Monthly Cultural Corner - October 2022

October 3, 2022

Cultural Spotlight: David Oganesyan

Hello Penny Lane family!!

My name is David Oganesyan and I am a Data Analyst in the Innovations and Outcomes department out of North Hollywood.  I have been with Penny Lane for going on 8 years.

I am Armenian, raised in Hollywood born in Armenia. I came to the United States when I was 2 years old. I only have one memory from Armenia and that was the snowy day that I was baptized. The naturalization process was not tough for me, but I assume was tough for my parents as it took a lot of work and time. I remember learning a lot about the US at a young age because of the citizenship tests my parents took.

I enjoy listening to Armenian folk music, which contains flute (and other wind instruments) and violins (and other less common string instruments). I also like modern Armenian dance music which contains synthesized dance beats and a hint of folk music.

My favorite Armenian dish is Armenian BBQ which includes beef, chicken and/or pork on separate skewers. It usually comes with a side of feta cheese, humus, pita bread and a Mediterranean cucumber salad. Both of my parents used to make this dish for me (both with their own strengths) and now I make it for myself

In terms of traditions . . . a kind of a fun, silly one we did as kids: On Easter there is a traditional “egg fight” game that is played. Where two people grab a hard boiled and dyed Easter egg and butt ends against each other and who’s egg breaks first must eat them. Armenian Easter happens on the same day as American Easter (as opposed to Armenian Christmas which is celebrated January 6th)

What I would want people to know about Armenia is that we were the first nation in the world to accept Christianity as it’s religion.

I’ve been going to annual Armenian genocide awareness marches since I was a kid and the sense of unity, strength, and purpose that we feel together is always such a bonding experience. We have taken a tragic time in our history and rallied around always remembering our ancestors and making sure it never happens again.

-David Oganesyan, Penny Lane Centers