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Astarjian: ‘Bazaar’ and ‘Kef’: Is our language dead?

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These are two words that make me feel like a matador looking at the bull ready to charge: angry, determined, ready to charge. What enrages me most is when the words are prominently displayed in front of a church, advertising their sujukh and basterma, and competing with the next Apostolic Armenian Church—my sujukh is better than your sujukh. And that gives them a sense of pride, a sense of superiority, forgetting that those two words, displayed in front of an Armenian church, is tantamount to the official bastardization of the Armenian language— with Turkish words—by a church or national organization.

Following the genocide, the survivors, most of them from Anatolia, spoke Turkish, which compelled the organizations and churches to communicate in their language. People knew some prayers in Armenian, which they recited during mass without knowing what they meant. Nevertheless, they recited. The political parties, to their credit, especially offshoot organizations of the parties, launched a campaign to promote the use of the mother tongue. In Beirut, the effort was boosted by Nigol Aghpalian, a multi-linguist; Levon Shant, a playwright who, amongst other plays and writings, wrote his opus magnum Ingadz Perti Ishkhanoohin; Kaspar Ipegian with his theater; and other linguists who, in collaboration with the Nshan Palangian Jemaran and other Armenian schools, taught the young generation not only the basics, but the intricacies of the Armenian lexicon and the melodious songs of the language that governed it.

Parsekh Ganatchian, with his spiritual operetta “Nahnor” (Pilgrimage of lovers to Saint Garabed Monastery, praying for the realization of their dreams) and the most soothing “Koon Yeghir Balaas” (a lullaby) harped the strings of one’s heart. His interpretations of other folklore casted a new hue on old Armenian songs.

The Turkish-speaking Armenians began to change, and were happy to revert to their origins.

One of the vehicles of this entire literary and artistic milieu was the Hamazkayin.

Time and place have changed all that. Today, the diaspora suffers from poverty of thought and poverty of spirit. The custodians of our culture, like Hamazkayin, have slipped into inaction, more like hibernation. Despite goodwill, there is no effort on their part to revive the comatose Armenian cultural animal.

An example comes to mind: Minas Tololyan. Originally a Bolsahay, Tololyan, with his wife Kohaar, taught Armenian language and literature to youth after the genocide, and authored literally hundreds of publications and volumes on Armenian history and literature. Though he was a giant in Armenian literature, he remains incognito. Hamazkayin has not stood up to the standards set forth by its founders!

Kef is a Turkish word meaning merriment (khrakhjank). For most, it is an ID documenting their Armenianism. To go to a “Keftime,” listen to Turkish Armenian-ized songs such as “Sharzhe, sharzhe tashkinagt” (in Turkish, “Salla salla mendilini”) and Kurdish Armenian-ized songs like “Dehle-Yaman,” and dance to the tune of “Lorke-Lorke,” is proof of being a good Armenian. One Armenian American told me: “Doc. I am a good, loyal Armenian. I haven’t missed a single kef since it began in Connecticut. I love Armenian food, I love kafta and I love pea-lough. I have many anecdotes along those lines.

What is wrong with calling a bazaar with its Armenian equivalent—shouga? Shouga is more phonetic, and is a good way of raising money and providing a social forum for the community to get together. But its Turkish name is a pollutant.

The disintegration is global, which is understandable, but what is inexcusable is the pollution that is in Armenia, where Turkish words dominate daily conversation. Instead of calling a child, yerekha in Armenian, for example, they call him or her chojukh, which is Turkish. Pistachios (bistag in Armenian) are fstekh. Sekh (melon) is yemish. It is nauseating!

It is ironic that everyone knows about the problem, but no one raises a finger to rectify it.

In Armenia, which is supposed to be our linguistic hub, spelling and dictation is so polluted that it needs strong detergents to clean it up. Calls to that effect have met with—to borrow a phrase—benign neglect. I don’t even know if there is a Ministry of Education in Armenia.

