The event organized by the Book Lovers’ Club of Hamazkayin Gladzor Chapter on February 25, 2018 at 2.00 PM, took place at the Harutyun Manoogian Library of the Armenian Centre of Toronto. It was dedicated to Zareh Khrakhuni (1926 - 2015), one of the most prominent poets of contemporary Armenian literature from Polis.
Arda Der Hagopian delivered the opening speech of the event. She said that it was the 6th anniversary of the Book Lovers’ Club and its first forum of the 2018 academic year. Hamazkayin Book Lovers’ Club has held more than forty gatherings since its foundation. The literary activity started in the community more than 50 years ago. Today it continues through the joint efforts of its vigorous representatives, and of course Tamar Donabedian Kuzuian and the literary committee. The Club’s first presentation six years ago was dedicated to Vahan Teryan. After that, they introduced many well-known Armenian writers and poets to the community. Arda Der Hagopian briefly presented the key-speaker Lana Der Bedrossian’s biography, and then invited her to present Zareh Khrakhuni’s life and literary work.
Lana Der Bedrossian was born in Toronto. She got her primary education at the Holy Cross National Daily School and took part in the inter-school literary declamation competition, and won the first prize for presenting Khrakhuni's This Holy Tree.
Lana continued her studies at the ARS Gololian College. Then, she graduated from the English and French Departments of Toronto University and studied at Middlebury College in the USA. She got her Master’s Degree at Sorbonne University of Paris and worked there as a professor for three years.
Multi-talented Lana Der Bedrossian is a member of the Hamazkayin Book Lovers’ Club, as well as the Hamazkayin Erebuni Dance Ensemble. She attended dance classes in various cities of Spain and is a very good Flamingo dancer.
Lana Der Bedrossian has had a great affection for Zareh Khrakhuni’s poetry since her childhood. In her speech she gave meaningful explanations about Khrakhuni's life and literary works. She said that the poet, literary critic, translator, playwright, musician, archeologist and educator Khrakhuni’s real name was Arto Jumbushian. Jumbush means ″feast″. After graduating from Mekhitarist Lyceum in Istanbul, Khrakhuni got his Master's Degree in Philosophy, Sociology and Psychology at Istanbul University. He studied literature and history at the Sorbonne University in Paris, and then worked as a teacher in the Central and Essayan schools. Khrakhuni also worked for Marmara Daily Newspaper. He edited articles related to literature and art, as well as translated and published literature for children and youth.
Miss. Lana continued her speech saying, "The literary life started by the generation of Varuzhan, Siamanto, and Tekeyan was interrupted for a while at the beginning of the 20th century because of the sad events of 1915.
At the end of World War II, the new generation of writers again revived in Polis in the head of Khrakhuni, Zahrat, Hattejian, and finally Sariaslan and others. They wrote free-style poetry, without any restrictions of poetic rhymes and syllables, kept to spontaneous musical axis, used delicate vocabulary, poetic dimension and lines."
Miss Lana gave thorough explanations about the purest Armenian style used by Khrakhuni. She said that Zareh Khrakhuni is the author of 26 volumes. His writings have a mild style, rich vocabulary, and are rich with scenes and novelties. Laureate of many literary prizes, Zareh Khrakhuni, was awarded Mesrop Order and Honorary Kondak by His Holiness, Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians Vazgen I, Anahit Literary Prize by Hamazkayin Association, Alec Manoogian Cultural Award by the Armenian General Benevolent Union, the Eliz Gavugchyan Prize of the Diasporan Armenian Writers, the Haykashen Uzünian Literary Prize, the Movses Khorenatsi Order of Armenia, the Order of the Patriarchy of Turkey. In 2012, he was awarded the Highest State order of Armenia St.Mesrop-Mashtots.
Miss.Lana, skilfully and in unique style, recited various poems by Zareh Khrakhuni, causing the admiration of the audience. First she read the poems Mass, This Holy Tree and the Dance. Nancy Sapunjian, from ARS Gololian School read Khrakhuni's Ten Years' Time and Lana briefly presented Khrakhuni’s Ari-Arkayn epic novel reading a few pages from it. Then, she spoke about the author’s Cordial Word and recited the pieces Cordial Word and To Nurses.
The club members were very impressed with Zareh Khrakhuni's creations and expressed their gratitude to Lana Der Bedrossian, and the organizers of the high quality event with warm applauses.
Arda Der Hagopian gave Petros Durian's book Yerker to Lana Der Bedrossian as a gift on behalf of the Book Lovers’ Club. She also presented a small booklet to Nancy Sapunjian.
At the end, on the occasion of the 6th anniversary of the Club, the members cut the anniversary cake.