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Living Faith
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Service and its Rewards
Armenian Christianity and Survival

Participating in the Holiday Folk Fair

I grew up in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Every year, the city sponsored a very popular three-day holiday folk fair. More than fifty nationalities participated, and every year for well more than twenty years, our small church represented the Armenian nationality.

Everyone in the church was involved in making our booth one of the best food and cultural booths in the event. Our food was always very popular. We sold lamajuen, sarma, boregs, and a variety of Armenian pastries. Believe it or not, our food sale revenue always ranked among the highest at the fair. We also worked hard to make sure that the cultural focus of our booth changed every year. One year we would focus on the Armenian alphabet; other years we would demonstrate the arts of Armenian crocheting, rug making, or cooking. Our church sponsored an Armenian folk dance group, which I was a member of, and we performed for large audiences twice a day throughout the weekend.

The fair ended about five years ago for our church community, but, for more than two decades, our little church made sure that the Armenians were a consistent presence. Even today, not many Armenians live in the Milwaukee area, and many people in the greater community are not familiar with Armenians, so our participation in the fair was a great opportunity for us to bring the Armenian culture to the Midwest.

Karen Durgarian, Hopkinton, Massachusetts


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