Gelndale: A Celebration of Heritage

Glendale News Press
May 17 2004

A Celebration of Heritage

Aremnian Relief Society’s annual festival features foods, dance
shows, singers, arts and crafts

By Darleene Barrientos, News-Press

NORTHEAST GLENDALE — Delicious food, rousing music, arts and crafts,
elaborate fashions and spontaneous dance circles — there was a little
bit of everything at the Armenian Relief Society’s third annual

Between 7,000 and 8,000 people passed through the doors of the
Glendale Civic Auditorium, 1401 N. Verdugo Rd., for the weekend
festival by Sunday afternoon, and at least 3,000 more people were
expected until the doors closed at midnight, said Nova Hindoyan, one
of the society’s executive board members. Hindoyan admitted she was
one of the dozens of people who joined the spontaneous dance circles
that broke out in the middle of the eating area on the auditorium’s
second level.

“It’s been very good, a very good turnout,” she said. “People are
enjoying the dancing.”

The upper level of the auditorium was filled to capacity with people
eager to watch the dancing and watch Armenian clothes be modeled by
local teenagers. Vendors lined the auditorium on both levels, selling
artwork, ceramics, jewelry, T-shirts, food, drinks, books, clothes
and desserts. Informational displays were available on the lower
level of the auditorium, filled with postcards and stamps from
Armenia and pictures of the country’s men and women and their fashion
from different eras.

People throughout the festival greeted old friends with shouts, hugs
and hearty handshakes.

Robert Yacoub, 51, of Pasadena, took his wife, his son and his baby
daughter to the festival after his mother told him about the event.

“I wanted to come,” Yacoub said. “I wanted to see the dances.”

His wife, Michelle, 32, said she was more interested in the fashion.

“I’m actually looking forward to the wedding,” she said of the
traditional wedding ceremony scheduled to be demonstrated.

Julia Mangurian Haviland, 81, of Studio City, took her daughter and
teenage granddaughter to the festival. Haviland said she wanted her
family to learn about their culture.

Haviland said she had been trying to teach her family about their
Armenian heritage and had sent them to Armenian dance classes, which
her granddaughter enjoyed.

“There are a lot of people out there who love the music, but they’re
just not aware,” she said.