The Problem of Mixed Marriages in Armenian Society
Armenians around the world love to be proud of their ancientness, their culture and believe that they have a very large and strong diaspora. But all this is just a talk: when it comes to their own comfort, the unwritten laws, culture and ancientness are almost at the bottom of the list of priorities.
After the well-known events at the beginning of the 20th century, the Armenians lost most of their homeland and were forced to emigrate to different countries, and so Armenian communities began to appear in all parts of the world — from the Middle East to the United States. Yes, the Armenian people survived the terrible Genocide, but the daily voluntary assimilation is even worse, as it passes unnoticed. Against the background of the low level of language proficiency and preservation of culture in the diaspora, the gene pool is simply disappearing: today the proportion of mixed marriages is already about 40—60%.
It is surprising that even in Armenia this issue is acute, judging by television, (the popularity of Indian TV shows) the names for children (who are named after the main characters of these TV shows) and mass marriages with foreigners. The situation in the Diaspora can somehow be understood and justified, but the situation in Armenia is difficult, because the state should set an example and tendencies to communities scattered around the world, and if the state is not able to do that, the diaspora remains without guidelines. If in the laws of ancient Armenia, marriages with representatives of other nationalities were a shameful fact, today for many it is even something prestigious, and not only marriages with Europeans and Christians, but also marriages with representatives of third world countries...
Such voluntary assimilation is not the main one, but one of the reasons for the gradual disappearance of the Armenian people from the category of peoples of the East. While the peoples of the region are increasing in number, the number of Armenians in the current situation is steadily declining. It is especially important to raise this topic against the situation in our region, where every day the Christian civilization struggles to survive in a Muslim environment.
The so-called Armenian elite (a qualitative minority that willingly or unwillingly guides the nation) is partly responsible for the current situation in the Armenian society. Taking into consideration the values prevailing in the Armenian environment, this elite can hardly be called national, it is rather a public or business elite.
If earlier the representatives of the intelligentsia, such as Rouben Sevak said: “We are the leaders of the people. If we betray our ideals, the nation will lose its faith in the justice of the struggle. We should be an example. We should die for the sake of the immortality of our people”, today our elite are people who have practically no national ideals and easily marry with foreigners. Sevak himself was also married with a German girl, but his wife knew Armenian perfectly, spoke to children only Armenian and honored Armenian traditions. If you want to be an exception, you should be such exception, but there are very few such examples today.
Today, the assimilation of Armenians in the diaspora is just a matter of time, and those who marry with foreigners, just aggravate the situation. It is not difficult to guess what future their offspring awaits.
Let’s remember the famous entrepreneur Aleqsis Ohanyan, whom the Armenian media often likes to write about. Half Armenian (his mother was Irish) he married with the famous African American Serena Williams; chess player Levon Aronyan, the pride of Armenians, married Filipina Arianna Kaoili and so on. There is a plenty of such examples.
The only thing which the nation should do is to be proud of poems read in Armenian by Kaoili or by the fact that Serena once called herself an Armenian. All the nation can do is highlight the Armenian origins of famous people who have never called themselves Armenians publicly (such as the famous tennis player Andre Aghasi who had never even been to Armenia). The Armenian nation has too low requirements for its own elite, and this is not surprising in the condition of a crisis of the national thought.
This article does not have the purpose of teaching or condemning anyone, but merely encourages one to think and give a sober assessment: how long will the Armenian nation survive, given the above facts? Let everyone honestly answer himself - whether he/she personally feels responsible for the continuation of his nation or considers it a matter of others.