“I love the warmth and generosity of most Armenian people. Once you get to know someone, it is as if they are your family”, says Tate Vardanyan. She was born in Yerevan and moved to US with family when she was 7 years old and grew up in Manhattan, New York.
Then she moved to Northern California to attend university and after pursuing a degree in Economic Development and Political Theory in June 2012, she chose to visit Armenia for the first time in over 20 years.
“I wanted to see my homeland. After a couple of months, I decided that I didn’t want to return to US. I started looking for a job so that I could stay in Yerevan. Luckily, I found a wonderful job doing something I love. I studied economic development at university and now I am working as the Director of an Economic Development Initiative Foundation in Yerevan”, says Tate.
According to her during first few months in Armenia she did not like everything in her homeland. The weather was unbearable; it was hot and she couldn’t sleep many nights. She didn’t know anyone at Yerevan: no family, no friends, so she felt very lonely here.
“I was unaccustomed to the way people treated one another and I thought everyone was very rude for staring, cutting in line, spitting on the street, pushing past, etc.”, she complaint.
One other thing that bothers her is the lack of customer service in almost every industry in Armenia. “Taxi drivers, supermarket cashiers, shop-keeps, and even waiters are often incredibly rude. In US, that would never happen because customer service is very important”.
As Tate says, she loves the lifestyle in Yerevan. Unlike US, where work is the most important thing in life and it is normal to work 10 hours a day, in Armenia, time with family and friends is equally important. “I love that there is something to do, somewhere to go, and someone to visit every night of the week. People come together and eat, talk, drink, dance, and have a good time. Professionally, that makes Armenia a great place for me to make use of my education; and personally, I think it is fascinating to watch Armenia grow, change, and evolve”, she said with smile.
She doesn’t think that will stay in Armenia forever, but she is not saying that she definitely won’t either. Right now she has planned on staying at least two years. She is open to the possibility of staying longer.