Jump to content

- - - - -

10 Italians in Armenia

  • Please log in to reply
3 replies to this topic

#1 man



  • Banned
  • PipPipPip
  • 846 posts
  • Gender:Not Telling

Posted 11 February 2014 - 08:11 AM

Last summer a group of 10 Italians, involved in a European Volunteering Service in Armenia, went to northern Armenia to restore and promote culturally three monasteries around the city of Dilijan (Tavush Region) called Haghartsin, Ghoshavank and Jukhtak Vank. What is amazing about their blog "Apricots and Monasteries" that there are beautiful pictures in their blog and you have only to click on the small photo to get it in the large clear format. Example is the one shown below, this is not the Tatev region in south Armenia but the northern Sanahin region, (sa-na-hin=this one is older than the other) monastery. In order to get into the next post in their blog, you have to scroll at the bottom, below the word "comments" and there is the name of the new article and the small arrow you have to clink on in order to get to the next post. In the link given, the next post is written as "Brochures Are Coming" and the small arrow is at left of it.




#2 man



  • Banned
  • PipPipPip
  • 846 posts
  • Gender:Not Telling

Posted 11 February 2014 - 08:29 AM

After you finish with their blog, try their FaceBook page, its rich and there are much more there, considering that they joined Facebook only in July 2013. Here is the link to their photo stream of their Facebook:


#3 man



  • Banned
  • PipPipPip
  • 846 posts
  • Gender:Not Telling

Posted 11 February 2014 - 08:56 AM

Did I mention that their Facebook has some nice videos also? Like this one "My Gift To Armenia" the film starts after minute 2 in the video --with great Armenian landscapes filmed in HD and very clean:

the author of this film, posted on Oct 24, 2013, is Francesco
he says: "This video is about Francesco (one of the EVS volunteers who's also realized the other videos) and his trips around Armenia.
"While traveling around - during our free days from the project - I always took short videos with my little HD camera, trying to seize the beauty that I saw around me. I later decided to make a longer video with some of the shootings to send it to family and friends, in order to let them know where I was and what I was doing. While editing, I found out this could also be a nice video about Armenia and the experience of traveling in it. So I've decided to share it. For me, it is also a way to show my gratitude to a country which has been kindly hosting me for three months. Hope you like it!"

#4 man



  • Banned
  • PipPipPip
  • 846 posts
  • Gender:Not Telling

Posted 14 February 2014 - 02:27 AM

This is a good travel blog with good photos of Armenia


Next a lousy article by a British man after visiting the Armenian village..
Here are some photos of Gosh village in the link

And here is the lousy article

The Mayor of Gosh
by Maxim Edwards on Jan 22, 2014

The tourist season had long since left Gosh. It packed its souvenirs and memories and returned to Yerevan, squeezed into a vacuum-packed minibus. At least that’s how I got here. Gosh, a village of just over one thousand people, at the end of a small valley in Armenia’s heavily wooded Tavush Province, is known for its twelfth century monastery of Goshavank, burial place of the founder, monastic scholar Mkhitar Gosh. Known as Nor Getik, the monastery and surrounding settlement was renamed in his honour after his death in 1213. Gosh. There’s a pattern here, in response to which I issue a trigger warning for abysmal puns on the village’s name.

It was raining in Gosh; the forest paths to peaceful Lake Gosh in the mountains are not advisable in such weather. Two Russian tourists, mother and daughter, decided not to risk it (their expensive new boots might get wet,) and sat despondently in Hotel Gosh prodding at their late lunch. The Hotel reception doubles as a village shop in the autumn and winter months, from which one can dive into boxes of biscuits, bottles of shampoo, and all manner of necessities while admiring the magnificent monastery of Goshavank through the drizzle. Gosh experiences that particularly British bad sort of weather. The heavens open and a humid, cloying mist seeps into the soul – smug, evasive, and intangible. I was almost homesick.

That was how I came to meet the former – recently deposed – Mayor of Gosh. Fifty-something Hovsep leaned over the bar, his elbow resting in a tray of the village shop’s biscuits (chocolate, two hundred dram,) his face illuminated by the television’s glare. Hovsep glared back, puzzled. The news was like that. The anniversary of Kristallnacht, a typhoon in the Philippines, and the Day of the Skulls festival in Bolivia. We made small talk.

“Six million of them, it’s unbelievable… why did Hitler kill the Jews?”

I wasn’t quite sure.

“Perhaps because they refused to finance the war?”

“Many were killed. Jews, Roma, Communists, pacifists, the disabled, homeless, drug addicts…”

“Listen,” (I did) “you or I could lose the roof over our heads, you or I could lose our minds. But to be a drug addict? Narkotika? That’s a crime. An addict is worse than an animal.”

