2015 “Ari Tun” Program: “Armenia is my nest, my final landmark”

The participants of the 5th stage of the 2015 “Ari Tun” Program performed wonderfully during the ceremony marking the end of the fifth stage. They recited Armenian poems, as well as sang Armenian songs and performed Armenian dances. The three Armenian girls from the Russian Federation especially touched the hearts of the audience with their graceful dance, “Armenianness” and perfect performance.

Twins Milena and Lena Ghazaryan are visiting the homeland for the first time. Milena says her parents talk about Armenia so much that, even though she had never been in the homeland, she had always had the feeling that it was close to her and that she had seen it and lived there.

The sisters learned how to dance at the Armenian Sunday School near Moscow where they also learn Armenian, Armenian history, Armenian literature, as well as sing Armenian national and patriotic songs. Lena is especially concerned about the fact that not all Armenian children of Russia speak Armenian. “When I go back, I’ll tell them about the unforgettable days that we spent in Armenia and the friends that we made and I’ll show them our pictures, and if they want to learn Armenian, I’ll help them,” says Lena.

The sisters don’t want to believe that they have to leave the homeland. Besides their good memories, they’re also leaving their friends, many of whom they saw only after visiting Armenia. “When I remember that we have to leave, I start crying,” says Milena Ghazaryan, crying. The 13-year-old sisters have one request for their parents. “We only want one thing. We want our parents to return to the homeland and take us with them.”

Russian-Armenian Lilit Melikyan also stood out with her performance of an Armenian dance. She knows Milena and Lena from the Armenian Sunday School. They’re in the same class and go to dance lessons together. Lilit was born in the homeland, particularly in Ararat province, but doesn’t remember much about her birthplace.

She saw the homeland as a clean place with beautiful nature, historical and cultural sites, as well as kind and hospitable people. “I love Armenian dances. There are foreigners who show interest and want to come with us, but there are also people who know nothing about Armenian history and culture. We have to let them know, and these kinds of programs help us present our homeland the right way. However, above all, we need to be good, smart and law-abiding people. That will help us keep our nation’s honor high in foreign countries,” Lilit mentioned.

Lilit also wants to settle in the homeland, but doesn’t know if her dream will come true. “I love to travel and live in different countries. I want to spend the rest of my life discovering the world. But like a bird that goes around the forest and stops at different places and comes back to its nest, I’ll also come back. My Armenia is my nest, my final landmark. One day I’ll come back, just like the bird,” says Lilit Melikyan.

Until then, the Armenian girl fills the longing in her heart for the homeland with Armenian music and dances that have become an inseparable part of her daily life. “I sometimes get sad for no reason, and then I realize that I have missed my homeland. Now I’ll miss it more because I got very connected to the people here, the team leaders and my friends,” the 14-year-old girl mentioned.

At the end of the interview, the three Armenian dancers couldn’t hold back their tears. They left with the promise to return. Until then, the people gathered at the “Ari Tun” Camp in Tsaghkadzor will remember their beautiful dance for a long time.

Amalya Karapetyan

4th year student of the Faculty of Journalism of Yerevan State University

Scroll Up