Armenia is the land of free water. On July 28th is Armenia’s annual, countrywide water fight. This is a day that only Armenia has. The name of this day is “Vartavar” or “Jurotsi” in Armenian. I have never experienced such a phenomenon anywhere else, and this is truly an unforgettable time. I recommend anyone who comes to Armenia for the first time to try to visit during this unique holiday. The origins of “Vartavar” or “Jurotsi” go a long way back in history. It is generally connected to “Astghik” the goddess of love, beauty, water, and fertility. “Vart” also means rose in Armenian. People would originally offer rose water to the goddess for good luck in their love and fertility endeavors, and then over many years it just turned into water. Every time I visit this beautiful country, I have amazing, one of a kind memories especially from this day. However, this time around, I have had a much different experience with life as an Armenian living in Armenia. This time I am older, I have a job, as well as meeting new people from all around the world. Before, when I came for vacation, I was not exposed to the beauty of connecting with many new people with diverse cultures. I have learned and seen how other people live, how they spend their free time, how they act with their families, and ultimately how good of a friend each person has become to me. I have also been exposed to an Armenian workplace, something I have always wanted to see with my own eyes. From the first moment I walked in, I was greeted with warm eyes and welcoming souls. I have become friends with my coworkers and have never felt uncomfortable under their command. I have also spent some one on one time with my family. This is a unique experience for me because I have never traveled to Armenia on my own.
Overall, this experience has definitely changed me. This summer has been unlike any other and I would not trade it for anything.
By: Emmanuelle Berberian
Program: Overseas Professional & Intercultural Training Program, Yerevan, Armenia
Term: Summer 2019