Here is another bastion of Armenian language, literature, history, and culture: the Mkhitarists of St. Lazarous, Venice, and Vienna. This rich fortress of Armenianism is neglected by the Armenian Apostolic Church, the Armenian Diaspora, and Armenia itself, most probably because they are a Catholic Armenian brotherhood. It is disintegrating for lack of funds, its vast properties have been auctioned off through Italian mafia scams, there are no new recruits, and the ailing Appa is facing closure of the monastery. Is this any indication of greatness, which our leaders keep inflating our egos with? Is this any way to survive the rigors of this world?

Language is important in the makeup of one’s ethnic identity, except in the Jewish case, whose dominant tradition, regardless of language, kept their nation intact for millennia. That is not the case with us; we do not have traditions specific to our nationalism or ethnicity. Our language is our tradition and it is now in imminent danger of Latinization.

Yes, I am sad and angry. No I am not depressed or hopeless. I still see the charging bull, but I am hopeful to see, one day, a banner hanging on the wall of our institutions advertizing a Shouga and Khrakhjank, not a Bazaar and Kef .

30 Comments on Astarjian: ‘Bazaar’ and ‘Kef’: Is our language dead?

  1. avatar Nareg Seferian // November 21, 2009 at 6:19 pm // Reply

    Պարոն Ասթարճեան,

    Ձեր բոլոր գրածներուն հետ չեմ կրնար ըսել որ ամբողջովին համաձայն եմ: Խնդիրն այն է, որ լեզուները բնական երեւոյթներ են, եւ անընդհատ ազդելու եւ ազդուելու ընթացքի մէջ են: Ինծի համար հոգեհարազատ է որոշ Թրքերէն բառերու կիրառումը, որոնց հետ մեծցած եմ, օրինակի համար, եւ իմ ընտանիքիս, նոյնիսկ ազգիս մշակոյթին մաս կը կազմեն: Այն ամէնը մէկ կողմ դնելը աւելի վտանգաւոր է, իմ կարծիքով, որով հետեւ մեր պատմութեան մէկ մասը անտեսած կ’ըլլանք:

    Նշեմ որ Անգլերէնով գրած էք Ձեր յօդուածը: Արդեօ՞ք կը նշանակէ որ ազգասիրութեան պակաս կայ անոր մէջ: Ուրիշ, հաւելեալ փաստեր ալ կան, որոնք կրնան Ձեր ըսածին հակառակը ցոյց տալ: Օրինակ, ինչքան գիտեմ, արդի Թրքերէնի մէջ «խաչ» նշանակելու համար “hach” բառը կը գործածեն: Եւ, ի միջի այլոց, «շուկայ» բառը հին ասորական, սեմական ակունք ունի, Արաբերէն «سوق» (“souq”) բառին համապատասխան է:

    Պարոն Ասթարճեան, մեր ազգին եւ մշակոյթին հզօրութիւնը բաւարար է որ դիմակայէ օտար բառերու օգտագործմանը եւ, այո, այդ բառերուն Հայերէնի վերածմանը: Մեր լեզուին հարստութիւնը չի կրնար թերագնահատուիլ: Շատերը այժմ քիչ թէ շատ կը խառնեն Արեւելահայերէնը եւ Արեւմտահայերէնը, եւ միեւնոյնժամանակ կրնան Անգլերէն եւ ուրիշ լեզուներ ալ գործածել առանց որեւէ խնդրի: Մէկը միւսին չի խանգարեր, իմ կարծիքով:

    Baron Astarjian,

    I cannot say I completely agree with everything that you have written. The fact is that languages are natural phenomena, and are always influencing or being influenced. I find it very natural to use certain Turkish words, for example, those with which I grew up, and I would say they form part of the culture of my family, and even my nation. To brush it all aside is more dangerous, in my opinion, as that would mean ignoring a facet of our history.

    Let me point out that your article is in English. Is there anything less-than-patriotic about that? There are other facts that could be taken into account which would demonstrate the opposite of what you state. For example, as far as I know, Modern Turkish uses the word “hach” to mean “cross” (clearly taken from the Armenian, “khach”). And, by the way, the word “shouga” has Assyrian, Semitic roots, akin to the Arabic “souq”.

