It is true that the Earth is an ellipsoid, but it has many jagged corners and nooks where our 7 billion people of the world find special places to live and create. In this huge world, I have my own little corner, Urtsadzor. It is my birthplace. Of course, you cannot find it on a map, but regardless I know that wherever I go, I will never lose it. The Urtsadzor village of Ararat Region is located next to the Khosrov Forest State Reserve. It is surrounded by mountains and fields which are nearly the only means of livelihood for villagers.
My grandfather used to tell me that if one only has love for the village, they cannot stay there. I have always been interested in the meaning of this sentence, hidden in the wise eyes of my grandpa. Hence I decided to speak about it with him. “Grandpa, is love not the most important thing? If one loves their village, why should that person leave it?” I asked my grandfather who has just gotten his first wrinkle on his forehead at the age of seventy-four.
“What do you think those who have left the village, they don’t love it? No, my dear, their love is full of sorrow and sadness. Sure in foreign countries it is easy to find a job, but I will never exchange the gold of my village with thousands of dollars.”
“Grandpa, what gold?”
“My dear, our main occupation is the cultivation of soil and plants. My gold is pepper. Of course, we raise other vegetables too, but pepper is really special.”
“Grandpa, is the care for pepper a difficult thing? How is it done?”
“Believe me; it is much more difficult than the cultivation of other plants. Seedlings of pepper are mostly planted in April. And when it is time to remove the weeds, you should do it all very tenderly so as not to hurt the plants. Pepper does not want lots of water like you and me. Everything has its way. And if you skip something and mistreat the plants, you won`t have any good result.’”
“Grandpa, but how can you draw a likeness between pepper and gold?”
“I don’t call all sorts of peppers gold. The times of collective farming, there were a lot of ‘msur’ gold peppers.”
“Oh, grandpa, msur gold?”
“Yes, my dear, msur are called those peppers, which are thick enough, they are the best species of peppers due to the amount of vitamins they contain. Peppers should be eaten without being fried so as to feel the real taste.”
“Grandpa, what is the market price of the gold of Urtsadzor?” I asked, expecting to hear a price.
“Oh, my child, when we take it to the market everyone waits for the pepper of Chiman,” (the former name of Urtsadzor). “There have been many years when the hail has destroyed the harvest of pepper. Those have been the most difficult years. Pepper has a different value for us, which cannot be measured in money.” Although I had been anticipating a different reply, I gathered that there are such things which are precious. My grandpa’s passion made me realize that our pepper was the real gold. He praised the gold of Urtsadzor in such a way that I thought of this pepper cultivation with awe, forgetting about the burning sun which the village people experience every summer on their own skins.
So, in case you want to try the gold full of vitamins, hurry to my village Urtsadzor and it will be impossible for you to leave it. I wish the gold of Urtsadzor to be the leading in the market. Let the hail leave us, so that the inhabitant of Urtsadzor may never need leave their fatherland.