CubaLibre Party

        Last week on August 15 there was a big CubaLibre party in the Caribbean Pool of Best Western Congress Hotel. That was a fantastic chance for all Latin dance lovers and professionals for having an unforgettable day and improves their dancing skills. For this event Congress Hotel cooperated with Centro Hispano Centre, which provided music, musicians and dancing atmosphere. The troposphere made all the participants shake the hips and feel themselves Latin dance gods. Tempers flared especially when Couples Salsa and Bachata Battle started. That was a “Step by Step” Battle, where only five Lucky Couples could elapse the next level and be announced as the winner.

Cubalibre

Cubalibre

After all the most curious and anticipated moment was After Party. Beautiful young ladies were tramping all around and were helpful in providing with Bacardi. This was the very time to make acquaintance with others and enjoy the day. Salsa,Bachata, Reggaeton, Merengue, Cumbia, Kizomba, live music, Cuba Libre… What else one needed for organizing a real entertainment?!!

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The time was over but none of the staff members wanted to leave that area. That day could have been a fatal day in one’s life. Some of the participants decided to practice dancing. One of the event’s bases was a black girl who was said to be a princess of a day. I had a chance to meet her on City’s streets, so when found myself dancing next to her, recognized that chocolate lady. During After Party it was hard to realize who was a professional dancer and who is not. Soon there’ll take place the 4th one… Will be looking forward to…

Author – Jasmin Hakobyan

Image of Armenians shared by Japanese people

What do you think about how Armenians are imagined by Japanese in Japan? Have you ever thought about that? Do you think it is positive? Do you think it is negative? Or just indifferent?  This time, I will write about how Japanese people share image about and think about Armenians in general, which may be something you have thought about or may be something you have never thought about.

In Japan, there are approximately 30 Armenians including my wife. Some of them are students currently studying at a Japanese university, post graduate or professional school, some are wives of Japanese guys, some have married with Japanese women doing professional dancer or musician and the rest are working here using their expertise. I do not know the exact number but I can say the number is actually less than 30. Well, compared to the entire population of Japan, which counts about 126,000,000, only 30 plays a very tiny proportion here in Japan.

Mt Fuji

Mt. Fuji, the highest Japanese mountain. This looks similar to Mt. Ararat.

 

Not only because of the tiny number of Armenians in Japan but also because Armenia and Japan have not developed a strong diplomatic relationship, unfortunately, for the majority of Japanese, Armenia is something they cannot imagine or even do not have any clue to guess.
In many cases, if I talk to them about Armenia, their first question is “Where is Armenia?” Then, the second question is “how do they look?” Some people event said that “Oh yeah, I guess they are very similar to Croatian”. Other people sometimes say “I guess, they are like Central Asian people”. Right… so basically they do not know anything.

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This is Mt. Ararat. Does it very similar to Mt. Fuji, doesn’t it?

 

But then, many Japanese people have one common image about Armenia… What do you think??? Can you guess???
The answer is…

 

“Armenian girls are Beautiful and Cute”!!!

 

Sirusho, an Armenian singer famous around the world. She is cute and beautiful.

Sirusho, an Armenian singer famous around the world. She is cute and beautiful.

I don’t know why somehow they heard Armenians girls are beautiful and cute. Well, it is true that there are many cute and beautiful Armenian girls in Armenia. Although even they cannot imagine where it is and how they look, they still share the belief that Armenian girls are cute and beautiful!

Ok, Armenia is a country of mystery but the belief about Armenians shared by Japanese is also a mystery….

So, by taking it into account, I can recommend female Armenians who are interested in finding a Japanese boyfriend, and who want to be a TV personality, actress or singer, to come to Japan. There would be a lot of opportunities for them to have an exciting life here then.

Please let me know if you are one of these people. I can give you my advice :p

 

P.S. It is also believed that Armenians are super good at business in Japan. A previous CEO of McDonald Japan once said that in Business, even 3 Japanese people cannot win 1 Chinese, even 3 Chinese cannot win 1 Indian, even 3 Indian cannot win 1 Jew but actually, even 3 Jews cannot win 1 Armenian.

