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Kevin Merdinian
Argentina participant
29 Sep, 2022

"Family is what connects us to being Armenians"

2 min read

Toc-toc, it's the door!

Hi, nice to meet you. My name is Kevin, I'm an Armenian from Argentina, and I am very happy to be here at your house. " Come, take a sit, I'll introduce you to your brothers, your sister, your dad, and I'll tell you a little about myself, that I'm your mom. We are your family." That's what Liana told me (my host mom). She was so happy, as if her new child was born, or like that feeling of missing a person so much and seeing them again.

This was my first day in Gyumri. They waited for me at night, a cold spring day, and behind the door, the whole family was ready to receive me. With coffee ready, we sit down to talk. That same day, I felt like we'd known each other forever.

But, I don't want to talk only about my experience. I want to connect with a more objective question: what does family mean to Armenians?

Or what does the family represent in Armenian society? And so we can keep asking.

The family is the root of the tree, the column of the building. No, it's not just that.

For Armenians, the family is the goal of life, it is what they live for, sometimes leaving aside many personal or professional goals. But why? Because, we came to the world for that, to be with family, have children, and live for them. "Our feeling of family, of brotherhood, of mutual help, is what makes us Armenians." That's what she told me (in that coffee the first day). Yeah, that's how deep we talked the first day. Why did we even talk about that? They asked me after saying my name, if I was married, was dating, or if I had children.

Why those questions?

Then we continue talking about the Armenian community in Argentina, what we do, and how difficult it is for us to come to Armenia.

I quickly wondered... Did we know each other before? No. Do we think the same way? Possibly in some questions yes, in others no. But then I understood. I understood that we speak the same language, I understood that we had the same history, we cried and laughed about the same thing, and we dream of having the same future. And the joy when I have a family (to be married, have children), was going to be a joy for them too.


All about an Armenian family


That first night, I couldn't sleep well. Because my heart was beating very fast. Like if you see a relative again after a long time. Like if you go back to a place you already knew. That happiness, combined with a feeling of being connected to other people.

If you don't live for your family, with your family, what do you live for? Family is a goal of life. And now I understood that everything is lived better if you are connected. And that connection in Armenia is felt not only in a house but also in the street. In business. Anywhere.

Finally, I came to the conclusion that all Armenians are one big family. Family is what connects us to being Armenians

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