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tv   Anthony Bourdain Parts Unknown  CNN  September 16, 2018 7:00pm-8:01pm PDT

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>> swimmer: oh, we got it. that was amazing. that was incredible. >> anthony: that was unbelievable. ♪ >> anthony: serj is armenian. like most armenians around the world, he wasn't born in armenia. ♪ armenia remains a dream, a subject of stories, yet still, against all odds, a place. ♪ ♪ you, what do you own the world? ♪
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♪ how do you own disorder disorder ♪ ♪ now somewhere between the sacred silence sacred silence and sleep ♪ ♪ disorder, disorder ♪ ♪ i took a walk through this beautiful world ♪ ♪ felt the cool rain on my shoulder ♪ ♪ found something good in this beautiful world ♪ ♪ i felt the rain getting colder ♪ ♪ sha la la la la sha la la la la la ♪ ♪ sha la la la la sha la la la la la la ♪ ♪
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♪ >> anthony: armenia is a small, landlocked christian nation surrounded by mostly non-christian neighbors. azerbaijan over there, iran down there, and turkey right there. turkey, and relations with turkey, and the armenian people's terrible history with that country being the central and defining issue of armenian identity. and a present-day political reality 103 years after what just about anyone would call genocide. turkey has always adamantly denied that, saying it was simply a messy war. yerevan is the capital of armenia, a city of about one million people.
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mt. ararat looms over it, a cultural touchstone and a constant reminder of what was done on the other side. think of armenia and chances are you think instead of an armenian. maybe someone you know, or maybe someone on tv. these guys for instance. famous armenians. we needed an armenian. i needed an armenian to push me over the edge, help me find a window, a lens with which to look at a country which for some reason i'd manage to not visit on my travels. then, this guy reached out. serj tankian, front man for the armenian-american band system of a down. and the whole thing started to fall into place. serj first visited armenia 17 years ago. since then, he's performed a number of shows, including one with system of a down, during the centennial of the armenian genocide.
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we meet up at dolmama, his favorite restaurant in yerevan, and right away, i identify a potential problem. >> anthony: now, my first question is, i understand you're a pescatarian? >> serj: yeah. >> anthony: how does one -- >> serj: you're like, "what the -- are you doing?" >> anthony: this is a landlocked country in the heart of like meat- on-a-stick zone. >> serj: yeah. >> anthony: well, i'm interested to see how you navigate your way through this week. >> serj: yeah, yeah, yeah. well, we've got amazing trout, and um, lots of great veggies. >> anthony: i'm just busting your balls. >> serj: of course you are! of course you are! >> anthony: so, how armenian are you? i mean -- >> serj: that's a really good question. >> anthony: you were born in -- >> serj: yeah, i was born in beirut, grew up in la, um, i'm armenian by culture, both my parents are armenian. my grandparents, you know, ended up in syria and lebanon because of the genocide. and, how armenian am i? that's a really good question, man. a majority of armenians that live in the diaspora didn't
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voluntarily migrate. you know, they were forced migrations, pogroms, you know after the genocide, so they ended up in the middle east, and europe, and different parts of the world. so, we have this kind of being -- feeling of being kicked out. um, and that longing is different than other diasporas i think, because of that. >> anthony: diaspora armenian communities, wherever they are, have been held together by deep feelings of nationalism and injustice for what happened to them, and how the world refused to acknowledge it. dolmama specializes in modern versions of armenian classic dishes. khashlama, a braised lamb shank served with rice pilaf. >> serj: it's a big, little snack. >> anthony: that is a leg of -- a leg of lamb. little guy, yes? >> serj: yeah. >> anthony: wow. it's pretty, too. >> serj: so, monti is like, my grandmother used to make it, but it looks completely different than this because this is vegetarian monti. they're like little boats with spices and onions. >> anthony: you probably thank genghis khan for this.
