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Family traditions of Armenians in the Republic of Mordovia



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A.A. Shevtsova

FAMILY TRADITIONS of ARMENIANS IN the Republic of MORDOVIA

On the basis of the field forwarding material collected in the Republic of Mordovia in families of voluntary Armenian migrants from the states of Transcaucasia (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia), the author considers traditional idea of family as a factor of maintaining ethnic identity. The traditional family ceremonialism of migrants which is torn off from roots is transformed under the influence of universal western city culture, a foreign culture, foreign-language and inoetnichny environment. In these difficult conditions traditional family relations, family and wedding ceremonialism along with a habitual power supply system acts as an ethnic marker, keeping and presenting ethnic identity of migrants in the foreign culture environment. Special attention is paid to international marriages which there is a lot of among migrants from Armenia.

A. Shevtsova

FAMILY TRADITIONS of the ARMENIAN MIGRANTS in the REPUBLIC of MORDOVIA

The article regards the field expedition findings dealing with the conservation and transformation of traditional wedding ceremonies in the family of voluntary Armenian migrants from Transcaucasian countries (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia) in Mordovia (Russian Federation). The traditional concept of the family as a factor in the of the Armenian ethnic identity preservation is examined. It is argued that the traditional Armenian family rituals transformed under the influence of universal Western urban culture, multinational environment. As a result, traditional family and wedding rituals,

as well as the national food, play the role of an ethnic marker, preserving and presenting the ethnic identity of migrants. A special attention is given to the inter-ethnic families which are popular among Armenian migrants.

Article is devoted to modern wedding ceremonialism in families of voluntary mi-grants-Armenian from the countries of Transcaucasia (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia) to the Republic of Mordovia. Let's consider the mechanism of transfer of ethnocultural experience in this sphere. Whether we mean the institution of the family to the Armenian migrants? What role is played by wedding ceremonialism in formation of a picture of the world and own ethnic identity "new Russians" — children of the migrants born in the Russian remote place? What gives direct participation of the child in a wedding ritual (as the guest, the viewer, the participant with the ordered role) for maintaining tradition? On these questions we will try to find answers by means of the field forwarding material collected in the Republic of Mordovia (RM) under the leadership of the doctor of historical sciences, professor L.I. Nikonova in 2008-2010.

According to the All-Russian population census of 2002, in the territory of the Republic of Mordovia 672 Azerbaijanians, 1310 Armenians, 395 Georgians live [8, page 2729]. Mordovia unlike, say, Stavropol, Krasnodar regions, Moscow [1, page 14-15; 6, page 36; 14, page 184], does not belong to number of Russian regions where the big Armenian community historically lived. Though in RM a number of the national public organizations uniting natives of Transcaucasia works, and in rural areas the Armenian families are settled quite compactly, in Mordovia, unlike Moscow [22, page 42-43], Krasnodar Krai [20, page 197-199; 14, page 183-185], St. Petersburg [7, page 164-173], did not appear the Armenian cultural centers, schools with the Armenian ethnocultural component of education or the Armenian classes, yet

allowing children to learn the native language, a basis of national culture and history. Children of migrants study at usual mass schools of the republic with the multinational list of pupils, with training on go - sudarstvenny — Russian — language. Nevertheless, it appears, sooner or later parents of school students have these ethnocultural requirements for which satisfaction the state has to care, will be created [18, page 122-125]. Is not present at local Armenian community and the periodical press.

Migration waves of the last decades of the last century and the beginning of the century of XXI of the countries of Transcaucasia to Mordovia gradually increased the number of Armenians in the territory of the republic which almost doubled for the intercensus period of 1989-2002. In comparison with region total population the migrants from Transcaucasia, in particular from Armenia, make percent shares, however in the near future a flow of migrants, including labor, of the countries of Transcaucasia to Russia, according to the experts [19, page 1], most likely, will only increase.

