Notes From Hairenik
Now that my Armenian pneumonic plague is wearing off, I can manage to write a few words on this blog.

Turns out the severe shortness of breath and fever I was experiencing were prime signs of pneumonia. So I was laid up in bed for 10 days coughing my lungs out and sweating the fever out of my body. The doctor prescribed antibiotics for three days, and that was definitely beneficial. I finally managed to come into work on Monday, albeit for half the day, and am breathing easier, although I'm not out of the woods yet. If I am not careful there may be a chance of the pneumonia coming back, according to information that I read online. So regrettably, no beer or wine for me just yet.

Easter is upon us, and in a couple of days Armenians round the world will be busy smashing hard-boiled eggs dyed crimson red with the juice of boiled onion skins in the competition to be Easter Bunny King--or maybe I have that last part wrong. I honestly don't know where the tradition of egg fighting came from, or whether if it is practiced only by Armenians. Some people like to cheat--a guy at work already has a pastel-painted egg made from plaster ready that he will give his nephew so he can reign as champion. I have fond memories of my grandmother always making plenty of Easter choreg, the tradidional Armenian sweet bread topped with sesame seeds, which unfortuately is not popular in Armenia and can't be store bought. Some people I know--namely Anush's family members and friends--have been fasting for lent, an common practice here. On Easter the meal of choice is fish, so I'm guessing my mother-in-law will be making plenty of it on Sunday since she hasn't eaten meat in 40 days.

In any case, if I don't manage to write again before the holiday, have a Happy Easter.


Blogger Artashes said...
You will not die, man! :) And real pneumonia is NOT treated by just 3 days of antibiotics at home, trust me on that.

Fasting for religious and not health reasons? How ridiculous! The mankind is happily moving into the Dark Ages...

Blogger Vagabonde said...
You know my mother was French, secular and my father Armenian, but we did not go to any church. I did not know that Armenians fasted for Easter. I thought that only Catholics did – well I know that some Armenians are Catholic. My father was a non observant Armenian Orthodox I guess. The family of my best friend in Paris, also 100% Armenians, was non observant. Actually the more I think of it I did not know any observant Armenians in France. I guess since the US is such a religious country, all denominations are very observant, isn’t that right? I hear 60 or more percent of people in the US go to a church or place of worship. In France it is more like 7% and I believe some other countries, like Portugal, it’s even less. I don’t know why there is such a difference actually with the US, do you think if could be education?

Blogger Christian Garbis said...
Well, I think in general there is good religious education in the US. Growing up many of my classmates who were Catholic were taking courses in religion after-school. Also it's not too hard to find bible studies courses. In the Boston area there are hundreds of churches to attend--Catholic, Protestant, Evangelical Orthodox and the list goes on.

In Armenia, however, the education is simply not there. Seventy years of communism erased any allegiance to Christianity in most people. In some Soviet-era Armenian films the church is even parodied. Ejmiadzin is simply not living up to its essential purpose--to educate the new generations about religion. Sending "Christ is risen from the dead" text messages on Easter is not enough.

Blogger julia said...
Hi Christian,
i have just fould your blog and i am having a great time reading your posts.I am romanian living in Japan rightnow.In the near future i hope to visit Armenia.By the way,i celebrate Easter the way armenians do(by birth),even though i havent found my religion yet.GOOD LUCK!

Blogger Christian Garbis said...
Thanks for your comment, Julia. I have posted a link to your blog under the Links section in the left margin.

Thanks for visiting!