Development or Disappointment; How to Name this Town?

Describing a community, Benedict Anderson stated that even in the smallest communities people do not get the chance to see all of the other members of their communities face-to-face. Thus, the common territory, the history and the language that people share in a specific area create an abstract image for them of their shared values, which they label as a community. With its progressive development, media also started to play a huge role shaping the prospects and opinions about one’s community.

Armenia is a small country, which can easily display the ideas of Benedict Anderson. Despite its size, not all Armenians are acquainted with each other and from one city to another people hear about their compatriots through media. In the past, Dilijan did not appear in the media a lot, but after various investments people started to hear its name more frequently. Through the media, many people think that there is a huge progress in the development of the town and that the investments have amended the lives of Dilijani people. Living in Yerevan, Gevorg Khosrovyan constructed his imagination about Dilijan through media. He said, “I imagine people are hospitable and caring there, because many great projects are taking place there now” (Khosrovyan, 2016), even though he had never been in the town.

This and other expectations of the town can be true but despite of different innovations, people in Dilijan keep having their everyday problems and fears. A short touristic visit to the town or news might not reveal the lives of Dilijan as well as the stories of its inhabitants. A math teacher Comrade Muradyan living in Dilijan says, “Unfortunately, people are very accommodating here and they do not make any attempts to make the changes they want to see. From the first sight, all of the changes happening in Dilijan might seem appealing to people, but with the gentleness and humbleness of the inhabitants here, these changes made the lives of our people less stable. I do not blame anyone, as I think that this happened because of the lack of confidence” (Muradyan, 2016). Truly, these words say more about the feelings of an ordinary person living in this town, than any other news report. Although there is a newly opened international college in Dilijan, and a bank, they are not achievable to everyone. Sonik Aloyan, a woman living in Dilijan shared a similar opinion saying, “Adopting to difficulties has become harder for the people here, because many of them have gradually lost their confidence after various changes” (Aloyan, 2016). Even though these ideas are controversial, people still hope that in the near future, they will adjust to the innovations and they will start to feel more convenient. There are many dreams that they have, which they hope that will apply to their lifestyle changes as well. An example of these dreams is the existence of a cinema, which they have been deprived of since the collapse of the Soviet Union.

Follow the link below to see the fire in their eyes, when they talk about this dream as a nostalgic memory.

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