HADJIN is an Armenian town with a population of about 20,000. The Turkish population consists of only
about sixty families beside the officials and the standing army. This is unusual for in only a very few towns in this entire part of the country is the population so exclusively Armenian. The two nationalities generally live more intermingled in the cities, towns and villages.
Hadjin is built on a mountain 3,500 feet above sea-level and is closely hemmed in by mountains towering thousands of feet above the town. As the town is built around the mountain as well as on the top of it, the entire town cannot be seen from any one point of view.
Two roads along the valley, one from the southwest and the other from the northwest, enter the town, and the third comes over mountains to the east.
The narrow little valley is cultivated and little patches of gardens are seen on either side of the stream. The nearest cultivated plateaus are an hour or two distant and some of the farms are nearly a day's journey away.
As the city is entered the countless number of little boys and girls on the street is the first thing to challenge attention.
Nearly all of the houses are small and have flat, ground roofs which are also used for yards. The houses are built one against the other and many have only openings in the walls for windows. As tier after tier of these houses are built up the mountainside, the roofs of the lower houses often form the yard and entrance to the upper house and as the upper street is frequently level with the roof of the lower house, it is not an unusual sight to see men, women and children, the babies in their cradles, chickens,
dogs, cats, cows and donkeys on the roof. Some of these steep streets have been repaired and so are much improved by having a stairway built in the road. At the top of this mountain and in the midst of this part of the town you will find the girls' orphanage, while the boys' orphanage is only a block away. The American Board buildings are beyond the limits of the town.
As the caravan enters, the women and children crowd the roofs and the men and boys the streets to get a glimpse of the latest arrival.
As the poverty-stricken aspect becomes evident, invariably the first question asked is, Why should any people locate in such a place ? The answer is that this place was sought out for safety, since God has by nature fortified it, leaving but three roads of entrance. Although poverty, sickness and filth abound,
it is amazing to see how attached the villagers are to their native town, speaking of it as an ideal spot. Only poverty and starvation will drive them away to seek a livelihood elsewhere. Yet after the hot summer months are past, streams of people are seen going to the Adana plain to spend the winter. Weavers, shoemakers, carpenters, blacksmiths, men who follow all kinds of trades are scattered about in the Turkish villages on the plain while some of those who are unfortunate enough not to have a
trade go to help cultivate the fields or to be the servants of the richer. Sometimes whole families move to the plain for the winter while others leave the women and children of the family in Hadjin and bid them farewell until the following" summer.
We must not, of course, think of an Oriental family as we do of an American or European, for there the sons all bring their wives to the father's house while the daughters are married into their husband's family and go to live with their father and mother-in-law. A family consequently often consists of three or four generations and the great-grandmother or the grandmother is the highest authority amongst the women of the household.
On account of the shortage of crops in the year of which we write an unusual number of our Hadjin people had gone to the plain to find work.