Primary biological adaptation of mi-grants-Armenian (accustoming to climate, a landscape, etc.) and also social adaptation of migrants to the new ethnocultural environment of the region, including adaptation to structures and systems, to vital orientations of local community [23, page 171], integration into labor collectives and neighbour's communities, happens not easy. The relatives, acquaintances, fellow countrymen of new immigrants who already accustomed on the new place help. A certain set of lines of traditional culture which carriers are the Armenian immigrants (especially from rural areas) contrasts with culture

local community of Mordovia and in case the migrant from the village moves to the city, this contradiction only increases. The research of factors of ethnocultural adaptation of the Armenian migrants, in particular, concerning changes in their family and wedding ceremonialism in the foreign culture environment, is represented the new phenomenon in regional ethnological science. The available publications about family of migrants from Transcaucasia in RM are very interesting though they are not numerous, and more concern Azerbaijanians [8-13].

From 1310 Armenians in the Republic of Mordovia 788 men and 522 women [8, page 8-11]. Among labor migrants of the man prevail (it is characteristic also of other regions, say, for Moscow) [4, page 1], the initiative of resettlement belongs of the Woman usually act as passive migrants, following the husband. As for urban and country people, the situation develops as follows: in the cities 813 people (459 men and 354 women) are registered, and 529 people live in the capital to the republic — Saransk, and in rural areas — 497 people (329 men and 168 women) [8, page 8-11, 6263]. Most of migrants are voluntary immigrants in search of job, improvements of living conditions, housing, higher earnings.

During the research it is found out that resettlement happens also on a border zone, is closer to Moskovskaya Route, near the transport centers and railway tracks. The greatest number of the Armenian families lives in Romodanovsky, Ruzaevka, Ichalkovsky, Lyambirsky districts. Zubovo-Polyansky district (168 people) where Armenians are rather compactly settled in the regional center Zubovo-Polyane and the settlement of Umet acts as the leader.

The census of 2002 showed that know Armenian in the region 1243 people, including: a mordva — 15, Russians — 67, persons of other nationalities — 1161. Quite often in Armenian members mezhnatsio-speak

nalny families (wives, husbands, children), where one of spouses — the Armenian and also certain Russian immigrants from Transcaucasia.

The Armenian immigrants live in the neighbourhood with other people (Russians, mordvy, Tatars), have similar type of economy, inhabited and economic rooms. Marriages with local residents — Russians, Mordvinians are frequent (as a rule, interethnic marriages are entered by Armenian male). It is known that the conclusion of the similar marriage unions is practically always connected with overcoming any given stereotypes, with active "fine tuning" under the spouse, demands determination and responsibility of both spouses [5, page 191-193].

The Armenian migrants go to Mordovia not only from Armenia, but also from Azerbaijan, Georgia, other Russian regions. Many are happy with the new residence and are not going to leave. However immigrants from different places, as a rule, have unequal potential to possible homecoming. For example, Armenians-bakintsam usually have no place to come back simply [6, page 49]. Migrants can be registered at the place of residence temporarily in the beginning, and then if they accept conditions, try to remain on the permanent residence, to obtain citizenship of the Russian Federation. There are only two examples:

• The businessman George Arsenovich Grigoryan (Zubovo-Polyansky district) arrived itself in the beginning, then transported to Russia four children with families. The eldest son, Razmik, lives in Samara, average, Gevorg now — in Noginsk the Moscow Region, younger, Samvel — in Moscow. The daughter Asmik supports Ararat cafe, her husband Saak works in the same cafe as the administrator, the son Levon is a student of the Moscow higher education institution [PMA: 4].

According to a number of authoritative researchers, a traditional power supply system — the steadiest layer of material culture of any ethnic group [16, page 189]. Under the influence of universal city culture

food (store trade, advertizing of food, the system of a public catering) and also a foreign culture environment the traditional diet undergoes significant changes, especially in the sphere of daily consumption of food. At the same time on the new residence the Armenian migrants seek to keep originality and uniqueness of the food culture, emphasizing with that own ethnic identity. Ritualizirovanny feasts (festive, wedding, funeral) — bright to that confirmation, traditional foods perform on them not only function of usual food, but also an ethnic marker: "we are Armenians".

