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Armenian Youth


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#1 Guest__*

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Posted 01 February 2001 - 11:39 AM

Will the young Armenian generation of today live up to its older counterparts in establishing prosperous and successful communities around the world (Armenia included)? I ask this because times have changed and so have Armenians.

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Posted 02 February 2001 - 12:31 AM

Thank you for opening this topic.
This a topic that needs 100% attention

I'll be back this evening to post my reply ...

Movses

#3 Guest__*

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Posted 01 February 2001 - 02:24 PM

I think so.

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Posted 02 February 2001 - 12:18 PM

Excellent idea, What can we do to save them?

The crime rate amongts Armenian youth is very high, What can the Armenian organizations due to derail that trend? Also my perception is they are distant from the family unity as well. They listen to Odars music & marry Odars, Become fathers to them and many lose their identity as Armenians. What is the right thing to do? I hope this raises some awarness in the older generation & organizations to support the youth and help them become better Armenians. Our situation is transitory allready...

[This message has been edited by MadArmo (edited February 02, 2001).]

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Posted 04 February 2001 - 03:13 PM

quote:
Originally posted by BTac:
Will the young Armenian generation of today live up to its older counterparts in establishing prosperous and successful communities around the world (Armenia included)? I ask this because times have changed and so have Armenians.

Being an optimist I am also a realist. And my belief is that we cannot expect too much of today's generation (and I am very well aware of the fact that I am part of this generation) Yes, there will be communities established and we will have our churches and schools and oranganizations. But how successful or efficient these units will be is another question. Or how eager will the new generation be to preserve the heritage and identity? I think a lot of it will be superficial and will ware out soon. No matter how strongly we try to deny it, assmilation is taking its toll. Each generation is losing something very essential. The current generation will lose the traditions, the next will lose the language, the one after will probably lose the identity all together. Slowly but surely, the number of Armenians in the diaspora (aware of their identity) will decrease.

Now, the issue of the new generation in Armenia is different. In a sense, its much easier for them to maintain the identity and establish prosperous and successful communities througout the country.

A

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Posted 04 February 2001 - 03:37 PM

I am not very hot on the issue of the preservation of communities. First of all, I don't think it is possible in the new world, second, I don't thing it is in the interests of Armenians.

Preservation of any types of communities is inversely proportional to the individual success of the members of that community. People live in communities out of the fear to go out and participate in the open competition, or off of the inability. This locks the community within itself, it does business within itself, and becomes an under-advantaged social unit, not participating in the corporate world.

I think it is more important to have the individual members of community to integrate and succeed in corporate and other structures of the host nation.

In my view, it is better to have successful and strong individuals outside communities, rather than disenfranchised, isolated, ghettoized communities.

True, this may lead to faster assimilation in the host culture, but the assimilation is a problem that should or could be resolved not on the level of the Diaspora, but the Republic of Armenia. Only Armenia may come up with a strategy to reverse or decelerate the assimilation, by establishing mechanisms of reinvention of the national identity, by providing appropriate economic incentives.

The communities are evidence of the weakness of the nation by definition. As the history suggests, living in communities leads the members of these communities to concentrate primarily is the sphere of service - grocery business, dry cleaning, other small businesses. Any individual, successful in the large scale, disassociates himself/herself from the communities - the success and the community don't go together.

Look at Gulbenkian, look at Aznavour, at Manoogians, at Kirkorian, etc. They are individuals totally assimilated in the host culture, but they have stronger feelings of association with the "old country' than the majority of those living in communities.

I think it is time for our Armenian nation to move to the next level of national self-organization.



[This message has been edited by MJ (edited February 04, 2001).]

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Posted 04 February 2001 - 04:55 PM

Even though I used the word "communities" that was not the only focus of my question. What I really meant was: Will the upcoming generation of Armenians (I am also part of it) be able to maintain the reputation that Armenians had as being successful, hard-working people? Will a SIGNIFICANT number of individual Armenians rise to the top in the societies that they live in during the next few decades?

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Posted 04 February 2001 - 06:36 PM

As to the image of Armenians, I think that image will be built entirely by Armenia. The Armenian label of Diaspora is a transient phenomenon. It will dissipate in a couple of generations one or another way.

I think the number of Armenians climbing through the social, political and business ladders of host counties will only increase. But the question is whether it will happen through the denouncement of Armenian identity, or the success and the Armenian identity may coexist.

