Shi Khengyun and Hi Young are students of Yerevan State University. Through the Chinese Government Scholarship Program Shi has been studying at the Faculty of Romance and Germanic Studies, and Hi is preparing to study at the Faculty of Armenian Philology from September. For about a year now they are in Armenia to study Armenian, and then teach it in their homeland. The monument of Yeghishe Charents is in their every day way to the university. Girls responded positively when they were asked whether they know whose monument.
“Charents, we are familiar with his poetry, we studied his poems in preparatory classes.”
They especially like the nature of Armenia.
“When you live in Armenia, every day you discover a Armenian thing, we walked through Armenia, we were in Tsaghkadzor, Gyumri, we saw the Tatev Monastery, and I like the mountains of Armenia, they are amazing.”
The girls spend most of their time at Shi’s house, which is close to the university. The Chinese girls gave us tea. 23-year-old Shin is a tea business partner in China; here they drink the tea grown by themselves. The first Armenian word that comes to the girls’ minds is the tea itself.
“We go to tea houses in China, we have different types of tea, I have 3-4 types of tea here in Yerevan.”
Chinese girls like Armenian cuisine.
“I love Armenian barbecue, we have ours [Chinese], but it is different, Armenian is different.”
Occasionally, they gather with the Chinese living in Yerevan, and recently they celebrated the Chinese New Year at the restaurant, where Armenians were invited, too.
“Armenians are very good, kind, friendly, helpful. You ask a different people for help.”
They will stay in Armenia for 4 years. They are sure that the next interview hey will give in Armenian, but instead they want us to learn them to play checkers.