Guest Post: It’s Hard to Blame Armenians…

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:

  1. a Beirut born Western Armenian from Kuwait, fluent in Western-Armenian and English;
  2. a Northern Caucasus born Armenian from Moscow, fluent only in Russian;
  3. an Akhaltsikhi born Armenian from Moscow fluent in Russian and the Akhaltsikhi dialect Armenian;
  4. …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.

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About the Author

Arshak Mkrtchyan (aka Arshakuni) – is a relatively new but very interesting, sometimes controversial blogger from the UK, who blogs only when he really has a point to make.

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18 thoughts on “Guest Post: It’s Hard to Blame Armenians…

  1. “…as a result of quite blatant segregation, I ended up with Hayastancis at my table anyway…”

    At least Arshakuni knows the group he belongs to. Some of us don’t fit in any category.

  2. vay vay vay Arshak jan qo cavt tanem im axpers
    you are living in a fantasy that will never be a reality
    no matter how little or much things would/could change.

    …”I do not recognize the divisions they are trying to enforce on me”…
    ay txa, yet you yourself ended up at a table of your own people.
    division is enevitable no matter who and what happens
    fake Armenians will always be the haters & discriminators of real Armenians
    this has and will always be this way. we reals never hated on anyone, we dont discriminate the fakes, we always wanted unity and love for each other, but it seems blantant that “they” wish to create a natural yet artificial divison. of course this makes sense for them to do this, they hate real Armenism, they hate Hayastan and anyone who has a connection to it. you and your cousin are the only real Armenians at that sofa (with the exception of the Javaxkci) the rest are ONLY claiming identity, yet they are not BEING that identity nor do they want to be. they refuse to speak/read/write proper real Armenian language, they refuse to promote Hayastan/Yerevan, they refuse to love & accept Armenia. they want to be who they want to be, ara fine…no problem, I will respect that. However, dont be walking around speaking your gla gor mla gor half arab / half turkish language and acting all “lan habibi”, supporting arab countries with their sick twisted terrorism ideologies, promoting arab foods as genuine Armenian dishes, and telling people you are Armenian. We Hays are Aryan, we are Kavkasian, we have our own culture, language, heritage, alphabet, we have our own country. I am born/raised outside of my beloved and wonderful homeland: why am I not a typical “amerikaci”? why I do love Hayastan only and promote my identity/culture onto otars? why dont I be: like omg I love being amerGaci with a “g”? ara the answer is parz…I am not amerikaci schmerikaci, I am not camel habibi anan arab, I am not ruskie I drink vodka all day muskie, I am not lan oghlum moghlum choghlum turkish murkish, simple I am “Armenian” (Hay em yes). others behave their way due to their traitorous parents who wish to be another azg and want to purposefully assimilate themselves & offsprings, which shows intentions that they are desperate to dissolve our Armenian identity into something totally foreign to us real Hays

    prime example: all these habibi wabibi gor gors from camel arab countries get so excited when they are asked by otars: “are you arab?” and they reply “yes, my entire family is from xxxxxxx, we are ARAB-armenian” they purposelfully try to belittle the word “Armenian” in hopes that the otar who’s paying attention will confuse both and assume that Armenian is the same camel habibi arab. some of them dont even want to say “Armenian” they will say: lebanese, kuwaiti, iraqi miraqi, whatever. they dont want to be recognized as Armenian by otars ,but when they visit Hayastan they expect us real Hays to accept and bow down to them. as amerikacis say: in their f***in deams

    bottom line is this: to claim Armenian, one must BE Armenian, one must LIVE Armenian (that does not mean be ghetto rabiz or sing Armenchik to otars: although I’m guilty of doing that) but to simply say: I’m Armenian, my homeland is Armenia, and our capital is Yerevan, not: oh yalla habibi we are LEBANESE MEBANESE-armenians and we speaking camel arab language and love to dance habibi and smoke camel bong and eat hummus mummus all day and support plo/hezbollah/hammus and hate on jews

    it seems to me that most fake Armenian loath the idea of wanting to be real Armenian and accept Armenism, it’s more than obvious they are the anti-Armenians. just as there is anti-semetism (guilty here as I hate all arabs) there is anti-Aryanism/Kavkasism

  3. I don’t know where to start.

    But, while you are making certain valid points, your argumentation is very shallow.
    Think about it this way.

