Tag Archive | Living

The Road to Beautiful Armenia

Hello, My name is Talin Orfali and I am here to introduce to you my motherland, my culture, my heritage, The Beautiful Armenia and its rich history. Armenia is located in the South Caucasus, which is bordered by Georgia, Iran, Azerbaijan, and Turkey. The Official language of Armenia, is Armenian, However you can hear some Russian being spoken, road signs, store signs in Russian, and of course you can hear English as well.

the year 301, Armenia is the first country in the world that has adopted Christianity. The Armenian Church goes back many centuries ago and was founded by 2 Apostles, Thaddeus and Bartholomew. St Gregory the Illuminator was our first Catholicos (Our Pope), of the Armenian Church. He was held in a Hole for 13 years at church named Khor Virap(Khor Virab), which is located close to Mount Ararat, then he had finally be rescued and escaped the Dungeon. Our First ever Church built is the Holy See of Etchmiadzin in the city of Etchmiadzin. It is the oldest Church in the World.

Armenia is mountainous, with rivers, forests, ravines, and it is located mostly at 1800 meters above sea level. The highest point is Aragats Mountain at (4092m), and the lowest is Debed Valley at (400m). We also have our square, Yerevan square, which is Hrabarag. Yerevan is our capital.

The road to beautiful Armenia is incredible, the beauty of our hills and valleys, The Statues, Monuments, Churches, from our great and rich history include, the David of Sassoun, Vartan Mamigonian, Akhtamar, Garni, Geghard, Noravank, St Mary’s, Haghardzin Monastery, Mesrob Mashtots who is the Inventor and creator of The Armenian Alphabet which we have 38 letters, The Madenataran which is our Library with Saint Mesrob Mashtot’s Statue with our Alphabet in the front, There is St. Hripsime, St Gregory the Illuminator Church, You may or may not have heard about our writer William Saroyan. We have many authors, and important figures in our history, past and present.

Some of our Armenian’s include, Atom Egoyan, Andre Agassi, Andrea Martin, Charles Aznavour, Ross Baghdasaryan, Cher, Arshile Gorky, Steve Jobs, Kirk Kirkorian, Aram Khatchaturian, Alex Manougian, David Nalbandian, Raffi, Seymour Skinner who is from the Simpsons, Zildjian Family, System of a Down, Eric Bogosian, Capital Cities group (one of them is Armenian) , the inventor of the MRI ( Magnetic Resonance Imaging), Machine is also Armenian named Dr. Raymond Damadian.

Armenia is just so rich in history, culture, and so much more. Armenia’s flag consists of 3 colours, Red, Blue, Orange. Our currency of money is Dram’s. Check your local Currency for the difference. There is just so much history, so much to know about Armenia, the history, and everything else. If you are more curious, You can definitely search online for more information on our culture, beliefs, religion and so much more.

I had the pleasure of visiting my motherland the Beautiful Armenia in 1999 for the first time. I kissed the ground of Armenia when I first got off the plane. It was a feeling that was beautiful and I was crying with happy tears. It was an amazing journey that really touched my heart. I had gone to Armenian Saturday school and everything I learned came to life, and knowing that and feeling the presence of our history makers, ancestors really made me feel so incredible, knowing that where I may have walked, that several hundred and thousands of years ago, there may have been those people walking the same very steps, as I have took. It was a feeling I will never forget. To this very day, I never forgot the moments when I was there. I will never forget when I took a swim in our lake Sevan, where we put delicious and juicy watermelon in the water so it stays cool where we can eat it by the water.  I had gone to Armenia with my fellow classmates, and couple of my cousins, teachers and volunteers after graduating Armenian School in grade 8. It was a trip I never forgot and I still remember it like it was yesterday.

After returning from Armenia, I began to volunteer and utilize my time in the Armenian community as much as possible. I was in the Armenian community centers here in Toronto and the country more than I was at home. I have just recently began to come back into it all and it feels amazing. It feels great to give back to my community as much as possible.

If you ever have the opportunity to visit Armenia and make that part of your travel plans to see the world, it is a must. You can obtain a tourist visa at the Airport, and you do not need any vaccinations or anything. Follow up with your travel agent, tour operator to obtain more information and your preferences. Also if you have any other questions of Armenia, do not hesitate to contact me. I really hope you enjoyed the Road to beautiful Armenia.

