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Assimilation of Armenians – Our Greatest Threat

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  • Assimilation of Armenians – Our Greatest Threat

    With a large Diaspora, as a result of our turbulent past, we have had to face the many problems that come with this. One problem being the divisions amongst us that have set us apart in some ways (e.g. American Armenian, Armenian from Armenia, Lebanon Armenians, and so on). However, a more visible and more dangerous problem in my eyes has been assimilation, especially into immigrant countries such as America and Canada.

    In countries like France and Russia, assimilation can still happen but it’s much harder for it to occur as there a dominant ethnic group is established and there exists the notion of having “native blood” which immigrants will never have. Look at the Turkish immigrants in Germany where even the ones that are 3rd or 4th generation have upheld their Turkish identity and many still marry within their ethnic group. Many hold allegiance to Turkey not Germany even though they have been there for generations.

    Now to America, which was established as a immigrant country where immigrants of any background could come and very easily be “American”. There was and is no such thing as having American blood. This is what made America successful; a melting pot of different minds, cultures, and so on. So first what is this “American identity”? In my eyes, being American is holding an American mindset and being in tune with the culture of the country; and most importantly having allegiance to America over any other country including that person’s country of origin. For example, an immigrant from France is asked the question, if USA and France were at war, and you had to fight, who would you fight for? If USA is the answer the person is American, and if France than not American.

    Throughout our history, we have been engaged in a constant struggle to sustain our religion, our language, and of course our lands. We have sacrificed so much in order to be able to call ourselves “Armenians” today, and given our history it’s an incredible accomplishment we shouldn’t ever forget. Now if our heroes spilled their blood and gave their lives for this identity, then what motivates Armenians today to give in so easily and surrender their identity, more than any war or massacre did to our forefathers? There are a few elements to this assimilation that I must mention. One is language, which in my opinion is one of the most important factors. Armenians not knowing Armenian immediately distances themselves from the Armenian race, and with this it becomes much easier for an Armenian to feel closer to the American group. Knowing Armenian from a young age is instrumental in fighting the forces of assimilation. Another is the lack of connection or knowledge of Armenia itself. This can be a lack of knowledge in terms of history, or in current political events.

    It’s important every Armenian regardless of background to have allegiance and at least a fundamental connection to the homeland. It’s not enough to only be Armenian if there some international heritage gathering. Or to think that you are Armenian only by name or blood, and you don’t have to do anything or have any knowledge to sustain that.

    Many surrender the sacred Armenian identity for the contemporary American culture which is very low quality, degrading, and at times just blatantly disgusting. Just look at some of the people that are idolized in the “pop culture” and how many people try to be like them. How promiscuity and sex have become so forefront to a point it degrades women to such a low point. Again it’s not enough to be Armenian by just saying “oh I’m Armenian” when asked such a question; there’s a much more and people often forget that any identity comes with expectation of culture and mindset. And as more and more families come from Armenia and have children in these immigrant countries, the assimilation accelerates and we lose our precious people to the American melting pot. They marry non-Armenians, and the children marry non-Armenians, and then that’s it.

    It is hard for me to put all my feelings regarding this in one piece of writing, but I just want to get the conversation started. How can we battle such assimilation? Really, that’s in the hands of the parents and how they raise their children. And to lesser extent the children themselves in recognizing the awfulness of this assimilation and avoiding it. What can I say, hayer jan, please avoid assimilation, please sustain your Armenian identity, have always allegiance to Armenia overall including the place you live. Remember your forefathers, the sacrifices of the Armenian people, and the fragility of our race; yes even a few people can make a difference. God give strength to Armenia and our people.

    ՄԵԿ ԱԶԳ, ՄԵԿ ՄՇԱԿՈՒՅԹ

    Մովսես
    Մեկ Ազգ, Մեկ Մշակույթ
    ---
    "Western Assimilation is the greatest threat to the Armenian nation since the Armenian Genocide."

  • #2
    Re: Assimilation of Armenians � Our Greatest Threat

    It's a good idea to discuss assimilation of Armenians, what we call "Jermag chart" or the implicit continuation of the Armenian genocide.

