First lesson of the participants of the “Ari Tun” Program

The year 2013 marks the 5th anniversary of the “Ari Tun” Program organized by the RA Ministry of Diaspora. For the past five years, Diaspora Armenian children and youth have been visiting Armenia. Most of them visit their historic homeland for the first time, spend unforgettable days, visit historic and cultural sites, meet with public and cultural figures and establish contacts with their peers during their two-week stay.

The first stage of the 2013 “Ari Tun” Program was launched on June 17.

In addition to the cognitive visits and the 4-day camping program, this year the organizers of the “Ari Tun” Program have a pleasant surprise for the Diaspora Armenian youth. This year the participants will be taking accelerated Armenian language courses at Shahumyan School N 1 in Yerevan.

The participants of the “Ari Tun” Program participated in their first lesson on June 18.

The school had organized a nice reception for the young Diaspora Armenians.

The elementary students of Grigor Zohrab School N 43 had prepared a literary-musical event entitled “Homeland, I Love You” under the direction of headmaster Sveta Sargsyan and recited the poems of Ukrainian-Armenian writer Anahit Sargsyan.

The beautiful event served as a special call for patriotism, that is, to visit the homeland, love the homeland and preserve the purity of the native language.

Afterwards, the young Diaspora Armenians, who had already become “students”, went to their classrooms. During the first lesson, they were introduced to their “first” teacher, who was going to help them discover the “magic” of the letters of the Armenian alphabet and the magical force of the homeland that had brought them to the homeland with the calling “Ari Tun” (Come Home).

It was all very touching and beautiful. The only thing that was different was that the school uniforms “matching” with the students’ desks had been replaced with the white shirts with the logo of the “Ari Tun” Program. One could hear Armenian words in the different languages spoken in the classroom. The young Diaspora Armenians didn’t know each other yet, but were secretly speaking in different languages and smiling at each other. The program will help them get to know each other and recognize their homeland. After feeling the warmth of the homeland and getting a little burnt from the sun in the homeland, they will shed tears as they bid farewell to each other around a bonfire and promise each other to visit Armenia again and perhaps, to stay forever.

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