Ատամհատիկ | Atamhatik

We had a joyful little celebration on 14 May 2019 in the centre as one of our youngest users, Daniel, who attends the playgroup with his mum had his first tooth! And according to the very practical Armenian tradition, it was time to decide her future profession, by placing names of various professions and items associated with them around the baby. And if the ancient habit is right, he’s going to become a policeman!  

Here is a bit more detailed explanation from The New York Times about Atamhaik or Agrahatik: 

When an infant’s first tooth arrives, typically in four to seven months, a celebration takes place known variously as the “agra hadig” or “atam hatik.” As part of the ritual, objects symbolizing different professions are arrayed in front of a child: a microphone for an entertainer, a stethoscope for a doctor, scissors for a tailor or money for a banker. Whichever object the baby chooses first is thought to be a sign of where the child’s professional aptitude lies.

According to Wikipedia, the tradition has different names in different regions – Akrahatik, Akvasorik, Atamsurik, Kerahatik, etc. –  and a very different sounding one from Karabakh: kchekhash. 

Տարբեր հայկական շրջաններում, ծեսը տարբեր անուններով է կոչվում՝ Շիրակում և Ջավախքում անվանվում է ակռահատիկ, Մուշում՝ ակվասորիկ, Սյունիքում՝ ատամսուրիկ, Սիսիանում՝ կեղքահատիկ, Վայոց ձորում՝ կեռահատիկ, Արարատյան դաշտում հատիկ կամ ատամ սուր, Ղարաբաղում՝ կճեխաշ։

Below is a traditional song, which is sang during the baby’s Atamhatik:

Ատամ, ատամ,
Իմ կաթնատամ,
Դու շուտ արի՛,
Գալըդ բարի՜,
Իմ լավ ատամ.
Ես քեզ կըտամ
Չամչով փլա՜վ,
Հնդու խուրմա,
Տանձ ու խնձոր
Մի՜շտ, ամեն օ՜ր
Փըստա՜, բադա՜մ,
Էլ ո՜ր մեկի
Անունը տամ,
Իմ լավ ատամ:

Coronavirus Notice

Our charity is working hard to respond to the changing situation around Coronavirus (COVID-19) related issues. We do our best to continue to provide our services for our members and the Armenian community at large, so we ask for your patience during this challenging time.

Our volunteers and staff are working hard to continue supporting you in the best way that we can, whilst also staying on top of reducing risk of spreading infection and supporting our colleague who may be more at risk.

However, due to the current situation and in the best interest of all of us, we had to make some changes to our normal services. Starting from the week beginning on the 16 March 2020, all our services except the advice work are suspended until further notice.  This means the Parents & Toddlers Group, the English classes, Library, the elders lunch club and the youth club are all suspended until further notice.

We ask that anyone experiencing Coronavirus symptoms or having to self-isolate due to being exposed to someone with coronavirus, does not attend our face-to-face services and call NHS 111 for advice. You may contact us on 020 89924621 or use our website (www.caia.org.uk) to leave an enquiry or email us on info@caia.org.uk to continue receiving our support.

If you are attending our face-to-face services at our centre, please wash your hands both on arrival and on leaving with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds or use an alcohol-based hand sanitiser. Please avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.

The main symptoms of Coronavirus are high fever, dry cough and shortness of breath but for full details you may search for “Coronavirus” on the following Government and NHS websites.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Thank you.

Misak Ohanian (CEO) & CAIA Board of Directors.  – 14/3/2020