I think this issue may bring up a need for a reevaluation of the Armenian identity and Armenian culture.

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Posted 06 February 2001 - 07:53 AM

Please stay and keep posting mad Armo! I like you already just from your name!

well, I just have to say a lot of Armo 's have changed with times: for the worse in my opinion.

Although I'm hay-ges odar I don't feel with that I have lost my identity. I feel it's enabled me to do my very best to keep it, but I know that many halves and quaters sadly do. It's not really their fault but that's just the way life or their society they are currently in pushes them.

I don't really plan to marry a complete odar (In the slight wisp of a chance that I do marry!) I would like some half because they understand my Armo roots but also understand being a hay-ges odar too.

I think if we carry on doing what we do, keeping our identity wherever we are..then it definaltey doesnt hurt.

I just makes me sad that many just dont.

[This message has been edited by Kazza (edited February 06, 2001).]

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Posted 06 February 2001 - 07:58 AM

MJ, why do you think it's not in the interests of other armenians? Please explain.

I think many just become pessimistic because of Armenian's many hard times in the past then think: why bother? Why should we suceed this time?

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Posted 06 February 2001 - 08:40 AM

What do you mean, Kazza? Please explain.

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Posted 06 February 2001 - 08:48 AM

well, in this post you go:

quote:
Originally posted by MJ:
I am not very hot on the issue of the preservation of communities. First of all, I don't think it is possible in the new world, second, I don't thing it is in the interests of Armenians.


[This message has been edited by MJ (edited February 04, 2001).]



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Posted 06 February 2001 - 01:42 PM

I think by definition, community means compactly residing, isolated, ethnic, religious or other social unit on somebody else' turf. People who live in such communities, by in large do business among themselves, get only minimally exposed to the outside culture and world, they confine themselves to a ghettoized existence, and don't become participants of the large scale evolution of the society.

This reflects on their ability to compete outside their communities, to advance along the corporate ladder, or to enter the corporate structures in the first place. Their world becomes very small, they don't accumulate wealth throughout generations. They make their own rules and theories in the very narrow scope of life to which they are exposed. Later, this becomes tradition dragging them to the bottom of the society. Eventually they become impotent social structures, which becomes evident to the younger people of the same community. They scatter around, thus gradually eliminating these very structures they come from.

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Posted 06 February 2001 - 02:43 PM

MJ allow me to disagree with your definition of community as a debilitated social structure whose people are incapable to compete in mainstream. Just by looking at the mosaic of ethnic communities in Southern California one can see an active engagement of business at various levels. Iranians, Koreans, Armenians, Chinese, Russians, and other ethnic groups successfully manage to run their own businesses. Itís not necessary to enter the corporate structures to achieve success. Corporate structures kill the entrepreneurial desire and innovative spirit, no matter how lenient is the corporation. Jews in New York are a community and are extremely successful in maintaining their cultural ties. The traditions of Middle East and Southern Europe are particularly encouraging for entrepreneurship. The tight family structures in these communities allow an accumulation of wealth and subsequent investment in various business ventures. Overall I think community structures are necessary to maintain in order to preserve the unique family structures.

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Posted 06 February 2001 - 03:09 PM

Alpha, I agree that Iranians, Koreans, Armenians, Chinese, Russians, etc. of Southern California may be successful in small, family run businesses, which frequently generate a stream of revenues, but frequently they donít. Many businesses like those come up, and donít survive. Few of them survive and prosper. But look at the Armenian communities, for example. What percentage of it is successful, what percentage of the overall Armenian community do these businesses constitute, and what will remain from the absolute majority of them, if the IRS cracks down on them? Additionally, they do business primarily in the immigrant community, which limits their exposure to the business-at-large.

I am also convinced that once these businesses make some good money, their next generations will go out, and try to enter the world-at-large, thus leaving their communities behind.

I do agree that not all of corporate entities support entrepreneurial spirit, or perhaps, it is better to say as a rule they donít support it. But, being entrepreneurial and establishing even small businesses, which serve the demand outside immigrant communities, is not in contrast with my vision outside the communities.


It is a mistake to thing however, that Jews in New York live in communities. Outside their religious wing, such as Hassidic Jews, etc., they donít live in communities, and are pretty assimilated in American culture, and it would be frequently very hard to tell that they are Jews. In fact, their strength is in their ability to leave behind the ghettoized mentality, and in immersing in the mainstream culture. The Jews living in communities continue their traditional business Ė they run groceries in Harlem and Brookline, run alterationsí shops, etc. There is a huge difference between the ghettoized Jews and their mainstream compatriots.