    As soon as Armenia starts being a place to be proud of, people will embrace it with passion, even those who hide their ethnic background now.
    Noone wants to be from a weak, poor, corrupt nation. And, unfortunately, we have to admit, that is what Armenia is now. That is why only people with a certain set of mind, like you and me, take genuine interest in it.
    As soon as Armenia is associated with success, you remember my words, the number of people trumpeting about their Armenian background will at least triple. The estimate of Armenians worldwide will jump to 30 million.

    I once asked a French-Armenian who had been competing in Pan-Armenian games how he enjoyed Armenia.

    The answer made me very sad about my country.

    For once, someone was honest with me and instead of usual – Garni-Geghard lav er, said ‘Cheap beer, cheap sex, what could go wrong’.

    I forced a smile and walked away.

    But, with regret, we have to admit, that that is all we got to offer as a country at the moment. The historical monuments is what our ancestors created, not us, we have created a city full of Khorovatz + prostitutes.

    We have no right to be proud.

    We have to work and work hard on making it a place to be proud of.

    Then, being Armenian will outweigh any other ethnic background, even in a person who is 1/16 Armenian.

  4. my arguement is very shallow? but yet your response is even more shallow and in line with those who are ANTI-hayasatanci
    vay Arsho txa you lucky you are stanci hah and that I allow you go get away with using such words about our homeland, see only we can knock our own Hayastan because it belongs to ‘us’, not them. but if you are a gor gor habibi davachan fake Armenian and posted such words as: khorovatz + prostitutes… my response to you…well, would be something that NO Armenian (real or fake) would dare ever say, and no its not profanity and/or the words of “you’re a turk” either. no ara, it would be something much more worse than that, words that I use towards them every now & then, maybe you can get the hint here with out me having to post it

    and as for your bozi lakot frenchie man over there: if he said such words in front of me regarding my Hayastan, I can assure both of you that he would not be able to walk the rest of his life. I would paralyze him from the waist down. so that way, he wont be able to use his CHEAP little frenchie d**k for our “cheap whores”. vay txa you dont even have the balls to stand up to a fake Armenian as that where he is essentially implying all stanci girls as: cheap whores. so basically if you have a sister or cousin or friend or even your mother, he is referring to them as: cheap whores. apres apxer, you allowed him to insult us. well I can assure you that I’ve had my share of fake Armenian whores and when I wave my american passport at them, they coma running like the skanky dirty whores that they are. oh yes, I’ve been to where they come from and I can assure you that they are like any typical arab whore that you know about, they will suck the XXXX of anyone who has an american passport thinking that we will take them out of their ghetto camel sh*t hole town that they all come from and PRAISE so much about it. oh our habibi beirut meirut, oh our ugly smelly camel sh*t hole lebanon mebanon, oh our filthy ugly ghetto haleb maleb, oh how we love where we come from ! the difference between our whores and theirs….is that ours is Armenian and I would rather have an real Armenian whore any day over a smelly camel arab fake Armenian. someone once said in front of me: karevor chi yete axjik@ boz e, miayn te karevorn e inq@ Hay lini. he was implying that it doesnt even matter that if your wife is a boz, more important that she be Armenian, implying that we Hays should always remain with each other no matter the outcome or what is going on in our world

    oh and I can assure you fake Armenians dont care about Hayastan one way or another, they are not ashamed to claim Armenian identity regardless of Hayastan’s existance or not, because in their mind: they are the real Armenians and we are the fakes or as one put it: you dirty filthy stancis are the “n***ers of Armenians. implying that they are the whites of Armenians. yep thats your fake Armenians that you seem to be defending….100% pure hate & discrimination on everyone else expect for them. its funny, we stancis an admit to our problems internally & externally, but they will never admit to their flaws and hate or arab allah akbar terrorism of the 70-80’s or their so-called “jewelry” industry or their scams & frauds, or their smuggling, or their fraudulent marriages to amerikacis for citizenship, vay I can write a book about them, thats how much content they provide

    • Andranik, please calm down. You’re using bad words too much. If it helps, please not, that there are a lot of smart, well educated Armenian girls reading this blog, and they might find it embarrassing and offensive to read words like this. You wouldn’t speak like that in a public place, would you?