Also ethnocultural contacts with aboriginals of the region — Russians, mordvy, Tatars affect change of habitual traditional set of dishes. For example, in Mordovia on a wedding table of Armenians there were desired pancakes and mushrooms salads, marinated mushrooms [PMA: 4; 14; 15] which Armenians learned to prepare at locals. Interestingly, as in mixed marriages of the wife (Russians, Mordvinians) try to cook for the Armenian husband his favourite national dishes: bozbash, kebabs, hash, tolma, lavash [PMA: 7], home-made noodles — the rsht, food from green and red beans [PMA: 3; 12; 15]. The shish kebab (horovats) is considered a prestigious dish, his men prepare [PMA: 1; 2; 6]. - ny to cook for Uma tasty and useful national foods it is extremely appreciated in the woman [15, page 189; PMA: 14; 15]: according to Tadevos Ter-Mesropyan, "ability to prepare — our Armenian tradition" [3, page 22].

The family is considered as great value in human lives and societies, the negative relation to stains remained. At Armenians the level of "domesticity" (in 1979 948 people from 1000 lived in family) is traditionally high, and marriage is obligatory for all, behind an exception lyu-

Tay with intellectual and physical defects [15, page 154]. At the conclusion of marriages the Armenians strictly watched that relatives to the seventh knee of relationship did not marry, consider it and now. The ban on marriage has a talk with relatives that in such family "children with intellectual and physical deviations can be born" [PMA: 13]. The same ban acts as a special ethnic marker, distinguishing Armenians, including immigrants to Mordovia, from the Kurdish Yazidi who also moved to Mordovia from Transcaucasia at whom related marriages (for example, between the cousin and the sister) [2, page 146 are allowed; PMA: 5].

All immediate family gathers for a wedding even if they live in other city, a mudflow or the country. To our in-formatoram-Armenian who are getting married (including international) in Mordovia, there came relatives from Armenia, sometimes even at a stage of the improvised shows, conspiracy. On a celebration call friends, neighbors, irrespective of nationality.

The age sequence (sons and daughters) is observed and now, but is frequent — formally when the younger brother asks the senior permission to a marriage. The greatest number of acquaintances of future spouses living in Mordovia happened in the place of work, study in average and higher educational institutions, in venues of leisure.

• Mkhitar Simonyan met the future wife Natalya in Ardatov in 1989 where she worked as the teacher in initial classes, and it arrived with team of builders from Armenia (Oktemberensky district). Later it graduated from MSU of N.P. Ogarev (Saransk). Now they have two children [PMA: 12].

Sometimes young people were acquainted by parents as it happened to Ivan and Arusyak Gyulzatyan who were acquainted by mothers girlfriends. The girl moved to the spouse in

The Zubovo-Polyansky district of Mordovia from the Tambov region [PMA: 4]. Men -

Armenians meet future wives during military service, departure for earnings, in business trips.

In the past the big patriarchal families with an absolute power of the head of the family including up to 50 and more relatives of several generations with accurately expressed gender and age regulation of the rights and duties of their members were characteristic of Armenians. Not without reason the word "yntanik" ("family" — an automated workplace.) in translation means "under a roof", i.e. living together in one house. In big family units together there lived the parents and adult sons who in turn had children and even grandchildren. In families of Armenians in Mordovia we were told that their grandfathers and great-grandfathers treated it absolutely tolerantly: "Let it is close, but all under the same roof" [PMA: 3; 10]. However, already in X1X-XX of centuries at Armenians the small family consisting of parents and children prevailed; also relatives of the head of the family could enter it. The close family relations of urban and country people characteristic of the people of Transcaucasia gave to city family the special ethnic color to a certain extent remaining and when changing the residence. "At them (at Armenians) close-knit such families", we happened to hear from neighbors of Armenians (Russians and a mordva) [PMA: 9; 14; 15].