I am so proud to be an Armenian.

Sushi, Sashimi, Wasabi, Maki Rolls – Love Asian Food

In the many years I have heard about sushi, the maki rolls and Japanese style cuisine, I told myself that I will never try sushi ever in my life and I will stay away from it because I am thinking about all the raw fish and everything and how I do not like things raw, but then I said let’s go to an all you can eat Sushi place, and so I decided, you know what? Why not, so I went and I had the Sushi and I fell in love with it. Now I am so addicted to all that, the Miso Soup, The California, Avocado Rolls, Dragon Rolls, Volcano, there are so many names for them. I tried the Salmon, Tempura, noodles, seaweed green salad, and so much more. I always said that I won’t try it, but now I can’t get enough of sushi. Its healthy and good for you and its so tasty and when you put it in the soya sauce, its extra tasty. I have become a sushi expert now. Been to that restaurant like 10 or more times. Once you get hooked, you will want to go all the time.

My first Sushi experience, my great friend showed me the ins and outs on what to order, the best things on the menu and choosing and selecting different types of sushi’s and rolls for me to try. The first time i went I went with the simple ones, then. They bring you tea when you get into the restaurant, they put soya sauce and this green very spicy hot dip named wasabi where you mix it with your soya sauce to make it have a kick to it, they bring you a little bit of a salmon too. The second time when we went to sushi, I had the more advanced type of sushi and I loved it all. It was so yummy and it depends on how they are made. You can’t eat sushi everywhere.

I always like to try new things and I am very happy and excited that my great friend introduced me to it. I want to try to make sushi myself so that when I entertain at home, we can have a sushi night all prepared by me. I might take a course or learn to do it from online. Maybe I can become a sushi chef later on in future, but now I will just stick to the all you can eat Sushi place I go to. When we went to all you can eat, you could eat as much dessert you want like mango or mousse cake, green tea ice cream or different varieties of them, and as well as you have a selection of soft drinks to choose from as well. There was just a place mat style menu and anything on there you can eat as much as you want.

If you order too much and you leave sushi, maki rolls or something on the plate and do not eat them, depending on the place, they charge you if you leave them. They try not to waste any food.

Now, you can’t try sushi from anywhere. Do not buy the ones in the sushi boxes you see at the malls or whatever. When you go to a sushi restaurant, observe that there is no fish smells, and make sure they bring it fresh to you. Not in a box because you never know how long the ones in the box sits for. always be cautious and mindful of where you buy it.

I love Asian food. Not only Sushi, Sashimi, Maki Rolls, The Wasabi Sauce with Soya Sauce, I love Shanghai Noodles, Korean BBQ Where the waiters bring you the raw meat and you cook it right in front of you sometimes. Depends which restaurant you go to, I also love Vietnamese food, Pho, Pad Thai, Vegetable Pad Thai, Chicken Pad Thai, and other foods. Do you like the peanut and peanut butter sauce you dunk your shrimp and veggie rolls? I get excited when I go to a Chinese, Thai, Vietnamese, restaurants. I can eat this weekly. I want to go eat Asian food now. I am craving it.

Do you like sushi and other Asian food? What do you mostly enjoy?

Comfort Food At its Best

There are days where we have had a bad day, something emotional might have happened, personal issues, or just that your day may have been rough at school, work, in a social setting, a disappointment and sometimes you just feel like over-eating more than the norm, but on comfort food. Sometimes there does not have to be a bad day, some people indulge on comfort food whenever they like. I know they say in moderation, but sometimes you cannot contain yourself and control the amount that goes into your body, but once in a while it is perfectly okay to over-eat or to cheat days where you feel like you need to have carbs and a little bit of sugar in your body.

Sometimes in the spare of the moment, you feel like heading to your local convenient, grocery store, restaurant and just grabbing a bite to eat, or loading your shopping cart with all these snacks, comfort food, and goodies. Its alright to do it once in a while I guess right? :).

What gets your taste buds rolling? My Comfort food at its best includes a variety of things which keep me going when I have a rough day, or when I have had a good day too. It does not matter.

