If you have been to Arevatsag (Ghachaghan), you are likely to have heard “ջրչոր եղած ղաչաղանցի” phrase that means the people of Ghachaghan are anhydrous.
Air rich in oxygen, clean food, and breathtaking nature all around are some of the luxuries of Koti village of Armenia’s alpine Tavush region. Urban people would be jealous to live in such surroundings, and if so, they may have to pay for it possibly a lot.
Twenty-two years ago, Vanyans left Yerevan for Tsaghkaberd village of the Kashatagh region in Artsakh, without anything, empty-handed. All these years, they settled and created their own farm, but due to the recent war, they now go back to square one.
Apricots will soon bloom, paving the way for apple trees. Homeyards will soon smell with enchanting Maytime aromas. Nature is blossoming again, and rural Armenian villagers are going through their spring gardening checklist: cleaning up the yards, cultivating the trees, and sowing seeds.
Learning to play musical instruments by herself, betting on stretching on a pole, working with a weaving hook, doing splits on a homemade rope, playing in the theater. This list goes on and on.
Once famous for its vineyards, the grape fields of Vazashen were left across the border after the 1990s war. Nowadays, the people of Vazashen have to be satisfied by their home yards.
There are over 850 villages in Armenia. Getting to know each of them is learning about a new culture, history, people, and problems. It also means discovering fascinating places which one can hardly find on touristic maps.
Once you overcome the winding trails taking to Odzun village of the Lori region, it seems like you are about to touch the clouds. Just gaze at the tile roof houses lying somewhere high and the endless fields of wheat, corn, and sunflowers stretching till the rim of the gorge.
The straight road from Yerevan takes you to a small village, living where means waking up every day, walking through pink tuff houses, greeting men playing backgammon (nard) outdoors, and seeing children dashing through the streets, though now less often than they used to – cell phones did it all!
They have the most delicious barbecue, but pig breeding has slumped after the last cholera pandemic. They are known as Russian-speakers, but few speak the language nowadays. They count the inhabited houses not by the smoke coming out from the chimney but with laundry spreads.
As soon as you step through the gate of one’s house in Yeghegnut village of the Lori region, the landlord rushes to invite you for a bite or a drink. Want it or not, here people won’t let you leave without a good treat.
Ask Zardanashen village kids of Artsakh where they are from, and they’ll unanimously reply with a delightful smile on their face -“We’re from the prettiest village in the world!”