Education/Newsletter/May 2017/Stepanakert WikiClub։“Wikipedia, because being clever is always in fashion”

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Stepanakert WikiClub։“Wikipedia, because being clever is always in fashion”


Author:Irina Safaryan, Lilit Tarkhanyan (Wikimedia Armenia)


Stepanakert WikiClubbers with their coordinator

The article tells about Stepanakert WikiClub of Nagorno Karabakh which was founded in 2015. The WikiClub coordinator and the clubbers tell about their experience of becoming Wikipedians.

Article: The first WikiClub of Nagorno Karabakh was founded in its capital, Stepanakert, in 2015 and was officially opened on October 15, 2015. Having a WikiClub in Nagorno Karabakh was absolutely essential: university and school students would have an opportunity to learn how to edit Wikipedia, write articles on history, nature, politics and social life in Armenian. Again, it was a good chance to tell the world about our history, our heroes, etc.

First, it was difficult to gather people, introduce Wikipedia to them and explain why they should learn to edit it. The first 6 months were introductory months, afterwards our mission was to make Wikipedia a brand. As a co-founder & coordinator of Stepanakert WikiClub, I decided to make Wikipedia something like fashion, which everyone wants to be a part of. I wanted people to feel honored to be a wikipedian like the models in Chanel or Yves Saint Laurent fashion shows. We created our slogan; “Wikipedia, because being clever is always in fashion”. Therefore, with this optimistic mood, we started to work hard until the people in the streets, schools and everywhere else started talking about us and recognizing us. In just a few months, more than 100 wikis joined our Stepanakert WikiClub.

Like every family, the Stepanakert WikiClub has its own traditions. We have our famous WikiTree where each time we have a new wikimember, we add his photo to the tree. Our club is like a big friendly family where everyone has his/her special role and mission.

WikiTree of the Stepanakert WikiClub

We are fond of having our tea-time, like the British. When we all gather together, especially during our Saturday workshops, everybody knows that we need to have a break, so it’s time to drink a cup of tea (in winter) or a glass of juice (in summer). Another special tradition is celebrating the birthdays of our wikipedians in our WikiClub, especially those of the younger members. There is usually a birthday cake with candles present and we enjoy counting the birthday boy's or girl's age. We sing the “Happy Birthday to You” song and play games like “Uno” & “Alias”.

We also have our WikiAnthem, written by us in 2016, when we were celebrating Wikipedia’s 15th anniversary. Stepanakert WikiClub is not only a place where you can learn how to edit Wikipedia, but it is also a home, a place where you’re always welcome anytime, 6 days a week. Here, we do our best to create a community where all wikipedians know each other, become friends, and continue their friendship out of the WikiClub.

We always organize interesting meetings, events and trips. Our first trip was to Zontikner (Natural umbrellas) in the summer of 2016, where we climbed up the rocks, sunbathed, and had a shower under the natural showers. Later, we visited a Karabakh carpet company to get acquainted with the work of the carpet makers; to see how carpets are being woven, what materials are used, familiarize with the ornaments the carpet-makers use in their work and so on. Such events are important for schoolchildren to learn about the world around us: to see and understand where and how everything is created.

You’re always welcome in our WikiClub. Join us, “Wikipedia, because being clever is always in fashion”.

Grigori, 13 years old: Where did you learn about Stepanakert WikiClub? What do you like in Stepanakert WikiClub the most? What is the most memorable day in WikiLife days?

I learned about Stepanakert WikiClub from my older sister and it immediately interested me. I have been a wikipedian since January 29, 2016.

What I like the most about WikiLife is my wikifriends, wikicamps, and our traditional tea-time. Our WikiClub is a unique, cozy place, where everyone feels free and comfortable. I enjoy the new knowledge I always get during our workshops and everything which connects with the friendly atmosphere in our WikiClub.

The most memorable day in my WikiLife was the day our WikiClubbers went ona trip to Zontikner (Natural Umbrellas). It was my first time there and I was astonished by the gorgeous nature, huge stones hanging right above us, and of course, my lovely friends, who made that trip more special and precious. In the end, we took photos for Wikimedia Commons, because it wasn’t just a trip. Our trip had a goal, since we had written an article in Armenian Wikipedia about that magical place. I love Stepanakert WikiClub because it’s my second home.

Vadim, 13 years old: I learned about Stepanakert WikiClub from Grisha. We know each other from our school. To be honest, I didn’t want to come at first, because I didn't have any idea of the place and why I have to come here. But from the very first moment I came to the WikiClub I fell in love with the atmosphere and the work which I’m doing now every week.

I’m a Wikipedian since June 21, 2016.

What do I like the most in our WikiClub? The first is Irina & her attitude towards us. She isn’t just a coordinator for us, but also our best friend, our teacher and somehow our “parent”. The second is the articles; I write about my favourite heroes and dishes. Then I became friends with many of our wikipedians, and of course wikicamps. In my opinion, it’s a magical place for all wikipedians, especially for wikipupils.

The most memorable day was in Karabakh Carpet company, where we went with all the members of our WikiClub. I learned how to make carpets there and was impressed by the technique and professionalism of the femalecarpet-makers. I tried to make several knots, and understood at once what hard work is required to finish up such a beauty.

I love Stepanakert WikiClub, because here I can be myself and become even better.

Hayk, 12 years old:

I heard about Stepanakert WikiClub from my best friend Grigori. At first I didn’t want to come, because I thought that it's like school & it would be boring. Then when I started to write articles about my favourite football players I was really excited and started to adore the WikiClub and everythingabout Wikipedia after my first time in WikiCamp. I’m a wikimember since April 20, 2016. We celebrated my 1st year with my friends in our Wikiclub.

What was the most memorable day during this year? I can say that was my birthday. It was the same day we were going to Winter Wikicamp in Aghveran. I knew we would spend 10 hours on the road, and so, I decided to celebrate my birthday right in the bus. I took barbeque and lots of sweets with me so we had a great time on the way. It was the most interesting birthday of my life. I love our WikiClub because my friends are here and we spend a lot of great time together.

Joka, 16 years old: I learned about Stepanakert WikiClub from Irina. What I like the most is our WikiCamps and of course Irina - she does everything to make our WikiClub interesting & make us feel special. I’m a Wikipedian since December 19, 2015. The most memorable day during this year was the last day of Summer WikiCamp.

I love our WikiClub because it’s the coolest place in the world.

Alice, 15 years old: I learned about Stepanakert WikiClub from my best friend, who is also a wikipedian. I like the atmosphere, how we manage to enjoy the time editing articles and learning a lot of interesting things, and I also like our trips. I’m a wikimember since June 23, 2016.

I love our WikiClub because here I meet a lot of interesting, smart, and creative people.

Tags:Wikipedia, WikiClubs, Wikimedia Armenia