Chapter 6



(Armenian Manuscript Pages 22 and 23)


[This is a complete translation. J.T.]


We are excerpting from Mr. Reissian's letters:


"The climate of Perkenik is temperate.  As a proof of this, every year during Spring the cranes fly in as guests to their permanent nests on the peaks of the poplar trees.  Here it rains primarily in March, April, and May.


"It is hot in Summer, reaching 30 to 35 degrees Celsius[1] but it is pleasant and helpful thanks to the prevailing westerly breezes.


"The Fall (which we call "Little Spring") is cool at 10 to 15 degrees Celsius [50-60 F.]. The greenery sprouts anew but only grows to partial height. This season too has its charm and beauty, with the sweet and fragrant allurements of nature displaying a different kind of splendor and bringing a special sense of pleasure.


"Winters are brutally cold with temperatures generally falling to 10-15 degrees C below zero [5-15 F.] . For four months or more all the animals must be kept inside.  The entire village gets buried under more than a meter of snow and up to an inch thick layer of ice forms on the waters. -- men and animals must adjust to inside living.[2]  Because of this, more than six months of provisions had to have been stored up for the winters.  Yet even winter is not without its charms and its own brand of little pleasures:  village families and relatives visit each other, family ties are renewed, engagement or wedding ceremonies take place, and feast days are joyously celebrated.  In these gatherings the people's hearts are brought together as they joyfully recount and relive their experiences of the past year and discuss plans for the future. Life is lived to its basic full and natural depth and the ties among the people are made deep and lasting."


Later in Chapter 9 we will talk about the produce and wealth of Perkenik.  Here we wish simply to convey some related items quoting again from Mr. Reissian's letters.


"Productive gardens and greenery of all kinds surround the village thanks to the abundance of water. The produce includes beets, cabbage, carrots, radishes, turnips, watermelons, melons, squash, cucumbers, sunflower, onions, garlic, corn, potatoes, beans, chick-peas[3], and many more.  Trees abound in Perkenik, especially willows[4], poplars [5], and rose -trees. The main fruit-bearing trees are types of cherry.  Because of Perkenik's abundant verdure , the Turks named it YESHILKOY  --  "Green Village"  --  after the 1915 Genocide.


"In Autumn, after the harvest, every house busied itself with storing up provisions for the coming year. One after-harvest group activity was the "dzavar yev gorgod'n" - cleaning and preparing cracked wheat. The boiled wheat which was called "hadig" was first spread on roofs or threshing floors ("gal") to dry. Then in stone mortars ("sant"s), using special wooden sticks, they pounded the wheat to separate the chaff. This effort involved much inter-family participation and cooperation , and provided just the right occasion for group-singing, dancing, games, and general merriment."




[1] Which is 85-95 degrees Fahrenheit [JT]

[2]The heavy snows are no doubt due to the nearly mile-high elevation of the land.  My father used to tell how as kids they played, running from house to house through connecting snow-tunnels.  Whew, sounds like Eskimo life. [JT]

[3]Armenian "siser" [JT]

[4]In Armenian "ourri" [JT]

[5]In Armenian "pardi" [JT]

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