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by the way, the dumplings. >> serj: he made it happen. he took all the manuscripts, killed a million people, but brought the dumplings. >> anthony: but he left you dumplings. >> serj: he left us, yeah. >> anthony: mmm, that's awesome. yeah, this is what my soul needed. >> serj: good. >> anthony: what was it like coming back, the first time? how old were you and what was it like? >> serj: i had a mystical connection, because i had never been to armenia, and we had only read about it in books, per se, you know. armenia-modern armenia is different, you know, than what i had thought of, you know. because it's thriving, it's young, um, you know, it's got a lot of interesting dynamics. and i remember, the first time i flew back to la, the feeling that i got getting out of the plane is, "why am i back here?" like it was a weird thing where it's this inescapable feeling of kind of the land having some kind of pull on your blood or something like that. genealogy, i don't know what it is. >> anthony: do you think that armenia looks to the west for anything? >> serj: yes, definitely. i think, you know, culturally,
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armenia is very european. um -- >> anthony: culturally? >> serj: culturally. >> anthony: but -- >> serj: politically, it is very much tied into russia. not just as an ex-soviet republic, but there's a lot of economic investment from russia, and russia, obviously based on the last two world wars is extremely -- what's the word -- they're very afraid of their borders, let's say, you know? >> anthony: yes. they are acutely sensitive to -- >> serj: acutely sensitive. >> anthony: -- to particularly this area. ♪ >> anthony: there are three million armenians living in armenia. another eight million around the world. ever since the genocide, it's been a long existential struggle for survival. recent history is defined by three major events: a massive earthquake in 1988, followed by the collapse of the ussr in 1991, and then a full scale war with azerbaijan in 1992. not to mention limited
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employment opportunities and most significantly, its borders, of which approximately 80% have been closed, due to relationships with its turkish and azeri neighbors. things have not been easy for armenians. ♪ >> anthony: on a hillside overlooking yerevan sits a sprawling memorial to the genocide of 1915. on the other side of town, another memorial, the yerevan cascade. richard giragosian is an american-born professor and political analyst who now lives here in armenia. >> anthony: how many were lost during this? >> richard: most estimates, historically, put it around 1.5 million. >> anthony: that's a lot of people. >> richard: especially a lot of people, when we look at the per capita. when we look at the impact this had. >> anthony: so, what happened?
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in the early 20th century, what was historically western armenia was under the control of the ottoman empire, present-day turkey. justifying their actions by the widely held sentiment that christian-armenians would align themselves with a hostile and also christian russia, then undergoing its second revolution of threatening their borders, the turks rounded up armenian intellectuals and summarily executed them. military and police units were dispatched to the countryside to drive out armenians from their villages. they hanged local leaders in the town squares, burned churches, destroyed manuscripts, then marched anyone left towards the syrian desert, deliberately starving them along the way. those who survived, scattered across the globe. they formed large and vibrant communities that survive today. they never forgot the past, and who and what had pushed them from their homeland.
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>> anthony: let's start with this: genocide. many people seem awfully and curiously reluctant to use this word. as american national -- foreign policy, we use what, catastrophe? a regrettable series of incidents? >> richard: yeah, how insulting. >> anthony: yes. but i mean, it seems to me, just as a casual observer, anytime a state actor or organization makes a concerted and organized effort to eradicate any ethnic or national group, that's genocide, right? >> richard: yes. what's important though, however, is this is our defining issue. this is the unifying issue, and it's probably in many ways the only defining issue, both good and bad. >> anthony: for armenians, both diaspora and living here? >> richard: yes. it's the fact that, yes, my grandfather's a survivor, every family is touched.
