Among the many differences between America and Armenia is the way kids grow up — you can hardly call them that since they’re more like mini adults in the way they speak and the things they say. It will blow your mind. My cousin’s son Varouj is only 4 years old but he’ll put a 30-year-old guy from America in his pocket. When we went to visit my aunt, his grandmother, my friend was speaking English in front of him and he gave her a disapproving look and a piece of his mind; he told her she’s in Armenia and should speak Armenian. I can’t ever imagine an Armenian kid in America ever saying such a thing, much less caring about the subject.
Varouj is definitely an exceptionally unique kid, but in general I’ve noticed that because kids in Armenia are raised in a more raw and less sheltered environment, they grow up way faster, and are thus sharper in their thoughts and actions. They’re far less spoiled and grow up around a lot of adult conversations — and we all know Armenians don’t hold back their thoughts and they certainly don’t censor themselves just because their kids are around.
Also during our visit, Varouj decided he wanted to light a match since he couldn’t, he asked my aunt to do it. Instead of her scolding him, like an American parent would do, my aunt lit the match and Varouj then proceeded to set a small piece of a cardboard box on fire. My friend and I saw this and freaked out, but of course none of the locals present even blinked. In America, the fire department would have been called immediately! I’m not implying that kids should play with fire, obviously it can turn into a highly dangerous scene if not monitored, I’m merely saying that I appreciated the lax attitude about kids being kids and doing crazy kid things. My aunt took care of the situation in a very calm manner when she saw us getting uncomfortable and then Varouj proceeded to play with sticks and stones in the backyard — not an iPhone in sight.