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December 5, 2002

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The best activity is people watching. Armenians meet and linger on the streets and get dressed up to socialize at Yerevan's pavement cafes. The food is nothing new, most local dishes we've seen before in Greece, Turkey, or Russia; common dishes are: dolma, ground meat and rice wrapped in vine leaves; khashlama, boiled lamb and potatoes cooked in beer or wine; or kebabs, lamb meat skewered over an open flame.
Matenadaran, the ancient manuscripts library. Considering Armenia's widespread diaspora from a fractious history, the library may be this country's most important cultural institution since it preserves language and history.
Armenian churches have a distinct, turreted look to their cupolas. Ninety percent of the population follows the Armenian Apostolic Orthodox church, which keeps alive a few idiosyncratic elements, such as animal sacrifice rituals (a useful ritual since the sacrifice is distributed as food for the poor).