    Baron Astarjian, our nation and culture is strong enough to withstand the use of foreign words and, indeed, to render them Armenian. The richness of our language cannot be underestimated. Many nowadays tend to mix Eastern and Western Armenian, and, at the same time, have no trouble with English or other languages. One does not get in the way of the other, in my opinion.

  2. avatar Soujouk Kefjian // November 21, 2009 at 6:22 pm // Reply

    Perhaps you will pay closer attention to the examples that you  yourself choosen to use, that being the Jews.   The Jews have survived all these years by adapting to their surroundings, and not hacking off part of their population for not meeting up to a segment’s version of what should be.
    The Yiddish language itself is a combination of several languages including that of the people that they were in the midst of, the Ethopian Jews are actually “black”, the main point is perhaps that we all need each other, My grandparents came to this country as a result of the slaughter of their relatives, kiddnaping of their youth, conpfiscation of their properties, rape of their women, etc.. they are the ones who brought this music, food, and words that you, who have not actually lived through any of this, somehow feel qualified to critisize.  If they could separate the evil deeds of those Turks from the food names, music, expressions, etc..then it should not be too difficult for you to do the same.
    Also, let us not forget, many good Turks are responsible for saving lives of Armenians while others were being killed by other Turks, we did live along side of these people for centuries, do you really think that we could remain so untouched by the dominating culture of that area and not share common expressions, words, food names etc ??.  We need to be more realistic and stop this divisive bickering, it is absolutely counterproductive and serves to further divide an already fragmented people.   -Chow

  3. avatar Lucille Hamparian // November 21, 2009 at 6:28 pm // Reply

    In response to Henry Astarjian’s views in “Is our language dead?”, maybe he should start with himself first and look at the Turkish origin of his last name.  “Astar” means “lining” – why doesn’t he find the Armenian equivalent and change it???  Or does he even know that it is Turkish????
    He needs to realize that the Armenian community is culturally diverse in the U.S. I was wondering how long it would take for another Armenian to pop up and represent himself as somewhat more Armenian than me. I happen to like Turkish songs – does that make me less of an Armenian?    Yes, I, too attended many of the “Kefs” in Connecticut and I do not apologize for it.  The difference is that I do not judge others because of their taste in music nor in their use of  Turkish words.  Lighten up  and do not despair – we still have those “absolutely atrocious westernized Armenian videos from Yerevan.  Who am I to decide what you should like???????

  4. Henry, I beleive that you make valid pointson the shallow definition that many Armenians have today(and for many years for that matter) on what constitutes Armenian behavior. I do believe that
    we tend  to look at our current situation with a finer lense; since the data is more available. I am certain that there have been many Armenians over the generations with a superficial identity with their heritage and we have endured. The Turkish influence is an interesting issue. Our culture
    has been influenced by countless parties over the centuries; due in large part to their political and territorial domination. I  tend to think that we are overly sensitive to the Turkish influence because of our unfinished agenda. But really do we have the same passion for the Russian and Persian influence in the east or is that just because they’re not Turks and most of  the U.S. was settled by Western Armenians? How about the impactof the French and Crusaders on Cilicia?
                 In fact today, with the visibility of “eastern and western ” Armenian, I hear more American-
    Armenians speak with a nostolgic view of their Turkish-Armenian born grandparents and the early influences on their identity from the Ottoman past. It is a reality of our historial evolution. I think the issue of our cultural direction has been very influenced by the dominance of the Genocide in our dispersed society. It  has been our focus  and at the heart of our community at least since the
    “re-awakening” in 1965. Our culture has evolved for centuries and currently we are feeling the effect of assimilation. If I meet an Armenian with a pure heart towards his or her people speaks some Turkified words, then I have hope because our destiny has always been determined by our heart.

