History of Khoshmat - Dr. Mardiros H. Chakoian

Editorial note


Vartan Vartanian


Chapter 1: Palu and the fort

Chapter 2: Monasteries and Sanctuaries


Chapter 1: Education in Palou

Chapter 2: United Association of Armenians in Palou

• Havav

• Nerkhi

Chapter 3

• Villages of Palou

• Statistics of Palou Armenian-inhabited villages

• The Great Earthquake of Palou


Chapter 1

• Khoshmat

• The Holy Mother of God Church

• The Church of Khoshmat

• Priests

Chapter 2 : Sanctuaries

• Abdul-Mseh (Donag)

• Holy Cross

• Holy Cathedral

• St. Giragos

• St. Mangig

Chapter 3

• Springs

• Field Springs

• Humanlike Stones

Chapter 4

• Tbrotsasirats Association and the School of Khoshmat

• Teachers (1880-96)

• The First Graduates of the School of Khoshmat

• The Last Graduates of Khoshmat’s High School (1913-1914)

• Khoshmat Through My Eyes

Chapter 5: The Intellectuals of Khoshmat

• Arakel Babajanian

• Bedros effendi Fermanian

• Hampartsoum Oulousian

• Vahan Oulousian

• Vartan Dirad

• Garabed Klanian

• Sarkis B. Klanian

• Toros Klanian

• Bedros Papazian

• Boghos H. Chakoian

• Haroutiun Vartanian

• Manoug Dzaghigian

• Kapriel Frangian

• Dikran Ghazaros Bedigian

• Hagop Ghazaros Bedigian

• Mikayel Khodjoian

• Boghos Deradourian

• Hampartsoum Harutounian (Bournousouzian)

• Bethlehem Markarian (Shaghougian)

• Mgrdich Malian

• Boghos Papazian

• Karekin Garabedian

• Father Manoug Khodjoian

• Hovhannes Klanian

Chapter 6 : The Important Initiatives of the Tbrotsasirats Association of Khoshmat

Chapter 7 : Ladies Auxiliary Society of Khoshmat

Chapter 8 : Architects

• Aznavour Efendi Khodjoian

• Toros Khalifa Malian (Ghazarian) Kara Toros

• Mardiros Ghazarian

• Simon Khalifa Bedigian or Melkonian

• Arakel Milidosian

• Garabed Milidosian

• Sahag Oulousian

• Haji Krikor Milidosian

• Donabed Khabloian (Arghntsonts)

• Markar Shaghougian

• Kokona Vartan

Chapter 9 : Various types of crafts

• Joinery

• Masonry

• Carpeting

• Pottery

Chapter 10 : Manufacturing

• Oil presses of Khoshmat

• Hand Millstone

• Fruits

• Vegetables


Chapter 1 : Traditions and Customs

• New Year

• Christmas

• Paregentan

• Easter

• Wedding

• Life of the Bride

• Songs

• Popular Medicine

• Wishes and blessings

• Curses

• Things portending misfortune

• Dream interpretation

• Riddles

• Sayings (Fables)

• Provincial Proverbs (Talks)

• Commonly used phrases

• Games (for boys)

• Words of wisdom from the elderly people

Chapter 2 : Historic Characters and Famous Events

• Father Khachadour Shiroian

• Father Reteos Simonian

• Mardiros Shahen Chakoian

• Sarkis effendi Dzaghigian’s royal medal

• Boghos Harutounian

• Nazar Nazarian

• The Power of the Pitchfork and Khachig Chakoian

• How Sarkis Vartanian Drowned

• Fragment of Soukias Depoian’s Life

• How We Left Khoshmat and The Intercession of St. Mangig in 1896

• Farewell of Seven Young Men

• Fragments of Simon Simonian’s Life

• Abduction of Paro (A Group of Pilgrims)

• Tax Collectors

• Incident with Bedros Simonian

• Interesting Memoirs of Krikor Der Khachadourian (Koko)

