Being A Proud Armenian in the Diaspora

By: Talin Orfali Ghazarian

I am Talin Orfali Ghazarian. Since I was born on April 30, 1985, I ventured into this world becoming a Canadian born Armenian through my roots of my family in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. I was Christened in an Armenian church a few months after my birth. In my early years, my family took me to church in the city of Toronto where I began to meet other Armenian’s; when my parents sent me to St. Sahag. St. Mesrob Armenian Saturday School and Sunday School too. My brother as well, when we both went together to school, but we are a few years apart in age.

Becoming active in the community was absolutely important for my family and then to me too and it still is to this day. I remember my late grandfather Habib Torossian had said to me when I was a child, he said to me to always “keep you’re Armenian heritage and culture alive, and make sure to always stay close to your community”. When my grandfather said those words to me, it stuck with me since then. I became a proud diasporan. My grandparents, my parents, my uncles, aunts, teachers, and so many other important people in my life gave me so much advice which I will take with me in my life.

As I began to be a teenager to my late teenage life into my early 20’s and up until now into my 30’s, I became part of the Armenian youth, where I made lots of new Armenian friends across Canada and the USA. We ventured out to Vancouver, Montreal, Laval, Ottawa, St. Catherines, Mississauga, Cambridge, Kitchener, Waterloo and Kingston for meetings, gatherings, sports weekends, retreats, seminars, festivals, parties, dinners and more. Getting to know more Armenians was and is so special to me. We are still in touch today.

I got to meet many clergymen, bishops, those in government, prominent figures of our Armenian diaspora, singers, performers, writers, artists, comedians, actors, inventors, innovators, actresses and got to make friends with a lot of Armenians through social media as well. We have so much culture that is so rich, beautiful and blossoming. We have so much to give to the world our talents, the way of life.

With social media now, it is so much easier now to spread who we are to the internet, interacting with others, and communicating to make the world a smaller place which has happened many years ago. Being in a social setting to me is so important to me. I made Armenian friends and now we hang out regularly every week or almost every week. It feels incredible to be part of it all. I have so much to be grateful for. I appreciate all the people in my life and for being surrounded by positivity every step of the way.

We should never take who we are for granted. It is important to stay true to who you are and to never go away from your community. Things can happen, disagreements, and things that we may not like, but it never means to stay away from your community. Nothing and nobody is perfect. Mistakes can happen as we all do make them, but never let those things deter you away.

I can never forget the time where I was in high school in computer class and we had access to the internet and my high school teacher was Armenian by luck and we had an assignment to do online, so I went on the internet and began to search Armenian stuff and famous Armenians, and then my teacher approached me and said, Talin, that is not what you are supposed to be doing now during class, but then she pulled me aside after class and said, I really didn’t mind you doing that and she said, I applaud you and I am so proud of you for looking those things up, and she said I am not going to deduct marks off from you. So, I finished the assignment I had to do and gave it to her promptly the day after and she gave me full marks for it. I apologized to her, and she said to me, there is nothing to apologize for. She said she loved what she saw.

I am absolutely lucky to become and be an Armenian. It is so important to me. You cannot put a price on the love and appreciation I have for Armenia and Armenian’s around the world. When I graduated from Armenian School, I got the chance of a lifetime to go visit Armenia our motherland. It was the most beautiful 3 weeks I had ever spent in my life. I was homesick as well. I was just 14 years old travelling away from my family for the first time and I remember crying at the airport and a few times to want to come back to Canada to be with my family, but then I realized that I am in Armenia on this beautiful soil, so I just began to really enjoy and take it all in. I still remember it like it was yesterday. It has almost been 20 years since then. Time has flown. I need to go back.

Being an Armenian outside of Armenia is absolutely a vital part to globally keep active, to represent our motherland. It is absolutely important to keep being informed, to take part in events, to attend Armenian bible studies, schools, church mass, being part of groups, meetings, to attend Armenian community centres where ever you are and to enjoy the ambience and atmosphere. In order for our community to blossom, we have to fill these facilities with all of us. These are just buildings, but we as people have to get into them to become a vital community in numbers, which it is and it is such a beautiful thing to see.

We must never stop informing Non-Armenian people of the world who we are, what we have, what we eat, our landmarks, churches, picturesque views of Armenia, and to raise awareness on a terrible part of our history when the Armenian Genocide happened when 1.5 million Armenians were massacred in the hands of the Turkish Ottoman Empire of Turkey on April 24, 1915.

In the past 4 years or so, I began to date an Armenian and his name is Armen. A year or so ago, he proposed to me and now we are happily married with both our families being very close to our Armenianess and being part of our heritage, how we speak Armenian to each other. It is so beautiful. God willing when we begin having a family of our own, our future will be blessed with children and we will instill the same Armenian values and teach them to be full-fledged Armenian and to keep our diaspora alive. It all begins with how we as adults spread our love for our community to share it with children who are just beginning at life.

Being a proud Armenian diasporan for me is so important, and I promise to Armenian’s all over the world, the bond I have with you all will never die and I will always keep that promise where ever life takes me. That I will always guarantee. God bless our diaspora, our Armenians all over the world and our motherland of Armenia!

