Armenians in the Diaspora – Keeping The Armenian Legacy Alive
Written By: Talin Orfali Ghazarian – Canada
In life, we come to this world with different identities and backgrounds, and every culture, belief, race, religion, and heritage is important and special in many ways and to especially acknowledge, respect, and preserve. It is very important to appreciate and not take who we are for granted no matter who we are.
As a Canadian born Armenian in the diaspora outside of my motherland Armenia, it is important to me to preserve my heritage and culture to always keep learning about my country, to always be updated with current events and news happening around the world. The diaspora of Armenians is largely populated around the earth more than Armenia itself. We come from all continents of the world.
I had the pleasure of visiting Armenia and catching up with reality on everything I have learned in my life and actually seeing it in person. It is so fulfilling and it means so much to me having been able to have that opportunity to see my culture up close and personal.
I was really emotional with happy tears. I cannot wait to go back and hopefully soon.
Armenia is located between Europe and Asia, but are located in Asia, and we are bordered with Iran, Georgia, Turkey, and Azerbaijan. The Turkish Ottoman empire massacred 1.5 million Armenians on April 24, 1915, during the Armenian Genocide and where they stole a lot of our land and our sacred Mount Ararat where Noah’s Ark came to its final resting place. Armenian’s in the diaspora and in Armenia are demanding justice to recognize the Armenian Genocide globally and especially Turkey, but they still continue the denial of their crimes.
More than 30 countries around the world have recognized the Armenian Genocide and we are working to never allow history to repeat itself as many countries, cities, states, and towns continue to recognize. It is never too late. Even after 105 years later. We Armenians in the diaspora are always including dignitaries, governmental bodies in municipal and federal governments, and as well as Non-Armenians to inform them of who we are and to educate them about Armenia, the Armenian Genocide, as well as our culture and heritage.
Every year on April 24th, we come together in many communities around the world, marches, conducting peaceful demonstrations, we visit our local embassies and parliaments to gather to voice ourselves for the Armenian Genocide and to pray and stand to remember our ancestors.
Just recently On September 27, 2020, Azerbaijan is committing a terrible crime against Artsakh which is a region of Armenia. An unprovoked aggression and war began perpetrated by Azerbaijani’s and Turks. They said in their own words that we will continue the Armenian Genocide, to take over Artsakh lands which we will not allow that to happen. Azerbaijan is made up and it did not even exist. You cannot even find Azerbaijan on an old map.
Recently they began bombing, shelling and they hit and damaged our church in Shushi. They also killed many Armenians, Armenian soldiers and are continuing to displace Armenians from their homes. This has been going on for a month now.
History is repeating itself while the world is staying silent and not helping us. We are fending for ourselves. News Media and Governments must intervene. Staying silent is not the way to go. Silence is violence, and it is a crime on its own. Armenians have been through a lot and we are still going through it.
Armenia was the first to adopt Christianity since 301 AD and we have the oldest church in the world in Armenia called St. Etchmiadzin which still stands strong and it is so beautiful. our culture is so rich in history, so many beautiful landmarks, churches, statues, cross rocks, and many stories that are endless.
We Armenians have a very strong connection to our culinary cuisine and food. We absolutely love to offer our hospitality with serving Armenian coffee, sweets, food and never letting anybody go hungry. We love to cook, bake for our family and friends and we are very friendly. We pay close attention to detail to make sure we have perfectly tasty food for all to enjoy. In the diaspora, we are always welcoming people to taste our food and they absolutely love it.
As Armenians in the diaspora the same as Armenia, we have built families, friends, school’s, churches, statues, Armenian Genocide memorials, parks, community centers, clergyman, organizations and committees to gather Armenian’s and to have a welcoming feeling of being at home where Armenian’s can connect, communicate, organize events and parties. When we get together we are a large family and it is amazing how connected we really are.
Social media and the internet have made everything so much easier to connect to Armenians around the world, to make friends, to share everything together, to create online communities, events, and to be one family to interact and share with one another in seconds. I have made many new friends and discovered many Armenian people and I have met some of them in person after communicating online for a while. It is such a great feeling to be physically present and to get to know each other more. It is a special moment.
We have many Armenians around the world who are writers, developers, artists, actors, who work in film, comedians, directors, teachers, principals, singers, dancers, cooks, chefs, bakers, who have the innovative touch, inventing things, realtors, electricians, doctors, lawyers, jewelers, and in every other field of professions to cater to our world.
Challenging aspects we face globally
We Armenians face challenging aspects living out of Armenia as we adapt to society with different cultures, races, backgrounds in our cities and towns around the world. That is why it is important to preserve our identity and to always remember and be proud of who we are. It is important to speak Armenian, to read and write. We go to Armenian schools and are taught at home from a very young age.
Some Armenians do not know how to read and write our alphabet which has 38 letters, but above all the important aspect to it all is to speak it and never forget it. I face challenges of reading and writing in Armenian when it comes to different writing patterns and I have trouble usually with the bigger words, but that is not stopping me from speaking and to keep it alive and vibrant and writing about it.
St. Mesrob Mashtotz was our Armenian Alphabet inventor. He was the chosen one to give us these beautiful and rich letters where we can write stories, songs, scripture, church hymns, and prayers. We have different words we use for everything. There are so many thousands and thousands of words and it is incredible and beautiful on how it all sounds.
As we face those challenges, we also appreciate and love who we are and are so proud. There is just so much to learn about Armenia and it is a place worth visiting, discovering, and educating yourself about.
We in the diaspora are so dedicated, devoted, motivated with so much passion, awareness, love with showing patriotism, showing and waving our Armenia flags proudly, and working hard to ultimately preserve who we are when we cannot be in Armenia physically. I love you Armenia and Armenians around the world. God bless us all.