Don’t ask for a Turkish coffee or about Kim Kardashian: Two things one should avoid doing in Armenia

“There are two things that you should know before visiting Yerevan: don’t ask for a Turkish coffee or about Kim Kardashian,” Ann Marie McQueen writes in an article published by The National.

“No one is very impressed with the reality-show star, or the rest of her attention-seeking family, no matter how much they proudly proclaim their Armenian roots. And Armenians have their own, slightly lighter yet just as delicious version of the silty brew, called soorj, so there’s no reason to insult anyone by bringing up an ever-present and painful subject in such an insensitive ­manner,” the author writes.

“Any visit to this capital or its environs will be steeped in the unpleasant and enduring memory of the genocide at the hands of the Turks circa the First World War, which included the loss of more than a million people, as well as top intellectuals and creative minds, and launched a vast and dedicated diaspora from those who fled the violence”

“At the moment, it seems all of Yerevan is gearing up for the 100th anniversary of this heartache next April, when an expanded and refurbished Armenian Genocide Museum-Institute will open and a crush of visitors are expected for a series of ceremonies marking the loss – which, as you will hear repeatedly upon visiting, Turkey has yet to officially acknowledge,” the article continues.

“The Armenian capital is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world, originally a fortress dating back to the eighth century. It’s rich in history and a monument to survival, at the heart of a land consistently fought over through the centuries and variously subjected to harsh and violent Turkish, ­Persian and Russian rule. All that is barely perceptible today, with Yerevan’s many public spaces and parks teeming with life, creating the sort of quirky, accessible and walkable urban space that true travellers will love,” the author writes.

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