An interesting, quite touching favor was asked of me just shortly after my arrival in September -- I was honored to have been offered the privilege of serving as the 'kavor,' or the Godfather, for my close friend Karen Minasian, who I have known for over two years.
Karen was my savior during the last half of 2002 when an illness related to a medical condition that I have struck me leaving me partially incapacitated, thereby interrupting my stay and forcing me to return to Boston. Since then our bonds have grown so close that we are now as brothers, sharing the same love/hate relationships that siblings enjoy.
Several weeks ago I was asked whether I would be the 'kavor,' the meaning of which I did not immediately comprehend. Then Karen's father, Sergey Minasian, ruminated for a few moments before realizing that I would better understand the more accepted Armenian word, 'gnkahair,' both terms having the same principle but have slightly different connotations (see the previous journal entry, The Godfather). At first I was quite touched to have been considered for this title, but then became slightly anxious once I learned about the various responsibilities that I would have to undertake. During the course of six weeks I became familiar with the various rituals involved in traditional weddings and how the Godfather acts as the general wedding director. Sergey as well as his wife and brothers were eager to relay to me the intricacies of the Godfather tradition, and how I could best serve in the role commensurate to my abilities.
In reality, although I was told time and time again that I would have to serve as the director, the wedding plans were going in full swing without me. But when present during the planning discussions, Sergey or one of his brothers would ask me to chime in and give my opinion on whether, for instance, to use Russian RAF or Gazelle minibuses, or if in fact the traditional, ever-vague Armenian "kufta" dish [kufta is a term that can be used to describe virtually any boneless meat dish; countless variations of this meal exist in Armenian cuisine] should be served as a third course just after the cherished barbeque roast pork was distributed and devoured. I presented my answers sternly and with confidence to disguise the fact that I didn't know what I was talking about.
More on this soon….
In the posted photo I am seen on the far right, in partial disbelief that Karen was actually going through with it.
Labels: Personal Experiences