So, the other part of Armenian Church, besides the Church part, is being Armenian. Sometimes, when doing things in the Armenian Church, it is less about Church and more about Armenian. I am a member of the "junior choir" now - pretty laughable considering that I am close to being 10 years older than most of the members, who are all high school students- and I am learning songs that I have never heard before, but apparently are die-hard Armenian mainstays. One is the Armenian national anthem- no surprise that I don't know this, since my mom immigrated to the US from the diaspora, not Armenia itself, and she came over way before the breakup up of the Soviet Union. How would she know the Armenian national anthem? Did Armenia even have a national anthem back in 1969? (maybe... I have no idea). We are also learning (well, I am learning, since everyone else seems to know it already) Yerevan Erepouni. Thank goodness I read music, is all I have to say! The choir director kept asking, "Do you know this song?" I didn't know ANY of them. I just said that I could read music, and I could read English, and beyond that, nothing. However, he really needs altos. Altos are prized commodities in choirs, because everyone wants to sing soprano because it's easier, and you get more glory. I wouldn't say that I'm the best alto ever, but I'm decent, and can contribute a lot. I think this is why the director has let in an almost-28-year-old into a "junior choir" full of mostly high school students. My 26 year old friend is also a member, so at least I'm not the only one.
Also, they ALL speak AND read Armenian! I am seriously the only one who can't do either. Oy. I guess I'll start picking up more musical terms. I do know "Meg! Yergu! Yerek!" so at least I know when to start singing. I am literally amazed that all these kids know Armenian. The choir director's wife explained to me that all these kids have grandparents who speak it to them, and that's why they know it. Makes sense. I didn't have a grandparent to speak it to me.