I no longer ask

It’s been a long journey up till now; I’ve seen and experienced so much, and somewhere along the way, something inside me changed… I no longer ask “What does it mean to be an Armenian?” I can’t explain why, because I feel it: I am an Armenian from a foreign land, with different experiences, a different upbringing. And one of the things I’ll never understand is the right of passage every Hayastantsi man shores, military service. The stories shared, the common ground found, the same suffering and jokes spanning generations, is the two years every boy gives to their country, and comes out a man. I’m too old to serve, and value my personal freedom too much to volunteer, but in filming this documentary, I’ve been given special permission to join the army for one day, so the next time I hear a story about eating condensed milk on stale bread, I can say “I know what you mean.”