Long live Armenia…

Story of a Family

Does your family have an interesting and old story that goes down from generation to generation? I am pretty sure there is one in almost every family in the world. And my family is not an exception. So, I remembered about this story a few days ago when I was looking through my grandma’s old family pictures. And I just felt like sharing it with you, because what else could tell about the country if not its family stories. So, my great grandpa from my mother’s side had three brothers, he was the oldest. His name was Sasun. Sasun was married to a girl, Anahit, from their village. She was young and beautiful, they had a two-year-old girl. Everything was just like in a normal family. They were living in their house with thebig family, Sasun’s parents, his brothers and their little girl. So everything was fine until that day. The day had started fine, just like the other usual days in the life of that big family. Sasun had left for the city to buy some staff and the rest of the family was in the house, his wife Anahit and his youngest brother Aram were around the tandoor (an oven in the ground, where people bake Armenian flat bread lavash), and suddenly while cleaning up his gun Armen shoot Anahit…. There was no way to save her. The whole family was in a grief and my great grandpa couldn’t believe his beloved wife was now gone. The years went by and he didn’t marry. One day he went to the market to by a new horse and as the seller of the horse was his old friend he invited Sasun for a dinner in his house. During the dinner, Sasun noticed that the girl in the house was a very nice one, she was humble and very beautiful. Sasun told his friend that his daughter was very beautiful and attractive, but his friend got sad immediately saying that it is not his daughter, but instead she is the wife of his son, who went away for the war and never came back. So, the girl was living with them. Sasun came back to the village with the new horse he bought and his new wife, named Karine, thought he never called her so, he called her like his departed wife, Anahit and the whole village called her like that, I think none of them even knew her real name.  They were living a happy life, except for she couldn’t get pregnant, but there was a girl, Seda,  from his first wife, so “new” Anahit loved this girl like her own child, and even years later after they had 3 more girls and a boy, she loved Seda more tenderly than her other children till the end of her days (this is what my grandma told me). 🙂 This is such an interesting story of a simple and ordinary family from Armenia, and I think it shows how people here used to and still respect and value their family, more than anything else. I don’t know, this story is a pretty sad one, but at the same time, it is a good one too, because if it were not for this new girl who married my great grandpa my grandma wouldn’t be born, and as a result I wouldn’t be either 🙂 Love your family and be always happy 😉 XoXo

A day with “Capital Cities”

Capital Cities! How many Capital Cities you know: Yerevan, Moscow, Tokyo, etc. I know only one “Capital Cities”. I think you have heard about music band “Capital Cities” or at least their songs. Capital Cities is an American pop group which was formed by Sebu Simonian and Ryan Merchant in 2008. I think that not all of you knew that one of the singers is Armenian and his name is Sebu. I myself found it out recently. He was in Armenia for a few days. On his second day in Yerevan he held two parties. First one was in the garden in front of TUMO Centre for Creative Technologies. And the second party took place at UpTown club. We decided to visit the open air party because we thought it was going to be much more interesting. The party had the dress code about which you can find out more in our further blog posts.

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The party started at about 7pm. Before that Sebu held a press conference which was pretty interesting and entertaining. As soon as he got on the stage the audience burst out clapping. Everyone was happy to have a chance to listen to his music live and free of charge. Our team was lucky enough to be able to take photos with him.

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I should probably mention that the acoustic version of the very well known song called “Safe and Sound” was much better than its original version, well at least for me. During the open air concert Sebu performed 7 songs of the “Capital Cities” which were absolutely amazing.
And actually a lot of people have been waiting for his concert because for the second party at UpTown club all the tickets were sold out 5 days before the party.
Our team also prepared a video where you can hear some of his songs. Enjoy it !

Armenian hospitality : A story of one photo !

