Alidz Agbabian’s Folk Nugget Series Gives Online Home to Tales and Traditions of Armenian Folklore
Los Angeles, April 4, 2013—The legends of Lake Van and its surrounding mountains, folk songs and poetry celebrating Armenia’s bodies and sources of water, the folk tale of A Drop of Honey — these are some of the past segments of “Folk Nuggets,” a section of Alidz Agbabian’s website devoted to Armenian mythological tales, historic legends and ethnic traditions.
In addition to her appearances at schools, cultural festivals and seminars—both Armenian or non-Armenian, Los Angeles-based folk story teller-performer- vocalist, children’s book author and publisher Agbabian episodically offers whimsical and eclectic segments relating to one aspect or tale of Armenian folklore on dziludzar.com, her personal website.
Shoes are the focus of her latest Folk Nugget.
The popular folk tale of Abu Hassan's Loafers forms the core of this segment. Borrowed from Sdepan Lisitzian’s 1946 book of the same title, in turn based on a tale from the “One Thousand and One Nights” cycle of Arabian stories and retold by Agbabian, the webpage includes the story in English with color illustrations from the book, as well as a downloadable version in Armenian verse. Also available for streaming or download is the nostalgic song of the poor orphan boy from Aleppo who could not buy new shoes and walked in the muddy puddles of that ancient city.
The historic discovery in 2011 of humanity’s oldest known pair of leather shoes in a cave in Armenia’s Vayots Dzor province is also in this latest Folk Nugget, together with a photo of one of the 5,500-year-old loafers and a link to the archaeological story.
Rounding out the segment is the link to a website that facilitates donating shoes to needy children all over the world.
“My aim is helping the younger Armenian generation to discover their human potential with tools from their own cultural heritage,” says Agbabian. “Our known history goes back 3,000 years, and there’s a treasure trove of folk and fairy tales, myths, legends, folk games, folk dances, folk songs, holiday traditions, riddles, blessings, prayers and epic poems that could provide material for a rich and never-ending series of Folk Nuggets for the enjoyment of family members of all ages.”
Agbabian prepares each Nugget in a package and format that could be used in student classrooms, summer camps or church projects. The colorfully illustrated segments usually are in Armenian and English, with recorded folk songs and folk games, again in both languages. They are posted on her website, dziludzar.com or alidz.com, at different times throughout the year.