Story of a foreigner in Armenia Vol. 3 – “Getting into Armenian communities”

Hello everybody

How are you? As an announcement, I got a message from the Armenian government saying that they appreciate my activities and initiative to help promote Armenia to the rest of the world and actually had skype discussion with them today. It was a good one! We will start collaboration soon, which will be exciting! Well, this is just a new. So, let me write a continued story from Vol.2 of my story.

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So, after I met an Armenian guy who was doing lecture at a well-known university in Sydney in 2009. He suggested to take me to some Armenian communities in Armenia. As you may know, there are a large number of Armenians living overseas as so-called “Diaspora”. In Australia, I do not remember the exact figure but I think there are around 50,000 Armenians living. He took me to an Armenian community based in North-Ride of Sydney, which is located in the northern part of Sydney that is around 20-30 minutes away from the central area of Sydney.

I think there are 50 – 100 members in the Armenian community and many of them visit an Armenian church in the area sometimes for special occasions and sometimes for just weekend pray. So, I remember 1 or 2 weeks after my first meeting with him, he took me to the church where there were about 20 Armenians in that evening.

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Well, my impression about them was “hmmm… Armenians look kind of different to each other”. What I found out when I met many of them for the first time was that some people really look like somebody from more western countries and some look more similar to somebody from more Middle East. “So, what are Armenians???” I remember I was wondering inside myself. Well, it was found out later that Armenia has the history of many invasions from different nations and ethnic groups as well as migration of Armenians themselves to other countries etc. So, basically, what I think is that it is difficult to define exactly who Armenians are in terms of blood or as a purely ethnic group. It is, on the other hand, quite interesting though anyways.

Apart from the appearance, the personalities of these Armenians I met were very friendly, open-minded and liberal to great extent. Well, of course, although they are Armenians, they were born in Australia where many people from different countries and ethnic background live together so that they tend to become very tolerate with differences and different ideas / philosophies. So, as a result, again, I got very comfortable talking to them and really got to like them again!!! Yep, they are actually Australian in the end.

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My visits to the community were made probably more than 3 times. And every time, they warmly welcome me and I really started looking forward to visiting Armenia in August in 2009. Well to tell you the truth, this experience of myself encountering and meeting many Armenians in Australia led me to face some troubles when I visited Armenia later though…

To be continued