La Paz flickered into life on the television screen. A beaming Bolivian cradled a skull in her arms. The interviewer waved a microphone at her, and an explanation followed in Spanish, dubbed into Russian. The skull grinned, its first time on the big screen, and lost for words.

“The Jews were a clever people.”

The past tense confused me. There was some subterranean meaning to it, or perhaps a slip of the tongue. I had become very uncomfortable, and not entirely because of the bar stool.

I remembered a toast at a khorovats gathering with colleagues outside Yerevan. “Armenians love when they are loved.”

“So are the Armenians.”

Chess grandmasters, the genius of Mashtots, a well-worn list of my favourite, eminent –yans. I’d done this before, with a smile, a few choice phrases with an awful accent. Better still, I meant it. The Mayor of Gosh laughed at me.

“Clever? Armenians aren’t clever! The country is emigrating. The price of vegetables even increases every year, and what’s being done about it? When Saakashvili came to power, he rounded up all the thieves, all the cheats, and told them to leave the country or go to jail. Let’s have that happen here.”

We walked out onto the porch, and to the monastery of Goshavank in the rain. In search of wisdom, perhaps. A new statue of Mkhitar Gosh sits at the monastery’s entrance. His legal code formed the basis of canon and civil law in Bagratid and Cilician Armenia, and as far as afield as Poland and Lithuania. Mkhitar Gosh, their giver of law (‘though not order,” remarked one villager.) From the depths of Goshavank, a priest, recently arrived from Dilijan, sang and laughed with all his might. These walls were built to echo. Some generous soul had left him a few thousand Uzbek Som in the donations box, and one worn out US dollar.

The granite writhed in the monastery walls. By the Chapel of St. Gregory stands one of the finest examples of an Armenian Khachkar in the country. They call it aseghnagorts, the needle-carved. When in Yerevan, I sometimes take a detour past a Khachkar carver’s workshop on Arami Street. It’s a mesmerising process to watch, though my Armenian friends tut under the whine of the electric power tools. “It’s just not the same.”

“Goshavank saves us,” sighed Hovsep, crossing himself. “It’s why we’ve all stayed here.”

It seemed, nevertheless, a secular remark.

Returning to the village square, two mud-encrusted Russian tourists crossed our path. They had seen three Khachkars on the crest of a nearby hill, but had never reached them. Ominous and anonymous, they stood just out of reach – at least, until summer. They might meet the occasional bear, though there was nothing to fear, at least, not for them. “Unlike us, bears don’t kill for pleasure.”

We left Gosh to its devices, literary and otherwise, and the monastery receded behind us. A sign, “Gosh,” in Latin and Armenian scripts, with a red slash across it, marked the end of the village. Gosh was no more. According to Hovsep (and it seems, only Hovsep), the word Gosh had referred to an open palm in the Armenian vernacular of Mkhitar Gosh’s lifetime. Gosh had meant kindness, as Mkhitar gave his bread to the hungry and grain to the poor.

At a garage on the road to Dilijan we stood in silence as the jeep’s natural gas canister was refilled, drinking instant coffee in the rain.

“You know, Maxim-jan, I’m not a nationalist. Some people want to return all Western Armenia to us, but what good would that do? We’d move to Karin (Erzurum) or Van, find no work there, and then end up in Rostov. I want to stay here, in Dilijan or in Gosh.”

“…and there are more than ten million Kurds in Western Armenia, and less than three million of us. Armenia would become Kurdistan overnight. (That, of course, would never do.)”

Hovsep had business in Dilijan, and we parted at the town’s bus station.

“We didn’t say anything,” wrote William Saroyan, “because there was such an awful lot to say, and no language to say it in.” As the former Mayor of Gosh drove away, I found myself lost for words. In particular, for exclamations.


P.S. The Armenian government is renovation the Goshavank, recently they added a big statue of Mkhitar Gosh in stone, sitting on a chair, at the entrance of the monastery after his name. The previous name of the monastery was "Nor Ghetik" or "Ghetik" which means small river in Armenian, "ghet" is river and "ghetik" is small river in Armenian. When 'Ghetik" was destroyed by an earthquake in 1188 Mkhitar Gosh took part in rebuilding the monastery. after his death in 1213 the monastery and the village were renamed in his honor. Mkhitar Gosh was a scholar, stateman, scientist, law giver, and theologian. He had a school there and was engaged in teaching.

The last time I was there, inside the main church at the monastery, I met a local old woman who pointed me to book shelves made by stones and that all the manuscripts there were burned by the mongols (or the Arabs) when they passed from there.
Mkhitar Gosh is also the author of numerous fables and parables.


Edited by man, 14 February 2014 - 02:30 AM.

0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users