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but it's not the personal. it's also the political. if turkey wasn't so adamant about denying the historical accuracy. this is what makes it a living issue, a present issue. >> anthony: going forward, do you think there will be some kind of reconciliation? >> richard: well, i'm a little more positive. this is now the turning point, armenia looking to normalize relations with turkey. not because of the genocide, but despite the genocide. >> anthony: do you have any expectation of fruitful negotiations with erdogan? it seems to me that things have kind of taken a downward turn. >> richard: they have, but it was never supposed to be that easy, or that quick. we also need to go beyond victimization, and to take more pride in survival. ♪ ♪
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♪ ♪ >> anthony: lavash, the national bread. an ever-present feature on the armenian table and a part of everyday life. baked on a tonir, or underground clay oven, its preparation is passed down from generation to generation. markets like gum, near the city center, date back to soviet days. but they remain a favorite stop
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for an older generation of armenians. >> mariam: [ speaking foreign language ] >> anthony: october brings an array of seasonal produce, and mariam and her grandmother lia pick up ingredients for a fall tradition: ghapama, a rice dish baked in pumpkin. >> mariam: [ speaking foreign language ] >> lia: [ speaking foreign language ] >> anthony: the top of the pumpkin is removed, and the seeds and pulp are scraped out. dried fruit, almonds, and honey are mixed with rice and baked inside. incredible. >> mariam: so, as main course, we prepared ghampana, which has its own song. serj? >> serj: yes. ♪ >> mariam: usually when you bring in the dish, you sing it. we don't cook it very often, but it's an autumn meal. we have some pickles there.
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we have armenian cheese there. and i'm going to serve armenian bread. >> anthony: and this looks like, uh, it looks like hummus. >> mariam: it is hummus. >> anthony: and uh -- >> mariam: yeah and it's not armenian. >> anthony: mutabal? >> nazareth: this is mutabal, yeah. we are not laying any claims that they're armenian, but many western armenian families grow up with this on the table, as well. >> anthony: mariam, her mother, and grandmother were all born here in yerevan. her husband, nazareth, and his family are more typical of the diaspora armenians. his mom, knar, was born in beirut. nazareth, in toronto. >> anthony: so, what language will your children speak? and where will they live? >> mariam: here. >> nazareth: yeah, here, if -- >> anthony: no hesitation. >> mariam: that's the easy question to answer. >> nazareth: but, i mean, i think the two of us would like them to grow up being equally comfortable with armenian, russian, and english. all three languages are very, very important for anyone growing up in armenia. >> serj: yeah, i mean, they are the two largest armenian diasporas: russia and america, so.
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>> anthony: how many years was it part of the soviet union? >> nazareth: uh, 70 years more -- since 1921, more or less, until 1991. so, 70 years. >> anthony: but what remains of those times? >> nazareth: [ speaking foreign language ] >> lia: [ speaking foreign language ] >> anthony: you sound wistful about the old days. are things better now or worse? >> lia: [ speaking foreign language ] >> anthony: when armenia was swallowed up by the soviet union in 1920, it became the armenian soviet socialist republic.
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with that came purges and paranoia, but also a rapid industrialization, the evidence of which is still seen today in the abandoned factories and workers blocs of another time. and a soviet mentality, and sizable russian presence still hang over the country like a dead weight. no matter how you felt about soviet rule, the transition was a rough one. after the collapse of the ussr in 1991, armenia suffered terrible food shortages, and a ruined electrical grid that allowed only a couple of hours of power a day, if you were lucky. >> nazareth: the worst of those years would be 1992 to 1994. >> anthony: right. >> nazareth: but then a few years after '94 as well. >> serj: there was a lot of pilferage in the beginning, there was a lot of -- it was dark, dark days. >> mariam: i'm the generation who literally learned the alphabet with a candlelight. back then we had only two hours maybe. [ speaking foreign language ]
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it was something to observe because during those two hours, someone would go to the balcony and scream in the yard, "we have lights, the electricity is back." and everybody would go do their laundry, ironing, cooking, everything would be done in that one hour. >> lia: [ speaking foreign language ] >> mariam: oh, yeah. but they raised us with love, and we would play games. ma would have her friends coming over playing guitar. looking back, i don't remember the darkness. i remember that it was dark, but emotionally we didn't feel that. parents, grandparents, really did their best for kids not to feel that darkness. >> knar: it was heroism on their part. >> nazareth: especially in the winter. >> knar: especially in the winter. >> mariam: but also, i think we're observing a very interesting period of our history when change is happening little by little, and it's ours to make. right, serj?
