Saturday, March 03, 2007

Armenian Drama and some more on Pasadena

Last Saturday I went to a play put on by the AGBU Ardavazt Theater Company, it's a chill small amateur group that performs plays a couple of times a year. Their current production is Կորսուած նամակ մը, or "The lost letter."

The play isn't a straightforward comedy, it's a satire, or երգիծանք. It's an adapted screenplay originally written by Ion Caragiale, a Romanian. It's a clever take on politics, corruption, and personal relationships that underlie it all. Quite interesting but since I'm more used to the comedies I didn't enjoy it as much, it was a little too subtle. But now after a week the play's themes have really settled in. The interpretation worked because the themes used can easily apply to Armenians today and in this sense it was a great work of social criticism.

My thesis project is going slowly. I have to compose a 30 page paper by the end of June and so far I have only interviewed two sources, so that's money. I have to get more in the next couple of weeks, hopefully get at least 6-8 substantial ones, quite frustrating. There are so many dimensions that it's hard to focus on which one, but the my main concern is with the church. It's amazing how a community can just get together and build something that sustains themselves, a self preserving mechanism if you will. Yet at the same time there are other topics such as relations with neighbors, internal struggles, and evolution of identity. I think my problem is not so much coming up with material.... I have plenty of that, I just need to substantiate it with sources. My main problem is gathering up all of the different portions of my topic and bringing it together.

Take 70s for example. The Lebanese Civil War hit and an influx of Armenians came to America, where do they go? Well, Armenians attract other Armenians, so California was a big target. Pasadena had a good community going, so a lot decide to move there. But they run into the already existing Armenian American community, who have a different perception of Armenian identity. This ultimately leads to a clash. So this dynamic can be like one section of my paper. It also presents a good take on assimilation.

Then you have the relocation of St. Gregory. This event shows how the Armenians coelesced for a common goal. It also is a testament to the growing number of Armenians in Pasadena.

I look forward to completing this project, as it will help me understand my people. But it also presents a fascinating topic, but difficult to grasp due to its enormity.


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