Last Saturday, September 9th, the Armenian Church of the Holy Martyrs had its annual fundraising event on the Oceania Street in Bayside, New York. If any of my friends did not make it to the festival, I wish to share in this small write up as how the festival went.
Before I go ahead, let me apologize for not properly publicizing the name of the church in my e-mail about this event, as I meant to write the location and the name of the church as "the Oceania Street Festival at the Armenian Church of the Holy Martyrs". I am sure some of you made jokes on me, but I rather you laugh and not be mad. J
A month before the festival, I signed up as a vendor "Hayko Fine Rugs and Tapestries". On Saturday morning I was there very early to set up my merchandize. I took with me some pillows, a few small size antique rugs, some brochures and weaving frames. As it took me not too long to set up my table, I walked back to the Church entrance where a big crowd was intensely reading something off a board that was resting on an easel. I was very curious to see what were they reading and who were they. Well of course, they were my fellow Armenian friends and members of this not too small Armenian community that were ready to perform their assigned duties for the day at the Festival. More than 80 volunteers signed up to help out for this biggest fundraising event of the year for the Armenian Church of the Holy Martyrs. We were fortunate to have a gorgeous weather, not to count the ten minutes shower that poured on us and at my already covered pillows and rugs. I react quickly, believe me. J
Throughout the whole day there was continuous entertainment by Armenian and Greek Dance groups, different Armenian solo singers and a band. Shish, chicken and lule kebabs along with tomatoes and peppers were sizzling on two big grills teasing the crowd with its delicious smell. The dessert table was filled with many trays of scrumptious baklava and kadaif. Even describing it to you makes me hungry and drool over. Yes, we Armenians, and in fact all other ethnic nations, are very fortunate to be able to preserve our language, culture and traditions in the United States of America through events just like Saturday's.
The following day, on Sunday, September 11th, the Armenian Church of the Holy Martyrs held a special requiem service for the victims of the 9/11 attack. We also honored the acts of brave men and women- the first responders - who heroically risked their lives to save others. This year the 10th year anniversary of this horrific tragedy that change America forever fell on Sunday - the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross - one of the five major Feast Days of the Armenian Church. May God rest the souls of all who perished on that dreadful morning.
In my prayers,