Festival celebrates Armenian culture with food, music and dance at Rancho Mirage

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“You go all over the world: if you have two Armenians, there should be a church,” she said. “That’s what Armenians are; they love their church.

Many Armenians also come to visit cities with larger diaspora communities, such as Los Angeles. According to Hindoyan, four buses brought guests from sister churches in Glendale, Pasadena and other towns in the San Fernando Valley.

Guests seemed to be enjoying the event on Saturday, with many carrying bags of Armenian food they had purchased and strolling through the festivities to talk to each other.

Tables have been set up under the shade for people to eat and children to play in a bouncy house. The church was open to guests who could come in and sit on the pews or light candles.

Hasmik Sarkissian said she has been attending the festival for many years. She said it was crucial to have the festival because Armenians are a small minority in the valley.

“Because of that, when you get the attention of non-Armenians, then you can introduce April 24, then you can talk about the genocide, then they will understand when they see in the news that Armenians are protesting something, they don’t. will not. just change the channel,” she said. “It might ignite some memories and they might be like, ‘Oh, these people have a right, have a reason for doing what they’re doing.'”

Sarkissian refers to the armenian genocide who killed an estimated 1.5 million Armenians in the Ottoman Empire and is commemorated annually on April 24.

Robert and Leanne Pilcher had seen the festival advertised for weeks. Leanne Pilcher said they visited the kiosks and bought food to take home.

Tavit (David) Samuelian song accompanied by Aram Lepejian (photo Ara Babayan)

“It’s well worth the time and it’s fun to listen to music,” she says. “The music is festive and wonderful.”

Lusine Poghosyan’s daughter performs as part of the Hamazkayin Ani Dance Company. She said she didn’t know there was an Armenian church or community in the Greater Palm Springs area.

“It’s new, it’s a new experience and it’s really nice to see that we are so different and yet there are a lot of things that connect us,” she said.

(Ani Gasparyan covers the western Coachella Valley towns of Desert Hot Springs and Cathedral City. Contact her at [email protected])

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