How [NOT] To: Armenian Genocide Protest

Points about what is appropriate for an Armenian to do on the Armenian genocide remembrance day – April 24th, started earlier this week by the Armenia blog were picked up by the Ahousekeeper in his post: “Dress code? Yes, dress code!”, followed by a lively discussion:

One day out of the entire year motivates Armenians to get off their butts and do something for their people: April 24th. On the 24th of every April, Armenians the world over – but especially in the Los Angeles area – take to the streets to protest the Turkish embassy for recognition of the Genocide. The younger generation especially goes out to protest.
If you’re planning on doing the same, I have some tips for you:
1. April 24th is not a happy day. In fact, it marks the tortures and deaths of over 1,500,000 of our ancestors. Understand this thoroughly.
2. Don’t wear your latest hot pink top or fluffy mini skirt to the protest. This isn’t your bachelorette party, it’s a solemn occasion. Ask yourself, “Can I wear this to a funeral?” If the answer is no, then pick something else. You will have 364 other days in that year to wear what you want.
[…] visit the original post for more […]
If I sound a little bitter, it’s because I am. Every year I see this and every year it seems to get worse. I understand: you’re too young and not very bright. Kudos to you for deciding to dedicate one day out of your life to a cause greater than your own, but don’t use it as an excuse to make a mockery out of everything we’re fighting for. (Armenia blog)

Teaktak has an interesting observation at Ahousekeeper’s journal:

the saddest part is… … that the beamer driving music blasting punks don’t usually log into the net to read blogs, How to’s or informational sources for that matter. Besides, people have different understandings of the word “scream”, which is becoming mainstream for the cause.

Bekaisa brings in a whole new dimension to the Genocide discussion with her post, which has sparked a wave of comments too:

At yesterday’s meeting with the director of the film Screemers, I said, that if I were to go for a march on 24 April with some sort of symbolics, I would have gone with a banner saying “I forgive”.

The point is “not to forget, but to forgive”, Bekaisa speculates further, although she will most likely refrain from attending the traditional march to Tsitsernakaberd [the Armenian genocide memorial in Yerevan], but that’s a whole different issue, the blogger says.
The replies to the post are mostly highly critical (Orientalian, Dmboshka), calling the post “cynical” and contesting various other points of view.
Narjan has taken the discussion over to his blog with the question:

Dear people, why don’t you tell me something, hah? What does it mean to forgive turks in general? Who alone, or which group of people can claim that they represent one and a half millions of genocide victims, to have the authority of forgiving or not forgiving?

However all the mentioned posts and comments to them prove an important point – we need a lot more discussion here in Armenia about the Armenian genocide, the quest for its recognition and our attitudes towards Genocides in general.

4 thoughts on “How [NOT] To: Armenian Genocide Protest

  1. Reply
    chello - 20.04.2007

    Bekaisa writes in Russian so her desire to ‘forgive” is not clear to me what she exactly means. Forgive who?? The Turkish state who continues its policy of denial?
    Forgive in the name of whom? Those who were massacred in thier homes or on the exile marches to the deserts of Syria? She of course can personally forgive those responsible, but please don’t assume the role of a collective forgiver.
    Those who view the genocide issue as secondary to other issues or not currently vital really miss the point. It is not a issue solely of interest to the diaspora but must be to those in the ROA as well. The founding of the Republic was conditioned by events across the border in western Armenia and some 25% of the present population can trace its roots back to occupied western Armenia. Just look at the exodus of Armenians from Van in 1915.
    The Genocide issue must be tackled in contemporary terms and Armenians must view it as an integral issue in the whole struggle for democaracy in Turkey. This is what the late Hrant Dink believed and was killed for. The ideology and menatlity that gave rise to the genocide still resides in certain segments in Turkey. Armenians across the border in the ROA should realize this and understand what happened and why.

  2. Reply

    Those who view the genocide issue as secondary to other issues or not currently vital really miss the point. It is not a issue solely of interest to the diaspora but must be to those in the ROA as well.

    There are many ideas like that being injected into the Armenian media-space and eventually into the society itself. Another example of such a propagandic “landmine” is the following: “The only idea that keeps Armenians together is the genocide myth. As soon as it’s gone, Armenian people will fell apart”
    I am more than sure that ideas like that originate in Turkish think-tanks.
    My opinion on this is here: The art of Turkish propaganda.
    P.S. Chello, your nick looks familiar. Are you from HyeForum?

  3. Reply
    chello / Չելօ - 20.04.2007

    Բարեվ Կարեն.
    Ըստ երեվույթին իմ պատճառաբանության միտքը չեք ըմբռնել:
    Ցեղասպանութեան ճանաչողության ձեռք բերումը շատ կարեւոր է եվ ամբողջ հայությունը. թե սփյուռքում, թե Հայաստանում, պետք է կիտակցի այւս իրականությունը:
    Ոչ ոք իրավունքը ունի Ցեղասպանության զոհերին անունով ներողություն շնորհել հանցագործներին եվ իրենց հաջորդողներին:

  4. Reply

    Հարգելի Չելո,
    ես հասկացել եմ Ձեր ասածը, ավելին՝ համաձայն եմ Ձեր ասածի հետ։ Ուղղակի իմ ասածը այն է, որ շատ հաճախ ժողովրդի գիտակցության մեջ ներարկվում են գաղափարներ, լրացուցիչ քաոս, տարանջատում ստեղծելու համար։ Այդ գաղափարներից մեկն էլ այն է, թե իբր ցեղասպանության ճանաչումը դա միայն Սփյուռքին է պետք, իսկ մենք՝ «հայաստանցիներս» իզուր տառապում ենք Սփյուռքի ամբիցիաների պատճառով։ Միաժամանակ Սփյուռքում էլ այնպիսի մտքեր են տարածում, իբր թե ՀՀ-ում հետաքրքրված չեն ցեղասպանության հարցով, ինչը բացարձակ սուտ է։
    Այս գաղափարը թուրքերի կողմից է ներարկված՝ հայությանը հնարավորին չափ պառակտելու համար։ Ու նման գաղափարներ անընդհատ փորձում են ներարկել։

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