Armenian Volunteer Corps

Welcome to the Armenian Volunteer Corps (AVC) blog. Here our volunteers and alumni reflect on their experiences living and volunteering in Armenia. For more information about our programs, visit our website, follow us on Facebook or drop us an email: .

Monday, October 18, 2010

I Love Armenia

Alis Nini

‘I love Armenia and I love America and I belong to both, but I am only this: an inhabitant of the earth, and so are you, whoever you are. I tried to forget Armenia but I couldn't do it.’ – William Saroyan-

Being a young diasporan who visits Armenia for the very first time can be an overwhelming experience. When I first wandered in the streets of Yerevan I was looking for something familiar to find myself in.

My first thought, when I landed in Yerevan, was the fear of not finding what I have been looking for all these years. Thankfully, national consciousness revealed itself to me soon. It wasn’t revealed in something specific but it was rather a series of moments like during a conversation with a local Armenian or another diasporan Armenian, the sight of a church or a mountain proudly surrounding the Armenian land. It must have been a moment when an unexpected emotion conquered me and forced me to discover Armenia.

Discovering the glorious simplicity of the churches,
The rugged sceneries, yet breathtaking nature,
The valuable remains of a lost kingdom,
The determined people, yet always welcoming,
The presence of art in every corner of Yerevan,
The longing of taking a glimpse of Mount Ararat in a clear sky, were all signs which showed me I started connecting with homeland. My stay was for six weeks and I went through three phases. In the beginning everything was like a puzzle which turned into an ongoing search for the pieces to be put together. I am now holding the perfect picture and I am sure each volunteer hold their own.

After six weeks of working, living, dealing with pleasant and unpleasant situations, adapting, travelling in Armenia, searching and discovering I realised that there was a mighty generation which established a kingdom,
A generation of intellectuals gifted with wisdom which gave us and the world outstanding inheritance,
There was a generation consisted by heroes and survivors,
There was a brave and courageous generation which preserved our identity and traditions through immigration,
And we are the generation which is called to acknowledge our past, embrace our developing nation, reconnect with the homeland and make sure it will continue to grow.

Above all I realised that being a diasporan Armenian comes with a price. It comes with a doubtful feeling of not entirely belonging somewhere and an anguished effort of searching for homeland.

On the other hand, being a diasporan Armenian gives me an advantage. This doubtful feeling of ‘not entirely belonging somewhere’ makes me an ‘inhabitant of the earth’. It gives me the freedom to make an endless journey that will keep me developing, having at the same time my Armenian roots as an integral part of my identity.

Labels: , ,


Post a Comment

<< Home