Armenian Taboo of the day: Hate one another.

The Armenian diaspora exists in all corners of this globe. Naturally there are more in one place than there are in another. The highest concentrated areas outside of Armenia include : Russia, Iran, Turkey, Europe (mostly in France), USA and South America.

The U.S. is home to many Armenians who used to live in some other country. I myself was born in Armenia, moved with my family to California in the 80s and now I’m living in Sweden. California has many Armenians who mostly live in Fresno, Los Angeles and Glendale. My family lived in Los Angeles, Hollywood to be specific and in Hollywood most Armenians at the time were from Armenia. The Armenians from Iran were living in Glendale and many Armenians from Lebanon/Syria/Iraq/Turkey were living in Pasadena.

I grew up around Hayastancis as a child so that’s all I knew, I went to public magnet schools which also had Hayastancis. When I turned 18 I had saved up enough to buy a car and explore much of my surroundings and make friends with Armenians from other parts of California (mostly cities close to Los Angeles). When I met my friends who were original from Iran I could barely understand their Armenian. To me it sounded like they were speaking Armenian with a Persian accent it was very confusing at first, same goes for many other dialects/accents I learned along the way.

This was all fun but there was something that was more obvious than the accents. The diaspora youth hated one another. The reasons were: cultural differences, not understanding how the other spoke/making fun of how they spoke, thinking they were the better Armenian etc… It’s pretty bizarre because Armenians are very proud of their nationality so you’d think their nationality would bring them together. The only thing that really bonded them was April 24th and the march for genocide recognition (that in its place has its oddities, turns into car shows and such).

Recently I asked one of my cousins in Armenia what he thought about Armenians from neighboring countries like Iran, Georgia, Russia and he said “I can’t understand parska-hays(Iran) they are also weird people and Georgian and Russian Armenians are pretty much the same a bit Russified.” Then I asked him what he thought about me being from America and he said “you are my brother I just hope you never forget your mother tongue.”

What difference does make if someone is not from the same place as you are? Where is the proud Armenian in you that should be happy or glad to meet your kin no matter where they come from. I personally don’t care much for nationalism or ethnical identity, it’s just weird to see this divide in people who claim to be so proud of being Armenian.

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