(Saturday, September 2)
Citing official data on the numbers of children who were born in Armenia in 2011 and went to school for the first time on September 1, “Haykakan Zhamanak” estimates at that least 2,500 young families have left the country in the last six years. “Through simple mathematical calculations, it is not hard to imagine the real scale of emigration from Armenia,” the paper says.
“September 1 has become a real race among our parents over who will buy more expensive clothes for their children, who will drive their children to school in a more luxurious car, and who will give a more spectacular bouquet [of flowers] to the teacher,” writes “Hraparak.” “Outside the schools, there is commotion, a multitude of filming parents, a parade of principals and teachers who have just come from hair salons. But should this academic holiday be really marked in this way? Was it really impossible to think of rituals or traditions that would give their participants a sense of spiritual satisfaction?”
“Hayots Ashkhar” notes that Armenian opposition groups have traditionally predicted heated political autumns in the country but have made no such forecasts this time around. “One of the reasons for that is the absence of an opposition field,” Artur Ghazarian, a political analyst, tells the paper. “General elections [held in April] have caused defeated political forces left out of the new parliament to die down … I therefore expect no political storms on our political arena. Instead, there is a different danger. Certain geopolitical processes are now unfolding from the East to the West, and that tension could result in a storm at some point.”
“In recent months Armenia has been rocked by a spate of criminal stories and accidents,” writes Lragir.am. “There have been a number of high-profile murders, including a mass shooting. There are practically daily news reports about incidents involving the use of firearms … What is going on? Does this mean the entry of practices of the globalized world into Armenia or just a series of coincidences?”