During the month of May, I traveled to Colombia. I traveled to the Netherlands. I traveled to Armenia. I am now in Washington DC for a summer internship as I have a break in my coursework before beginning again in September. I am extremely grateful to have had this time to visit people I love and to explore new and exciting places in the world.
I am happy to have spent one week in Armenia, with 20 other graduate students from my school, and led by an Armenian-Canadian classmate. We spent much of our time learning about Armenian history, cultural, art, religion, economy, and political system.
While I am not going to go into the long and complicated history of Armenia, here are a few interesting things about the country (and some lovely photos):
- First nation to adopt Christianity as a religion in 301AD
- Known as the “land of churches,” as there are over 4,000 monasteries in the country
- It has its own alphabet
- There are just less than 3M people who live in Armenia but about 7M people who identify as Armenian and live outside the country (the Armenian diaspora)
- Only about 28 countries have recognized the Armenian genocide which killed over 1.5M Armenians starting in 1915
- Last year there was a velvet revolution where the Prime Minister peacefully stepped down and a new Prime Minister was elected, ending a period of much corruption. And now, many Armenians are very optimistic about the political and economic prospects for the country.
We should keep learning history and try to understand identities to make sense of the human connection and our species evolution and journey. I am grateful to have spent some time in Armenia to have thought about their history and formation of a strong identity – one that ties together a group of 10M people around the world.