Languages in and around Armenia

Armenian alphabet 004

As of November 2020, the territories where native Armenian speakers live have become smaller. Azerbaijan, backed by Turkey, launched a war against the unrecognized territory of Artsakh (also known as Nagorno Karabakh), inhabited by ethnic Armenians. As a result, a large part of Artsakh was given to Azerbaijan, and ethnic Armenians had to leave their homes. Many of those displaced families had roots in the area reaching back centuries.

Being displaced from ancestral homelands is no news to Armenians. Within the past two hundred years Armenians have been through a genocide, various massacres and pogroms by Turkey and Azerbaijan. There is even a word for “eviction of Armenians” in Armenian  – հայաթափում (“hayatapum”), where հայ (“hay”) means “Armenian” and թափում …

Culture and language of the Kalasha

kalashabook

Denmark has a special connection with the Kalasha people in northern Pakistan. The Danish scholar of religious sciences Halfdan Siiger visited the Kalasha people in 1948, and he wrote a book – not yet published – about their religion. Later, the anthropologists Mytte Fentz and Svend Castenfeldt undertook field work in the Kalasha valleys. They wrote several articles and books about their observations, in particular Myth Fentz’s wonderful book The Kalasha: Mountain People of the Hindu Kush, published in Denmark at Forlag Rhodes.

The Moesgaard Museum in Aarhus possesses a lot of objects from the people, including some gand’aw, or wooden sculptures of ancestors. In addition, Copenhagen linguist Ida Mørch and Jan Heegård visited the area and studied …

Snow: the word’s effect

Snow Cover2

Back when I was a teenager at Pratt’s Corner in Southington, Connecticut, I grew up in an old homestead built in 1827 by Seth Pratt on seven acres of farmland and an expansive forest. It was perhaps when I was 14, or in 1955, in my early high-school days, there was one dull, overcast day in late October around midday when I was with my mother, Anna Marie Bartusiewicz Masthay, in the plain, unlit kitchen as she did her usual chores. While I was standing functionless by the kitchen table, she looked out the southward driveway-side window and suddenly proclaimed in Polish, “Śnieg pada” (‘snow falls, snow is falling, it’s snowing’), and indeed it had begun to snow,