YSIP 2013 intern Lara Ozdemirci shares her story of Vartavar in the Armenian capital:
Vartavar has been one of my most memorable experiences so far on the AGBU Yerevan Summer Internship Program trip. Only in Armenia would a large-scale water fight be a nationally celebrated holiday. I started the day off right by waking everyone in the house up with buckets of water. We then all united as an army of thirty, ready to go off into the madness. But our army was no match for what we were about to encounter. Ten steps into our journey, we were already being attacked by the children of the neighborhood. Half of us were completely soaked only ten minutes into our walk.
I knew what to expect because I had been in Yerevan during Vartavar in 2008. But even so, I did not expect the level of chaos that took place at Garabi Lich (Swan Lake) park. You could feel water hitting you from every direction. The locals felt no mercy; everyone was a target. People were being pushed into the pond every second. What I enjoyed the most was passing by Parliament and seeing two guards carrying another guard to be thrown into the fountain. It really showed how everyone participates in this amazingly unique holiday where no one is safe.
On the way back when we were nearly home, we were splashed by a policeman, once again reminding me how full of life the people of this country are and making me fall in love with the city even more. Even though some of us left with battle wounds, I know we all left with an experience that we will never forget..