Armenian Festival: Not Your Typical Affair

For the past nine years, Glendale, Calif. has been home to an Armenian Festival organized by the Armenian Relief Society’s (ARS) Western chapter. While it has normally been your standard Armenian affair, full of food, dance and live music – the ingredients necessary for an successful Armenian event, it looks like it has been involved to become something much more than an excuse for Armenians to get together and party.

You might be surprised to find, that the ambitious women of ARS are doing what they can to make this a festival for more than just Armenians – and by the looks of how things went last weekend, they succeeded.

Yes, it wasn’t just Armenian faces in the crowd who got to visit a string cheese demonstration, few artifacts from Kharpert and even watch a skilled rug maker, make, well, a rug. In came Los Angeles residents from as far as Newport and Signal Hill to discover what this “Armenian-ness” was all about.

In addition to the usual flare, there were also a lot of eccentricities to appreciate. Take for example, Mania Badmagrian’s amazing Brazilian embroidery and needlework. You see that embroidered chair? She made them herself. It took her 10 years. She said that she uses this handcraft as her therapy, to escape from the stress of every day life.

You can read more about the event (written by yours truly) in the Glendale News-Press here. It contains a few great quotes from non-Armenians who are fascinated with the culture. What are Armenian festivals (if any) like where you live?

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