A barber was in a mood best described as concerned. “Business isn’t so good,“ he said. “I’m not sure if it’s because of the financial crisis, or because of all the new barber shops and beauty salons in town. Maybe it’s both. In any event, things aren’t going very well.
“Also, people are afraid to spend money, to get new businesses started. All the talk about what’s happening with Turkey and Azerbaijan creates a feeling of instability. If they open the border with Turkey, for example, parts of our economy could improve, and other parts suffer, especially agriculture. But the Azeris could use border opening as an excuse to start a war. They might just decide to start a war, or they might be following Turkey’s orders. Either way, it’s dangerous.
“If a war starts, whether we win or lose, we’ll again lose some of our best boys. You know, even though I agree with what Diaspora Armenians are saying now, about the Protocols and Turkey in general, I don’t like the fact that they talk so brave but won’t lift a finger if fighting starts. Oh, sure, they’ll send money and buy weapons, but they won’t come and fight. Again, Hayastantsis will bear the burden. In all the Karabagh war, not more than 100-150 came from the Diaspora. Let them come and fight if they’re talking so brave. If the Azeris knew that 10,000 Armenians were coming from abroad to fight, instead of 100, they’d think twice about restarting the war.
“And another thing. Diaspora Armenians talk about our culture, and saving our culture. And whom do they invite to perform in Diaspora communities? Except for rare cases, they invite Armenia’s big name pop stars, so they can fill their halls and stadiums easily. And then they talk about culture?”
Speaking of culture, and the differences between the Diaspora and the homeland, I offer this video, taken in Armenia, and I must say, this kind of real folk culture is something to be found only in the homeland.