Category Archives: Church

Easter Basket, Armenian style.

In front of the cathedral old women sold coronets of mimosa and forsythia, and long rods of pussy willow. The young women clamored for the crowns, knowing they’d look cute. There were buckets of daffodils and bunches of hyacinth and … Continue reading

Posted in Apostolic church, Armenia, Christianity, Church, Easter, Food, Great weekends, Happiness, Homemade decorations, Lent, Local delicacies, spring, Things that gladden the heart, travel | Leave a comment

St Patrick’s Day in Armenia

St. Patrick’s Day in Armenia. Well, now at least there’ll be an entry should anyone else ever Google this phrase, which seems unlikely.  St. Patrick’s Day will not be as big a deal here as it is in my native … Continue reading

Posted in America, American holidays, Armenia, Christianity, Church, Cross-cultural understanding, Food, Ireland, Legends, red head, St. Patrick, travel | 2 Comments

Glad Tidings of Comfort and Joy?

It is always a white Christmas in my part of Armenia. Last year there was a meter of snow on the ground for the Apostolic celebration of Christ’s birth on January 6, and the first flakes fell back in October. … Continue reading

Posted in America, apricots, Armenia, Beauty, Borders, Christianity, Christmas, Church, Cooking, Cross-cultural understanding, Food, Great weekends, History, identity, Islam, life lessons, Nagorno-Karabakh, National pride, Nostalgia, Peace Corps, Politics, Religion, Soviet Union, Syunik Marz, travel, Village life | Leave a comment

The road to Lor

“Come” said Laura, my fellow Peace Corps Volunteer. “Come and see my school–no-one ever does”. I readily agreed—I had looked at a map of Syunik marz, and seen that Lor was only 52 km from my home town. Google Maps … Continue reading

Posted in Armenia, Armenian writers, Beauty, Church, Cross-cultural understanding, Driving, errors of judgement, Peace Corps, Religion, Sisian, Syunik Marz, Things that make a difference, travel, Village life | Leave a comment

Seeing Armenia with Fresh Eyes: Part 3

You will not have heard of St. Gregory the Eliminator, because he doesn’t exist. This is a shame, because there are so many occasions when one needs a light-sabre-rattling Star Wars-style Saint, ready to avenge all wrongs. St. Gregory the … Continue reading

Posted in Archaeology, Armenia, Armenian art, Beauty, Christianity, Church, Environment, Great weekends, Karahunj, Khor Virap, Norovank, Sisian, Syunik Marz, Vorotnavank | 3 Comments

I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do

Levon Aronian, 2017 Chess World Cup winner, got married yesterday. The Armenian grandmaster and his Filipina-Australian bride, also a chess champion, had their wedding photos taken at Zvartnots cathedral. I know, because I was there. Chess is Premier League combined … Continue reading

Posted in Archaeology, Armenia, Armenian art, Beauty, chess, Christianity, Church, Cross-cultural understanding, gratitude, Great weekends, identity, joy, love, National pride, pagan ritual, sporting achievements, Things that gladden the heart, travel, Weddings, Women | Leave a comment

Sunday lunch

The mass at Tatev monastery is a real workout. The service lasts at least two hours, during which the congregation stands. At intervals the faithful must dip to touch the floor, kneel for protracted periods on slabs of stone, and … Continue reading

Posted in Armenia, Christianity, Church, Cross-cultural understanding, drinking, Food, friendship, Great weekends, joy, Language, Language learning, Religion, Social niceties, Syunik Marz, Things that gladden the heart, travel, Village life, Women | Leave a comment