Power to the people
ABCD Innovation Center
My Great Kalavan Adventure
(Marija Knežević , SERBIA)
The perfect way to begin my story is to quote Markus Zusak: “Sometimes people are beautiful. Not in looks. Not in what they say. Just in what they are.” That's how I feel about Armenian people. I mean it's not a big secret that Armenians are very kind and hospitable people. But, I wasn't prepared for this. In Serbia we like to brag about our hospitality and for sure people there will go extra mile just to make you comfortable. So, compared to Serbia I would say that Armenians would go extra two miles to make you comfortable.
My first touch with Armenian people was in Vienna airport. I went to check in my language and there was a lot of Armenian families with their kids. It was so loud and cheerful. All the people were talking with each other, so I've got the sense like it was one big family. I've never seen such thing in my life and so many kids on one flight.
Let me tell you a little story from my first day here. So here I am, sitting inside my guesthouse and trying to prepare for English class that I should have with kids from the village. Suddenly there is a knock on my door. I was super confused, so I opened the door and there was this guy that I never met before. He handed me bag full of vegetables, cheese, some homemade bread and raspberry juice and told me that his mother sent me that. Now imagine me standing there not knowing what to say with tears in my eyes, trying so hard not to cry. I could never imagine that someone who doesn't even know me would be so kind and thoughtful.
This village is not New York or Paris, although it is very beautiful (even though more than those big cities if you ask me, but I will talk later about its beauty), people here live very humble lives, but they will share with you everything they have. For example, if you are having meal with them they will bring so much food on the table, they will offer you their best wine and so on. If you see some fruit growing you can take it, most of the times they will either offer it to you or go and collect it for you. Even though they don't speak English they will try so hard to help you with anything, even if you have to explain it with your hands.
I feel like Armenian people got some sort of special essence that the rest of the world didn't get. It is impossible to retell that essence in one short story, so I invite you to see it and feel it for yourself. I traveled to many countries, but none of them felt like home. Here in Kalavan you will feel like your soul is at home.