Today Armenians in Mordovia live in small families: marriage couple with children. It is the universal trend for modern family around the world explained with modernization and urbanistic culture, aspiration to gender equality, individualization. Families of migrants try to maintain the close related relations. Association of small families is promoted by close related unity, attachment to each other and continuous mutual aid — the lines relating to the best family traditions [10, page 104]. In Mordovia the parents of immigrants often come to

to the children, there live with them serially several months or get over for ever. Especially close contact is maintained between the relatives living in one settlement, but if there is an opportunity, then the separated sons try to build the new house near the house of parents.

The authoritative power of the senior man, hierarches-zovannye the statuses of other family members, the expressed etiketization of intra family and family and related communication are inherent in family life of Armenians that left a mark and on modern family. Only old men remember though the man all the same remains a head of the family, including in the mixed families the occurring once strict avoiding (the daughter-in-law could not address directly the father-in-law, the man never at strangers showed attention to the children, etc.) now. For example, Tatyana Gedelyan (the village of Semiley of Koch-kurovsky district) is Russian, is married to the Armenian. According to her, she never tested pressure from the husband or his relatives though her family (except the brother) did not encourage David's courting. In 1980 they undersigned for a local REGISTRY OFFICE, the wedding was not, only a small feast with presence of guests from Armenia. Children "are written down by Armenians". In family the traditional idea of the status of the married woman who has to be very reserved in communication with the state-tyami-male remains, much attention is paid to education of the daughter. According to Tatyana, the husband David differs from fellows villager "in diligence to provide family" and also "with behavior — severity in relation to family", the fact that "does not drink" [PMA: 3].

How choose the marriage partner? In the past in Armenia entered marriages early. Young men were married in 18-23 years, girls were married sometimes in 13-14 years. Sometimes betrothed earlier when children were in a cradle, or agreed about marriage and among yet not been born children [15, page 164]. Official marriage

the age established in the territory of the USSR changed situation in the relation of girls who married from 18 years, in certain situations — with 16. Today the age of consent grew, especially at city Armenians. Informants report that they marry on average in 20-22 years ("the daughter-in-law has to be with the diploma to manage to get a job and make the contribution to the family budget" [PMA: 13]). Women usually give birth to the first child in 22-23 years, birth in 36-37 years comes to an end. Men have other picture: the first child appears in 27-29 years, the last — in the senior generations — on the 45-52nd year of life, in averages — on the 38-39th year. It is considered that the man has to provide material aspect of marriage therefore in the beginning he tries to find a job, the house or the apartment, and then already to think of a marriage and children. Children appear in 27-30 years, and even later. The average number of children in families of migran-tov-Armenian — two, are slightly more rare — three.

The great value is attached to education of the groom (preference is given to the highest) whether he can provide with housing future wife what earnings at it, whether are housing. Expect from the future spouse, first of all, honesty, ability to get on with people, tolerance, diligence, enterprise [PMA: 8]. The resettlement initiative from the countries of Transcaucasia to Russia, to Mordovia also belongs to men. In the beginning go to relatives who are already suited in any given place, then, if arrange living conditions, transport families. When choosing the marriage partner tried to take earlier "couple" from areas where one tradition of food and also dialects are close (for example, karskiya and arzrumskiya) [3, page 22].

Unlike the emancipated capital inhabitants in families of Armenians in Mordovia the women have no anything against the predominating role of the husband father. "And that — they say — he earns, conducts economy, provides us with products, is careful

treats children and if makes the decision, then in the beginning will consider" [PMA: 4; 8; 10]. Women from families of the migrants living in Mordovia are busy mainly with a household therefore continue to depend on men economically completely. Though is also such who holds own business, serves in rural administration, works together with the husband, for example, in cafe, in shop. Elderly women usually undertake cooking, care of grandchildren.

Process of initial adaptation of immigrants proceeds difficult. The family which remained "in the homeland" tries to survive in conditions when the husband leaves on earnings. But they try or to go to Mordovia if the husband cannot long leave, or move to Mordovia for a long time together with children. However so happens not always: many families are forced to live separately, i.e. habitual tenor of life collapses that leads to restriction of requirements therefore because of household disorder the load of the woman sharply increases: it should do everything most: to raise children, to master the house and economy, to contain the cattle. Young men quite often in Mordovia have also illegitimate communications, ceasing to help family with Armenia at the same time.

