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Hear Samovar Stories at the Aksel Bakunts House Museum

Hear Samovar Stories at the Aksel Bakunts House Museum  image

(Photo by Areg Balayan, My Armenia Program)

Aksel Bakunts (1899-1937), renowned Armenian prose writer, loved drinking rose petal tea in his family house in Goris. His mother used to dry the petals from the roses she had planted in her garden.

After visiting Bakunts’ family house and seeing objects representative of early 19th-century life in Goris, you will be invited to participate in a tea ceremony, learning about the tradition of tea making and its significance to Bakunts. The samovar’s significance, origin, and uses in Armenia will be highlighted, and you will learn the process of using a samovar, a traditional device used to boil water for tea in Russia for centuries. You will be encouraged to draw connections and associations with your own tea drinking and other similar social practices.

While sampling the tea, as well as local sweet delicacies, you will have the chance to read the translated short story of Bakunts’ “The Alpine Violet” and discover the realities of rural and urban life during the Soviet period—all while sitting in a garden where Bakunts himself likely sat to drink tea. Through this experience, you will better understand the essence of an ancient tradition still practiced today.

About the Museum

Located behind a picturesque stone wall and wooden door opening to a beautiful, large yard, this branch of the Charents Museum of Literature and Arts in Yerevan offers an intimate view into writer Aksel Bakunts’ origins.

Born in 1899, Bakunts was a famed writer of prose and film scripts active in the early twentieth century, until his untimely death in 1937. The 19th-century house is an attraction itself, having been maintained to appear as it was when Bakunts was living in it. This was the house where Bakunts lived for the first 10 years of his life and again later; his parents continued to live here even after he left. The rooms feature life as it would have been lived in the 19th century: a simple kitchen and bedroom, and the room where he wrote. The museum also has a small room of photos and facsimiles of texts, though much of Bakunts’ archive remains in Yerevan.

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