Being Armenian no longer simply means having an “IAN” or “YAN” at the end of your last name. Being Armenian no longer means being able to speak or read Armenian. Being Armenian no longer means sending your children to Armenian schools. Being Armenian no longer means joining Armenian organizations and singing patriotic songs. Being Armenian no longer means enjoying Armenia from afar. Being Armenian no longer means spending your summer as a tourist in Armenia.
Being Armenian has forever changed in my mind since November 9, 2020. It has become a duty to better the free and independent country we have today. Being born in the diaspora, Armenia always seemed like a fairy tale relayed to me by various Armenian organizations and schools. However, after the 2020 Artsakh War, I realized that Armenia is frail, not strong as described in those fairy tales. Trauma lurked within Armenians all over the world after the tragic end to the war. I owned up to the trauma and answered the call to move to the homeland. It was the best decision I have ever made, as the homeland cured me and provided me with a strong sense of purpose, a purpose that I would never have attained living outside of Armenia. Every day I wake up thankful to be living and breathing on free and independent Armenian land. Although this is not where my ancestors were from, I still feel so attached to the land and the people. The connection with a people, a plot of land, a mountain range, or a body of water has never felt so real or fulfilling.
I live this attachment to the land, day in and day out, contributing to the future of our nation. Hrant Dink once said, “The best thing you can do for your country is to live there.” I agree with him wholeheartedly. However, if one decides to reside outside of Armenia, the work for the nation should always be ever present in their mind. The most important thing is establishing a tangible and real connection with Armenia, whether living inside or outside of the country, that will contribute to Armenia’s betterment. We are fortunate to have a free and independent Armenia today and must ensure it remains free and independent through hard work and “sacrifice.” By “sacrifice,” I mean attaining a purpose and living a fulfilling life—one full of endless gratitude and beauty.
-A Concerned Armenian