Interview with Rio Kimura, who is studying Armenian in Armenia

Interview with Rio Kimura, who is studying Armenian in Armenia


-Mr. Rio Kimura how do your Armenian friends call you? When have you come to Armenia?

- The Armenians call me by name – Rio. I came to Armenia last year at the end of September 2019.

-What is the reason and purpose that you have come to Armenia?

While studying at the university, from the foreign languages I chose Russian. At that time I got to know about Armenia, which has been part of the former Soviet Union. After that course I was dreaming of going to the Caucasian Region, which had such a long history, so many different nations, languages and cultures.

Two years ago in 2018 I travelled to three Caucasian countries, which I was dreaming of for a long time and I revealed that in Armenia both the food is tasty and the architecture of churches is wonderful. In addition to that the Armenians are very kind and it is very comfortable in this country. After that I attended some courses of the Armenian language in Japan, but then I decided to come to Yerevan because I wanted to live in Armenia and to study the Armenian language and culture right there.

-Are you already accustomed to the traditions of this country?

- At first I was often confused but now I am used to that. From time to time I feel nervous by the difference between Japan and Armenia but generally everything is ok.

-What tradition do you like? Are there any traditions that seem strange from the Japanese point of view?

- The Armenian cars give way to pedestrians and in public transport the Armenians often giver their seats to the elderly people or people, who are sitting take the bags of those, who are standing. I think that this is something that the Japanese should adopt. Besides, the Armenians always dance when there is opportunity. It’s a very funny tradition.

The first strange thing that struck my eyes when I came to Armenia was the style the Armenian women were dressing. It took some time from me to get used to the fact that the Armenian women wear tight trousers and have long, black hair. It is also strange that the Armenian men call “akhper” (brother) the people whom they have seen for the first time. The way that the old people wave their hands by asking how are you?, is strange as well.

Are there any common things between the Armenian and the Japanese societies? If there are any, please tell us.

-  Frankly speaking there are hardly any similarities but I was really shocked to know that Armenia also has dried almond. During the break there is a traffic jam and I feel like being in trains in Tokyo.

When do you plan to return to the motherland?

- I will go back when I finish Armenian language course in the middle of June.

Where do you plan to use your knowledge of the Armenian language in the future?

- Currently I am a Master of Sociology and I plan to write Armenian thesis for my Master’s thesis. After graduation direct ties with Armenia will be over but I want to continue using Armenian by means of contacting with my Armenian friends.

Author: Rio Kimura and Hasmik Muradyan

translated from Armenian into English by M.Vardanyan