn't discovered.  The audacity!

But then again, perhaps it isn't just the water, but the brush with a living creature on a regular basis that keeps the plants alive and healthy.  After all, in the wild, plants are brushed by the wind, by birds and fox, cats and coyotes . . .  People and plants cannot live by water alone!

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Deron found his note! (with a nod to Nasreddin Hodja)

Deron, as the proverbial best man,  always tells (at the weddings of his best friends) the traditional tale of Nasreddin Hodja playing the violin.  Today, Marash Girl retells that story in honor of Deron's good news!

Nasreddin Hodja often sat in the marketplace playing his violin. He would always play the same note on his violin, over and over again.  Every time folks passed him in the marketplace, they would find  Nasreddin Hodja, and yes, never would it vary; he would be playing his violin,  playing the same note over and over again.  Finally, a passerby stopped and said to the Hodja, "Hodja, every time I come to the marketplace, you are playing your violin, but unlike the other  "chalgujus",  you always play the same note, over and over again.  Why is that?"  The Hodja looked up at the passerby, paused, and answered, "I have found my note; the others are still looking for theirs!"

Congratulations, Deron, on having found your note, and such a lovely note at that!

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Sealed under Turkish mud, a well-preserved Byzantine Chapel

"You never know what you're gonna find under Turkish mud!"  was Marash Boy's sardonic comment after reading the article in yesterday's New York Times,  Sealed under Turkish mud, a well-preserved Byzantine Chapel.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Grandma Jennie's Armenian Flag

Grandma Jennie's Armenian Flag:  Garmir, Gabouyd, Narinchakouyn.
Marash Girl's young 'uns attended the AGBU Armenian Elementary School in Watertown, Massachusetts, where they learned to speak, read and write Armenian, sing the Hayr Mer (հայր մեր )(The Lord's Prayer in Armenian) and appreciate the  troshag (դրոշակ), the tricolor, the Եռագույն, the Armenian Flag.  Knowing how important the colors of the flag were to her grandchildren, Grandma Jennie, who had been crocheting afghans for her tornigs, added to the ends of each blue crocheted afghan, her crocheted version of the Armenian flag: Garmir կարմիր (red), Gabouyd կապույտ (blue), Narinchakouyn Նարնջագույնը (orange).  The afghans were lost in the mists of time until, this past December, going through bags of bedding that had been neatly stored away, Marash Girl came upon Grandma Jennie's Armenian Flag, the crocheted afghans which would soon be returned to their rightful owners, her tornigs.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

The Christmas Tree that Fought Back!

Ow --  The Christmas tree struck and struck hard, slapping Marash Girl across the face as she tried to dismantle its necklace, its needles scratching the whites and the cornea of her left eye.  Had it really been that happy in Marash Girl's living room, enjoying the love of the family that gathered around it, the twinkle of the colored lights it wore for a necklace, the promise of all those candy canes decorating its arms, just waiting to be consumed?  The tree must have had an overabundance of ethylene in its system as it dropped very few needles, and was always happy as long as it could stay snug in the corner of its new abode, a Victorian living room dating back to 1870.

The day after Armenian Christmas, the Christmas Tree that fought back and lost.
Next year, after Armenian Christmas, Marash Girl will be sure to wear protective eye goggles when she tries to remove the tree and set it out to be recycled.  And perhaps next year, rather than travel all the way to Ocean Lake in Wyoming for fishes to gather and find protection and peace in its limbs, it may find its way to the bottom of a Massachusetts lake where it will continue to provide joy to families, but in its new iteration, provide succor to families of fishes.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Searching the web for Marash Girls . . .

Written on back of photo: "7 Anna Roobyan CIV. 10 Takohee Kushbuloodyan XCVII." Detail: "TAKOHEE KUSHBOOLOODIAN is a little girl who was nine years old in 1922. She has lost her parents in the recent troubles, but was rescued by Miss Salmond and taken into the Marash orphanage. Her first name means 'Queen.' When Miss Salmond broke her hip and was obliged to go to England, Mustapha Kemal Pasha allowed some of the Marash orphans to go to Shemlan in the Lebanon near Beirut, where they can be in the care of Miss M. C. Frearson, formerly of Aintab. Her picture is on page thirty-five of the September 1921 HELPING HAND. Takohee needs aid at once." "ANNA ROOBYAN is a little girl who was seven years old in 1922. She has no parents, but since the exile has found one sister. Her parents were killed, and Miss Salmond took her into the Marash orphanage. When Miss Salmond broke her hip and was obliged to go to Engalnd, Mustapha Kemal Pasha allowed some of the Marash orphans to go to Shemlan in the Lebanon near Beirut, where they can be in the care of Miss M. C. Frearson, formerly of Aintab. Her picture in on page thirty-five of the September 1921 HELPING HAND. Anna needs aid at once." Written on folder: "In correspondance between Emily C. Wheeler of the National Armenia & India Relief Association."

The other day, Marash Girl was searching the web for a possible mention of Marash Girl, (conceit, yes?). At the website Hagley.org, she found  the above memento from the very sad days of the deportation of Armenians from their native homeland, and the Armenian Genocide of 1915-1922.  Luckily, the girls in the photograph survived, at least long enough to have their photos taken.  It is interesting to note that there is no mention on the back of the photo of the horrendous mass murder  and genocide of the Armenian people, which is simply referred to as "the recent troubles".


