The Covid-19 pandemic has forced thousands of Armenians, mostly men, to stay at home instead of heading to Russia or elsewhere for seasonal work. While the abrupt end of seasonal work—which often paid better than what was locally available—has presented a hardship for families, it has created new opportunities for some villages.
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"It has been so long since I played, I forgot," she says, enthusiastically sitting down at the keyboard.
Soon old Soviet-era favorites, like Katyasha, Синий платочек (Blue Scarf) can be heard as Aida and Sargis Memerjyan, 77, sing and dance to the music. As the last chord fades, members of the choir turn to their audience and smile. After ten months of silence, the music is sweet, indeed.