Glendale News Press, CA
Jan 4 2008

Armenian clubs convene for a feast

Early celebration of Armenia's Jan. 6 Christmas coincides with their
aim to thank area educators.

By Angela Hokanson

At a celebration filled with homemade food, gifts of library books
and many thank-yous, Armenian students and parents expressed their
appreciation for Glendale educators at an event Thursday that doubled
as an early celebration of Armenian Christmas.

It was the first time the Armenian clubs from four Glendale Unified
School District high schools, as well as the Armenian Parents Club
>From Crescenta Valley High School, met to hold this holiday
appreciation event, said board of education president Greg Krikorian.

The students wanted to thank the administrators at their schools for
supporting their Armenian student clubs, said Talin Haroutonian, 18,
co-president of the Armenian Club at Crescenta Valley High with his
sister, Sarin.

`This would never be possible without the help of the
administration,' Sarin said.

Vahik Satoorian, president of the Davidian/Mariamian Educational
Foundation, thanked the school district for offering Armenian
language classes and supporting the large number of Armenian students
in Glendale public schools.

`For us as Armenians, it's very important to stay Armenians,'
Satoorian said.

Parents from the Armenian Parents Club at Crescenta Valley High
School prepared a feast of Middle Eastern dishes for the high school
principals, assistant principals, district administrators and

Arranged as a buffet were dishes like fesenjan, a stew made with
walnuts and pomegranate juice; and gormesabzi, a beef dish seasoned
with herbs, said Adrienne Moradkhanian, president of the Armenian
Parents Club at Crescenta Valley High. advertisement

The dishes come from Armenia and other places in the Middle East,
Moradkhanian said.

`Some of us, we come from Iran, some of us, we come from Lebanon,'
she said.

The parents made the time-consuming dishes to thank school district
officials and to share their culture, said Ani Eskandarian, a parent
in the Crescenta Valley High Armenian Parents Club.

`First, we enjoy eating. And we enjoy seeing people eating,'
Eskandarian said.

Michele Doll and Cuauhtemoc Avila, two of the Glendale High School
administrators, showed their appreciation by cleaning their plates.

`We had their kebab and the rice and the tabouleh,' Doll said.

`I would go back for seconds.'

Fourth- and fifth-graders from Balboa Elementary School sang `Silent
Night' in English, as well as two traditional songs in Armenian, and
students from the Armenian Clubs at Glendale, Clark Magnet, Hoover
and Crescenta Valley high schools presented several books on Armenian
history and culture to the principals of their schools.

The clubs had purchased the books to augment their school libraries.

`It's heartwarming to see the students give back to the community,'
Krikorian said.

Medea Kalognomos, a board member with the Committee for Armenian
Students in Public Schools, said it was important for students to
occasionally step back and recognize the schools they attend.

Armenian Christmas is celebrated on Jan. 6 because it is the original
calendar date of the birth of Christ until the Romans moved the date
to coincide with a pagan holiday on Dec. 25, said Henrietta
Movsessian, a senior at Glendale High School and the student
representative on the board of education.