Armenia is a small country. Although the tourists, generally, prefer to stay in the capital recently they are more eager to visit rural areas and get familiar with the interesting traditions of the Armenian people.
Yerevan is an ancient and attractive city. The main educational institutions, entertainment centers, working places, etc. are located in the capital. Yet, life in Armenia isn’t limited in this or other cities. As rural places occupy the majority of the Armenian territory there is much to uncover in this village area.
If you plan to spend your vacation in Armenia, then you are highly recommended to spend some time in a rural place. But before, let’s get familiar with the village life in Armenia. Find a guide to village life below.
How The Villagers Live
The villagers in Armenia are very hard working. They wake up early in the morning and try to do as much work as possible. These people are mainly busy with agricultural issues. They wake up at 5-6 o'clock after midnight and do their daily farm activities.
Animal husbandry is one of the main activities people in rural places are busy with. They grow domestic animals, such as cows, sheep, goats, pigs, various birds. One of the reasons to wake up early is to feed the animals and take them to the fields.
Later the villagers come to horticulture. Everybody has yards near their homes where they grow different types of crops, vegetables, fruits, etc. You may taste the most delicious and natural food only in these agrarian places. As a rule, the population in the villages try not to buy vegetables and fruits until they grow them in their yards.
When the people living in urban cities wake up at 8 or 9 o’clock to go to work, the villagers have already done a lot of work, and go to have some rest. At that time the sun is shining brightly and the sweltering hot prevent people from working. So, villagers stay at home and do some domestic chores, or have a rest until the sun goes down.
In the evening, when the weather is relatively cool, these hard-working people return to their yards and continue the never completed work. They implant, cultivate, irrigate, and never finish the activity.
Whenever villagers need to make any purchases they have to go to the nearby town or city. As a rule, there aren’t supermarkets or large shopping centers in the Armenian villages. There are only small shops, where you may find very essential products for your primary needs.
The Unemployment in Rural Areas
The villagers in the Armenian villages lack working places. The main occupation is agriculture. There aren’t many organizations, companies, institutions, and other working places to employ the population.
People earn their living by animal husbandry or horticulture. Only a few people get the opportunity to work at schools, banks, and some companies. Sometimes the unemployment in rural areas makes people leave their homes and go to cities, where they find more opportunities for jobs.
The village population, especially the youngsters, tend to go to cities. There they have many opportunities to achieve higher levels of success and the rural places put them into limits.
The Characteristic Features of The Villagers
If you happen to visit an Armenian village surely, you have to do some things. The Armenian villagers are very curious. First of all, they invite you to the home. Their doors are always open for the guests. They will do their best to satisfy you with homemade food. Even if you insist that you aren’t hungry in any case they will lay the table and won’t be satisfied until you taste every single dish on the table.
When you finally become glad of yourself trying everything, they hint you that it’s time to have a cup of tea or coffee with homemade cakes and natural fruits. The great thing about this is that you cannot refuse.
Image Credits: Tourradar
During this process, the village people ask many questions to satisfy their curiosity. They may ask who you are, why you have come here, and a similar question. And they are also open to tell you anything interesting. If you have any question they may answer, feel free to ask. Without any doubt, you will get a satisfying response.
The Armenian village people like to speak about their daily to-do items. They will introduce you how to do things, for example how to plant a tree, or how to make fodder for the animals. They will also tell you interesting stories connected to the village, for example how the chief of the village performed a charity activity for the villagers.
If you happen to visit any village in winter the natives will invite you to taste “tsipul” (also known as “tsibul” or “plech”). This is a kind of food - potato fried on an iron stove.
How The Villagers Differ
If you go from Yerevan to any village you immediately feel the difference in people, especially if you are a foreigner. The villagers are more traditional. Usually, there is a flower garden in front of every house. In general, these houses are either one or two stored buildings. In the flower gardens, villagers plant various flowers: roses, violets, and many other flowers you may even be unfamiliar with. The villagers take care of their flower garden with great pleasure. They think their garden somehow reflect their identity.
The Armenian villagers pay attention to small things and like to celebrate every small event with a rich table. In every small ceremony, they prefer to make barbeque or other national dishes and have a party. Even if there isn’t any special place to make barbeque they may place two metal poles and make a fire between them. These poles serve as buttresses for the barbeque meat skewers.
Surely, Armenians cannot celebrate any event without drinking a cup of alcohol. The national drinks are never missing at the table. The table is so full of drinks that you have a wide variety of drinks to choose: Armenian wine, cognac, vodka, fresh juice, etc.
Another interesting fact about the village life in Armenia is that villagers know each other. If people don’t know their next-door neighbor in a block in any city, people in agrarian areas know each other and are considered to be relatives.
People in rural places are very supportive. They don’t hesitate to help their neighbors and even strangers. If somebody needs help, everybody tries to provide it. If for example, you need some sugar you should feel free to ask your neighbor to borrow some. Surely, you don’t have to give it back later cause you’re ready for any favor.
Whenever these people prepare any special dish they like to share it with their neighbors. They like to share their everyday thoughts, problems, and satisfaction with their nearby residents around the table of a cup of coffee and sweets.
To Sum Up
After all, if you want to be surrounded by honest people who have much interesting to tell you, plan to live a couple of days in any village. Surely, you will have a great experience.
Published August 1, 2019
Article by Vera Mirzoyan