Harry Terhanian.com

Wisdom from the son of Armenia.

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  • Aghchikuh mahrtun keetin puhrnadz eh - the girl is holding the man’s nose

    Men are naturally attracted by the physical features of women, namely: the eyes, face, hair, breasts, hips, legs, feet, etc. Women accentuate their features with make-up such as mascara, blush, lipstick, breast enhancement, revealing clothing, hairdos, and other artifacts that improve their feminine appeal. Women are similarly attracted to men who have appealing physical features.

    When the raw physical attraction of a man and woman leads to intimate contact, a hard knot of attraction and attachment develops.
    Often a man can be so attached to his woman that he literally seems to be like a beast of burden (bull, horse, etc.) that is controlled by a nose ring that is pulled by a rope and seemingly forces the huge animal to comply to its owner’s will.

    In Armenian, when a person says, “the girl is holding the man’s nose,” it means the man is completely controlled by the woman’s feminine charms and tries to satisfy to her every whim to keep her loyalty. He is like the beast of burden controlled by the nose ring.

    There is an amusing Armenian folk song called “yeghsoh jahn.” It is called a zouk yehrk or duet with a chorus in the background. It goes like this.

    Chorus sings:
    Yeghsoh nuhsdeh, gohv guh guteh,
    Hahgohn ehgeh, tour guh duhpeh
    (Yeghsoh - the wife’s name - sits, milking a cow
    Hahgoh -the husband’s name- comes, and knocks on the door)

    Yeghsohn gouzeh, shad pahn gouzeh
    ahrantz khosdoum tour chee pahnah
    (Yeghsohn wants, many things she wants,
    without a promise she won’t open the door)

    Hahgohn guhseh, “gouhdahm” guhseh
    eench vohr yahrees seerduhn ouzeh(nah)
    (Hahgohn says, “I’ll give you anything” he says
    whatever my sweetie’s heart wants)

    hoy, hoy, hoy, hoy, hoy, hoy, Yeghsoh jahn

    Yeghsoh sings:

    kohdik gouzehm sahdaf sahradz
    mashseek gouzehm vohsgov gahradz

    A belt I want decorated with shiny shells
    Fancy shoes I want with golden threads

    Chorus sings:

    gohdrouk mehchkeen kohdik gouzeh
    kohtouk vohdeen masheek gouzeh

    (She wants) a belt for her disfigured belly
    And shoes for her prosthetic feet

    Hahgohn sings:

    ahckees vuhrah, kuhnahm, ahrnehm
    koh gahrodeetz mee togh mehrnehm

    “On my eyes” (an idiomatic phrase in Armenian which means “the only thought in my mind), I’ll go and I’ll purchase (whatever you want)
    I’ll sacrifice everything (even my life) for your sake (for yearning for you)

    Chorus sings:

    ouzeh, Yeghsoh, ehlee ouzeh,
    ahsah, ehl eench guh sahzeh?

    Yeghsoh wants so much more,
    Say more, what else do you want (does your saz - tambour- say)?

    Yeghsoh sings:

    mahdnotz gouzehm, kohhahr shahrehm,
    ahgnotz gouzehm, nahmag kuhrrehm

    I want a ring, with many jewels,
    I want eyeglasses, to write letters.

    Chorus sings:

    kerahn mahdeen mahdnotz gouzeh,
    pahrtahn kuhteen ahgnotz gouzeh

    She wants a ring for her grotesque finger,
    She wants eyeglasses for her weird nose.

    Hahgohn sings:

    ahsah, ehl eench gouzehs, ahrnehm,
    seeroun Yeghsoh chahrut dahnehm.

    Say, whatever else you want, I’ll get,
    My dearest Yeghsoh, may I relieve you of all troubles.

    Chorus sings:

    ouzeh Yeghsoh, ehlee gouzeh,
    ahsah, ehl eench kehz guh sahzeh
    hoy, hoy, hoy, hoy, hoy
    Yeghsoh jahn.

    Yeghsoh wants so much more,
    Say more, what else do you want (does your saz-tambour- say)?

    Yeghsoh sings:

    zahrtehr gouzehm vuhzees gakhehm,
    seehrdut gouzehm, hehduh khaghahm.

    I want a pretty necklace to adorn my neck,
    I want your heart to play with.

    Chorus sings:

    yehrgahr vuhzeen zahrtehr gouzeh,
    hahm seerd gouzeh, hahm sehr gouzeh

    She wants a necklace for her long neck,
    she wants (to play with) his heart(strings) and love.

    Hahgohn sings:

    eht eench ahseer, eem Yeghsoh jahn,
    ko eht yeghneek soyeen ghourbahn.

    Whatever you said, my dearest Yeghsoh,
    I’ll sacrifice myself (my every energy) that beautiful neck of yours.

    Chorus sings:

    teh touruh pahtz, aihy duhnavehr,
    dehss eench eh kehz pehrelh nuhvehr.
    Yeghsohn ouzetz, sahd pahn ouzetz,
    Hahgohn uhsahv, goudahm, uhsahv,
    Yeghsohn votcheench tzehrk chuhpehretz
    eer mouhrahzeen Hahgohn hahsahv.

