Power to the people

ABCD Innovation Center

Party like an Armenian

(Marija Knežević , SERBIA)

I've been here for two weeks, but I already attended four parties. One thing is for sure, Armenians know how to make good party. If you are coming to Armenia, than for sure you have to go to at least one party with locals, so you'll have unforgettable time here.
One of the parties I attended was going away party for one young man from Kalavan. He is 18 now, which means he is going to spend two years in the army. Even though I know family for a little time, they invited me. This was a very big party, a lot of friends and relatives came. The atmosphere was amazing, everyone was happy. We were laughing and dancing. Boy, did we dance a lot. Traditionally, Armenians dance with hands up in the air and you dance with one more person. Let me tell you something, this dance look so elegant and beautiful in one hand, but in the other hand it's very vivid and complex. You need to understand your partner in order to create dance together, you are supposed to complete each other. It is a magical process. Another very typical thing at this kind of parties is making a lot of toasts. You usually toast to your hosts, guests, parents, you can also make toast for health and well-being, basically anything that comes to your mind. This means that you will drink a lot, so be prepared. The wine here is simply amazing, but beside that they also make vodka. Be sure to try handmade drinks, they are way better than the ones you can find in supermarkets. This all means that there is enormous amount of food at parties like this, which is of course very delicious. Even for vegetarians like me, there are a lot of options. So, Grig, my friend (if you are reading this), although I made one toast for you at the party, I wish you all the best in this new chapter of your life and I hope that I will return to Kalavan for your party after the army. May the luck always be on your side.
One more thing that I wanted to mention in this story is Vardavar. This is very fun festival during which people pour water on each other. I remember as a kid we used to do this during hot summer days, but that's nothing like I experienced here. During this festival everyone participates, even the adults. You are allowed to pour buckets of water on strangers also. In Kalavan we celebrate it by going to the river with buckets and dousing each other with water. We played games, we laughed and had really good fun. The mountain water is really cold, so this was very refreshing. Probably in Yerevan or other cities you will participate in bigger party than this, but I enjoyed this one in Kalavan so much because it was in nature and we used water from the river, which added some special charm to the whole day. What a perfect way to cool down in hot summer day and to have fun along the way.