Diana Keshishyan Anthropology 102 Dr. Leanna Wolfe February 2, 2009
For my photo social interaction project I decided to do on a B.B.Q. at my uncle’s house. As an Armenian we do B.B.Q., known as “xorovats” every weekend to have a get together with our close family members. This is a very good way to socialize and interact with our immediate family considering that we are not able to see each other frequently due to our hectic schedule .
We start our get together by starting the B.B.Q fire. The first thing that is B.B.Q are bell peppers, tomatoes, and egg plants. These vegetables are a must in Armenian B.B.Q’s. After, the bell peppers and the eggplants are B.B.Q. we then place the meat on the grill. The reason why the vegetables are grilled first is because the fire is light and eventually it gets stronger and that’s when we cook our meat .
After the vegetables are cooked we begin the peeling process . We usually take the bell peppers and the eggplants off the grill and onto a plastic bag to easily peel the skin. However, for the tomatoes we place them in a bowl then peel it since it is very mushy after being grilled. During the peeling process we typically have a bowl full of cold water so we can dip our hands to cool off.
While the men are grilling outside, the ladies in the house set the table. On a typically Armenian table during a B.B.Q. we have a homemade B.B.Q. sauce, variety of cheese, fresh tomatoes and cucumbers, humus, lavash (a soft, thin flatbread), and herbs.
During a Armenian B.B.Q. we have to have Vodka on the table as well as mineral water. The mineral water is drunk after the meal with lemon to digest the food that was eaten. Since we live in America our Armenian culture has incorporated the beer in such get togethers.
As we get around the dining table we begin with a toast. A typical Armenian toast consists of wishing each other health, wealth and happiness for the future. We also drink for those who have passed away and recall all the good memories with them. During dinner we discuss and update each other on the latest news that we have heard or experienced .
After everyone has finished eating, the men first leave the living room and go outside. Meanwhile the women begin cleaning up the leftovers, and prepare the following day’s lunch. This process ranges from 15 to 20 minutes depending on how many young girls are present to help .
Since we are such a close family everyone has a specific job they have to do during every gathering. My sister’s job is to wash the dirty dishes while my younger cousin’s task is to dry the dishes. While doing this they discuss the their latest relationship status .
My youngest cousin makes traditional Armenian coffee. It is a very strong espresso. Armenian women need to drink one cup of this coffee at least once each day in order to function normally (literally).
While impatiently waiting for their coffee, the men just sit or walk around discussing the economy and latest news. Usually they would smoke a cigar and drink Hennessy, however today they just smoked a cigar .
During dessert time, Armenian pastry, ice cream, and most importantly sunflower seeds are laid out on the table. They discuss the latest clothing lines, china sold in stores and upcoming family events.
Later on the kids go in the garage to play a tricky game of cards. My cousin on the left stated a very random comment in order to distract her opponents from the high-tension game. Everyone’s attention is on her.