One of the most considerable and solemn family holidays at Armenians is a wedding which, as well as at other people, is preceded by a cycle of ceremonies. Our tasks do not include the detailed description of stages of a wedding cycle which at Armenians consisted of a preliminary stage (a courtship, conspiracy, a betrothal), actually weddings (a ceremony of a wedding and moving newly married to the house of the husband) and ceremonies of a postwedding cycle [15, page 165-186]. And in Armenia, and in the Armenian environment beyond its limits the wedding ceremonialism underwent considerable transformation: many ceremonies become simpler, the cycle is reduced, some traditions are forgotten, various innovations appear,

in particular the European. The period between conspiracy and a wedding is reduced. In full the wedding is celebrated only by those to whom the prosperity [16 allows, to page 192; 17, page 18-19]. "The facilitated option", with the reduced quantity of ceremonies (all wedding in one day), can be observed also in Mordovia.

In the 60-70th of the XX century the rural Armenians considered that for marriage of rather traditional wedding, without registration of marriage in the REGISTRY OFFICE [15, page 163]; in a number of areas this tradition remained up to our days where marriage is registered in a month after the wedding or even in a year when in family the child is already born [16, page 192]. In Soviet period the few got married, and in recent years in connection with change of religious consciousness the majority of couples not only register the relations officially, but also try to fasten them with a wedding sacrament. Armenians of Mordovia have no own arrival, that is why that who have in it a requirement and also the prosperity allows, go to get married home, to relatives, holding the most part of wedding celebrations in the same place. Anna Fidanyan and Ganus Minasyan's wedding living in Romodanovsky district took place with respect for all traditions in Armenia in 2008. In Mordovia the young people undersigned for the REGISTRY OFFICE, and to get married went home [PMA: 11; 14; 15].

If the courtship and conspiracy take place successfully, appoint date of a wedding. In Soviet period the invitations signed by hand or printed in printing house were popular in Armenia. Now use cards more often. "If you are handed such invitation, you are obliged to come to a wedding if you cannot come and know about it, then the invitation do not take" [PMA: 13].

After Mkhitar Simonyan decided to marry the Russian girl Natalya, he reported about it to mother — Nazik Ashotovna who nowadays lives in Mrgashat of the Armavir district. She arrived to Ardatov, in

the house to the brother where invited the alleged bride, without having warned, however, that there will be shows. Mom approved and gave favoring. The groom (nowadays the husband), with the cousins arrived to her, to be her suitor for the hand at the bride's parents. Agreed. On custom, at this moment it is allowed to have only coffee. Then went to Armenia to prepare for a wedding [PMA: 12].

On Friday the men pinned up a calf. This ceremony says that tomorrow there will be a wedding. After that parents of the groom treat guests on both sides, but the bride should not be present. By this feast do not cook special food, and expose that is, but without hot. Meat of the pinned-up animal is served on Saturday as a hot dish.

For the second day on Saturday followed the bride. At the beginning of a procession there were musicians (accordion, a drum, a clarinet), group of thanes-tsorov-relatives and the man from the groom. Before a wedding the groom and the bride do not take part in dances, keep expressly modestly. In the house of the bride the leading role is assigned to women. The put mother (kavorkin) brings to the house of the bride a wedding dress in an elegant box, helps the bride to put on. The wedding dress now everywhere is preferred white, open, the European style, and the groom puts on a usual suit (and a shirt not necessarily white). The kavor, or the witness (symbolical "brother of the groom"), and the only difference of suits - the thief, the groom and friends from suits of other male guests — white buttonholes "helps" to put on to it [PMA: 11].

When clothing the groom and bride the special part is assigned to children and teenagers. Younger sister of the groom pins to him a buttonhole, she dances at the head of a wedding procession with ritual plates in hands. To the younger brother (nephew) of the bride trust to button the bride's shoe. Two pretty little girls from among relatives in elegant dresses in the morning sva-

debny day receive on a thick wedding candle, in lace and tapes. They go with them to the house of the bride, to church, and during the wedding are motionless with the lit candles, being fully aware of responsibility of the mission [PMA: 11; 14].

