Finally, the BBC has devoted a story to the pressing international issue of what the Armenians think about Kim Kardashian, and what Kardashian thinks about the Armenians.
Thanks to her Armenian last name and roots, the American celebrity is big in Armenia.
As the BBC wrote: “Photos of Kim Kardashian are splashed across the front pages of magazine and adorn billboards, the walls of car washes and car parks in Yerevan, the country’s capital.”
But Kardashian’s relationship with Armenia, just like any of her relationships, is a complicated one.
Armenians, like other peoples in the Caucasus, tend to celebrate and embrace anyone or anything that emphasizes their importance for world culture or history.
(Some Georgians, for instance, are still proud that Joseph Stalin was their man; no matter if the dictator was known for misbehavior far worse than that imputed to Kardashian.)
Armenia is not short of famous people of Armenian descent (singer Cher, French bard Charles Aznavour, billionaire Kirk Kerkorian), but the nation is divided over Kardashian.
Some ordinary Armenians, though, find it hard to identify with Kardashian. Her flamboyant ways could not be more different from the customs of this traditional Caucasus country, where, as elsewhere in the region, restraint and demureness are expected of women, and females having sex before marriage (much less recording home sex videos) is frowned upon.
YouTube's administrators may not be aware of this, but Armenia’s education ministry regards the video-sharing website as a partner in its official battle to keep the country’s schools violence-free.
“I am glad there is YouTube, where you can see everything,” said Armenian Minister of Education and Science Armen Ashotian, referring to recently posted videos depicting abuse in Armenian schools. The videos sparked an online outpouring of public anger and a reaction from education officials.
One amateur clip showed a female instructor on a beating rampage, at one point frantically slapping a student with both hands. Another video shows a male teacher brutalizing an adolescent student. Both teachers have been fired, local media reported.
Education and Science Minister Armen Ashotian said later that he views Youtube as a partner since the site has become an important tool in helping keep a public eye on what is going on in classrooms.
YouTube has also contributed to a crackdown on military brutality. An army officer was jailed after videos depicting army hazing were posted on the site. Both military and education officials say that a system overhaul is underway to prevent such incidents from happening in the future.