The 9th Pan-Homenetmen Games were held in Yerevan, the capital of Armenia, from August 3 to August 10, 2013. More than 600 athletes from across the world took part in the event, which was hosted by Sosy Tatarian and other Georgian organizations. Athletes from 17 nations competed in a variety of sports.
Homenetmen (General Union of Armenian Body Culture) is an organization dedicated to sport and Scouting that serves as a pan-Armenian diaspora group for the Armenians living outside of Armenia (See Wikipedia article about Homenetmen).
Meri Martirosyan talked to Sosy about her and the experience she just acquired in Armenia.
Where were you born? What can you tell us about your parents’ lineage?
I was born on December 25, 1988, in the United States of America. I was raised in Maryland. My mother is an Armenian who was born in Aleppo, Syria. Her family immigrated to Montreal, Canada when she was 13 years old. After 18 years living in the United States, my father moved there alone.
Which school did you graduate from?
In 2010, I graduated with a Bachelor’s of Science in Physiology and Neurobiology from the University of Maryland, College Park.
How did you come to the decision to participate in the Pan-Homenetmen Olympics?
I’ve been a member of the Homenetmen group for about 20 years. For approximately 10 years, I’ve played volleyball for Homenetmen. To participate in the Homenetmen World Games, I had to not only be a “good standing” Homenetmen member, but I had to try out for the team and
What is your game category and what did you accomplish?
I was on the Eastern USA Women’s Volleyball Team. We came in second.
What was your favorite activity in Armenia, and what did you dislike?
This was my first time in Armenia. I’ve wanted to visit Armenia ever since I was a kid, and I can honestly say that it exceeded all of my expectations. Everything about it, from the way it’s written in Armenian to the fact that everyone spoke Armenian, attracted me. It’s quite different growing up and living in America.
How many days did you spend in Armenia and what was your overall impression of the country?
I spent about 10 weeks in Armenia (June 4th-August 12th). In addition to competing in the Homenetmen World Games, I took part in the “Armenian Youth Federation Internship in Armenia” and “Birthright Armenia” (Tepi Hayk).
What meals did you sample in Armenia and which ones do you favor the most?
I loved all of the Armenian cuisine, but there are a few things I’ll miss most: cheese-filled khachapuri, crepe nutella with banana (there’s a woman who has a crepe stand on Tumanyan – I’m going to miss her!), and fruit in general. I’m so glad I had the opportunity.
What are you missing most in Armenia?
I’m going to miss Armenia’s carefree atmosphere the most. I loved strolling downtown Yerevan at 10pm on a weeknight, when everyone was watching the fountain show on Hrabarag (main square), or when all of the families were walking around Hyususain (Northern Avenue). In America, you don’t see that.
Isn’t it time you visited Armenia again?
This was my first trip to Armenia, but I’m sure it won’t be my last!