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Inga from Artsakh bakes jingyalov hats and makes new plans: Artsakh exodus #10

October 23 2023, 11:13

After being forcibly displaced from Artsakh, Inga Grigoryan bakes jingyalov hats, one of Artsakh’s specialties, and shares the taste of Artsakh bread with Armenians. Inga assures that the bread is still delicious even without all types of greens. Our Alpha News team was convinced of this when we visited the village of Balahovit, where Inga’s family of seven lives after being forced to leave Artsakh.

For several days, Inga has been supplying the local shops with her delicious, flavorful, and slightly spicy jingyalov hats. She doesn’t have many orders yet, but she receives praise from residents who have tasted the bread.

“In Artsakh, I used to bake jingyalov hats to order. After moving to Armenia, I thought that I should bake here as well. I also decided to bake baklava, but there are many people who bake it, so I decided to bake more bread. It’s not bad, people are satisfied,” says Inga with a smile on her face.

Inga’s family was forcibly displaced from Stepanakert. They lived near the Azerbaijani positions, under the sounds of gunfire, with fear in their hearts. Inga has three minor children.

Inga was at work when she heard the sounds of shelling on September 19. Under the continuous sounds of the gunfire, the Artsakh woman did not know what to do, whether to go home or run to her son, who was at school.

“I ran home, where my two children were, then we picked up my eldest son from school and went to the basement. Even after the ceasefire, we were afraid to return home. After a few days, we saw that everyone was leaving their homes, and we, too, decided to leave,” says Inga.

Inga’s husband, David, describes the situation in Artsakh in one word: anarchy.

“It was impossible to stay in Artsakh any longer; it was a nightmare,” says David, recalling the congested road that took three days. “There was a traffic jam; the cars were slowly moving by inches and then stopped again. There was not even room for an ambulance. Hungry, thirsty, and sleepless, we finally arrived in Armenia.”

Inga continues to talk about the forced exodus from Artsakh to Armenia.

“We convinced the children to sleep. We were hungry and wanted to quickly get to the place to eat something normal. Under the blockade, the children were deprived of many things; we had very hard days. My little son used to say, ‘Isn’t there even a watermelon for us to eat?’”, Inga says.

They were already in Armenia on September 28. Having registered in Yeghegnadzor, they stayed for several days in the free accommodation provided by the government, but due to poor living conditions, they decided to find a rented apartment and moved to Balahovit village in Kotayk marz.

“The owner of the house said he would not take the rent for the first month until we settled in. We didn’t even discuss the amount of money. We are very grateful to them; they received us very warmly and supported us in everything. There are not very comfortable conditions here either, but with the money given by the state, we are building a kitchen and a bathroom. The living conditions are improving. We want to start life again. We need a lot of things but we will get things done little by little,” says David, hoping that he will soon find a job.

They are not thinking about returning to Artsakh now. Inga says that she will return to her homeland only when there are no Turks there.