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Activities :: All Programs
Summer Program on Armenian Culture for UWC Students
Students' Feedbacks

Andreas Gabrielsen
Armenian Impressions

We had been traveling for a few days, visiting Tatev and Goris, before arriving here. Not knowing what to expect, we suddenly found ourselves whisked away to visit the college. Nothing could have prepared me for how warmly we were received. Stepping out of the car, we were greeted by students and staff of the new, modern college bearing flowers and traditional bread with salt to greet us as guests.

After being met and greeted in this fantastic manner, we were given a tour of the college. I had been humbled during the welcome, but this changed and I became very impressed. The abilities of the students in a wide variety of skills, from hairstyling and fashion design, to pottery, to cooking and artwork, were shown. It was a special experience being able to spend time with the students of this college.

After the first introductions and tour of the college, we had a short rest before going on a walk together. We walked side by side through pretty Yeghegnadzor, up to a WWII monument. After we had quieted down a little, we tried to teach each others games from where we lived. We UWC students taught the rest of the group a game known as hwa, to the laughter of our local friends. I am sure all our Armenian friends thought we were crazy after that.

It was quite late by the end of our games, so we decided to travel back. Again I was lucky to true Armenian hospitality when Tiko took us to a store in his car to get supplies and didn’t leave until he was absolutely certain we didn’t need anything else.

Early the next morning we breakfasted on lavash and other traditional Armenian food before traveling to the college. At the college we brought a load of tools and travelled onwards to Gladzor, to a church converted to a museum of the University of Gladzor. After marveling at the manuscripts preserved there, we got back onboard the bus, all singing, and travelled onwards to the actually site of the university.

At the site of the university, a series of ruins next to a beautiful Armenian church, we got to work clearing the ruins of shrubs and other growth. After clearing the entry path to the church and the first ruin we had a session of traditional Armenian dance, followed by a short amateur performance of Norwegian folk dance to the Norwegian Eurovision song.

After a lunch of Armenian food, we began mixing cement and taking the rest of the afternoon to make sure the ruins would stay unchanged for the future. Then, we cleared up our tools and items, before we got onboard the bus, tired and happy, back to Yeghnadzor and the College.

I can only hope tomorrow will be as fantastic as the day the students and staff of this college gave me today.

Thank you.

Andreas Gabrielsen (Norway)

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