India is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by area and the second-most populous country in the world. Although India is reasonably large, it is a poor and densely populated country.
The salary is low, and the average income is about 100 dollars. That's why many Indians move abroad and seek job opportunities outside of the country.
In recent years, Armenia has become home to many Indians. They come to our country with their families. Moreover, some of them set up a successful business here. Armenia seems an excellent option for many Indians as they see it as a democratic country. But why our country appears so attractive to them? Let's find out!
Image credits: Indo-Armenian Friendship NGO
According to the official data of the State Migration Service of Armenia, currently, there are about 3,000 citizens of India in our country. Most of them are students. They study for five years, and during that time, they also manage to find temporary jobs. After some time, some of them apply for Armenian citizenship.
Now it's easier for foreign citizens to receive a residence permit in Armenia. Last year the government decided that they can get a visa as soon as they arrive in Armenia. The goal was to encourage Indian tourists to visit our country. Due to this, the number of Indians visiting Armenia has highly increased over the past year.
Armenia is also closer to India, comparing to European countries. It's safe and comfortable to live in, and our country seems a paradise for many Indians. But first, let's clarify why Indians come to our country.
Why do so many Indians come to Armenia?
As you know, the crime rate is very high in India. The country is not safe and can be dangerous, especially for girls. One of the main reasons that Indians move to Armenia is that our country is very safe. You can even leave your house in the evening without worrying. Another reason is that in Armenia you don't meet any travel fraud.
Nowadays you can see many Indians in the streets of Yerevan. Some of them have come to study, while others to work and earn money.
One of the most popular places where you can meet Indians is the Yerevan State Medical University after M. Heratsi. It is the leading university of Armenia which provides high-quality medical education. Indians prefer this university due to several factors:
Image credits: MBBS Abroad
No entrance exams to get admitted to the university
The language of instruction for all foreign students in English.
The tuition fee is low comparing to other countries
During education, they can apply for internships in various hospitals in Armenia
They receive international training as the Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery degrees are recognized by the Medical Council of India as well as the World Health Organisation.
Most of the Indian students live in Zeytun students' hostel. It is located in Davit Anhaght street - only a few km away from the YSMU. The monthly rent is about 50.000 AMD. The hostel is overcrowded, and the living conditions are not so good. Quite often, three students have to live in a single room.
What are they doing in Armenia?
Apart from studying, many Indians set up a business and open new job places here. The majority of them manage a restaurant business. Indian cuisine is rich and highly famous due to its variety of flavors. There are many Indian restaurants in Yerevan where you can taste authentic north Indian and south Indian cuisines.
Some of the most popular restaurants are Indian Mehak Restaurant & Bar, Taj Indian Restaurant, Namaste Indian Restaurant, Kabir Indian Sweets and Restaurant, the Indian Clove restaurant, Shafi's Place and many more. In these places, Indians can enjoy their traditional food and feel back home. Locals are also welcomed to try Indian dishes. It's a great way to socialize, make acquaintances, or pass the time.
Apart from the restaurant business, Indians open salons, sell their traditional goods, and set up service and trade businesses.
Many Indians learn our language and become integrated with Armenian life. Quite often you can meet Indians who fluently speak Armenian. Many of them don't leave Armenia as they make their own family here. Armenian-Indian weddings are not uncommon nowadays.
The Embassy of India makes all efforts to spread Indian culture in Armenia. There is a festival called "Indian days in Armenia" which aims to present the rich culture and national heritage of the country. By the way, the Indian soap operas are also very popular here.
The unprecedented growth of Indian citizens coming to Armenia is an unusual phenomenon for us as our country is mostly homogenous. Some Armenians don't like the fact that Indians easily cross our state. They think that foreigners can leave Armenians unemployed and also will cause huge demographic problems.
Although there are some reasons to worry about, we must not forget that hospitality is one of the brightest features of us. We should welcome all our guests if they respect our country’s laws and traditions.
Published May 23, 2019
Article by Ani Shahbazyan