My list of Some of the Comfort food I enjoy include:

– Nutella Hazelnut Chocolate Spread
— Frito Lay — Lays Ketchup Chips
— Kit Kat —
— Hummus
— Pita Bread Chips with Labneh (Pressed Yogurt)
— Doritos Cheese Nacho Chips
— Cashews, Peanuts, Sunflower Seeds
— Crackers
— Pretzels
— M&M’s Peanut/Milk Chocolate
— Nerds
— Fast Food
— Pizza
— Pasta

There is a lot more to this, but those are my main things.
What about you?
Do you indulge in Comfort food often?
————————————————————

It is Almost Time Again For Christmas Movies on TV

I know you are probably thinking, why I am bringing up Christmas 2 months before and it is early to even think about it, but with the time going by so quickly, it will be here before you know it, However It is that time again where Halloween is almost here, and the day after Halloween, is when all the Christmas Commercials, and Movies that are shown on Television right until New Years. 2014 has just zoomed on by. it was just like yesterday we were celebrating the New Year and Christmas, and now it is almost here again. Christmas movies have been a tradition for me annually.

There are many Christmas movies out there, however some just stand out more than others, and I really enjoy Watching Home Alone, Home Alone 2: Lost In New York, Griswold’s National Lampoons Christmas Vacation, Four Christmas’s, Miracle on 34th St, Santa Clause, Santa Clause 2, Jingle All the way, The Muppet Christmas Carol, and Jack Frost.

The most I watch though is Home Alone, Home Alone 2: Lost In New York, and National Lampoons Christmas Vacation.

I love watching these movies, I make myself a hot beverage, cover up with a warm blanket in the cold winter months, and I just enjoy myself. No matter how many times I watch them, it feels like I am watching them for the first time. I just do not like the commercials that interrupt the movie.

Some movies you can watch over and over again, but some movies once is more than enough, however these classic movies will never go out of style and will certainly never get old. I cannot wait until they appear on television once again and where I can continue my tradition as always. I sometimes watch it by myself, with family and friends as well. I am quite excited for it all. I have fun either way.

The only thing I do not like is the Cold Winter months and the snow, but everything else is great. :) Do you watch Christmas movies? Do you have traditions that you follow or at least try to follow annually? Would love to hear from you. :) Well, have a great time and fabulous upcoming Holiday Season.

 

The 100th Armenian Genocide Commemoration – 2015

The 100th Commemoration of the Armenian Genocide is just 6 and a half Months away. Annually on April 24, we gather together in Canada’s Capital Ottawa in the Province of Ontario and we commemorate the Armenian Genocide. The Turkish Ottoman empire and Government is responsible for murdering and massacre of 1.5 Million Armenian’s in 1915 as well as stealing our precious and beautiful land as well as Mount Ararat which will always be Armenia’s.

The Turkish Government to this very day still denies that they ever did commit a Genocide, which is why we need to spread the word as much as possible. 2015 will be the 100th Commemoration. Where ever you are and will be, however you will commemorate, it is important to come together with other Armenian’s and venture out in the public eye, and in public places to voice ourselves and make this a global recognition. Our efforts need to be taken out of our Armenian communities and churches and solely head to Embassies, Consulates, organize public marches in the metropolitan areas of your city where it is densely populated with visible signs, banners, and our Armenia Flag.

Canada Has recognized the Armenian Genocide and we thank Canada so much as other Countries as well who have recognized. It is only a matter of time until the world comes together to raise awareness and recognition, on not only the Armenian genocide, but all other genocides and terrible acts of humanity throughout the world.
We need to spread the word out to everyone. In Canada, we will be heading to Ottawa, Canada in front of the Canadian Parliament, followed by a march to the Turkish Embassy. April 24, 2015. Usually we begin at 12 noon until everyone arrives in Ottawa from buses from Ontario and Quebec from Cambridge, Toronto, Montreal, Laval, and abroad. For up to date information, bus departure times and other questions, please see your Local Canadian Armenian Community Centre Organization to obtain more information.
Also the information will be posted here as well once we get more news soon. In the meantime it is important to spread awareness as much as possible. Social Media is a huge way to raise awareness. If you have any ideas or suggestions for the 100th Centennial in Ottawa, please contact me. Also if you want to do your own research about the Armenian Genocide and what happened, You can Google, or search on Facebook, Twitter or wherever in social media.