The great number of children spins among guests of a ceremony, trying to do not pass the most interesting. Candies and sweets with which periodically shower guests are intended to them. Boys intuitively keep closer to men, girls — to women. Presence of children at a wedding (from clothing of the bride till a wedding feast and dances till the night) not only is not limited, but in every possible way welcomed: "that young people had many children" [PMA: 9], "that knew how has to as it is necessary at us, Armenians", "that were able to behave" [PMA: 6], "that remembered and told the children" [PMA: 14]. At the same time even the smallest try to behave "decently", not to distract on themselves attention, understanding that today — important day. Weddings for a long time remain in memory, children reproduce them in games: ethnocultural continuity is available.

At all modern weddings surely there is a professional photographer (and several fans from among guests), the video operator. The photo of young people in a beautiful frame decorates their bedroom. Photos and videos store in family, show them to the relatives who did not manage for any reasons to be present at a ceremony. And scientists found a new ethnographic source.

In the house of the bride the groom approaches the narrowed, takes her by hand and participants of a wedding procession (women and children) on both sides unite and go to the temple. Dancers and musicians are always about the groom and the bride, emphasizing with that that all fun is devoted only of Newlyweds, their put parents — a kavor and kavorkin, witnesses receive congratulations from relatives, friends and zna-

komy, standing in church a back to an altar. And at first approach to congratulate in turn (at first elderly, then — young people) women, behind them — men. Certainly, young guys at the same time do not miss an opportunity to kiss the bride and the witness. After the wedding even if the feast is supposed at restaurant, surely come into the house of the groom.

Before young people will be included into the house, the mother-in-law hangs up on shoulders to young people wrapped in a special way long, to 1.5 m (!) a lavash ("that in family there was a prosperity, money was found"), feeds them from a spoon with honey and sprinkles with grain, petals of roses, candies. On a threshold stack plates which the groom with the bride have to crush at the same time, and often organize a playful competition, observing which of young people will make it the first ("that will be a head of the family"). Special fun causes when there is a bride quicker. Not broken ware — unfortunately. There is also a modern explanation of a ceremony: "things — not the main thing, the main thing — the union of young people" [PMA: 15].

By tradition, Saturday and Sunday are considered as days of weddings. In February, 2010 (on Saturday) the author happened to see in the center of Saransk Armenian newlyweds who together with the family and guests were photographed at local attractions — at Cathedral of the just soldier Fedor Ushakov and a monument to family. Armenians, as well as other residents of Saransk, visit "wedding places", traditional for the city.

The kavor — the put father heads a wedding feast (it is chosen by family of the groom). He has to be dear, the wisest. He opens a wedding and finishes. In the beginning a wedding sets for it the tone: as it is necessary to tell a toast; what to wish when give gifts. Cognac at a wedding (and in other special cases) is the main drink. Women are not forbidden to drink alcohol, but only wine. Guests between toasts eat not less than 10-15 minutes. Participants

weddings on both sides not always know each other therefore the kavor represents everyone who says a toast: who is he or if it is a sort — who they are, from where, with whom arrived. The eloquence is appreciated. The first toast is provided to the groom's parents, then — brides and further one after another — to close relatives with that and on the other hand. Toasts are said by men, and women bring gifts (generally jewelry) and dance with the money clamped between fingers, showing the generosity. At the end of a wedding feast with money in hands also the bride dances. Men can order to musicians music, songs (for a special payment).

Young people during a wedding feast sit at the special table (the bride — to the left of the groom) decorated with red and pink balloons, posters with wishes of happiness and love. At a table — the groom, to the left of it — the bride. Near the groom — a kavor with the wife. About the bride — kavorkin and her husband. An important role is played by "witnesses" — the girlfriend ("sister") of the bride and the friend ("brother") of the groom. Opposite to young people, musicians, and on each side — guests accommodate. Seating at tables "on seniority" observe only concerning very elderly or very much guests of honor, and all so usually sit alternately. Perhaps, it and also the special table for newly married reflects the fact that marriage becomes more and more individual choice of young people, and as the main characters now not two become related families entirely, and the groom and the bride perform at a ceremony. It is their holiday.