If you have ever been hosted in Armenia, you would understand what means armenian hospitality somehow, if not, then you’d be happily surprised of this post 🙂

Nowadays big cities become more formal, people not trust each other as before and somehow you could feel some distance between people. Though whenever you visit any armenian family, be sure you’ll be treated very well. If you visit them in the evening, you will not be allowed to leave them without having a dinner with them, and even if you have just visited your friend for some minutes you’ll be forced to drink at least armenian coffee with some sweets. And this is common in every armenian family all around the world, there is some habit/ tradition to treat a guest warmly and be kind to them. If the visit is already planned, then the family is preparing the house by cleaning it so that everything is in it’s order, creating a pleasurable atmosphere for the guests. Another issue is to prepare good food, it migh be barbecue or something from family’s favourites, it should surprise the guest and make him be satisfied of it, so imagine the dinner, which might onsist of almost everything . If it’s summer time there would be a watermelon for sure, ice-cream and fresh homemade juices, or you migh be offered cold drink made of yogurt. If you are coming from abroad or other region and you would have to stay in their city you’ll be asked to stay at thir house, even if house itself is quite small. Be sure they’ll find a room with clean bed, linen. If you will not have any strong argument of not being hosted this way you might hurt the family .

Some people say that this is not so common in the city now, but I still meet many families who think and beahve this way, i see how hey really love their guests and care for their comfortable stay with them.

Though another thing is to have unexpected guests, someone whom they don’t know. And I will surprise you by telling that even if they don’t know you, they will become your closest relative very soon 😉

In this case may be you won’t face the same hospitality in the city as in the village, but you’ll find at least all the necessary info or contacts to survive .

It’s amazingly beautiful to see how people from regions/ villages behave towards foreigners. They are so kind and open to them, that sometimes you ask yourself how they could be so trustful and willing.

In this part of my blog let me tell the story which inspired me to write bout this. Some weeks ago, while we were doing our Armania-trip to Vayq, we met so many nice people, that I am still willing to visit this place again. It’s so nice that you start liking the place with it’ people, it becomes close to your heart.

So we were walking to the place where we wnted to camp. Unfortunately we didn’t remember the exact place, so we were asking people on our way and were following their directions. And when we were already close o some nice place, close to the village, we had heard an old lady singing in her garden. We stopped to see who’s she, cause it was such a nic voice full of warmness and sweetness. And it was obvious that she was alone in her garden and enjoying it, working there. When she noticed us, she called as and said that we were on a wrong direction. I think that there were many other tourists passing that wayin the past, so she could guess where we were going. And she came to us and showd the right way , then when we wanted to thank her and continue our way, she stopped us. She told us to wait , she wanted to share with us some fruit and vegatable of her garden. It was so nice of her and we were ful of staff, so we couldn’t take anything with us and wanted to go, but she resisted and said a phrase which made us take whatever she could give. She said ” This is the porion of the traveler”. It’s so surprising that she works so hard, cares for her garden so much and she’s still wiling to give. And it’s not just giving , it’s special portion dedicated to traveller. And I remembered the words from the Bible telling to take care of the people while doing harvest, cause there might pass someone who don’t have anything and could reap something from your garden. And I saw this beautiful woman sharing with us peaces, tomatoes and ucumbers of her garden with love and respect.  And though we were walking a lot before meeting her and we were really very tired, after that we were feeling so good, her approach was so kind and beautiful, that made us smile and feel loved. And we contiuned our way with heavy bags , but we were happy, happy to see people who are ready to share even not having much, people who could be kind to you without knowing you, people who are open-minded living in so-called traditional parts of Armenia, people who made us feel proud close to the foreigners, who were with us.

We couldn’t resist of not having a photo with this nice lady 🙂

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And the funniest thing of that moment was the reaction of my friend from Germany, whom I looked trying to say something about this nice lady and he said smiling  “This is Armenia”. I am so happy that Armenia is associated with such things, with kindness and love.