      • @observer –
        very well, neroxutyun please excuse my language and aggressivness
        but as both you and Arshak know full well this is a very sensitive & heated topic for me
        I believe Arshak knows how sensitive I am towards this kind of topic that he purposely posted this blog knowing that I would comment on it. (maybe even to help drive traffic to your site, hele ch’gitem)
        also, it seems to me he is doing that “passive aggressive” thing, where he is channeling the hate & discrimination of fake Armenians onto us stancis. I mean he clearly shows it by sharing that he did not say anything to frenchie man insulting our Hayastan to his face. No real Armenian would dare allow a fake to insult us…NO REAL Armenian would !!! ara if we are a nation of khorovac + bozer + cheap beer, then that’s our buisness and none of the fakes’, they have no business to even make such insulting comments bout our Hayastan, it’s not theirs…it is our and we do with it as we please.
        also, no self-proclaimed stanci (such as Arsho) should be channeling that hate to our faces. if he had wanted to share that with us in terms of that he was insulted by what that fake said to him, then that’s different, but he is one of our own who “seems” to be defending what fakes say about us. Arsho jan if you hate on us so much or find us stancis to be so disgusting, then defect and go join the fakes. ara you want things to change between us and them (and in Hayastan in general) then be that change instead of complaining about it. you are the one who has home/friends/relatives in Hayastan, I dont. so how’s about you get up off your brit loving ass and move back to Hayastan and start bridging that gap between us & them and convince stancis to stop being violent, corrupt, and greedy. our Tata even sings such words in his “Yerevan” song: inch es anum LONDON u Los Angeles: implying if you love your homeland so much and her people then what are you doing in LONDON or LA,. return to her and be the change you want to see instead of following suit 9 out of 10 do in Yerevan

        • Listen mate,

          I have had enough of your 50 paragraph long comments that all repeat the same thing all over again and again -0on Ditord’s as well as my blog. Why bother? Just copy-paste the same thing. You are not expressing any new ideas.
          First time you read it it’s a bit funny and edgy, but with every new comment which is exactly the same as the one before, it’s starts getting on one’s nerves.
          Please, refrain from commenting on my posts. As a matter of fact, please, do not reply to this either as I know exactly what you are going to say.
          Save both me and you and everyone else our time and effort.

          • @Arshak
            you just angry because I expose the truth about the fakes and now YOU TOO ….MATE !

    • How old are you? Who made you king and “decider” of what is Armenian, what is real and fake? Do you print real Armenian passports in your basement?

      Rekh@t el mikich chapov batsi ay tufta, unchapahas, unshnork lakot.

      Im tghen elneir mi hat jigyarov chapalax k’uteir ku et apush apush durs talu hamar.

      Real Armenian this, real Armenian that. How many Beirutsis came to fight in NK? Maybe Monte was Komitas? WTF is wrong with you man? Calm down.

  5. Interesting. My experience is that the Hyastancis in the Diaspora are much less involved in community life than other Armenians (i.e. those from the Middle East). They tend to be more like other immigrants – Italians, Greeks, etc., who are interested in assimilating quickly and making money.

    • I think the reason is that they know they have a physical country. They are out there by their own choice and purpose. If time comes they know that they can go back. I am sure 90% of Hayastancis still have their houses in Armenia.

      The Western Armenians are not out their by choice. Their houses are in Van, Ardahan or Cilicia. They can’t go back so they try to built the same environment in their host countries.

      • I think that’s true Payqar, but I also think Hayastancis dont have the habit of community life and they aren’t used to volunteering.