The feast can last long as toasts long and guests can come till the morning. But at 6 in the morning on Sunday serve the special dish — hash. The groom and the bride can even not leave all wedding because of a table, and and sit — "to a hash". The table is also laid in the morning plentiful. The duty of young people is to listen to all toasts. The wedding usually comes to an end far for

midnight. Two traditional hot dishes are obligatory at a wedding: horovats — a shish kebab from mutton and a hashlam — boiled veal with potato and seasoning, olives serve also chicken meat boiled and smoked, fruit, greens, fish boiled and smoked, tolite-mu, pastrami, sujuk, salads, pancakes with mushrooms, [PMA: 2; 4]. In vases — candies, cookies, the more the better! Cakes in several tiers, with crosses and roses from cream, it is obligatory — house, but not purchased. Remember also ritual cutting of cake by young people [21, page 211-212], and the groom presents the first piece to the bride, treating her from the hands [PMA: 11].

Apet Hurshudovich and Zinaida Petrovna Kazaryan who got married in 1961 tell: "The wedding was modest by the number of people, but rich for those times. The relatives from Armenia brought many fruit, greens — the whole four huge suitcases that for those times was a big rarity! And the main thing, on a table there has to be the Armenian cognac! At children we tried to celebrate weddings magnificent, among gifts to the bride — gold jewelry" [PMA: 7].

From the moment of the courtship prior to a wedding Arusyak and Ivana Gyulzatyana (on October 5, 2003) there passed 5 months. Products for a festive feast prepared both parties. The groom gives to the bride a dress, shoes, a veil and gold jewelry: earrings, chains, a "simple" wedding ring and a ring with a stone [PMA: 4]. To the house of the bride (Michurinsk) in a basket brought her a wedding dress which put on the bride kavorkin. Before attaching a veil, it enclosed with it the bride's head three times. The groom to the bride is not let in — it is necessary to redeem her. Redeem also the bride's shoes, the disguised bridesmaid. The groom and the bride go outside where there are guests. The small table is laid by sweets, wine. Anyone can tell a toast, after each toast drinking a glass. The mother-in-law showers guests with candies. Only after that all take seats on

to cars which at the same time continuously beep all around.

On a wedding it is accepted to give gold and money. Gold jewelry gives with price tags that speaks not about commercialism, and only that the tradition remains in force to otdarivat equivalent (or exceeding at cost) a gift in a similar case.

A striking example of influence of the European wedding culture — modern throwing of a bouquet by the bride (for a back, without looking) to unmarried girlfriends who try to catch it. We happened to observe also similar ceremony of throwing by the groom of a glove of the bride which young guys, including boys of 1013 (!) years try to catch [PMA: 11].

"Red apple" — the ancient ceremony symbolizing check of "honesty" of the bride. Women from the groom went to the bedroom to the bride in the night from Sunday to Monday [PMA: 13]. If the bride married the virgin, her mothers sent as a gift big red apple, red wine or cognac. Today this custom turned into usual gifting of mother of the bride.

Armenians live in multinational Mordovia near other ethnic groups,

who perceive them as the people having unique original culture. Certainly, in conditions inoetnichesko-go environments and under the influence of universal urbanistic culture the wedding ceremonialism of Armenians underwent considerable transformation. However its main core allowing to speak about preservation and representation of ethnic identity of Armenians, their ethnic preferences, positive perception of the national identity including among young people remained.

Rather low level part-pave

the Armenian families, quite large number of families where education of children busy not only parents, but also the grandfathers with grandmothers playing an essential role in transfer to the next generation of positive ethical standards, national consciousness, ethnic traditions, close family family relations among migrants allow to hope that the family institute at Armenians, including immigrants to Mordovia, will remain steady.

The considerable merit in it belongs to ethnocultural traditions, in particular family and wedding ceremonialism.

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Evangeline Elizabeth
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