Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Alex's Agra Hadig Party

The centuries-old Armenian tradition agra hadig was celebrated today in Martuni.

Agra means "tooth," and hadig refers to a traditionally cooked wheat dish eaten on this occasion. The agra hadig celebrates the appearance of the baby's first tooth. In this case our son Alex broke his first tooth last week.

Yesterday we made a special trip to Stepanagert to shop for todays party. We purchased different grains, lots of fruit, candy and drinks. On the way back to Martuni we stopped in Agdam for the Watermellon, which is at the hight of the season now.

My wife invited her close friends and the neighborhood women and children to join us.

We placed Alex on the floor and places objects in front of him. The tradition says that the first object the he selects predicts his future occupation. Before he made the selection, his head was covered with a piece of plastic, onto which some hadig was sprinkled. This process is said to signify a wish for fruitfulness.

They say that if the child picks up a book or a Bible, s/he will be a scholar, teacher, or clergyperson; if the child chooses money, s/he will become a banker, financier or wealthy person; if the baby selects a hammer, s/he will be in the building trades; a knife symbolizes a doctor or surgeon; and scissors foretell a life as a seamstress or tailor. Well of all the objects we offered Alex, he dug out a pen that was covered in hadig. Great, that's all we need, another writer in the family.

Anyway, I wish the very best for our son Alex. May he be the best writer he can be and if things work as his great-grandmother said they will, the pain of cutting teeth will now end, which will make us all very happy.

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