What Was It Like Growing Up Armenian In .... 10th in a Series

The tenth session in the ongoing series "What Was It Like Growing Up Armenian In ..." Features Tom Keljik who grew up in the Twin Cities, Armineh Khachatoorian who grew up in Iran, and Reena Ghannoum who grew up in Syria. The event was held on March 18th 2018 at the Merriam Park Library in St. Paul and was open and publicized to the general public as well as to the Armenian Community. The three presenters gave their interesting perspectives on growing up in their communities. Tom, who like many children of immigrants was not immersed in the culture until he was older and began to discover the stories about his parents and older relatives. Armineh grew up in an Iran that was still welcoming to Armenians and there was always the Armenian presence available to her. Reena grew up in Syria and also had many Armenian friends and neighbors. During the last few years the troubles in Syria were escalating but she was still at ease in her home area. The session was moderated by ACOM President Nairy Digris. As always, the session prompted a lively discussion session. Of the 27 attendees, there were two attending that were outside of the general Armenian community. But were verry interested in the session and hopefully came away with a greater understanding of Armenians and their lives.

What was it like growing up Armenian in ...9th in Series

On Sunday, March 12, 2017, the 9th session in the series "What was it like growing up Armenian in ..." was held in fellowship hall at St. Sahag Armenian Church. The three panelists brought some very diverse perspectives on their early years and how those experiences brough them to where they are today. As always, the audience was intrigued by the stories and brought up some interesting questions in the Q&A period following the presentation. Francis B. served as moderator and kept the session moving along. Thanks to the three participants and to all who came to find out more about Armenian heritage and identy.

ACOM Cooking Class

On November 5, 2016 master chefs Judy Ohannesian, Adriene Hayes, and Michele Angel instructed participants in the making of Gata and Cheureg breads.

A video (in French with English Subtitles) about Cheureg makig can be found Here

What was it like Growing up Armenian in ..... 8th in Series

On Sunday October 23, 2016 ACOM held the 8th in the series "What was it like growing up Armenian in ...."   The series draws on the personal experiences of those interviewed. For the first time, we had four participants, all born in various places in the U.S. For those of us in the audience; the time spent listening was well worth the investment. Click on the images to read their stories. 

Voski Ashoun ("Golden Autumn") 2016

Dr. Charles Hajinian was our Voski Ashoun speaker this September 24, 2016. He gave the attendees a very fascinating talk on Armenian Coins and their history starting with Tigran II, King of Kings, 95 -55 BC thru King Levon’s rule1374-1375 AD.  He brought his extensive collection of coins for show and tell. It was a collection worthy of a museum. In his talk he included much of Armenian history for each period when various coins were minted by hand. During his 30 minutes power point presentation Dr. Hajinian passed around coins from a period before Christ was born for the audience to view and hold. 

Dr. Hajinian in 2015, along with a few other Milwaukee Armenians formed the Armenian Numismatic Quarterly. of the magazine to the event. He brought samples

The evenings informative talk was a wonderful addition to this year ACOM cultural programming. Thank you to Peter Hajinian’s suggestion for this program which came up in our discussion of Armenian History books we were discussing in our ACOM Book Club earlier this year.

If you are interested in learning more about the Armenian Numismatic Society, check the following website:


What was it like Growing up Armenian in ..... 7th in Series

On Sunday, March 13, 2016, ACOM hosted the 7th session in the "What Was It Like Growing Up Armenian In ..." series. The panelists this time were Peter Hajinian, who grew up in the Milwaukee area, Terese Najarian, who grew up in the Twin Cities area, and Artyom Tonoyan, who grew up in Armenia and the Ukraine. Our host was Francis Bulbulian.

Tents of Witness: Genocide and Conflict

Never Again? Or Over and Over Again?

A presentation sponsored by ACOM and presented at St. Sahag Armenian Church, this event took place March 28 and 29, 2015. 

Tents of Witness: Genocide and Conflict is a multimedia, multicultural, multigenerational exhibit designed to educate people about genocide; explain the causes and consequences of genocide; present action steps to prevent it; and remember those in our own communities who have fled from these atrocities and whose families and communities have been destroyed.

Tents of Witness features ten 8’ x 12’ painted canvas tents that simulate those used in refugee camps. The tents each depict the story of different groups persecuted based on their identity: race, religion, ethnicity, or national origin. The stories are of the conflicts suffered by the Jews and others targeted in the Holocaust; Native Americans; Armenians; and the catastrophes in Cambodia, Bosnia, Rwanda, North Korea, Darfur, Argentina, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Each tent represents the diversity and beauty of each place and people. The exhibit illustrates clearly that no people or place has been immune from such atrocities.

What was it like Growing up Armenian in ..... 6th in Series

The sixth session of ACOM's popular series of "What it was like growing up Armenian In ..." was held on March 21, 2015. The featured speakers this time were Kristapor Souslian, who grew up in Egypt, Nairy Digris, who also grew up in Egypt, and John Parker Der Boghossian, who grew up in France and the U.S.

Annual Gaghant Party - 2015

January 3rd, 2015 - The annual ACOM Gaghant party was held at the Marriott Hotel in Minnetonka on a brisk Saturday evening. Guests were greeted during a social hour from 6 to 7 followed by a buffet dinner starting at 7. The food was excellent and dinner was followed by a dessert table provided by ACOM. A new feature this year was a silent auction with many donated items. There was live music by Music Mundial playing a delightful mix of Eastern and Western music that got people up dancing. A very successful start to a new year.

Voski Ashoun 2014

This annual event was held the evening of October 11, 2014 at St. Sahag Armenian Church. Activities included a Wine and Brandy Tasting event, Grape Stomping, a variety of appetizers and munchies, and marshmallow roasting over a wood fire. Attendees had a great time and the weather this year was very cooperative even though we had most activities in Ararat Hall in the building.

What was it like Growing up Armenian in ..... 5th in Series

On Sunday, May 18, 2014, ACOM hosted the 5th session in its series "What It Was Like Grow-ing Up Armenian In ...", with about 70 observers in attendance. This ses-sion's participants, were Father Tadeos Barseghyan, Mariam Kocharian and David Grigoryan. For the first time in these sessions, all three participants spent at least some of their time growing up in ... Armenia.

Festival of Nations 2014

ACOM was again represented at the International Institue of Minnesota annual Festival of Nations. The Armenian presence was represented in dance by the Armenian Dance Ensemble perforrmances on the World Stage. The dance group premiered a new Choreography by our director to the well known Armenian song - Khapama and also a dance from the Erzerum region of Historic Armenia.

In the Bazaar area, the Armenian demonstration exhibit focused on Armenian Silk. Janet Rith-Najarian did a superb job of showing people the history and craft of Armenian Silk production (we had silk worms for people to see), Silk making, Dyeing, and painting. Janet also presented information on how the Armenians followed their silk industry throughout the Mid-East, Eastern and Western Europe. The presenters that helped Janet had a great time, learned more about their cultural heritage, and educated people on Armenia and its Silk Industry. Great Job and a successful 2014 Festival of Nations.

What was it like Growing up Armenian in .... 4th in a series

October 13, 2013 - 4th in a series

The series draws on the personal experiences of those interviewed. For those of us in the audience; the time spent listening was well worth the investment. Arthur Kourajian, Azad Mesrobian, and Raisa Martirosyan assembled in Friendship Hall shortly after 1 pm and were peppered with questions by the main interrogator - Tom Keljik - for over an hour. 

Click on the images to read their stories.