Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Armenian Rumors

Armenian Reporter
10 December 2008

From earthquake theories to plane crashes, the art of spreading rumors in Armenia

by Maria Titizian

[Titizian recounts rumors about imminent earthquakes and banana exports to the Bahamas; that onboard gunfire caused the 2006 crash of Armavia Flight 967; and, as related below, that a bride was killed by a scorpion in the Sourp Krikor Lusavorich cathedral in 2001.]

I recall the day my young daughter came home from school in a fluster and said she had heard the most horrific tale. A young bride standing at the altar with her groom, just married, had collapsed on the cold marble floor of the church and died. The rumor was that a scorpion, hidden among the many layers of tulle and veil had bit the young woman, killing her instantly. I was horrified but questioned the truth of the story; yet my daughter's eyes were full of so much conviction that I told her it was indeed a tragedy. That week the rumor spread like wildfire and everyone was talking about it. Of course, it never happened. The reason for starting that rumor I'll leave to the imagination, but I suspect after that most brides checked to make sure there were no hiding scorpions in their wedding dresses.