Nationality: Russian Armenian
Date of Performance/Collection: 4/4/2020
Primary Language: English
Other Language(s): Russian, Armenian
Explanation: Armenians have some superstitious custom not to show or introduce a newborn baby to friends, neighbors, or extended families for the first 40 days. It is believed that this is done for the safety and medical precaution for the baby, but it can also be done to protect the baby from the evil eye/ evil spirits.
Background Information: Widely popular Armenian custom for newborn babies. Almost every Armenian follows this precaution when they have a baby.
Context: The informant told me about this custom during a video call in which I asked her to tell me about an Armenian tradition/custom that she knows about.
Thoughts: As an Armenian myself, I have observed this custom being practiced in my own family when a member has had a baby. I think it is done to make sure that the baby is safe and healthy. Im sure it was done in the past because of the high infant mortality rate in the Armenian villages due to disease and malnutrition. This has translated to modern day even though, the chances of disease and malnurtrition in babies is much lower than before. I think the health of babies is so crucial for Armenians because of how important it is for them to continue on the Armenian culture/ heritage due to the Turkish attempt at genocide against Armenians in the early 20th century.