Searching under the word "Armenian" at the Hagley Museum website, Marash Girl found the above.  Written on back of photo:  1. Takouhie Simonian, - Queen. 2. Vartanoush Torosian, - Rose Sweet. 3. Zarouhie Melkonian, - Lady Zaro. 4. Eliza Balian. 5. Arshalouis Maltabekian, - Dawn."  Written on folder: In correspondence between Emily C. Wheeler of the National Armenia & India Relief Association.  No date.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

How to make a quilt, Armenian style

Remembering little old ladies all dressed in black  (see yesterday's post) brings to mind the tiny black-clothed lady, 80 years old in Marash Girl's memory , who would come to refresh and remake our yorghans (angoghins), Armenian style quilts.

Long before down comforters were the rage, Marash Girl slept with a yorghan -- a quilt  (in a dobrag) made of sheep's wool in a cotton bag that had been hand sewn strategically to keep the wool spread in the bag and create a comfy quilt.  (Marash Girl's wealthy friends in college would want to borrow that quilt for comfort when things were not going well in their lives.)

And yesterday, remembering her great grandmother Noussia (Lucia) Danielian Bosnian as a little old woman all dressed in black, Marash Girl remembered the happier memories of a tiny old lady all dressed in black who would arrive every other year at the house on Lowell Avenue to refresh the yorghans.  Sitting cross-legged on the living room floor, and spreading a wool-filled quilt across the ancient Heriz, she would undo the edges of the quilt, carefully removing the stitches from one end of the wool-filled cloth bag, remove the wool and set it aside,  turn the bag inside out, spread it out on the oriental rug, and then spread the wool evenly over the bag once again, this time fluffing out each piece of lamb's wool so that it would once again become soft and comforting.  Once the wool was  fluffed and evenly spread out over the "inside out" bag, she took a long dowel, a long smooth stick (probably a broom handle at one time) that extended the width of the quilt, placed the stick at one end of the cloth laden wool, and rolled the "wool on cloth bag" up onto the stick, making sure all of the wool stayed evenly spread out.  (In other words, the bag, now inside out, was on the rug, with the wool fluffed out and spread out, arranged evenly over the top of the now inside out cloth bag.)  The makings of the quilt were now carefully rolled up with the stick until the whole quilt was rolled around the stick and the stick removed.  The yorganji now  unrolled the works by carefully turning the quilt bag (dobrag) inside out a bit at a time and unfurling the original quilt cover so that ultimately it would be completely unrolled with the lamb's wool evenly spread out on the inside and only the cloth showing on the outside.  The yorganji, always a woman, then, sitting cross-legged on the floor with a heavy needle and heavy thread (almost as heavy as string), string had been strengthened by running having been run across a ball of bees wax (bees wax from the Uncle Paul's beehives in Marash Girl's back yard), stitched in very long stitches (so as not to flatten the wool) diagonally across the yorgan, from corner to corner, twice, making a large X, making sure to reinforce the very first stitch with a 1 inch square of cloth.  She did the same across the width and across the length of the yorgan.  Bitdi!  The yorgan was finished and hopefully would stay fluffed for another year or two.  Oh, but now the yorgan must be protected by a dobrag, a home made cloth bag that covered the yorgan and was washed regularly (as the yorgan itself could not be washed until the yorganji's next visit) or the wool would mat down and there would be no comfort in the comforter!

N.B.  Before the very first makings of the quilt,  the wool  had been washed and "deburred".

Monday, January 7, 2013

The Grand Piano of Winchester, Massachusetts

Haunting Marash Girl to this day is her only memory of her great grandmother [see http://marashgirl.blogspot.com/2012/10/dust-particles-dancing-in-light.html] and the mystery of her name and where exactly the memory took place.  The haunting was refreshed when Marash Girl received from her distant cousin Louis Kurkjian a piece of a genealogy that he had put together.  In the genealogy, Marash Girl learned the name and a few bits of other information about her maternal great grandmother, Noussia (Lucia) Danielian Bosnian, born in Aintep in 1855, died in Winchester, MA, 1944.  In this genealogy, Noussia is described with three words: "humorous, light hearted, very wise".  Marash Girl's memory could not corroborate those words.

When Iffar and Enila asked their Ama for funny stories of her childhood, she told the story recorded at http://marashgirl.blogspot.com/2012/10/dust-particles-dancing-in-light.html, and Iffar replied, "She must have hated herself, then!" referring to his great-great-great grandmother in exactly the same way that Marash Girl had ended her blog post,  "Dust Particles Dancing in the Light - October 25, 2012".  

A major piece of the memory recorded on October 25, 2012, was the grand piano, and yesterday afternoon, Marash Girl once again saw that grand piano in reality, not in Winchester, Massachusetts, but in the grand ballroom of the Armenian Cultural Foundation in Arlington, Massachusetts.  Gazing at the piano as she talked with Dr. Suzanne Moranian, Marash Girl learned that the piano once belonged to Dr. Moranian's family, an ancient grand piano with magnificent tone which had graced an Armenian living room in Winchester, Massachusetts.  Could that be the same grand piano that has haunted Marash Girl's memory since the tender age of one?

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Greetings on Armenian Christmas 2013



Armenian Miniature courtesy of Gettyimages.com
Քրիստոս ծնաւ եւ յայտնեցաւ:

Krisdos dzunav yev haydnetsav.....[Christ is born and is revealed!]

Օրհնեալ է յայտնութիւնն Քրիստոսի:

Orhnyal eh haydnootyoonun Krisdosee.......[Blessed is the revelation of Christ]

For further discussion of Armenian Christmas, see Marash Girl's post, January 6, 2011