Margarita in WonderNetherlands
Interview with Margarita Vardanian, from Armenia living in Oosterhout, founder of the Travel Organisation Yan Travel.
My name is Margarita Vardanian and I am Armenian. I came to the Netherlands as a little child with my parents. I live now in Oosterhout in Noord-Brabant.
My first impressions of the Netherlands are connected with the cookie jar. When I went to play with children the cookie jar came out and you were allowed to grab a biscuit, if you did not want it, it went straight into the closet. In Armenia we are used to having everything on the table and you can take how much and when you want.
In Armenia, society is less individualistic than in The Netherlands. You can expect guests every moment of the day instead of having to make an appointment two weeks in advance. In The Netherlands everyone has at least one bike, in Armenia no one.
Armenians always cover the table and it is a tradition to give food to your guests. You can not just join a dinner in a Dutch family. I miss here Armenian hospitality and warmth and I love the directness and independence I have in the Netherlands.
My favourite places
In The Netherlands I like to go to Maastricht, Roermond for shopping, s-Hertogenbosch and Heusden. I like the old cities because of the history and the old buildings. Also I like to visit the Sint Servaas church, because of the fact that Sint Servaas was an Armenian, who brought Christianity to Maastricht. It is nice to see the connections between both countries from the past as well!
The Capital City, Yerevan is a cosy city and I love being there. Far from the city I like to be in the mountains and visit the villages with a simple life, for example Tatev is a very beautiful village with gorgeous sights.
My Armenia and my Netherlands
Even if I live in here and I feel home, it is still my Armenia.
Of course, here in the Netherlands I have had lots of opportunities to study and develop myself for a more certain and prosperous future. I have taken all my opportunities and I am thankful for having it all. I think it is a blessing to be an Armenian and grow up in The Netherlands, because now I am the bridge between both countries, that are both home for me. With my company Yan Travel, I have the chance to travel a lot to Armenia and also to connect Armenians and Dutch and both can learn a lot from each other.
Why would Dutch people like to visit Armenia?
Armenia is a beautiful country because of its nature, history and people. It is a place where the past meets the future. Dutch people love the Armenian culture, food and hospitality. The only risk is, when they discover Armenia, they fall in love with Armenia.
My tips for you
A very long time ago, as a child, I struggled between both cultures, because they were very different from each other. But now I have learnt to appreciate the differences and build the bridge between cultures. Stay positive, connect people!
Text and Photos: Communications-Unlimited.nl
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