Northville, United States
If I thought I knew what “being Armenian” meant before this experience, it was a blatant understatement. Not out of stubborn ignorance, more out of innocent oblivion. I was too far removed. Before this, being Armenian was mostly about all the social perks. But it’s about the opportunities we provide to one another. The longing to go back to our homeland…in essence, searching for something that was once lost; something that is inherently OURS. It’s no exaggeration to describe it as a genetically programmed longing for a sort of perpetual inheritance…something along the lines of what Freud described as “archaic heritage.”
I think there’s something to be said about our unwillingness to completely assimilate in new lands as many others have done in similar situations. In theory it may be a result of our notorious stubborn mentality, but there’s something piercing about the way we’ve chosen to incorporate diasporan cultures into our fundamental Armenian lifestyle. It’s as if we use THOSE cultures to accent to our OWN Armenian culture—never the other way around. When I look at the collective Armenian people, I see an ideally esoteric global network whose folktales are bewitching—romantic and enchanting in the way they preserve their foundational riches.
Could you tell me with confidence that “this small tribe of unimportant people, whose wars have all been fought and lost, whose structures have crumbled, literature is unread, music is unheard, and prayers are no more answered” are at risk of declination? Look at all we’ve overcome and accomplished thus far. Look at the determination and progressiveness of the new generations. Notice their yearning to come back HOME to strengthen and cement their identity through their birthright.
I’m on the cusp of creating a New Armenia within myself. Now tell me, what’s stopping you from doing the same?