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>> serj: exactly, exactly.
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♪ >> anthony: the tumo center is an after school program for kids. you get to pick your course of study, be it art, technology, creative writing, whatever. there are no grades, no mandatory course requirements. and upwards of 14,000 kids are enrolled at four locations across armenia. it's free, an entirely non-profit, privately-funded venture; an investment in the youth of a young country. ♪ >> marie lou: the main goal is
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to complement their formal education. the curriculum is not mandatory. you pick what you want. you can pick music, graphic design, 3d modeling, or programming, game, whatever, photography, robotics. >> anthony: the managing director, marie lou papazian and her husband pegor, are two former members of the armenian diaspora. both extraordinary, but not unusual in the new armenia. they are not expats, but repats. people who, though not born here, have chosen to come home and help build a nation. >> pegor: we grew up together in beirut and moved to the states. and the reason we moved was because of the armenian thing. our kid was growing up, so we told our friends we're going to move, we need him to go to armenian school, so they said, "you're going to armenia?" we said, "no, glendale, california." but eventually we did move here, 12 years ago. >> marie lou: living in glendale and keeping, always saying, "you have to keep your identity" was
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strange. and every time coming up with stories for the kids, you have to love your country, you're armenian, you have to speak armenian. >> pegor: whereas once you're here, you just forget all about that and it's more about being a good person, having ambitions, all of that. and the armenian-ness part, you can let that happen naturally. >> anthony: apricot vodka is a good way to start a meal. gayanes is a local favorite, a restaurant operating out of what was once a private home. something of a throwback to soviet days. like the cuban paladares, when private enterprise, not to mention the spending of money on entertainment could be frowned upon, and privacy was at a premium. trout wrapped, and baked in lavash. this is not light cooking.
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>> serj: there's certain things about especially the last maybe 20, 30 years of the soviet union, '60s on, not the brutal early bolshevik stalinist times, but later on where in terms of investment in culture and education. >> pegor: well, i mean it's very much a legacy of the soviet union. armenia was kind of a nerd republic in a way. and then you specialize the different republics, and armenia was where they concentrated science, technology, particle accelerator, radio, telescope, all of that. and so we've benefited from that and you see a lot of armenians attributing that to our genes, and so on. but of course our genes are the same as anyone else's, it's the culture that's, you know, you take the good with the bad, and the good is we're a cerebral nation in a way. that's how we grew up. we like chess, we're nerds.
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♪ ♪ >> anthony: armenia enjoyed a somewhat celebrated status during soviet times. and russian influence is everywhere still. chess is taught in public schools, a basic life skill. it's probably the fact that armenia was such a powerhouse of smart, highly educated brainiacs with strong backgrounds in engineering, math, rocketry, and technology. a veritable silicon valley of the caucuses, that largely spared them of the worst of soviet rule. and also, perhaps, the reason that it continues to be a leader in it. i meet a few members from the tech community at a local
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brewery in yerevan. arthur, an industry writer. harut, a software engineer. and ruben, a cyber-security consultant. >> anthony: so, what are you making? what is coming of this? it is a big- it's a big house. >> arthur: so, websites, web-based stuff and chip design, we're all over the place actually. but this comes from the old times, like in soviet times, what happened is they manufactured chips, lots of electronic stuff i heard for soviet submarines and things like that. >> ruben: but actually, it was an issue of success story in the soviet time. i mean you can have a success story if you were a communist party official or if you were doing science, or perhaps artist, and that's it. and the science was the most clean career. i mean, you were not compromising your own beliefs and you were doing something good.