  5. In one way or another, after 1000 years of cohabitation, intermarriage, friendship and war, we really are all variations on the same Turkish-Armenian theme. Everyone we know is a Kazanjian, Sabounjian, Tufenkjian, Basturmajian, Muradian, Kilijian, Hamamjian, Chakmakjian, Deukmejian, Deirmenjian, Boyadjian, Chorbajian, Helvajian, Kahvejian, etc, etc, etc. , with little knowledge of their true origin. Let’s face it, most of us in the US grew up eating pilaf, pekmez, tuz, shakar, batlijan, kebab, isot, biber, patates, midiya, bamiya, dolma, yalanchi cooked in a tangire and kept in the buzluk, and that night, slept under a yorgan that came out of the sunduk, and the next morning might have used a kesa or peshkir in the tub.  Sorry, but there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that…our ancestors did not come from either Yerevan or Beirut, they came from Harput, Malatya, Bitlis, Bursa or Bolis.  Unlike our Rusa-Hai, Libana-Hai or Barska-Hai counterparts, who incorporate many Russian, Arabic or Farsi loan words, lots of us use Turkish. So what?  Get over it and get used to it. It’s a part of our history, and an important one, at that.   At the very least, it makes travelling in Turkey alot more fun and much easier, too.  

  6. avatar Henry Dumanian // November 22, 2009 at 4:35 pm // Reply

    I would beg to differ Mr. Karekin,
     
    First of all, people from Yerevan are not “Rusa-Hai” Armenians.
     
    Proper Armenian, the way you speak with a stranger, on TV, and the way you write, does not have “loan words” from Russian or Arabic.  Armenia and Lebanon have had state structures that have been able to reinforce the proper Armenian through schools and other education.
     
    Other Armenians have had to fend for themselves, and, although have done a brilliant job considering the odds they have faced — their Armenian cannot compare to Lebanese or Hayastantsi Armenian.  The Yerevantsi and Beirutsi Armenian has loan words only in terms of slang and day to day speaking — proper Armenian remains relatively…well…proper.  The same cannot be said of Armenians from other places.

  7. For once I agree with Henry.

    And Karekin brought up something very interesting when he said “At the very least, it makes travelling in Turkey alot more fun and much easier, too.”

    This may be what Astarjian was getting at, too many Armenians have a connection with turkey, such as visiting it or thinking of it as their homeland, instead of the modern Armenia we have now.  There is no excuse to travel to turkey on a regular basis but not do so to Armenia.  I am not saying you fall into this category Karekin as I don’t know anything about you other than the little bit you wrote above.  But for those who are in that category, I say shame on you!

  8. I’m very sorry, but travelling to find and explore your ancestor’s roots, see where they lived and how they lived is nothing shameful. In fact, it is enlightening and educational. If your family originates in Turkey, you are diminished by not exploring those origins, which are, in fact, the original Armenian homeland. The problem is, too many diasporan Armenians have turned their backs on historic Armenia, and the loss of understanding is evident.  Let’s be honest, in 1914, there were more Armenians in most Anatolian cities than in Yerevan.  That is nothing to be shameful about. It’s part of history. Our families lived in Anatolia for hundreds and hundreds of years.  Why deny it or pretend it did not exist?  That’s exactly what the ultranationalists in Turkey want.

  9. Karekin:

    I see you may have misunderstood my point.  So here it is again, if an Armenian visits turkey more often than Armenia, or has never been to Armenia yet visits turkey, that is a shame and I would say disgrace.  If one goes to turkey because some part of his family lived there prior to the Genocide, that is understandable, one should try to connect with his roots.  Nowhere did I say Western Armenia aka eastern turkey wasn’t Armenian, but for now the only Armenia we have is the roughly 10% of our historic lands which goes by the name of the Republic of Armenia.  Out lost/occupied lands are not coming back anytime soon, so why don’t we collectively work toward improving what we do have and possibly when the time is right regain the remaining parts of our rightful lands.

  10. avatar Henry Dumanian // November 23, 2009 at 9:56 pm // Reply

    AR, would you be so kind as to email me your name?  You seem like an interesting person.  Do you live in the NY area?