The Magic of the Internet on Imgur

In this day in age in technology and social media, it is very easy to transmit information, messages, articles, pictures, videos, gifs, interesting things and more. Just about a year ago or so, I discovered this website called Imgur. Imgur is a site where people become members and begin posting all kinds of images, gifs, visual stories, inspiring and uplifting content, and so much more.

Let me tell you a little bit about Imgur and to relax, kick back and have a joyful time discovering the magic of the internet. People from all over the world have joined the site. The website works 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and people are up all hours of the night and day to add a little fun in their lives to come and enjoy themselves on Imgur.

Imgur has millions of members, so many billions of post views, and it is ranked as top site #15 in the U.S by Alexa. Imgur was launched in 2009. Alan Schaaf launched and created the site in his Ohio University dorm room as a simple, no-limits platform to shares images online.

Imgur has received many awards of best-bootstrapped startup, TechCrunch, crunchies, social media awards, best community website, Adweek’s readers choice for the hottest social platform.

There are options whether you would like to upvote, downvote, and favourite something you see. Once, you get enough views and upvotes, the content that you post goes viral and you get points. It is pretty fun. It teaches you what people these days look for in content. People love it when original content gets posted and when it is especially yours. People automatically know and feel that it is. You also get trophies too for many reasons all around for posting the cutest image, for getting the most favourites on a post, going mobile, beta testing, for multiple posts on the most viral page and more.

When you visit the most viral page, rising, highest scoring, and you will see the type of content that Imgurians love to upvote. There are certain posts that Imgurians do not enjoy politics, controversial images, and amongst other issues. When you check out imgur.com you will see what it is all about.

with the constant changes in social media, the kind of content people want to see, this website gives an idea of what kind of content is most popular these days and months. Imgur definitely keeps you engaged and it is such a fun and positive website.

They have a forum as well, where you can join and interact with other members if you have questions on how the site works and operates if you have things to share too as long as you follow the rules.

Once people really start to enjoy your content, your upvotes and points increase. Your notoriety increases. It begins from 0 points and you work your way up.

Bonus Medallions

Imgurite 80,000
Gold 70,000
Silver 60,000
Iron 50,000
Bronze 40,000
Copper 30,000
Glorious 20,000
Renowned 8,000 to 19,999
Idolized 4,000 to 7,999
Trusted 2,000 to 3,999
Liked 1,000 to 1,999
Accepted 400 to 999
Neutral under 400

After 80,000 points, your points increase more and more and it becomes unlimited. some people have over 1 Million points and even more.

Also, there is content you must steer away from. Imgur has all the terms and conditions written on the site which you do not want to receive suspensions, bans and shadow ban for whatever reason that the staff doesn’t like to see on the site.

If a post is doing well and goes viral and you get a few thousand points, and if you post it again, people always remember the content that does get posted, so you might get downvotes and go into minuses which will affect your points. You can also get upvote points when you comment on another person’s image, video or gif, but you can also get downvoted. If you get into minus, it is a good idea to delete it.

Imgur is also a website where people post clever, catchy and interesting memes which can also be funny. There are cake days where you can post the more bizarre cake or the most beautiful cake or however you wish. There are other days where they have for cat days, and so on and so forth. You will see once you get on Imgur.

Enjoy it and if you are not a member, become one today and you will enter into a really interesting world of the internet, have fun and enjoy the ride.

imgur.com
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Social Media Entitlement

Social Media has great benefits to it, but it also carries a negative approach as well. Has social media gone out of context in terms of finding comfort in disrespecting others and ridiculing them?

It gives some people leverage to write terrible comments and status messages. Some people are too comfortable now, and I am sure that they wouldn’t say half the things they would write online to people in person. Some people find that hiding behind a screen is something that makes them feel at ease.

Cyberbullying is one of the worst things that someone can combat. what you say and do online has a big impact and you really do not know who is watching, reading and observing. You really do not know your audience. When someone is in a vulnerable position in real life, the people who are bullying the person has leverage to humiliate them on the internet for so many people to see.

Although social media is a great tool to keep in touch, to make new friends, to communicate and transmit information instantly, however it can also be dangerous too. You need to be very careful to make sure things aren’t used against you and what you post online stays here forever even if you delete it. There is always a way to retrieve deleted posts.

People have this mentality now that they feel entitled, that they can disrespect people, they can post what they want without consequences. Some people have by now, but majority of the people out there who do and post terrible things online get away with it. Especially hurting others with insulting and terrible comments.

If you have nothing nice to say to others, and if you do not have anything productive, inspiring, nice, kind and good things to produce online, then you should not be posting. What you do and say does affect others.

With this digital age now when everything is out in the open on the internet, and privacy is minimal, you have to be careful. You have no idea what people go through in their personal lives, you have no idea the path people are on, so its a good idea to stay away from disrespecting others, and ridiculing others, and actually try to help them.

Spread positivity in ones life, and always lift people up when they are down. There will always be those people who will never learn and who will always continue to be rude and mean to others and it is terrible. Hopefully someday they will wake up and realize that what they are doing is wrong.

Help others, be kind, and be nice because you never know what another person goes through.