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Greetings from Cyprus

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  • Greetings from Cyprus

    Dear fellow Armenians and people of Armenian descent.

    My name is Damon, I am 26 years old, and I am of Armenian descent from my paternal grandmother's side.

    My great grandfather was born and raised in Constantinople and my great grandmother was from Smyrni in Asia Minor. They both fled during the Genocide and The Great Fire respectively and met up by chance in Peraius in Greece in 1925. Soon after, my grandmother was born.

    My grandmother met and married my Greek grandfather from the island of Skiathos, where my father was born.

    Unfortunately, for reasons I do not fully know, my father did not grow up speaking any Armenian nor has he retained any semblance of his Armenian heritage and identity. From what other family members have hinted at from time to time, I have come to suspect that my father was targeted as a child for being a "half-breed" and perhaps as a coping mechanism he rejected everything to do with his Armenian side to prevent this from going on.

    Unfortunately for me, I never got to meet my grandmother, as she passed away many years before I was born and as such I never got to know anything about Armenian life, culture, people and language, and I was hoping to gain some insight from people here.

    In my father's defense, I can understand how he must of felt being the target of discrimination because I too have been on the receiving end of it from many Greek people growing up, especially people from my father's native island were a very small-minded racist attitude exists among the older generations.

    For example, my mother is British (a true mixture too, as her father was Scots-Spanish and her mother was Irish-Anglo-Welsh) and there were many insatnces in which I nearly got into altercations with people over the fact that I wasn't named after my paternal grandfather (a very strong tradition in Greece to this very day) as most people blamed my mother for it, flat out accusing her of ruining Greek traditions and not being respectful of the memory of my grandfather (who died when my father was a 12).

    I have lived 16 years in Greece and 10 years in the UK (having recently moved to Cyprus to complete my training as a lawyer) and having all these different nationalities and origins to my "blood-line" I often feel a need to learn about my (many!) lineages.

    Hope my rant wasn't too long and that in the very least, I can pick up some basic Armenian phrases. :-)

  • #2
    Re: Greetings from Cyprus

    Barev Welcome File mou Hope you like the site and we acquainted
    You can tell whether a man is clever by his answers. You can tell whether a man is wise by his questions.


    • #3
      Re: Greetings from Cyprus

      Kalispera to you as well file ;-)


      • #4
        Re: Greetings from Cyprus

        Welcome to the forum Damon.
        B0zkurt Hunter


        • #5
          Re: Greetings from Cyprus

          A warm welcome to " Decendant " from Artashes.
          You have a long history from this side of the family.
          As a child my grandparents would tell me stories of ages gone by as if they just happened. Stories of Gilgimesh and Ereck an Ur and Agade. My grandfather would talk about Hannible Barca like he was an old friend.
          They would speak of earlier times of kingdoms in the clouds.
          But in our history I would suggest you start at the beginning and think of this------------------------------------- we are descendants of a man that God spoke to.
          Again warm welcome Artashes


          • #6
            Re: Greetings from Cyprus

            How did you grow up? I mean with what identity did you grow up dominantly? With which identity you connect with most?
            Մեկ Ազգ, Մեկ Մշակույթ
            "Western Assimilation is the greatest threat to the Armenian nation since the Armenian Genocide."


            • #7
              Re: Greetings from Cyprus

              It's a very weird thing for me actually. I grew up in Greece till I was 16, but I spent quite a few summers with my mother's parents in England. School in Greece lets out at the 10th-15th of June for the summer, whereas in England it doesn't let out until the last week of July, so from 4 to 10 I went to school in England for 4-5 weeks (the local school Head-Master was actually an old war-buddy of my grandfather's, they both served in the RAF in WW2, so they made a special exception for me).

              I grew up speaking both languages at home, and infact, I spoke English, loooong before I spoke any Greek. I remember being 4 years old when my mother dropped me off at preschool for the first time and not knowing how to communicate with anyone!

