Far too often whenever we hear that someone has passed away, we automatically look at
their age at the time of their death and evaluate their life by how long they actually lived. I think sometimes we do not look at what they did in that lifetime. A few days ago, the Armenian diaspora community lost a person that was both rich in the years of her life and what she contributed within that lifetime. Her name is Sosy Krikorian Kadian, and to me, she was an influential Armenian woman that brought wealth to her community in the form of Armenian art and culture.
I first met Deegeen (Armenian word for Mrs., used as a term of respect) Sosy when I was somewhere between seven and nine years old. Back in the mid-seventies, my family took a yearly trip to Atlantic City for a week of sun, beach, water and a major dose of being an Armenian. Back then, I was there purely for the beach and water and knew little about what it meant to be an Armenian. I have fond memories of these trips and only wish I was a little older to have fully appreciated them. Music and dancing were a big part of the weekend and you would see the likes of oudist George Mgrdichian and the Fabulous Vosbikian Band performing during the week.
Probably my fondest memory of those Atlantic City weeks was the year that Deegeen Sosy put me on stage with a group of young Armenian musicians to play tambourine (that she provided) for one of the afternoon jam sessions in the hotel lobby. My mother and Sosy were friends and I am sure sometime throughout the week it was discussed to put me in a coat and tie and stand in the back with the other musicians and play alongside them. I was told to be professional and not joke or fool around on stage. Possibly my mother, knowing what a ham I could be on any stage, felt this would be a wonderful experience for me — she was right, I immediately fell in love with the music. This was an experience I will never forget. I was so proud to be with these musicians and I was encourage by both my mother and Deegeen Sosy. By the way – those musicians I stood with were the second-generation Vosbikians!
This is what Deegeen Sosy did – she preserved and passed along the Armenian cultural traditions. It wasn’t about who had or didn’t have talent to her – it was more important that she exposed the younger generations to our rich heritage. She sang, she danced, she wrote and read poetry, she played music. She passed on the traditions to her children and Armenian children around the country. I am forever thankful she did this for me. I would go on to love our music and its traditions and the rest as they say – is history.
It is gratifying to see the out pour of stories and wonderful memories of Deegeen Sosy online as she touched so many lives both directly and indirectly.
Thanks you Deegeen Sosy for all that you did to preserve our rich and vast culture. You took on the role admirably and it is our turn to pick up and continue the traditions where you left off.
All of these beautfiul photos of Sosy were provided by her daughter, Nvair Kadian Beylerian