Love each other, give and share, don’t worry of not having enough, after visiting Armenia and living with armenians you will learn how to be a good host . But for now enjoy being a guest 😉

Real Dragon Quest tour in Armenia (would be realized in 2015)!

For Armenians living in Armenia, have you ever thought that Armenia would be something unique and attractive for foreigners who have grown up in other countries?

For people living in the countries other than Armenia, have you ever thought that Armenia would be an interesting place to visit for you?

Well, I want to tell you that Armenia is likely very interesting for you especially if you like fantasy, RPG of computer game and the world of medieval time. 

And, tours that will take you around Armenia allowing you to enjoy the virtual world of fantasy, PRG and medieval time would come true in the next year, 2015!Tatev Monastery

What I mean by that is that I had a conversation with the managing director of a free paper magazine that has been publishing information which are especially targeting the young people who love to travel around the world, love to experience something unique/challenging and trendy but also very exciting. I visited the office actually for another business purpose yet I realized after 10 minutes that what she would be more interested in is actually the activities of what ArMania is doing and we would be probably collaborate somehow.

I explained about Armenia and what we have been doing so far and to describe Armenia as a country, I just said “well, it is kinda real version of Dragon Quest”. Then, she said “Woa! It’s so exicting!”. Then, I said, “yeah, right? Actually, Ive been having an idea of creating real Dragon Quest tours. I have some travel partners, connections to the government, other business players and even the embassy here. I can manage the project and create the tour package of real Dragon Quest”. She replied to me then “Ok, it’s so interesting and I am sure that the majority of our audience would be very excited and interested in going to Armenia on the tour! Let’s do it!”.

dragon_quest_mj_1

Yep, we verbally made an agreement yesterday and already created some action plans as well as time frame to realize the project. We are planning to realize the tour project in early summer in 2015. First of all, we will take a Japanese celebrity to Armenia guiding him/her to let him write his experiences which will be published for the young Japanese at the same time, we will also introduce and announce that we offer the Dragon Quest Tour if they want so that they can finally experience a world of Fantasy, RPG, and medieval time in the real world!.

Landscape 12dragon-quest-vii-playstation-ps1-004

 

 

We will still have some time ahead and things to make clear but I will keep working on that and realize this plan in 2015. Then, it would attract and get the young Japanese aware of Armenia!

By the way, the free magazine company is somehow related to “Arm( )ni”, one of the most famous fashion brand as you know :p. How coincident is it (ArMania x Arm( )ni)??? 

 

Art of Recycling

The other day I was visiting my friend’s house and on my way there I saw this interesting kiosk which sells tires. But I didn’t really get what it was from the very beginning. As I approached it I thought it has something to do with kids and games for kids because there were different cartoon characters. But in fact I was wrong. Have a look at the pictures here.

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Here are the little elephant and the lion. I mean, of course they are not like something very professional or extremely real-looking, but at least this person has spent so much time working on them, right?

Here is another creature, the crocodile from old Soviet cartoon, whose name is Gena. Isn’t he cute? He is right next to the entrance to the kiosk.

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Well, you can see for sure that all of them are made of old tires. Isn’t it just a nice way to spend your free time and make some sort of art for people passing by. I believe this is a nice way of recycling as well. In Armenia recycling is not a big thing, but there are people who recycle, sometimes even not noticing they are doing so. And this person is a bright example.

I think we need more projects like this. I remember a few years ago there was a big lion made of recycled tire in one of the main squares of Yerevan, but looks like it was a one-time thing, because I didn’t see any more of them begin made. Of course that one was made more professionally, and looked much better, but I would love the idea to be continuous.

So, you can see, Yerevan is a place of new ideas and people who like to work and not to waste time. And if you come to visit it, take your time to see all the sides of Yerevan. Because it is not only about the main square, the museums, Yerevan and Armenia in general are about the people and what they do.

