This is
Anush Avetisyan (1977) 

Country of Origin

Lives in 
Nieuw West 

In the Netherlands since 


Sharing dishes with family and friends in the mountains. The Netherlands is so flat. The first time in Amsterdam I kept waiting to see a hill. 

First impression Amsterdam 
It reminded me of Jerevan

“In Amsterdam I came across a melting pot of nationalities for the first time. You don’t have that in Armenia. 99% of its inhabitants are Armenians. Here, my neighbours come from Portugal, Spain, Turkey, and Holland. It’s a great mix. I’ve friends from all kinds of places. Nationality doesn’t matter to me. It’s all about whether you click or not. Or fit. I’m happy when I can help others. In Armenia I noticed that many people were going through hard times thanks to the financial situation there. I had to pretend to offer jobs to give people work; they don’t want to accept cash handouts over there, as they are too proud. So I would ask them if they could help in the renovation of my house.

I have made my home into a little Armenia. I invite people to barbeques, for example. Armenian style. One of the most popular dishes is aubergine burned black. The first time a girlfriend saw that, she was surprised it was supposed to be that way. She thought I’d left it on the flames for too long. But burning it gives the flavour a whole new dimension. In Armenia there are probably over one hundred thousand aubergine recipes. We even make jam from them. It’s called muraba; runny jam where pieces of aubergine are still visible. We also make muraba from walnuts. That’s the ultimate in preserves.

I go back to Armenia every summer. If I’ve been there for six weeks, I start to miss Amsterdam and want to get back home. But when I’m home, I want to go back to my parent’s house in Armenia. I’ve tried to bring my parents here, but their visa application was refused. At the time I was living in a space totalling 40m2 and couldn’t offer my parents somewhere to stay. They wouldn’t fit. If they could be here that I’d show them Amsterdam architecture. I find the crooked buildings fascinating!”

112 people in Amsterdam have the Armenian nationality


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