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>> anthony: if you were to imagine the perfect business, or the most efficient export for a land-locked nation with most of its borders closed, it would be information technology, right? or, to put it simply, brains. >> anthony: you teach chess in school, is that? >> ruben: yes. >> anthony: in school? >> ruben: yup, in school. >> anthony: starting at what age? >> arthur: third grade. my son hates it. he's a fourth grader. >> ruben: second grade. >> anthony: so everybody plays chess or was taught chess? >> ruben yeah, everybody. >> anthony: that already is a very different-- >> harut: i have a ranking, actually. >> arthur: really? i didn't know. come on. >> anthony: yeah, but that's a very different mentality than most places. >> harut: we have actually, my mom took me to chess class. it was not because of the country is like a super nation in chess or something, just she
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wanted to take me someplace where i can develop my brains. >> ruben: but actually, there's a quick answer. when you are being oppressed during your history, knowledge is something that cannot be taken off you. anything can happen. soviet union can collapse, there can be pogroms, there can be emigration. they can take your home, they can take your fortune. but knowledge and skill is something that remains with you for all of the time. and that's why armenians are investing in education, in knowledge, in skill. to invest in development of a child, all of us are children that were invested in. the knowledge is something that you always keep with you. i think this explains a lot. td ameritrade lets you trade select securities 24 hours a day, 5 days a week. so i can trade all night long? ♪ all night long... let's reopen the market. trade 24/5, with td ameritrade. ♪ now t-mobile has unlimited for the rest of us unlimited for you for them for all
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>> anthony: my trip to the disputed armenian-controlled enclave of nagorno-karabakh requires an early morning stop at a military base on the outskirts of yerevan. and apparently a flight in this thing, a smoking, flame-belching, banged up looking soviet mi8 twin- turbine chopper, whose appearance prior to boarding does not fill me with confidence. but once up in the air, it takes
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me over crags and peaks and steppes, across the internationally recognized border with azerbaijan, to what the armenians call, artsakh, an isolated pocket surrounded on all sides by azeris. whose mountains these are, is a subject of contention and conflict to say the least. when the borders of the south caucuses were drawn by the russian conquerors some 200 years ago, a strong russian presence kept ethnic and religious rivalries in check, but whenever disorder hit russia, war has broken out here. most recently, after the fall of the ussr. the brutal conflict went largely ignored internationally. as with any war, particularly wars with ethnic or religious component over territory, it was ugly, murderous, and with atrocities committed by both
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sides. 1992 was a turning point. the armenians organized and created their own army, and surprising every one pushed through and took full control of karabakh and the surrounding areas. these buffer zones are ethnically azeri, and bitterly contested in the subject of continuing dispute. there are still violent confrontations, the latest being a four-day battle in the spring of 2016. russia's role in the conflict is suspiciously cynical. they actively arm, support, and advise both sides as it appears in their interest that there be no lasting resolution. travel to this region continues to be a particularly sensitive issue, especially for the azeris. simply by coming here, i have become, as i read in the papers a few days later, officially persona non-grata in azerbaijan.
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stepanakert is the capital of the autonomous republic of nagorno- karabakh. and overlooking it, the village of shushi. zhingalov khats is a specialty of the region. this lavash bread is stuffed with greens and onions before being toasted atop a cast iron sheet. khorovats, basically armenian barbecue. meat on a stick, which is, let's face it, always good. >> saro: yeah, it's our trend - karabakh.
