November 15, 2013

Armenian Cultural Day Celebrations Brings School Community Together

Students attending the celebrations
For the fourteenth consecutive year, St. Stephen’s Armenian Elementary School (SSAES) of Watertown held its annual Armenian Cultural Day celebrations on its campus at the Armenian Cultural and Educational Center on Thursday, October 24, 2013.  The event gathered students, teachers, administrators, and student-families together to commemorate the rich cultural heritage shared by Armenians around the world.

Grade 2 students presenting their family trees
The day began with a presentation of Gomidas Vartabed by two guest musicians, Ara Sarkissian and Martin Haroutunian.  Both played a medley of traditional Armenian melodies, including Gakavig, Antsrevn Yegav, Keleh Keleh and Yeranki. The performance was followed by a presentation by the Grade 5 students — in both Armenian and English — about Armenian language, religion, and history.  Next in the program was a talent show featuring the musical gifts of several SSAES students from the third through fifth grades.  
“It was heartwarming to see the children radiate such pride in their Armenian culture and heritage,” noted Tanya Haserjian, an SSAES parent who has 2 children that attend the School.
Grade 3 students presenting dioramas
of Armenian traditions
Following the student performances, Diana Adamyan, a 14-year-old guest violinist from Armenia, took to the stage and charmed the audience with a phenomenal performance which included Keler Tsoler and Groung from Gomidas and a few violin pieces from Kreisler.  The event concluded with a display of SSAES students' culturally-based projects, which ranged from dioramas and paintings depicting traditional Armenian scenes to family trees.  
The celebrations left everyone who attended with a renewed sense of pride and enthusiasm for the community's Armenian heritage and the School's commitment to keeping the Armenian language and culture alive and thriving.  
“As a new teacher at the school, I am not only enjoying learning more about Armenian culture but am encouraged to see that my third grade students are proud and eager to share their heritage with me,” said Mrs. Morgan Grunwald, Grade 3 teacher at SSAES.

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