When in Yerevan, I had a meeting with a group of my high school male friends whom I have not seen for ages. Not that I particularly wanted this meeting, as I always knew that there is an ocean between us in terms of our mentality and everything. But hey, for old times’ sake, I thought, well, will go for it. We talked about this and that, and then the inevitable topic of girls.
My school mates sounded genuinely upset, as if the world turned upside down for them. They said it’s now impossible to find ‘pure’ girls in Yerevan to date and marry. And no, it’s not just virginity they were referring to. The whole ‘world order’ has changed for them. They complained of not being able to find girls who would prefer sitting at home with their mother instead of working. When I asked what is wrong with women working especially as they seemed to be OK with girls getting university education (they actually preferred that! - of course, they would - it’s a matter of ‘honour’ or ‘reputation’ for them to have a university educated wife). Well, the answer was - “I can’t and do not want to change myself. I grew up following my father’s example. My mother had a university degree education, but she did not work, rather preferring to be a housewife, and I, like my father, want to be sure that whenever I turn up home, my wife is waiting for me”... and similar things.
What was a catastrophe for them (no ‘pure’ girls in Yerevan) was actually a very positive sign for me. Yes, things are changing in Yerevan, and I loved those small signs of progress.