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armenia tried sometimes, cook it, but not the same taste, no. >> anthony: armenia and karabakh. >> saro: yeah. >> anthony: two different things or the same? >> tigran: not really. karabakh is definitely a part of the armenian civilization, the armenian culture. i wouldn't separate them. >> tatul: i think karabakh is a part of armenia, but not a part of the republic of armenia. it's like a continuation of armenia. we are the same. >> anthony: tigran is a war veteran and aspiring politician. tatul is a journalist. saro, our host, is armenian but born in azerbaijan having fled during the war. he now runs a guesthouse here in shushi. >> anthony: to what extent is this not just a religious conflict -- >> saro: no, no. >> tatul: it's not religious? >> anthony: not at all? >> tatul: no, no, no. nothing, no. >> anthony: this is a christian island in a sea of muslims. >> tatul: well, this is a christian island. it's true. this is christian island, but the conflict of nagorno- karabakh is not religious. >> anthony: there are people, hardliners here who refer to
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azeris as turks. >> tatul: they are turks. >> anthony: they are turks? >> tatul: they are turks, yes, they are. >> anthony: please explain. >> tigran: i think probably they are not - they did not bear historical responsibility for the actions committed by the ottomans, but the struggle of the people of nagorno-karabakh for their existence is kind of a continuation of the struggle of armenian people to live peacefully in their historical homeland. >> tatul: i'm not saying that azeris and turks are the same nations. >> anthony: right. >> tatul: but they are turkic nations. >> anthony: they're working in unison. >> tatul: yeah, they are working in unity today to isolate armenia. >> anthony: do you think there's a sense that when people look at this conflict, they think, they look back and they say, "this is what could happen in the future"? >> tigran: yes, absolutely. it is absolutely an existential conflict. if we lose, we know that we will be destroyed. >> anthony: who will help? who cares? >> saro: support.
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>> anthony: who will support you if things once again get ugly? what do you think the future -? >> tatul: no one. >> anthony: what do you think- no one? >> tatul: no one. >> tigran: i think there's a clear understanding in armenian society that we can only rely on ourselves. >> tatul: the other reality is we are paying a very, very high price. since 1994, armenians on karabakh's side have lost about 3,000 soldiers. we are losing our 18-20 year old sons, you know? this is a sad reality. and i don't know how will this situation continue. i don't know. i think it's right time to drink for peace. >> saro: you read my mind now. >> anthony: cheers.
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>> anthony: it's a 3.5 hour train ride from the capital to gyumri, armenia's second largest city.
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♪ gyumri was near the epicenter of a magnitude 7.0 earthquake that absolutely devastated much of the country in 1988, killing 25,000 people and displacing hundreds of thousands more. recovery was made more difficult by the subsequent collapse of the soviet union and the karabakh war. manufacturing, infrastructure, the country's industrial base, and political stability all crumbled along with the buildings. a cemetery on the way into town gives you a powerful reminder of how many died. one tombstone after another, after another, all dating back to the same year.
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poloz mukuch sits on a recently rebuilt street. inside, i meet with three young gyumretsi determined to rebuild and revitalize their city and their country. anush works for an equal rights ngo back in yerevan. amalya is in tech, and gayane works in tourism. >> anthony: so, were you all born here? >> all: yes. >> anthony: born in this city? but two of you live here, who doesn't live here? >> anush: i, i'm living in yerevan. >> anthony: you live in yerevan? >> anush: yeah. >> gayane: i have lived in yerevan for four years, and that's the beauty of my story, then i came back. >> amalya: it doesn't matter how it was hard to suffer here. me, my family, my father, we never thought to leave the city. and that's why for me, gyumri history is divided into two
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parts. like, before earthquake the nice stories i heard from my parents, and after the earthquake. the difficulties and hard times we had. but also the renaissance, that now the city is changing because the generation is changing. >> amalya: this is chanakh. this is some typical soup. >> anthony: oh, ox-tail. ox-tail soup, yeah. >> amalya: it should be a little bit spicy. >> anthony: good. and this is liver and heart, yes? it's delicious. >> amalya: with tomato and oil. >> anthony: this, what's this dish called, i mean i know what it is, it's a sheep's head, but- >> gayane it's called gyala. >> amalya: when i was kid, i remember my father not only went to restaurant with qyala, but he brought home for us. and i was afraid, i was afraid of their teeth. >> anthony: yeah.