• Mardiros Shaghougian (Kaloian) - One of His Episodes

• Fragment of Sarkis Shahin Chakoian’s Life

• Hagop Tatigian (Ali Baba)

• Haroutiun Deradourian and the Incident with the Box of Eggs

• The herdsman of Khoshmat, by Sarkis Shahrigian

• An Interesting Incident in the Life of the Herdsman


Chapter 1 : Notorious Beys of Palou

• Keor Abdullah bey

• Khoshmatlian Dynasty and Beys

Chapter 2

• Khoshmat Resistance – 1897

• The Bloody Fight

• Trial of the Beys

• The End of the Beys

• The Meliks of Khoshmat

Chapter 3 : The Order to Begin the Massacre

• The Role of Garabed Klanian and Misak Shaghougian (Kaloian)

• Khachadour Shiroian’s memoirs (From Canada)

• Mgrdich Taraian (from Marseille): Taken from his Bloody Memoirs

• Apkar Simonian

• Baghdasar Deradourian (from Marseille): Memoirs

Chapter 4

• Soldiers of Khoshmat

• Khoshmat Volunteers

• A Fragment of Volunteer’s Life

• A Fragment of Benjamin Shaghougian’s Life (A Volunteer)

• Other Soldiers Native of Khoshmat

Chapter 5 : Photos of Khoshmat Armenians

Chapter 6 : People of Khoshmat in Constantinople (Taken from the notes of the late Toros Klanian)

Chapter 7 : People of Khoshmat in Diaspora

• People of Khoshmat in France

• People of Khoshmat in Soviet Armenia

• People of Khoshmat in Syria

• People of Khoshmat in Canada

• People of Khoshmat in America

New Year

Preparation for New Year starts several days before the actual holiday. The women start cleaning the house, removing cobwebs off the ceilings and walls, washing the floors, cleaning the oven (tonir) along with skewers and trivets. They also remember to clean the rolling pin (okhlavoo) and salver (khoncha.)

Mashed egg yolk and sesame (or walnuts and cabbage) are spread on small pieces of round bread (koolinja) and stored for New Year morning.  On New Year morning, before the rooster calls and the church bell rings, the young ladies of the village rush to the springs Safarig, Ag, Krkur, and Boran. Usually they wear beautiful and colorful aprons and carry a jug and a packet of bread in their hands. It is very interesting and amusing to watch these young ladies walk to the springs together. It was believed that the girl who filled her jug with water first might have her dream come true. This is why all these young ladies were in such a rush. So many jugs were broken and so many packets of bread fell to the ground! Sometimes these young girls would even pull each other’s hair just to be the first to reach the spring. However, these women would immediately stop fighting once one of them managed to fill her jug with water first. The girls stopped fighting—but they started quarrelling with each other instead:

“Hey, Mako (Markrid,) let me fill my jug first. You are still a little girl. Don’t worry; you will get a chance to do that in future.” “Mro (Mariam,) what are you even doing here? You are already an old maid. What dreams can you have? Let me fill my jugs first.” “Saint Mary, make my wish come true! I will invite you to my wedding.” “Shut up, I’m trying to obtain happiness.” Oghda: “Stop fighting! Fill your jugs with water so that we can do the same.” “God is graceful. Let’s pray to Him asking to help us get married this year.” “Come here, girls, wash your faces and cross yourselves.”

(Turning to Nargiz, the girl standing far away): “Come here and ask God to bless you with a handsome baby boy this year. Last year you were the first to fill all the jugs. What’s wrong with you this year? Why are you so silent?”
(Other girls): “It is ill speaking between a full man and a fasting!”
(Nargiz): “No one is asking what I have gone through lately. Maybe I can’t even open my mouth! You should have offered me to fill my jug first as a newly married woman. Pregnant women don’t get any respect!”