    I guess I agree with your judgment of the situation in the US. What goes on in France is probably not too different. In France, there has officially been the notion that when you have French citizenship or nationality, you are French just as any other who was born in that country. I would assume that it's how many Armenians in France feel. See the section "French Citizenship and Identity" for some more information:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/French_nationality_law

    Canada, which has adopted multiculturalism as an official policy, cannot be compared with the United States which is a "melting pot" of different groups. It is easier to preserve your original identity than it is in the US because there is government support for that. For example the government supports cultural/religious schools in order to support them...
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canadia...ulturalism_Act

    What I found peculiar in the US is that the country has no official languages.
    Last edited by Davo88; 01-17-2011, 04:28 PM.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Assimilation of Armenians – Our Greatest Threat

      Because everybody knows that even Adam & Eve spoke English :P
      'A mamma 're strunze é sempre prena.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Assimilation of Armenians � Our Greatest Threat

        Originally posted by Davo88 View Post
        It's a good idea to discuss assimilation of Armenians, what we call "Jermag chart" or the implicit continuation of the Armenian genocide.

        I guess I agree with your judgment of the situation in the US. What goes on in France is probably not too different. In France, there has officially been the notion that when you have French citizenship or nationality, you are French just as any other who was born in that country. I would assume that it's how many Armenians in France feel. See the section "French Citizenship and Identity" for some more information:
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/French_nationality_law

        Canada, which has adopted multiculturalism as an official policy, cannot be compared with the United States which is a "melting pot" of different groups. It is easier to preserve your original identity than it is in the US because there is government support for that. For example the government supports cultural/religious schools in order to support them...
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canadia...ulturalism_Act

        What I found peculiar in the US is that the country has no official languages.
        I think some states have official languages, but in all US is an immigrant country with immigrant communities from any country you can think of. In theory, these immigrant communities are good as they serve as a shield towards assimilation.
        Մեկ Ազգ, Մեկ Մշակույթ
        ---
        "Western Assimilation is the greatest threat to the Armenian nation since the Armenian Genocide."

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Assimilation of Armenians – Our Greatest Threat

          I support the preservation of the Armenian race, culture and nation.
          I'm an Iranian-Azerbaijani (I am not Turkic, I am Iranic), who loves the world!

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Assimilation of Armenians – Our Greatest Threat