  11. I have no problem at all supporting today’s Armenia or the Armenians living there, that’s a very good thing. However, culturally and even linguistically, it can be somewhat foreign to Anatolian Armenians. If Armenians really care about their culture and heritage (which is mostly talk, not action), they should also know that even the inventor of the Armenian alphabet was from Anatolia (Mush region).  People complain about how Turkey treats historic Armenian sites, but there are plenty of collapsed and destroyed ancient churches and vanks all over Armenia as well, many in remote locations so they will never be restored. And, Yerevan has very little of its historic architecture left at all.  So, you may disparage Turkey and for good reasons, but there are several dozens of operating Armenian churches in Istanbul alone?  Most are open every day, with doors unlocked, and never have a problem. So, while today’s Armenia is important, it is equally important not to forget where the vast majority of diasporan Armenians come from….the other 90% of historic Armenia. To forget about that is a true shame, no matter who has control of it.

  12. avatar Henry Dumanian // November 24, 2009 at 5:35 pm // Reply

    Correction: While he was born in Taron — St. Mashtot’s intellectual curiousity, professional service (including the invention of the alphabet), and his death happened at the very heart of present day Eastern Armenia, and later, Kharabagh.  He is not as “Anatolian” as you think.

  13. You don’t base someone’s character on where they died, but on where they were born, because all the elements that formed one’s character is derived from that fact at a very early age. Einstein died in America….does that change the essence of who or what he was?  Not likely. In any event, at that point in time, Armenia was being divided between Rome and Persia, and Taron was fully in the Persian-Armenia orbit, although it was fully part of Anatolia. All that aside, let’s fact facts: in 1914, Yerevan had a population of approx. 30,000, many of whom were not Armenian…yet the Armenian population of almost every major Anatolian city was much, much greater.   I suspect the denigration of anything seen as ‘Turkish-Armenian’ is much more a biased political position than anything related to history or an honest understanding of the importance of Ottoman-Armenian culture.

  14. avatar Henry Dumanian // November 25, 2009 at 11:11 am // Reply

    I was only pointing out that, in fact, the “elements that formed his character” were mostly from Ejmiatzin or the outside world (since he traveled a lot).  The rest of what you said, I agree with.
     
    However, a few things: Eastern Armenia produced the same intellectual and cultural fabric of the Armenian nation (one has to only look at the Tiflis intellegentsia and the other writers from the era) as did Western Armenia.  And second, people always assume that present day Armenia is made up of people from “Eastern Armenia.”  That is not true.  The refugees from Western Armenia all eventually settled in the young republic and brought with them huge cultural significance.  Additionally, a lot of the survivors of the genocide moved to Soviet Armenia decades after.  Most “Hayastantsis” have at least one great-grandparent that was from Western Armenia (like me).
     
    And Western Armenians have played a huge role in Armenia’s blossoming.  The First president of Armenia, for example, was a Western Armenian.

  15. avatar Lucille Hamprian // August 26, 2011 at 9:56 pm // Reply

     To AR:I visited Historic Armenian in 2009 and will do so in September 2011. I was able to visit my parents/grandparents villages, villages in Arapkir, Van, Ani, Aghtamar, Mt. Ararat, etc.  No, I have not visited Armenia and I have no intention of doing so.  Sadly, I feel no connection with the country nor the people.  We do not seem to share the same past or have a common bond.  Many of my friends also feel the same way.  To turn our backs on Historic Armenia is to deny that we were there.  And believe me, WE WERE THERE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  16. I had to read Lucille’s comment twice because I could not believe what I was reading the first time I saw it. Yes, she feels no connection Armenia or its people. She loves “Historic Armenia” and Turkish music. Sadly, the media blitz against Armenia is making it easier for people like her to come out and spew their hate toward Armenia and Armenians. Just when I thought my people cant get any more self-destructive I get surprised….

    • avatar Lucille Hamparian // August 9, 2012 at 7:42 am //

      Since when am I not able to express an opinion – I do not feel a connection to Armenia – sad in your eyes – fine – you are entitled to your opinion just as I should be to mine.

