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Paregentan

SAT. FEB. 9 2002

So maybe you’re not an Armenian, but that doesn’t mean you can’t party like one. This Saturday night over at the Red Lion Hotel on the corner of I-35, Armenians from Austin and elsewhere will be celebrating Paregentan, the Armenian Mardi Gras. Why Paregentan? Because Armenians don’t speak French. OK, there’s more to it than that, so get out your notebook. Armenia is a landlocked little country (about the size of Maryland) sandwiched between Turkey and Azerbaijan – or Georgia and Iran, depending on where you’re standing. Historically, Armenia has been overrun by all of your big conquerors: the Persians, Alexander the Great, the Romans, the Byzantines, the Arabs, the Mongols, Tatars, Ottomans and the Russian Empire. What does this mean to you? It means that while Armenia may be relatively poor country economically speaking, Armenians and the Armenian Diaspora are culturally rich. You can share in some of that wealth this Saturday starting at 8pm. Not only will you get to feast on mezze (a much easier way to say and spell “hors d’oeuvres”) like Hummus, Tabouli, and falafel, you’ll be able to dance to Armenian, Greek, Persian and Arabic dance music spun by Los Angeles Armenian D.J. team Neptune Productions. Did I say belly dancing? Did I need to? Later, at midnight, they bust out the Armenian sweets and coffee so you can sober up after a hard night of drinking and dancing. If you’re a diehard, don’t worry. The party goes on until 2. Dress is casual, but it wouldn’t kill you to throw on a tie, would it?

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