Armenian Culture Day Highlights History, Tradition

El Vaquero Staff Writer

The mouth-watering smell of barbecue and the captivating sounds of Armenian traditional music spread throughout Plaza Vaquero Oct. 28 at the annual Armenian Culture Day sponsored by the Armenian Students Association.

About 350 of the 500 people gathered in the plaza gave in to the appealing smell of barbecue prepared by ASA students and had it for lunch while listening to live Armenian music played by Zangezur band.

The barbecue combo included Armenian dishes such as humus and tabuleh served with rice. The event attracted both GCC and the local community.

Some of the attendees included families of GCC students, such as Arsen and Vregh Ter-Petrosyan, brothers in their 60s who enjoyed the event while sitting on a 100-year-old Armenian carpet that they had brought along. The event not only included music and food in which to enjoy, it also highlighted the history of the Armenian culture.

Red, blue and orange balloons, the colors of Armenian flag, filled the plaza where Armenian artifacts like stones carved in shapes of crosses, hand-scripted literature including a 500-year-old prayer book, and a genuine musical instrument called a duduk were on display. Additional boards displayed maps, history and literature, made by the ASA, offering further insight into the Armenian culture.

“I’m very proud of the ASA for being able to put together such a comprehensive event [and of the students] who are preserving their culture and working to make the college a better place for everyone,” said Board of Trustees member Ara Najarian.

Hamzkayin Heritage Committee along with Abril bookstore and Rosalin Art Gallery sold Armenian items, including handmade purses, napkins and knitted dolls imported from Armenia. “We try to keep our traditional handcrafts alive,” said Shushig Aslanyan.

“It’s very nice to have cultural shows like this because it teaches you how to be appreciative of other cultures and people,” said Alfred Sumner, a nursing major.

“I don’t exactly know about Armenian music and culture but this event explains it very well,” said Young Ranking. A child development major who enjoyed watching the dancers.

Board of Trustees President Dr. Armine Hakopian said that the event both celebrated the Armenian culture as well as offered educational insight into it. “This event is to offer a sampling and a glimpse into the Armenian culture.”