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actually, that's- you got the good part there. >> amalya: yeah. >> anthony: so, let me ask this: technology, not just here but armenia in general, seems to be the major hope for the future. what do you think the city will >> anush: you know the history is not a stable thing that we can count on. but what i see 10 years ago, and 10 years now, gyumri is developing quite fast. it's really good, i see really good developments. and i can say that's most of the duty of the younger generation, i would definitely say that. >> gayane: it's self-employment and entrepreneurship that is
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developing among the youth very, very- in a very kind of fast way, these days. because people understand that if you stay in gyumri, you need to create your own stuff. >> amalya: and we never should stop, we never should wait for others to help our city and ourselves. we should think, we should create, we should use our strong sides and to move forward.
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>> anthony: the gaz m21 volga executive class 4-door sedan. >> serj: don't mind us. we're just volga-ing. >> anthony: the ultimate in soviet driving luxury. >> anthony: i like your leather. nice. >> serj: yeah. >> anthony: i wonder what top speed on this thing is. >> serj: i don't want to wonder. the decelerator isn't that great. >> anthony: only a two hour drive from the capital sits lake sevan, and some beautiful countryside. >> anthony: so it's the 'switzerland of armenia'? >> serj: this is, dilijan is the
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switzerland of armenia, it's one of my favorite spots actually. >> anthony: what am i eating today? >> serj: i think you're eating khash today. >> anthony: that's said to be a hangover cure. >> serj: that's it, yeah. it's made out of legs of cows, i think. >> anthony: cool, i like legs of cows. >> serj: i like their eyes. not to eat, but just to look at. >> anthony: me too, they're so dreamy. >> serj: they are, yeah. no, it's beautiful here. >> sam: i'm offering it short -- i want to do it for armenia, for the host, and for the khash makers. so -- >> anthony: joining serj and i at the table are george, his longtime manager and friend. meline, the proprietor of the place. and sam, a restaurateur from yerevan, along with some friends. khash is what hipster goofs these days would call bone broth. basically a stock flavored by
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a roasted beef bones. >> sam: in armenia we say khash, it means just boiled. so there is big debate on whether it's georgian or armenian. of course every armenian is sure it's armenian. don't do the lavash first, please. we're going to do the- >> inna: garlic, first comes garlic. >> anthony: i see. >> sam: but pay attention to the salt, if you're not leveling it with the right level. >> george: the salt -- the garlic level for you, it's okay, you can add. >> anthony: so it's garlic -- so far so good. >> sam: and then, okay, you have one more plate, you remove the meat. >> anthony: wow, you take this
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very seriously. >> sam: yeah, yeah, yeah, you take it- >> meline: it's a ritual, yeah. >> anthony: does everybody have their own style, or is this the absolute, this is the way. >> sam: yeah, but the classics say you have to eat with your hands. this is the classics, you eat with your hands. whoever is not eating with his hands, they are teasing him, "hey, you're a loser." >> anthony: really? >> sam: and you literally judge by a person if he's eating good khash or not. like see the guy, he's the first. >> anthony: you're like the ayatollah of food, man. you're very -- >> inna: may i say a toast? are you ready? okay, we have a saying when we first come to a house, to a place that hosts us, we say [ armenian toast ], which literally means 'let my feet bring luck to this home'. so um, let your feet bring luck
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to our country, to dilijan, and to this home hosting us at the moment. >> sam: guys, with khash we do like lots of toasts, but it has to be short. this is the - armenian toasts are very long. >> arman: because people have to be concentrated on khash, only, they don't. >> inna: no, no because it will get the whole. >> sam: yeah, well, we were always between iran and rome, so we're used to being between to survive. you remember you asked the very first question, "what is the guy who comes back to armenia, what they feel?" they feel, "i survived, i did what my grandfather wanted, what
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his grandfather wanted." we are here to survive no matter -- is it a war? we're going to still have this feast. >> anthony: that's a good toast. >> serj: that's a badass toast. >> inna: thanks for your visit here, thanks for being here. ♪ ♪ >> edorta: an old basque saying

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