 

Wonderful trip

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At first we had plans for our journey to the wildest parts of Vayots Dzor. But unfortunately one of our friends got to the starting point a little bit late. It means that the bus had gone already. After our friend’s arrival we decided to get there by taxi. After 2 hours we were at Noravank. This time the mountains and hills were greener for sure. Also there were lots of tourists. After visiting Noravank we started hiking right to the Argam’s lake and we found out that the place is private, it means that we have to pay and rent some square meters. Of course we disagreed with owners and moved to Arpa River where we opened up our tents. The place was awesome. We had everything for our first needs: medicine, warm jackets, water vegetables fishing rod, match, etc.  We had a wonderful trip and enjoyed 2 days there.
Also we had camera with us which we used of course. Enjoy the footages 🙂

Weddings in Armenia

Family is the most important social institute in Armenian society and the most valued thing for every Armenian. Knowing this every Armenian tries to create her or his family on strong foundations and traditions. The most amazing part of this is Armenian wedding. Though nowadays it’s not celebrated very traditional as in past, it is still the most important event in every family and for every couple. And our elder generation always tries to keep traditional elements in its organization and celebration. Regardless of anything it is always celebrated with great joy.

Armenian Wedding

Armenian Wedding

There are so many traditional ceremonies of Armenian wedding, that don’t know even from what to start Armenian couple begins to prepare for it much earlier of the ceremony date. First we start from the proposal. The groom asks the bride’s family for the bride’s hand: asking for permission. And only after the parent’s approval they start planning the wedding process. It’s a tradition that after asking the permission and getting the permission, the groom’s relatives visit the girl’s family with presents and sweets to confirm their union. Depending on family’s will this can be celebrated in a small group or in a really very big family with many relatives. Sometimes this is accompanied with official engagement. So after the most important step, the preparations start: The couple fixes the date of the ceremony. But the ceremony traditionally starts the day before the wedding. In groom’s and bride’s family preparations start with their own traditional activities. They decorate their houses and make some games connected with the bride’s shoes and non-married members of the families. Everybody is involved in some part of the wedding and everybody equally enjoys it. But of course the most interesting part of the wedding is the day of the wedding: the most important day for the couple. The groom comes to take the bride from her house, where they generally already started playing some music and congratulated the bride with the new beginning. The groom comes with musicians and relatives, who bring with them beautiful decorated baskets with presents. The process of the bride’s preparation is really like in fairy tales. Every element of the bride’s get is important and marked. Every moment is accompanied with interesting traditional procedure, saying, and act. For example, when the bride is already dressed, the closest male member of the family enters her dressing room / where she’s not alone / and helps her to dress her shoes. Then in one hand with the shoe he stands in the entrance of the room and makes / kidding/ the others to pay as to enter and see her. In some places non married girls or boys write their names on the shoes, so they get married the next or something different. The other important element is the bride’s veil. By tradition happily married women circles the veil over the head of the bride and bless her wishing good start or good family life. So the bride’s dressing room becomes a nice stage for traditional ceremonies full of lovely perfume and decorations.  After all these parallel preparation the families of the groom and the bright meet, usually they go to the groom’s house and after to the place where they will dance, sing and enjoy all night. Check out these videos

There are a lot of new ways of making this day special. It’s very popular here to invite professional photographers for fixing every nice moment of this important event. SO for this many couples visit different beautiful gardens , country-sides , sometimes they find more creative places such as stadium, metro, airplane….But the most important for all is the moment they go to the church in their beautiful dresses and get the blessing form the church. I do really love to watch wedding photos, they are full of life, happiness, there are so many expectations in their eyes…

Renewal of ArMania.co

ArMania.co has renewed its main site!

Due to the increase of our fans as well as more visitors to our website. We decided to improve the website with a major update.

 

Now, the usability of the site has become improved a lot. It is much easier to more intuitively understand where to find the information you look for. In addition to that, our blog has been integrated into the main site so that you can simply enjoy a lot by staying on the website.

On the road-map of 2014 for the website, there will be more elements to add in order to better the experience of visitors. Please enjoy by vising our site and feel free to request us for any change if you have something on your mind!