Nationality: Armenian American
Residence: Tujunga, CA
Date of Performance/Collection: April 29, 2013
Primary Language: Armenian
Other Language(s): English and Russian
Form of Folklore: Folk Belief
Informant Bio: The informant was born in Yerevan, Armenia, where she attended a Russian school. At the age of fourteen she and her family moved to America, where she was formally introduce to the English language and had to continue going to a school where the primary language was English. She has had exposure to both Armenian (from her youth and family) and American folklore (by living and studying in America).
Context: The interview was conducted in the living room of the informant’s house.
Item: Armenian Transliteration – “Yerp vor andzreve galis, aghov khach petke arvi getinu vor kuturvi”
English Translation – “When it is raining, you need to make a cross on the floor with salt so that it will stop”
Informant Comments: As a child, growing up in Armenia, the informant believed that making a cross on the floor in salt actually was the reason why the rain would stop. Now, she no longer believes this and has not passed this folklore on to any of her children. She does not think making the cross would be a bad thing, but simply thinks it is not a necessary act to stop the rain.
Analysis: Making a cross on the floor may have some connection with the fact that most Armenians in Armenia are Christian. Since rain is sometimes considered to be the “tears of God”, perhaps making a cross on the ground that the rain falls on is a way of making the tears/rain stop. The roots of this folk belief could be numerous; this is merely one possibility. I do not think that it is in anyway required to stop the rain. However, if children would like to feel that they are in some way in control of the weather (even when they are not) I see no harm in telling them about this folk belief.