    Please open the door, oh homey lady,
    Just see what gifts I have brought you.
    Yeghsohn desired, desired so many things,
    Hahgohn said, “I’ll give,” he said,
    Yeghsohn didn’t receive anything (more than a promise),
    But Hahgohn got his heart’s desire. (She let him in)

    Yeghsoh gets Hahgoh to promise her fulfillment of every wish. Apparently, he gets his desire of entering her home and hearth without giving her anything more than a promise. We know however, that if Hahgohn wants to keep her graces, he must satisfy some or all of her wishes. If he does, then “she is holding his nose.” In other words, he is a henpecked husband who yields to his wife’s every demand.

    In the Armenian folk song Yeghsoh jahn, Hahgohn pretends to be henpecked by yielding to every one of Yeghsoh’s wishes, and on the strength of his promises gets entry into her home, without delivering anything he promised.

    This is an Armenian folk song that echoes the playful innocence of life in the Armenian village.

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  • bahrgehst pahnmuh chee naiuhdz vohr kuhmaruh buhzdeek eh, ahveli
    ahrjehkahvor eh kahn hahzahr keelohnehr bughdzuhvadz pahnehr - a little bit of a pure thing is worth more than tons of impure things.

    For a person to be happy, he or she only needs a few very good things in their life such as true love, good nutritious food, enough money to live peacefully without debt, satisfaction with simple things in life, good friends, etc. A few good things or pure things is worth more than tons of impure things.

    My experience in life is that having a few very good things is much more satisfying than a collection of junk things. For example, I have noticed in my own life that eating highly nutritious food that is juicy, wholesome (organic brown rice, organic whole wheat flat bread, organic vegetables and fruits, organic raw milk and yogurt, organic herbs and spices, raw honey) are satisfying and a nutritional powerhouse that gradually diminishes the appetite for food. One eats less but is satisfied fully because the body gets all the nutritional minerals and vitamins and carbohydrates it needs for good health.
    One remains satisfied and healthy and mentally at peace because of avoiding all toxic foods and unnecessary violence such as causing the cruel death of animals when it is not necessary for sustenance.

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  • pudtadz daghdahguh pehvehruh chee puhr-nehl

    Something that has deteriorated cannot perform as expected like rotten wood which has become soft due to decay. Such wood cannot hold a nail because it has become soft. Plywood and particle board can begin to decay of exposed to prolonged humidity. Once decayed, they become soft. Such wood cannot hold a nail.

    Similarly, a person who has lost control of his sense of decency due to excessive desires and frustration that weaken the mind and determination to follow the path of virtue, will not be able to maintain a life of consistent good behavior. Sooner or later, such a person will become desperate or careless and commit some indiscretion.

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  • mahrt vor seerd ou hohkee ounee, aghkadeen khuhnahmk dahl chee mehrjee

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  • ahmen mahrt togh eer yughohv dahp-kuhvee- everyone fries in his own oil

    The language and wisdom of common folk often has a sharp edge of stark truth that bares the soul and tears apart the temporary human flesh. Regardless of what nationality, ethnic identity, religion, social status, everyone person is the architect of their own destiny. Personal responsibility is the theme of this proverb. One cannot blame another person for the success or failure one experiences in life. It is the destiny one has carved out by the decisions and actions made in this life and previous lives. Man proposes and God disposes. We receive what we deserve. God facilitates our actions based on our desires and then rewards or punishes us accordingly. The punishment is always remedial and is meant to help us reflect on our mistakes and correct them in the future.

    At all times, we are free to accept or reject God’s instructions on how to orient our desires and actions to please Him instead of our own desires. A new mother will orient her desires to protect and nurture her child instinctively. If she doesn’t she becomes reprehensible. So in the life of every person either we orient ourselves to serve God with love and attention and share that depth of conviction with others or we “fry in our own oil” of misguided and selfish desires that invariably will leave a trail of victims of our lust and greed for personal satisfaction.

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  • ashkhadankuh kheghestzgahnoum eh marhtuh - hard work makes a person beautiful

    This proverb was part of the work ethic wisdom made popular by communism. The government wanted to encourage the people to work hard. It glorified the factory or farm worker that toiled to make the communist state a shining success.

    The Armenian penchant for banter and irony soon responded to the communist ethic with the following.

    yeteh ashkhadankuh mahrtoun guh kheghetzguhneh, ourehmuhn ehs-sehkuh ahmenen kheghehtzeekn eh vohrovhedehv pohlor ohruh ehsou bes guh kohrdzeh - if hard work makes you beautiful, then the donkey must be the most beautiful being because it works hard all day like an ass.

    The sarcasm of unequal remuneration is also echoed in another Armenian proverb.

    hahst ou pahrag noueen kin, vahyee anor vohr pahrag guh puhrteh

    (if they pay) the same wage for gross (mediocre) work and fine detailed work, then too bad for the worker that produces fine detailed work.

    Due to the lack of incentives such as accumulation of personal proprietorship and entrepreneurship in the communist state, the workers eventually maintained a low level of productivity. This was further complicated by corruption and pilfering of state assets and a black economy. No wonder the Soviet Union collapsed economically after nearly eighty years.

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