More than ten years ago now, I had the privilege of participating in an international cultural exchange programme in Poland run by AIESEC, a global student and young professionals network. There were some twenty or twenty-five of us college-age students from a dozen different countries going around various villages and towns throughout Poland. We met with high school students and delivered presentations on our countries and cultures.
Poland is among the most ethnically homogeneous societies in the world. For a teenager in a distant rural area to interact with a young person from, say, Peru, or India, or even more exotic Armenia, must have been a pleasantly disruptive experience. Besides recounting to those bright faces the story of the first Christian nation or the legacy of the genocide, I found myself discussing my own personal family history that, like any good Armenian story, traverses a few seas and continents.