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Letter 28: Healing at Chiqi Vanq

Tuesday, June-09-09
There was an article by Jeffrey Kluger in the Feb 23 issue of Time Magazine this winter about how faith can heal, entitled “The Biology of Belief”. He concludes the article by saying: “Doctors, patients and pastors battling disease already know that help comes in a whole lot of forms. It is the result, not the source, that counts the most.” The article by Kruger is followed by examples of different healing practices and pilgrimage spots around the world, the most famous of which seems to be Notre Dame de Lourdes in France.

Armenia is quickly becoming a pilgrimage tourism destination. As the first nation to adopt Christianity as a state religion, Armenia has a huge collection of monasteries and chapels scattered all over the mountainous landscape where monks and saints have lived and prayed, and, after their death, were credited with miracles. Armenia is also the closest Christian country to the Holy Land, and consequently Armenians have had easier access to Holy Ch…

Letter 27: Armenian Cognac (Կոնյաք/Konyak)

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Եղեգնաձոր (Yeghegnadzor) Friday, May-22-2009


My nephew recently wrote to me asking about the origins of Armenian 'cognac'. Here's what I've dug up.
_______________________________________________
From: Raffi

Subject: cognac
To: Received: Monday, May 18, 2009, 8:41 AM

parev kerri
ouremen hima Amsterdam em, yev Ararat cognaki
marketingi vra g'ashxadimgor. ansial shapat, camille
g'essergor vor francatsinere porcecin 'cognac'
par arkilel ararati vra, yev verchavorutiunin, tsouic devin
vor...des moines armeniens ont apporte la recette du cognac
en France
d'ailleurs tu te soviens, en 2005 nous sommes alle
à la vallee d'armeniac.

alors tu peux me confirmer cette histoire? ou si tu as
un article la dessus...merci

Raffi
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Dear Raffi:

What you say makes sense and I remember hearing many aspects of that story, but it will need digging up....

*Let us start from the Bible, Noah (3900 B.C. to 2900 B.…

Letter 26: We’re in March, don’t leave us alone!

Letter 26: We’re in March, don’t leave us alone!
Saturday, March-07-2009 to April-02-09
Here again, hanging on the steep slopes of our mountains,
In the middle of our gardens devastated by the elements provoked by climate change,
We do what the unemployed do, what prisoners do,
We cultivate hope!

We’re a young country with a long history, but have become less smart.
The IMF and the WB still let us borrow and mortgage our children’s future!

Here, on the steps to our house, where the smoke rises
From last fall’s leftover leaves and the street garbage
We can’t breathe. I say, better not to be able to breathe from that than from the smoke of the guns….

But spring is in the air, our apricots have blossomed before the cherries and I hear the buzz of the bees who come from far (Vardkes has left his beehives elsewhere this year). The local black-flies are out, they bother everybody else for 10 days, but they don’t seem to like Canadian-Armenian blood.

Everyone talks of the “Jknazham” (The Economic Crisi…