Written by Melody

Melody Nazarian

Op-ed: What Does It Mean to Be a Good Armenian Today?

Melody NazarianComment

As Diaspora Armenians, there is one thought that is always looming in the back of our minds: “Am I being a good Armenian?” Sometimes it’s a whisper and other times, especially around April 24th, it’s a louder thudding wrapped in great guilt. It’s been hammered in our brains since youth: speak Armenian, make Armenian friends, go to Armenian events, marry an Armenian, raise Armenian children, etc. But I realized something when I went to Armenia for the ninth time this year: this same guilt is not shared by Armenians born and raised there. It makes sense; seeing as they hail from the Motherland, they don’t feel as though they have to prove their Armenian-ness. In other parts of the world, we feel bad that we haven’t “done anything” — but be born in an “odar” land — in contrast to the Genocide survivors and martyrs. But we can’t help where we were born. Being surrounded by this sense of ease and security in their identity and culture made me a little envious. And it made me question: what does it mean to be a good Armenian today?

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