Do you think young men can stay indifferent to this festive mood of the girls? Of course, they can’t! They wake up early in the morning to play their unique roles in this ceremony. Each of these young boys lays an eye on one of the ladies and waits for the group of young girls to return home from the springs. In the middle of the road they run to the girls and ask for a piece of wet bread. Of course, the main purpose is just to talk with girls and enjoy the process of flirting. If the girl agrees to give a blessed piece of bread to the young man, it means that from that moment on these two young people are deep in love with each other.

The young man would shout, "Markarid, did you make this unleavened bread yourself? It’s very tasty! You’re definitely going to be a great housewife."

"Enjoy your meal, brave Sarkis. May your wishes come true!" responds the flattered girl, blushing as she hurries away.

Sarkis returns home feeling victorious. He informs his mother about the incident and asks her to talk with the relatives of Markarid and ask for her hand. This is exactly how young girls’ dreams come true.

On New Year morning young men of the village walk over the roofs and let socks down the chimney. They call the lady of the house loudly:

"Sister Varto, Sister Martha! Happy New Year!".

The boys reply:
Gaghant Baban e eger,
Tsezi mooraz e perer,
Tsezi doevlat e perer,
Shad letsnek shad garnek,
Enguyz, chamich, noosh dvek

The lady of the house congratulates the young boys and fills the socks with fruit, muttering to herself: "Yes, sonny, may God hear your voice!"

Der Asdvadz, ays dari,
Gaghantnis kher ullar,
Panernis lav ellar,
Doon degh shen ullar,
Ardn oo ekin lik ullar,
Tur ertik letsun ullar,
Mudnogh ellogh bagas ch’ullar.

When the first pair of socks is pulled up, another colorful pair is usually lowered down the chimney for the same purpose. When it is also filled the third pair is lowered. Sister Varto gets angry and shouts: "Are you kidding me, naughty boys? I’ve just filled a huge pair of socks. Do you really think I have nothing else to do?"

However, when the voice above orders, "You must fill this one as well!’’, the lady of the house gives in and says: "Ok, enjoy your meal. May our daughters have an easy labor! We don’t care if it’s a boy or girl.‘’ Filling the socks grudgingly, the lady of the house orders: "Now go away. It’s enough!"

Returning from church, all male members of the family gather round the table. The table in the house is set with the following dishes: gruel (pokhints,) boranig aboor (boranig soup,) kalajos (made from chortan,) and suron. When the men are done eating and drinking, the females sit round another table to have dinner separately.

After dinner the lady of the house brings pots filled with walnut, bastegh, raisins, figs, mulberries and almonds. She treats both her family members and poor neighbors.

Families start visiting and congratulating each other. They are treated with sweet fruits and red wine just taken from vessels. The villagers empty the large clay cups and sing:

Gaghantnis shnorhavor ulla,
Amen pan shnorkov ulla,
Garasnit kiniov letsoon ulla,
Dooshmanoo vranit chi khnta,
Asvadz tsezi, mezi ergar orer da…

Preparation of "Kalajos"

First the lamb meat is cut into small slices and roasted with onion, garlic and butter. Chortan (dried curd) is whisked and added to the roasted slices of meat. Thinly rolled dough baked in a tin plate (saj) is cut into small pieces on a plate called karghan. The pieces of bread are dipped in chortan and the butter flavored with garlic is spread on the bread. The dish is ready!

Preparation of "Sron"

Sron is prepared almost the same way as kalajos with the exception that there is no need to use meat. Thinly rolled dough is cut into very small pieces then dipped in yogurt soup flavored with garlic. These dishes are usually prepared before holidays.

This is exactly how New Year was celebrated in the village. This holiday was considered as the most enjoyable festival among the villagers, who always tried their best to make it unforgettable. New Year increased the villagers’ faith and made them more powerful. Our grandmother and mother would take out containers (pughogh) from the cellar and, opening them, they would treat the family members with rojig (grape juice and nut roll), bastegh, dried mulberries, walnuts, almonds, etc., saying "Happy New Year!"