  17. Lucille: The opinion that you posted above essentially nullifies you in the eyes of any Armenian patriot as an Armenian. You seem to be more turkified than Armenian and at the end of the day the culture of a person is what makes him that nationality, not the blood.

  18. It would appear that for many hyphenated Armenians, their historical development came to a halt in 1915. Just read the comments. “I have nothing in common with the current Republic of Armenia” , “I would never go there”…….This is their reality-living in an imaginary pre-1915 worls that THEY NEVER EXPERIENCED. No one is saying turn your backs on historic Armenia but by the same token neither should you turn your backs on present-day Armenia since it is the culmination of historical developments of both eartern and western Armenias. It’s funny and more than tragic that these Armenians do not wish to see or accept that current Armenia has much to offer them in terms of cultural and historicsal relevance, and neither to they realize that their idealized “historic homeland” exists only in their personal imagination and recollections. The current reality in western Armenia, in fact, is more alien to them today than what exists in present-day Armenia.

  19. Kef and bazaar are Farsi words. you should at least know that. also many of the turkish and kurdish song sare originally taken from Armenian songs. next you’ll claim Duduk is Indian. free the state department slave Armenians!

  20. Evidently, languages take on what comes to us… Take the USA English.  A few generations ago our American/English had several ‘regional’ accents… the westerns and then too, the southern drawl… now have been disappearing…. all due to the use of our TVs..  And so, too, Armenian is spoken in the various parts of the world based upon our scattered Survivors… and where they found themselves…geographically…. Example:  those of Aleppo, those of Beirut (close… but not the same… even in their own so-called ‘personalitites’ – one with the Syrian influence and one with the Lebanese influence… Imagine, the world over, how many such influences have entered our Armenian language.  My heritage includes the Dikrangerdsi dialect… when I had to discourse with a Haistansi… it was Greek to me!  Matter of fact my own Didrangerdsi dialect has always rather looked down upon (as are Itaians of the lower end of the Italian ‘boot’).  And so it goes…
    The wonder of it all is that with all our separating mountains of our own Haiastan – even dialects within our Haiastan, and as scattered as we are all across the planet… THE WONDER IS …. WE ARE AS ONE – STILL – TOGETHER FOR OUR FLEDGLING HAIASTAN – MIASEEN!!

  21. Language is by nature a fluid thing, taking in, incorporating, adapting; all in the interest of communicating thoughts.  Armenians have been ‘fluid’ people and our language reflects this.  To me, this is not a bad thing.   It’s probably helped us to survive for so long.

  22. İ am wondering  how many of armenians know turkish? does the diaspora armenians speak turkish or at least know it? and what about armenia armenians? thx in advance

  23. Anton,

    I believe, the only Armenians in Armenia who know Turkish are those who have specifically studied the language as part of their education. Very few. I have met only two people in Armenia who spoke excellent Turkish–a student at the department of Oriental Studies at Yerevan State University and a linguist.

    Many people who lived side by side with Azeris in Armenia can carry on simple conversations in the Azeri version of Turkish, which you would easily understand. 

    Almost everybody in Armenia knows many Turkish words. Sometimes they are used in everyday conversations in Armenian, even though people know the same exact words in Armenian. However, Turkish or other foreign words are never mixed with Armenian in education, literature, press, on TV, and so on. 

    The younger generations of diasporan Armenians do not know Turkish even though their grandparents knew the language. There may be exceptions.       

  24. Lucille Hamparian or Hamprian (or whatever it is. Sorry, you have it both ways):

    Wow! There is such disdain in your tone when you speak about Armenia and Armenians in Armenia or is it just my impression? 

    Luckily, you are in the minority (and your many friends that, as you say, share your views, if that’s true.) The vast majority of diasporan Armenians deeply care and feel connected to Armenia, even if they do not travel there.
     
    As Henry Dumanian points out above, many Western Armenians settled in Armenia and contributed a great deal to the advancement of our homeland and still do. We’ve had talented architects, scientists, musicians, artists who were proud to become a part of rebuilding the tiny homeland that we had left, even though their grandparents’ villages were no longer part of it. The list is too long to present here. A person like Aznavour feels connected to Armenia with every nerve he’s got. I am sorry, but you make me feel like saying this to your face– don’t worry, you are not a big loss.  