        • @richard-
          you know what… now you’re pissing me off ha !!!
          the reason we stancis dont get involved is because you FAKES create the orgs and then have this discreet/secret anti-Hayastanci policy
          numero uno example: ANCA = anti-Hayastanci all the way thru
          your precious anti-Hayastanci ANCA has very few to ZERO Hayastancis involved. why is that??? why is it that ANCA protrays itself as this “we represent all Armenians and Armenia in america” org, but refuses to accept Armenians who come from Armenia? I would imagine that if such an organization exists that it would embrace the people from the country it supposedly represents, but in fact does not. ANCA exec dir. hamparian is a anti-Hayastanci, he hates ALL Hayastancis, he is well known for hating on us, he and the rest of his fake Armenian clan dont want any stancis involved in ANCA because he believes: “they will tarnish our image as they do to themselves” and lets not forget how ANCA turned a HUGE blind-eye to March 1st, 2008 civil unrest in Yerevan and murder of 20 Yerevancis…oohhh but when that turk loving bastard DINK was murdered, ooohh it’s a different story, all of sudden ANCA wants to blast turks and smear them for killing a turk loving bastard fake Armenian. and yet we stancis came out in support of this condemnation of his murder, we held mass protests for you gor gors to show you that we dont hate and we want unity, but that’s not enough for you any of you ha? the following year you fakes turn blind-eye to LTP (numero uno turk-jew agent) and his provoking Yerevancis to rise up against the rk/ss/dodi regime and in knowing that he would create a civil unrest which he wanted a civil war inside of Hayastan. yah then you question why we dont get involved or volunteer with any of you and your anti-Hayastanci orgs. I was part of all 3 main youth orgs: ayf/hmem/acyo, and all 3 orgs treated me with much hate & discrimination. picking fights with me, saying to me: you stancis are scum dirty thieves, you not even Armenian you are ruskie you dont belong with us you not rich & successful like us, you not gor gor looking like us. so even when we try to be part of you fakes and show to you that we want unity, love, and respect for each other you still deny it and show your hate & discriminate on us as you did so strongly & publically in 2009. its ok we dont want to be part of you, we have our own orgs, we will volunteer for ourselves to help our homeland, whilst you anti-Hayastancis continue to be hateful & discriminatory, we will rise up and stand against your hate, against your discrimination. we will not bow down to ANY of you fakes. ara you dont own us, you can think all day that you do, but it only “seems” that way. in reality we own all of you, thats why you give us the money we dont give to you

      • Dear Payqar,

        What you are saying was true with the first generation of Genocide survivors.
        But we are currently on generations 3,4,5 which are somewhat confused regards a concept of Armenia.
        First of all,we need to understand that homeland for these people is where they were born, where they went to school and grew up- America, Europe, Middle East, etc.
        Armenia is the country of their ancestors and they have different levels of attachment to it depending on the upbringing they have had.
        We cannot just demand things and deeds from people.
        What we can do is try to provide a mutually beneficial platform of cooperation.
        I am not going to use the much used Jewish example, but that of Chinese communities which are the main driving force behind the foreign investment into China. A system based on mutual trust, family and friends links performs what global investment banks and cooperations are struggling to grasp. And the Chinese economy if flourishing.
        We have to admit that only a small percentage of Diasporans are patriots of Armenia. We cannot just rely on the patriotism resource forever, it’s too small.
        We have to offer people a global web of assistance in business, education, science, arts, etc.
        As I was saying above, then the number of people taking pride in their roots will start to grow immediately.
        Whereas what we have now, is the Armenian world taking interest in people only and when they achieve something on their own personally, through huge amount of personal sacrifice, then we embrace them as our heroes. And I am absolutely sure that many more could achieve great things in life had they had the support of from our country and their community network.
        If we do become a nation supporting its talents worldwide to achieve highest highs possible, they will in return put efforts into Armenia’s success. It is a mutual thing. We cannot jus demand, we have to give.

  6. Armenia.im,

    Are you trying to find the web address of RSS Feed of web site?

    This is the RSS Feed URL I see:
    http://arshakuni.blogspot.com/feeds/posts/default?alt=rss

    You can copy this RSS Feed URL to your clipboard and paste it into your RSS Reader or Start Page or wherever you have your Reader to activate the Feed – follow the instructions for your Feed Reader or Start Page to find out where you will need to paste it.

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