For the 2022 Camp Haiastan Session 2 song night, cabin 8 sang “Karekin Nzhdehi Yerke.” While learning this song and thinking of every lyric, we thought about every action Karekin Njdeh took for the Armenian Diaspora and his bravery. We asked ourselves the question, “Why do we follow in his footsteps?” The main chorus repeated multiple times “Katch Njdehi soorut shoghshoghah” translates to “Brave Njdeh sharpen your sword.” This refers to the general’s bravery and what he did to keep the Armenian bloodline alive. Accept and celebrate our culture and do whatever we can to take part in our community even in America.
Another important lyric we picked up while learning this song “Moot panderoom, danchvads unger, soorp danchankit menk madagh” meaning “Even in the darkest of times and in the most painful measures, Karekin Njdeh continued to fight for our lives and therefore we are his survivors.”
As a group, we felt that the most significant part of this song was “Mez mod yegar, pari yegar.” This was the most important line because his courage created this amazing community and a safe place where all Armenian youth can come together, share life and feel welcome. He not only created Camp Haiastan, but also created the AYF and therefore all that is associated with it (Junior Seminar, AYF Olympics, Junior Winter Olympics), as well as lifelong friendships. What we often tend to overlook is our Christian faith. The song ends with “Goortsgut khatchov zartarir” meaning Karekin Njdeh decorated his chest and armor with the cross and Armenian imprints. We learn about his history here at Camp Haiastan to commemorate and follow his good morals and lessons to teach for every Armenian youth.
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