Archive for February, 2007

Playing Eurovision

February 22, 2007

While last year everyone was thrilled about Armenia’s first participation in Eurovision Song Contest, and some liked or criticized Andre along with the song he was to represent, I think this year stand points will be all the same.

It is planned that 20 participants who are already chosen, will contest once more and the winner who will represent Armenia will be decided by the audience-vote. The majority of the participants, as I was attending the TV program, are aged 16-22, and who are actually new faces, or not well known, probably only apart from “Hayer”, whose members will contest separately as well as together.

But you know what’s the funniest and the bizarre point in all this show? That while they are planning a show contest and audience-voting, in the narrow circles everyone knows who will go to Eurovision. Can’t you guess? It is the most honored artist… Hayko!

Woe is us!!!
Am wondering what he will represent there, a romanticized variant of monstrous “Haleluyah” (as he is used to duplicating)?
Well, let’s see yet!

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Parading Barekendan

February 18, 2007

A group of youngsters with funny appearances, masks and painted faces walking down the streets, blowing whistles all over the way and making joyous and elated sounds and crying out – “Զարթնեք… Wake up!!».

Via http://barekendan.tripod.com/ we learn:

Barekendan is an old Armenian traditional festival that we are seeking to revive as a form of civil action by calling upon the citizens to “wake up” and become involved in social processes in Armenia. […]it is an occasion in which people are urged not to be passive and instead alert. As Lent begins the day after Barekendan, it is the final call for people to be uninhibited in their actions prior to the start of a period of fasting.

[…] Seeing as how the Parliamentary elections of 2007 are critical for the democratization processes in Armenia, Barekendan serves as an ideal occasion for the civil society activists to call upon their fellow dormant citizens to “wake up” and become involved. We are seeking to accomplish this goal by organizing a parade and day of festivities on February 18, 2007. On this day, we plan on dressing in costumes, offering face painting, passing out sweets and candies among other treats.

And while people gathered there were mainly those young society activists who you always see at any such occasion, the same message of wakening up the people in a sense was lost in the same whistlings, because when people’s first reaction is “Արա…է՞ս ովքեր են”, “who are these?” or “Երեխեքը ուրախանում են”, “Kids are making fun” supposes itself that from aside people do not think that you call upon them to become active and involved. Of course this will mainly come from the ‘men in black’ aka ‘rabiz’ representatives of the society for who these ‘kids’ seem funny in general.

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Some student stuff

February 9, 2007

I’m back to University again. This is going to be a tense period for me, as along with everything else I do, I should get prepared for my final state exams in June. Yes, probably June still seems quite afar from this point, but time is flying for me and I always panic before some important events, with the fear not to manage to do everything on time or properly. But I just need to work hard as to get my red diploma, no, not for putting it into my dowry, as is the case with many girls here, and not that I learn for marks, just I got only excellent marks and it would be pity if I don’t get them for my final exams.

I’m still wondering whether it is so important to have a state diploma for getting a job. For I’m not studying at the Yerevan State University, my one is a private university with state license, or whatever they call it. And yet, people tell me I should have applied to the state one. It’s a matter of prestige. Of course I did, unless I got the pass mark, but for some reason my name wasn’t included in the list and later got a call from an employee of that university offering to enlist my name if I paid $1500.

At that point really I loathed from that university and my decision to move to this current one wasn’t unsteady anymore. Starting my education with corruption would be a great beginning, but that’s not for me. And although many people reproached me for moving, I was adamant in my decision and would always say – The professors only put you on the right direction, and it’s only up to the students to take it, go deep into it, or refuse it. As my professor of foreign literature said, “You think I give some other lessons and lectures at other universities? No, I’m the same everywhere, as are my methods and the lessons I conduct”. Then what is the difference between the state and private universities? The students? But aren’t they different at any place, I mean, aren’t there weak and strong, dull and brilliant students at any university?

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Comma?

February 6, 2007

While the metro escalator takes me down I read the adds on both sides of it and stumble upon this one which is apparently meant for advertising a shop for women:

“Ձեզ համար կանայք”, “For you women”

Wow, what? Really? I grinned. Did you get the same impression as I did? The absence of the coma before ‘women’ and the absence of stress on it gives quite a different connotational meaning to the whole sentence. By the message you grasp not a shop where women can find everything for them, but a shop where women can be found. Funny, isn’t it? Just a comma! But who knows about its non-usage 😉

Would be kind of hilarious if I went there and asked to wrap three women for me 😉

And while this case just raises a smile, there are many others which raise just a sympathy for the illiterate people making those add-notes, or the pitiable usage of Armenian on them; such as: [sQo serviZ] (as if a ‘mourning service’). And while the right spelling of the first word is ‘sGo’, the second word even with [Z] instead of [S] has it’s equivalent in Armenian, which is [tsarajutjun]. And for more than 5 years that note was hang in one of the scary streets in Yerevan, Nar-Dos (and what does Nar-Dos have in common with coffins?) with coffins on both sides along the street, unless it just disappeared one day. Probably the Language Institute ultimately paid attention to it and took it down. Right, there should be control not only on the foreign notes this and there, demanding Armenian necessarily be there, but they should also keep an eye on the Armenian words later appearing next to the foreign language notes.

Anyways, now I decided to warn the owners of the advertisement hoardings if I notice a misspelling in a word, or amistake in a context. So I guess I will call at the women’s shop one day 😉

Our ‘Table Gap’

February 5, 2007

Today I was meant to have my first lesson at university after winter holidays, but I didn’t… because I overslept…

It was my birthday the previous night. I never like making it into a big event and I always try to escape from big preparations and luxurious tables with khorovats being its inseparable component. But I also don’t like celebrating them at restaurants with the rabiz environment around. I managed to escape to Tsakhkadzor last year and celebrate my birthday at the resting house’s bar with two friends and students from other universities who I never knew before. But the other day when I returned I found my mum laying table – “we are just having dinner” – and later some twenty people joined us at the dinner table.

I never invite anyone to my birthday. I think that regardless of my invitation people close to me, who remember me and want to share that day with me bringing some change into it can always visit and have good time together, and it won’t really matter for them whether I put traditional barbeque on the table, some 5-6 types of salads, just for variety, or I treat them with just a cup of coffee. Of course I wouldn’t leave them to starve.
And so happened yesterday, when preliminary with no intention to celebrate and expecting only some ten friends to come, more thirty people appeared very unexpectedly. And that’s so damn pleasant when people remember you and they don’t actually need any invitation for it!

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St. Sargis vs. St. Valentine

February 1, 2007

Yes, we have our own Armenian St. Valentine’s Day! I mean not exactly. Our saint is not Valentine but Sargis, and so we have St. Sargis’es Day! St. Sargis is a beloved religious observance, especially popular among the youth. It is celebrated 63 days before Easter, on a Saturday falling sometime between January 18 and February 23. This year, St. Sargis is observed on February 3.

For a long time Armenian priests were trying to fight against the western saint – “Why to worship other’s saint when we have our one?”. And still the youth would give presents to their beloved ones on February 14. And all of Armenian church’s attempts to turn the people on Armenian traditions would go flop.

Till this year-I’m afraid to say? Well, the date of St. Sargis was declared 3rd of February about two weeks ago. And now I guess the majority of the youth is aware of it. Wow, there are even special Armenian chocolates for that day…and they are on sale!!

I can’t wait witnessing what will happen this year and who will win – the Armenian church or the west 😉 Will the couples give presents to each other on February 3 or February 14? Or they will prefer make presents on all the two days? Hmm… that must be the most preferable I guess… more presents 😉

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