              Obviously growing up as a boy and a teenager I identified mostly with my Greek heritage but since elaving Greece 10 years ago, I have found myself feeling less and less Greek all the time. The racism my mother suffered by all those small-minded ignorant xxxxxxxs always stuck with me and for yeasr I made excuses for them, untill I slowly started to realise that Greek people can be and are very racist towards foreigners. Obviously my generation is better due to more people studyig abroad at univeristies and meeting different cultures and nationalities, but I still saw a ridiculous amount of misplaced pride and plain old arrogance from Greek people.

              Given the political state of Greece over the last 40 years which (in my opinion) led to today's financial crisis, I find it hard to fee sorry for Greek people. They xxxxed themselves up and instead of realising their mistakes, they 're sitting there blaming EVERYONE else apart from them. This makes it hard for me to identify with people who are still stuck in the past glories of Plato, Periclis, Sokratis, Dimosthenis etc.

              On the other hand, I can't really say I feel very Scottish, Irish, English or Welsh from my mother's side, as I've never been to either Ireland or Wales, and I've only lived a few years here and there in England and Scotland.

              Obviously I can't make the claim I feel Armenian either (which I think would be insultng to other Armenias) but I can't deny I have always wondered about that part of my heritage, most likely because up untill I was 10-11 I felt like it was entirely hidden from me (seriously, I ddn't know my grandmother was Armenian untill then).


              • #8
                Re: Greetings from Cyprus

                You should definitely explore and learn more about Armenia, Armenian history, and so forth. When it comes to identity my take is this. One's identity is something formed through your childhood via your parents and surroundings. So when you get to a certain age, you automatically connect to a certain group/identity over everything else. You have a metaphysical connection to that nation and people. You feel "at home" when within that group and with that people. Your allegiance is to that nation over everything else and so forth. This will obviously have a high correlation with your "blood" since a half or full blooded person of a certain ethnicity is way more likely to grow up in such a way than a person with 10% of that ancestry and full blooded more likely than half blooded. However, greater reliance should be put of course on your formed identity, because there are also "full blooded" people who have no connection whatsoever to that ancestry. And finally, there's the issue of appereance. Yes it matters to an extent. For example, Armenian society would have a very hard time accepting a black person as Armenian, that's just how it is. So you have to also be able to fit in in terms of phenotype or else it can be rather difficult. That's just my two cents. Of course, you can always be a friend of Armenians and such friendship will bring a lot of good
                Մեկ Ազգ, Մեկ Մշակույթ
                "Western Assimilation is the greatest threat to the Armenian nation since the Armenian Genocide."


                • #9
                  Re: Greetings from Cyprus

                  Well, I'm afraid in terms of looks, I don't think I could look any less Armenian! I have gotten about 90% of my facial features from my mother's side of the family. I'm pale with green eyes and brown hair. I'm 26 but can't grow a beard or a mustache to save my life, and I have almost 0 body hair.

                  My father on the other hand, who I think looks very Armenian, is often mistaken for middle eastern/Persian/Arabic by a lot of people in London.

                  My eldest sister is also very Armenian-looking (again, in my opinion). Especially in the summer when she gets a tan, most British people think she's of a middle eastern/Persian/Arabic background or in somes case, Indian or Pakistani!

                  Although, I do have my father's nose, sunken-in eyes and cheekbones, so maybe I do have a little Armenian in my face :-)

                  Here are soem pics, you guys decide.

                  My father age 27:

                  My grandmother:

                  Me age 26:


                  • #10
                    Re: Greetings from Cyprus

                    Well Armenia is actually pretty diverse in terms of phenotype, though obviously the Mediterranean phenotype is more prevalent than others. All I was saying is that one has to just "fit in" or else it can create problems. So I mean extreme examples, like a black person or Chinese person trying to fit in. Yeah you'd fit in
                    Մեկ Ազգ, Մեկ Մշակույթ
                    "Western Assimilation is the greatest threat to the Armenian nation since the Armenian Genocide."