Blogging and New Year

It’s snowing outdoors, it’s magnificent, everything white and clean…though more cars piled in a traffic jam in the streets…and more problems and “I hate New Year”s piled on the shoulders of this show-off nation with every drop of a snow-flake. In several days the New 2007 Year will knock at our doors and the same and well traditioned madness will start again, or rather it will continue with the same haste.

And here I remember my first post “Oof es nor tarin el” which I made at Onnik’s Oneworld Multimedia, hereinafter designating myself with one more synonym-blogger. Wow, it’s already a year that I’m blogging, not every day, not every week though, but well, at least I hope what I had to say was to some interest to anyone.

Funny thing, if not this New Year insanity probably I would never do my first steps and blog anything, as it was the main thing to force me leave all the tiresome New Year preparations at our place and release my complaints and thoughts by jotting them down, which Onnik welcomed at his blog. They say “Anything happens for reason”!

Yet, nothing has changed since last New Year, just with one exception that being superstitious some people probably will not have ham on their tables, as 2007 is a Year of Swine according to the Oriental Horoscope, think less pigs will be slaughtered this year, at least one good part of it (wish every year was pig’s year).

And people are eagerly emptying all the markets and supermarkets though still crying and complaining that they don’t have money, outrageous isn’t it? For who are they torturing themselves that much? I really don’t see any sense.

Another joyous part of it is that at last I managed to persuade my mum not to lay a table for eternity and we will gather all of our guests on one and the same day, guess it will be better. Though I think this year as well I’m going to be satisfied with salads only, as wherever I go the dishes are mainly with meat, which I don’t eat.

Well, anyways, I wish you Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! Take the best and the most of every second!

And also posting here my New Year post at Oneworld, so that you know what I meant above if you haven’t read it before.

Ooof es nor tarin el…!!!

This is an expression that I can hardly translate, but if I could it would sound something like “New Year on top of all our problems.” In order to clarify this, I must explain that Armenians say “ooof” when they complain about something or if there’s a tiresome problem which is difficult to solve. One often, if not always, hears this sentence uttered by nearly all the citizens of Armenia, especially by women as men like to pretend that it doesn’t bother them at all. Why does New Year, which is so welcomed in Europe, the US and other countries, arouse so much discontent on the part of Armenians?

Let’s not hold back, and let’s speak openly. Armenia is not a rich country and people that can hardly make ends meet are more numerous than those who don’t lift a finger but still manage to make money. Yes, right, Armenia is a country of extremes, especially when foreigners call at an Armenian house only to be astonished by the amount of food presented to them. They might even think that Armenia only pretends to be in transition or a country of poverty because the poor in other countries cannot afford to lay a table with enough food to last for 10 days. On average, the total cost of such a table will be $300 as prices in the markets and shops are raised at this time of year.

In reality, Armenians like to show off.

Armenians work hard throughout the year, gather money and then waste it in two or three days on food for the New Year. This table is laid for relatives, friends and neighbors who visit to wish everyone a Happy New Year, and more importantly, to check your preparation, estimate it and compare with theirs. It is therefore important to consider whether you have ham, dolma, kyufta, cold cuts, Kiev chops, appetizers, cheese or a fish assortment, fruit, candies, and cakes on your table. But all of this is restricted for small children who can find joy in eating sweets, but hear such sentences like “This is for guests.”

And there are, of course, “glutton” guests, who just pig out when confronted with such a splendid opportunity to eat at the expense of others. There are also “waster” guests who, when you fill their glasses with wine and cola up to the brim and put some salad and slices of ham on their plates, manage to just sip and snatch as they have a lot of other places to call by, leaving you no option but to throw their leftovers into the trash. And sometimes it even pisses you off when such unpleasant guests overstay their welcome.. Maybe the only consolation for eating so much is that Lent follows New Year and you can fast and all impurities will leave your system. Anyway, we are very hospitable!!

Okay, let alone the food and money problems, what about the time and effort you waste on preparing all of this? Whenever there’s a guest, and you don’t know when they’ll visit as there is no way of saying it beforehand, you should hurry to the kitchen, boil and fry some dishes and serve them. Then you should take away the dirty plates, wash and get them prepared for the next guests. if all this preparation was for just a day and not 10, I could stand it!! What boorishness!! Besides this is done by all means to the detriment of your health.

And one more thing. Among this we forget or don’t consider it to present each others with gifts, which is the essence of New Year — great attention that can be made through small material things. The older generation always blame us young people for taking on foreign traditions. Now tell me, please, why shouldn’t we take the easiest way for celebrating New Year and diverting ourselves, or maybe we are used to undergoing torture and creating problems.

Though some Armenian families accept that they’d better spend that money on buying some necessary things for family members or their home, they still continue to meet New Year in the traditional way, and by the end of January they find themselves awfully exhausted, fed up with everything and in deep water financially. What sacrifice is this? Don’t you think that it’s high time that Armenians call themselves to order? After all, only those who can afford to pay $30-50 per person can gather at an ordinary restaurant and enjoy themselves. And this fact makes us ponder who is richer.

Taking into consideration what is mentioned above, it should be said in conclusion that it will take many long years for Armenians to understand that there’s an easier way of living and that they are also allowed to live to their hearts content. On the other hand, it is wonderful that they don’t go into a tailspin and continue rolling our national Dolma, hoping that this coming year promises to be much better than the previous one.

Anyway, I wish you all a Happy New Year!!

“Tox, vor galiq nor tarin verj ta hayi caverin…”

6 Responses to “Blogging and New Year”

  1. Onnik Krikorian Says:

    Wow, a belated happy first birthday. Seems like only yesterday, but now you’ve your own blog. Anyway, shnorhavor.😉

  2. Zarchka Says:

    Thank you!🙂

  3. Myrthe Says:

    Congratulations on your one year anniversary! I hope you will keep blogging for some time to come!

    I have friends who leave Yerevan every year for a week around New Year and stay with friends in the village. Their main reason is that they have had two deaths in the family around New Year, so it is not really a time of celebration for them. But the mother of the family told me that the fact that they don’t need to spend time and money on the New Year’s festivities is a very welcome coincidental result as well.

    Another friend of mine has a food shop in Spitak. He told me once that everything he earns in the weeks before New Year, have to last him at least until April, because during the first three months of the year, people buy considerably less, because they have spent all their money on New Year’s festivities.

  4. Zarchka Says:

    Your observations are so right, Myrthe, people are really torturing themselves for feeding their relatives and friends for the new year first days. And they hate it actually, no one, NO ONE likes new year, i mean mainly women who spent their days at the kitchen washing and boiling and frying to manage to serve to everybody. Work the whole year for spending everything on new year table, isn’t it ridiculous, especially when they really never have fun, they never enjoy new year.

    I’m so calm this year, should thank my mum that after long struggle she finally gave way and followed my advice. I do nothing now, just relaxing.

  5. Lola Says:

    Zarchka:

    Happy anniversary. There are apparently BETTER REASONS for celebrating.

    Cheers, Lola

  6. Oneworld Multimedia :: Notes from the Armenian Blogosphere :: January :: 2007 Says:

    […] round of applause, however, should go to Zarchka at Life Around Me who once again admitted that she’s pretty tired of New Year in Armenia. She also points her readers to the post she made on my site last year that said pretty […]

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