Armenian History Celebration Held

By Michelle GANIAN

On April 13, Glendale Library Arts and Culture (GLAC) organized its second annual Armenian History Celebration event as part of Armenian History Month at Pacific Community Center and Park in Glendale. The theme of the event was armat, which means “root” in Armenian. As a result, GLAC chose the pomegranate tree as a symbol honoring the shared roots of Armenian heritage in Glendale. A pomegranate “wishing tree” was also displayed where attendees could write out a simple wish on pomegranate cutouts and hang them on the tree. 

The venue included tables from many Armenian exhibitors and organizations including the USC Dornsife School of Armenian Studies, the International Armenian Literary Alliance, Armenian Vegans of LA, Abril Bookstore, as well as featuring many talented artists and designers who showcased some of their works. There were also arts and crafts tables to keep kids busy and entertained, and coffee and pastries courtesy of Urartu Coffee. 

The event began with children’s Armenian story time then welcome words were said. Glendale Poet Laureate Raffi Joe Wartanian presented his original poetry inspired by the nature and ruins of Western Armenia, now present day Turkey. Chef Ara Zada, who featured his cooking on PBS and Fox Good Day LA, prepared summer dolma, a popular Armenian dish made of beef, rice and herbs cooked inside tomatoes and green and red peppers. He is also the author of Lavash, a staple of Armenian cuisine with a modern twist. 

The event concluded with musicians, singers and dancers of Lernazang Ensemble presenting a suite of musical works, songs and dances evoking the memory of the lost homeland of Western Armenia.

Armenian History Month is centered around April 24, Armenian Genocide Remembrance Day. The themes of life and rebirth were well represented in Armenian song, dance and music on April 13.