About my life in Armenia, about being a mom and an activist, working for women's rights.
The challenges and benefits of raising a family in a post-soviet republic.
Finding a place, my place and calling it HOME.

2.1.18

Celebrations 2018

It is our 15th Christmas and New Year in Armenia. Things have changed over the years; in 2003, we wouldn’t see a single decoration on the streets, on the windows of the shops on the streets, or on the balconies of apartments. We could find some lighting decorations here and there but nothing majestic. The markets, restaurants, bars, shops would all close from the 31st to the 13th of January, until the old New Year. Local friends would advise us to buy bread for a couple of days, as well as food, to survive the long holiday. The whole country would stop for 2 weeks; rest, celebrate, eat, drink, and visit each other. Mothers, aunts, daughters would spend days cooking the traditional food; the Bood (porc leg/thigh), dolma, blinchiks, “olivye” salad and many other meals essential to the Armenian festive table. 




Things are changing over the years. Today unfortunately, larger supermarkets appeared everywhere, with longer opening hours, more products. You don’t need to buy extra bread and stock up on food before the holidays since most places open up earlier. The holiday period shortened as well, with capitalism gaining more power in this tiny post-soviet republic. Everyone is back to work around the 7th of January. For next year the government adopted a decision to close for the holidays from the 31st to 2 January and then for the 6th for Armenian Christmas, shortening even more the holiday period. Walking on the streets of downtown Yerevan, You can see more decorations on the streets, some nice others with less taste, but definitely more people and stores decorating earlier.

The sad part is that poverty is increasing but people still insisting on taking loans to prepare an overloaded festivity table. Everyone complains about the situation, but as usually rarely people will change their attitudes and behaviour. 

Nevertheless I enjoy the  simplicity of celebrating New Years in Armenia. This year we opted for an Italian night with seafood pasta (with frozen seafood available at carrefour:) and an authentic Italian lasagna and for desert carrot cake and ice-cream. Being a Repat and still considered more a diaspora living in Armenia than a local, still gives me the privilege on deciding which traditions to keep which to avoid. The dinner will be followed by lots of singing and music. Having super talented kids passionate of music makes our celebrations even more fun and joyful; so Vayk on drums, Varanta on base, Vocals by Amassia and entretainement by Yeprad, we are set for a nice cozy evening welcoming the New Year.






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