I disagree with your arguments about the tight family structures. What means a tight family structure, in the first place? If I donít live in a community, or live away from my non-immediate family, does it mean that when possible or expedient, I would not participate in ventures with them?

My family consists of my wife and my children. My brotherís family consists of his wife and his children. And so on. I am very entrepreneurial person, he is a corporate person. We havenít even met for four years or so, though we speak over the phone every week. I donít see how does this affect our feeling to each other. I know that when I need him, he is there for me, and when he needs me, I am there for him. Does it obligate us to live together in a community?



[This message has been edited by MJ (edited February 06, 2001).]

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Posted 06 February 2001 - 04:13 PM

quote:
Originally posted by MJ:
My family consists of my wife and my children. My brotherís family consists of his wife and his children. And so on.

I have discussed the definition of "family" before with people, and I personally disagree with this. I stress personally because many people feel as you do. My family also includes my parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins. To live away from them would kill me.

I think society has been destroyed by people moving away from their families (in the broad sense of the word). Particularly in America, where people (especially whites) do not think twice about moving away.

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Posted 06 February 2001 - 04:14 PM

What I mean by tight family structures is the support that family gives when one undertakes any entrepreneurial activity. This support is mainly in interest free loans and know-hows in many other instances.

Jews in New York, no matter where they work whether itís Wall Street or Advertising Industry, never conceal their ethnic identity. They closely follow the ethnic cultural life, and mainly intermarry. It is as hard to tell whether one is Jew in Brooklyn as it is telling whether one is Armenian in Glendale.

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Posted 06 February 2001 - 04:24 PM

OK, Alpha. But if I would need an interest-free loan, I still can go to my brother, and he will do anything he can for me, much like I will do for him. And neither one of us is a part of the community we started this discussion from.

Jews that I know, don't conceal their identity - they have no reasons to do so in the US. But frequently it is hard to guess. And the mixed marriages among the non-religious Jews are very common, and the majority of them are non-religious, as much as I can tell.

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Posted 06 February 2001 - 04:26 PM

Mike, I guess you are talking on one's extended family, something we would call "barekamutiun" in Armenian, or "rodnia" in Russian.

I also knoew that many feel the way you do.

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Posted 06 February 2001 - 10:42 PM

quote:
Originally posted by MJ:
But if I would need an interest-free loan, I still can go to my brother, and he will do anything he can for me, much like I will do for him.

No longer sure what the topic is here, but relating this back to Armenian Youth...

These types of family relationships suit adults fine, but what about children? For about 75% of my life until age 25, I lived with, or only two doors away from, my grandparents. This provided great psychological security. EVERY holiday was spent with azkaganer/barekamutiun. Whether it was Christmas, Easter or less-important ones like Labor Day. There was always a great feeling of warmth and belonging at these get togethers.

Nowadays, besides family functions, my family provides baby sitting and helping with errands. Whether it's help figuring out financial matters, painting, moving a couch, going to a sporting event, finding steaks on sale, or dental work--family are there. When the 1994 earthquake happened, family members whose houses were damaged came and stayed with us. It provides great peace of mind to know I can turn to just about any area in Los Angeles and there are family members. Whether I need them in good times or bad, or they need me, we are there for each other.

The gist of all of this is a strong local barekamutiun provides great security for children. They feel a sense of belonging and responsibility to their family. When you see family members on a weeky or monthly basis and they ask about your grades, your job, etc. there is much positive pressure to be a good person and citizen. For example, not only would my mother see my grades, but my grandparents and uncles would hear about them as well. Mom may have been able to understand why I got a B or a C, but grandpa was a different story!

Many people do not have a choice when they relocate, but many do. Too many people put themselves above their family. Some years ago, I had a great opportunity to run the San Francisco practice within my firm. As family always comes #1, there was no way I was going to take it. Maybe there is some innate Italian in me, because I believe you never do anything against the family.

The current crop of troubled Armenian youth are a result of tramatic dislocation and poverty. Hopefully, in time they will feel they have roots and belonging, their extended families will grow and they will all help financially and emotionally support each other. This will preserve the Armenian family and also result in productive people and communities.

Anyway, I just got home from an exciting hockey game, I'm on cold medicine and this is rambling....I'll step off the soap box now .


[This message has been edited by Pilafhead (edited February 06, 2001).]




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