Toasts are very common in the Armenian households and are generally very important. The first toast, typically given by the host, is directed at the eldest member of the household, or most respected individual around the table. The second one is a “free for all.” Anyone can speak, but out of respect, everyone allows the host “to run the show.” The third toast is in memory of the fallen azadamardigs and ungers for the sacrifices they made during the war. The fourth toast is for the parents. Always mindful of their parents, they say they will toast to them whenever it is an open toast. The people in Armenia take these toasts seriously. New generations are taught how to give toasts by listening and observing more experienced individuals such as their parents and grandparents give toasts around the dinner table. In sense, they are taught the unwritten rules of giving a proper toast. I hope to learn these rules and properly give a toast without messing up.
I came to Youth Corps knowing I would form bonds with the youth in Armenia. But I never expected to form bonds with the AYF & ARF members. In Artsakh, ungers Vauhg and Kegham instantly welcomed us into their homes, as if we were their family members. We felt like Artsakhtsis from the moment we got there. In Broshyan, we were with ungers not only from Armenia, but with ungers who had repatriated back to Armenia. The AYF/ARF communities in these regions were almost identical when it came to respecting a fellow Armenian and unger. They understood that we came here to help improve the state of Armenia and, with that in mind, they welcomed us with open arms.