I have been meeting some Armenians in London recently, and always the discussions came round to the issue of immigrating to the UK. Although in all these discussions I was strongly pushing against any Armenians emigrating from Armenia, I have to admit, that deep inside, in my subconsciousness, I have been considering the possibility of immigrating to the UK myself. God! I can’t believe I just said this! Strangely enough, when I was just regaining peace with myself there came some posts in the Armenian blogosphere, that made me think again.
First came the post by Bekaisa about the importance of living in Armenia and being part of the thing called Hayastan (Armenia) and being a part of the culture called Hayastanci (Armenian):
To be հայաստանցի [Armenian],to preserve and reproduce the specific “type” and identity of a person living in Armenia, is much more important, then to look after and try to follow the diasporas dissolving into the globalized world. To reproduce ourselves, to blend in all those who want to live in this country, become its citizens, serve in its army, pay social dues for its elders and orphans, create values, bring up children and most of all, fight for the better future of this country regardless your “ethnicity”, subculture and religion.
Bekaisa is not against emigration – it is freedom to choose for everyone… however, there is a myth the needs to be addressed she says, there is this legend, that many of those emigrating from Armenia insist on, claiming, that the best way to be useful for Armenia and the people in this country, is to live outside and help from there: with money, assistance, etc. That is a legend Bekaisa insists, as the physical, spiritual and mental presence in this country, on the long term, are the only way to go if we are to support and develop that which is called “Armenian”: a system of ethnicity, values, society…
A very interesting post followed from Albertus and a repost of an earlier entry by Bekaisa, which came to enhance the already vigorous debate on her blog. The points made by Albertus (claiming that the main driving force behind emigration from Armenia is the natural desire to find a place that is more comfortable) are summerized in the end of his post, where he tries to define the various myths of those going, coming, going and coming and all the other way around:
The man is unhappy with his life in Armenia, but has no possibility of leaving, so he announces, that he is staying here because of his patriotism.
There is a possibility of leaving the country – so he goes, but promises to come back as soon as possible.
Unable to settle THERE – convinces everyone, that he doesn’t regret about anything, and that he is preserving his hayutyun [being Armenian] and is helping the relatives in Yerevan.
Having decided to return in the end, because of lack of any perspectives THERE, presents his return as a great heroic act.
OK, I guess I qualify for the last point here 😀