New York City – City That Never Sleeps

This month of October, 2014, it was my second adventure in New York City. first trip was when I was 11 years old. I didn’t remember much of it, however now as I have gotten much older, I became more observant. In the past decade, and more years before,

I always heard and seen those New York based Television shows, Talk Shows, and movies. Just to name a few like Friends, How I met your Mother, Jimmy Fallon, David Letterman, Seinfeld, Saturday Night Live, the movie Home Alone 2: Lost in New York, The Colbert Report, Rachael Ray, NYPD Blue, CSI: NY, Regis & Kelly, Now Kelly & Michael, and so many others. as I was strolling down the streets of NYC, all those shows came to mind. Even fashion, and celebrities have come to my mind when I was there.

NYC is a beautiful city with so many people, Yellow NYC Taxi Cabs that are everywhere, FDNY, NYPD, Times Square, Rockefeller Centre, Central Park, Madison Square Gardens, Manhattan, Brooklyn, Bronx, Lower Manhattan, Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, Hudson River, and so many other attractions. I know the traffic is brutal there and everything, however It is very exciting to be amongst that many people in one of the biggest cities of the world. So many trains, subways zig zagging, it looks like spaghetti on the map. Its insane, but its amazing to have great transit in such a huge city.

I was almost going to cry because everything you see on Television and online on the internet, comes to life, and you will say hey I have been there and I have seen it. It is an incredible thing. I am definitely heading back to NYC.

I did not have enough time to visit Ground Zero of which the 2 Twin Towers once stood to pay my respects to the September 11, 2001 attacks, and visiting the Statue of Liberty as well. However I plan to make another trip soon and visit both and spend more up close and personal time with the City and to thoroughly enjoy it more with of course a lot more time. I was just there for a quick visit for 2-3 days.

Frank Sinatra was definitely right. I have been listening to Frank Sinatra even before leaving to New York, and his song New York, New York has been stuck in my head. He says in his song that “it is a city that doesn’t sleep” which is was spot on. I love those lyrics of that song. I felt like Frankie was with me in the streets of New York. Next time I am going to listen to that song when I am there.

If you have never been there. It is good to visit, at least once, twice maybe 3 times or however many times as you wish. Start Spreading the news! :) I want to be a part of it, its up to you, NEW YORK, NEW YORK!

Getting Back to My Roots – The Armenian Community

After a long hiatus, I am heading back into the doors of my local Armenian community centres and churches. Time to return back and do more things and be active in the community. I have been so out of the loop lately. After going through many things of life in the last little while, I decided that it is time and its now. I need a new perspective on life and what matters to me the most. One of them is giving a helping hand and being there for my Armenian community. 2 more hands make a big difference and its something that makes me feel incredible. In the past I have accomplished, achieved and been through a lot with meeting so many people, then being globally well known in the Armenian Community is something so incredibly amazing and awesome. The ultimate was visiting my Motherland Armenia in 1999.

I have done so much for my Armenian community in the past and here are many to list…

- I have been in the committee for Jr. ACYOC
– I have been in the committee for Sr. ACYOC (Armenian Church youth Organization of Canada) for over 11 years.

- Assisted in St Sahag, St Mesrob Armenian Saturday School for 4 years. I have also attended from 1989-1999 which I graduated grade 8…
– Assisted in the Armenian Sunday School for 2 years.

- I have been in Nor Serount (New Youth) New Generation) Newsletter publication for 2 years

- Assisted with Communications/Social Media advertising for Holy Trinity Armenian Church Toronto for 2 and a half years

- Assisted with the Armenian Genocide commemoration in Ottawa for 3 years.

- for Bible Study sending out e-mails and being the communications director working with the priest and committee of Bible Study…

- Organized Armenian Camping trips of which one year I was the head of the team and brought over 70 people from Toronto, Montreal, Ottawa, and other places to a Camping trip in Kingston, Ontario…

- Was part of Sassoun Dance Ensemble for a year.

- Went on a pilgrimage to Montreal in 2007 with the Armenian Church

- Participated in Many ACYOC Armenian Youth Sports weekends from 2003-2011

- Visited a Nursing home with Armenian Bible Study to spend time with the elderly.

- Assisted in Wrapping Presents for children with Armenian Bible Study at Childrens Aid Society

- Went to Vancouver BC for a sports weekend, then went to several meetings in Kingston, Montreal, and Ottawa…

More to come in the future. There is no stopping me now.