    Do you know that thousands of Eastern Armenians march to Tsitsernakaberd every year with tears in their eyes even though most of them have no direct relatives murdered in the Armenian Genocide? Do you understand that their lives would be much easier if there was no issue of Armenian Genocide between Armenia and Turkey? I have never heard any one of them complain about that.

    You say “we do not seem to share the same past or have a common bond”. Really? So why is that they are ready to bear the burden of the blockade, the harsh economic conditions and have the issue of Armenian Genocide as an essential part of their foreign policy? 

    “And believe me, WE WERE THERE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

    No, you weren’t. You were never in Armenia–historical or current. You have always been in Connecticut and will stay there.  What a shame!

     

    • avatar Lucille Hamparian // August 9, 2012 at 7:36 am //

      I’m taking my third trip to Historic Armenia this fall, Gina. I was just stating my opinion, which I, just like you, should be able to do. You don’t have to agree with me, but at least respect it. I don’t agree with you, but I support your right to say it.



  25. There are many good points and I’m very glad that similar
    articles come up from time to time.. very honest, but..
    Without Armenia and it’s screwed up language, you, diaspora
    will be finish after couple of generations in the information age.
    I’m not ungrateful to catholic, protestant, orthodox or even
    muslim border Armenians for their great support, but like with the example of Jewish
    (btw, it’s mostly not the tradition, it’s their religions what kept them
    connected) IMO, Armenian Apostolic Church should be at least dominant for our
    nation. It’s probably one of the most difficult times for that church. Sects,
    freedom of religion, atheism, KGB influenced Soviet mentality of priests,
    globalization, corruption and even social media threatens the church nowadays.
    And the treat to the language comes from opposite Russian
    site i think. Talking from experience, I went to russian school.
    So I’d put it this way: Nationalism + Religion + Language
    this is the formula of a true Armenian.
    So if you make friends with non-Armenian, you’re
    automatically no good Armenian :) unless he is really good friend :)
     
    BTW, spoken language differs greatly from district to
    district, from village to village. And nobody calls child as
    “chojukh” in Armenia
     
    I’m so angry that I’ve learnt that Dle-yaman is not an
    Armenian :(

  26. Aram, why worry that Dle yeman was not originally Armenian?  It is no less beautiful.  It speaks to us, we understand it, we have made it our own.  This is the nature of language. 

  27. say what ? where did you ‘learnt that Dle-yaman is not an Armenian’.
     
    ["Dle Yaman" was one (of) the thousands of ancient Armenian folksongs collected and preserved by Komitas Vardapet (1869-1935), a composer, musicologist and the founder of modern Armenian classic music….] 

    And all this time I thought the Great Komitas was Armenian. 
     

  28. Very well said Gina. and agree with you 100%: not only no big loss, but people like Lucille are a negative contribution. They sap our strength. The sooner they leave our people and dissolve into whatever country they are currently residing in, the better off we’ll all be.  Lead, follow, or get out of the way Lucille.

    Reminder to Lucille: the Worldwide  Genocide Recognition effort was launched in Armenia SSR in 1965, in Yerevan specifically. 

     
    [On April 24, 1965, for the first time for any such demonstration in the entire Soviet Union, one million protesters held a 24-hour demonstration in front of the Opera House on the 50th anniversary of the commencement of the Armenian Genocide, and demanded that the Soviet Union government officially recognize the Armenian Genocide committed by the Young Turks in the Ottoman Empire, and build a memorial in Armenia's capital city of Yerevan to perpetuate the memory of the victims of the Armenian Genocide.]  (from Wiki)

    You have any idea the courage  it took to demonstrate at all in Soviet Union in 1965 ? and in such numbers ? The authorities and KGB would have no compunction about  rolling tanks and crushing thousands of civilians under the threads. And nobody in the West could say or do anything about it. 

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