            Arshak Mkrtchyan

            The Armenian-seeking person that I have always been, one afternoon in July 2007 I ended up with an interesting mixture of people on my sofa at work. People who ethnically had a lot in common – they were all Armenian, but nonetheless struggled to make any sort of meaningful contact for at least an hour of being sat next to each other, waiting for me to finish my business and act as a connecting bridge between them.
            It is rather hard to blame them, though.
            First of all, there was the linguistic barrier, because they were:
            a Beirut born Western Armenian from Kuwait, fluent in Western-Armenian and English;
            a Northern Caucasus born Armenian from Moscow, fluent only in Russian;
            an Akhaltsikhi born Armenian from Moscow fluent in Russian and the Akhaltsikhi dialect Armenian;
            …and my little cousin from Armenia, who although was fluent in both Russian and English, but was finding it rather weird to speak foreign languages to Armenians.
            I glanced at them from time to time, reassuring them that I was going to be finished sooner rather than later, as I was seriously afraid that the atmosphere of total silence was going to make one or more of them leave.
            Luckily,
            no-one left and I finally got some time to be able to act as a host for my guests.
            Before I came to England I was constantly dreaming of me giving a talk to a big group of Diasporans and getting the message across to them that in order to preserve their and their children’s Armenianness they should devote some time and effort to establishing links with Armenia and work towards Armenia’s more secure future.
            In the dream everyone was really surprised they had not thought about it themselves and eagerly embraced the initiative.
            Youth maximalism at its best or worst, depending on how you look at it.
            Here I had the arguably sad reality of mutual unawareness and ignorance on my very own sofa and, at the time, I was still determined to do something about it.
            With me they were all at ease. I knew the environments they came from, I spoke their lingo and could share a joke or two. But a group conversation through me as an interpreter was just not happening.
            I could not single-handedly change something which was a result of hundreds of years of population shifts, deportation, voluntary and involuntary immigration.
            And the problem was not only linguistic. Those people very simply had very little in common, even in their appearance.
            Now, I could go on for hours trying to explore the underlying reasons for such lack of common ground between different Diasporan groups, but by now we all ought to have realised how diverse we have become as an ethnographic entity – Parskahays, Libananahays, Turqahays, Fransahays, Amerikahays, Hunahays, etc.
            The geographical divide brings cultural differences and it is only natural that with time every group becomes very self-centred.
            The pattern was always quite obvious at Armenian parties I attended in London where different ‘communities’ shared tables only with persons with their own immigrant background.
            I remember booking a table for a New Year’s Eve party in 2005 and the lady on the phone repeatedly asking me where I was from. Apparently, to know ‘where to sit me’.
            I lashed out at her saying that I am Armenian and I do not recognize the divisions they are trying to enforce on me.
            She could not care less about my Pan-Armenian patriotism and, as a result of quite blatant segregation, I ended up with Hayastancis at my table anyway.
            On the slightly brighter side of things, currently the balance seems to be shifting a little bit, with the new generation of young Armenians who have grown up with the knowledge of the existence of a country called Armenia, where they hail from and which is a single geographical unit, a fact that itself has a unifying power.
            Also, the internet plays a huge role in this bridging process, providing a platform for those who feel like exploring their routes.
            But, still, the few and far apart events that are being organised and attended by young Armenians from all backgrounds and freely mixing together, do not serve any meaningful purpose apart from joint consumption of alcohol and having a good time dancing away to Tata or Armenchik.
            And the only purpose I can see in having an Armenian organisation is benefiting Armenia, so that Armenia could become a country which could create conditions for repatriation.
            The history shows, that no matter how many schools and churches you build, without the existence of an actual country in the hearth of the nation, even the strongest communities will fail.
            And the trend can now turn, I believe, with Hayastancis achieving higher social status in our communities in the West and being able to introduce more Armenia-centred initiatives to the table.
            The process of Hayastancis overtaking community life will be beneficial to all Armenian immigrant communities, irrespective of their country of origin, as we will be able to act as a bridge between them and others and as their direct link to Armenia.
            It would be helpful if our government finally had some sort of policy on Diaspora and repatriation, but the way things are looking, we are going to have to take the initiative and create change ourselves.
            But being where we are now, after having put the immigrant hardships behind us, I am sure we can be successful in this new beginning as well.
            What I could not change back in 2007 despite my best efforts, can be changed as a result of more focused and targeted approach from the young people who are coming through the ranks of the community organisations now.
            That is of course if the old guard, the bigoted bureaucracy of division does not stand in the way.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Assimilation of Armenians � Our Greatest Threat

              Originally posted by Davo88 View Post
              It's a good idea to discuss assimilation of Armenians, what we call "Jermag chart" or the implicit continuation of the Armenian genocide.

              I guess I agree with your judgment of the situation in the US. What goes on in France is probably not too different. In France, there has officially been the notion that when you have French citizenship or nationality, you are French just as any other who was born in that country. I would assume that it's how many Armenians in France feel. See the section "French Citizenship and Identity" for some more information:
              http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/French_nationality_law

              Canada, which has adopted multiculturalism as an official policy, cannot be compared with the United States which is a "melting pot" of different groups. It is easier to preserve your original identity than it is in the US because there is government support for that. For example the government supports cultural/religious schools in order to support them...
              http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canadia...ulturalism_Act

              What I found peculiar in the US is that the country has no official languages.
              Dear User,

              my heart is bleeding, when I think about "Jermag chart" or the implicit continuation of the Armenian genocide.

              Our supreme dictate must be wherever we live "Non-Assimilation of Armenians"
              Turks are very proud until now, that they brutal slaughtered at 1915-17 almost 3 000 000 christians in the otoman empire.

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