This time, my article would make some of Armenian people feel offended and bad. So, please stop reading it if you start feeling like that. But otherwise, you may notice perspective of a foreigner who thinks more positive towards the future of the country.
It seems that Armenia today has improved in some respects, which gives us a hope to advance the nation, society and the people. I felt that when I visited there in 2014 especially by comparing to my experience of my visit to Armenia in 2009.This time, I will write about why I thought like that from my observation and experience there.
My first visit to Armenia was in 2009. My first thoughts and experience about Armenia was very different from today. I can say that it was more or less negative to the country not only because of its economic situation but also how people acted and thoughts. In 2009, I still remembered that almost all the time when I walked on the street, most of the people who saw me started staring at me and it made me feel very uncomfortable. Also, I could see that almost all the time, there were many guys walking in a group, wearing black shirts and trousers, which was kind of symbol of Armenia to me then.
In addition, it sounded that many people who I communicated with had more conservative mind-set than Armenian people in Armenia today. For example, they did not try to understand what they thought right would be wrong in other societies. It was my impression about Armenians then.
Yet, in 2014 when I visited there again in October, I really felt that there were many things that had changed since 2009. Probably the most obvious and easy thing to notice was the fashion especially of young Armenian guys. As mentioned, in 2009, in my impression, most of guys including young Armenians were wearing black clothes. However, today, many of them started wearing more colorful clothes like people in Western Europe.
In addition, in terms of mind-set, I could see that many young Armenians had more open mind which lets them listen to what and how foreigners, who have different values and belief, thinks and behave.
In this visit, I had a chance to give a lecture to the students of Leadership School. I was really impressed that the students had more proactive attitude to learn something from foreigners and they were clearly more motivated towards finding something useful for them from me. In 2009, it was more or less that the student were listening to me but still had some doubts and did not really try to elicit as much information as possible from me to utilize it in order to develop their skills and knowledge.
Also, I got impression that more and more young Armenians started to be able to have critical thinking today. Positively, it seems that those young Armenians with critical thinking started to analyze seriously the problems that Armenia has and how they would be able to impact it in positive way to develop the country in the future.
There are still many people saying that Armenia is devastated in terms of politics, economy, society and many other aspects. But, I really believe that the movement and dynamism which I felt from my visit in 2014 will probably change the society in positive way. Of course it is true that the country still is facing a lot of issues but those people who are in generation will possible change Armenia soon.
I hope I will join the movement in some years in the future.