Armenian identity is one of the few national identities that can truly claim the title of “world nation”. What exactly is a so-called “nation” anyway? This is, of course, a controversial question. It can be said that Armenians can easily consider themselves a nation, because first of all they exist in a certain number. But, more importantly, that number carries diverse cultural manifestations and, also importantly, that number has a certain political consciousness.
Armenians are diverse, this is undeniable. They have, so to speak, several languages. that is, there are variants of Armenian language expression: several dozens of lexicons, and the two literary languages in use today. In addition, many, many Armenians speak many, many other languages, often without knowing Armenian.
We are not yet talking about the geographical diversity, the diversity of traditional cuisines or other cultural manifestations. All these are arguments that Armenians can only be a nation. “Tribes” or simply “communities” have, roughly speaking, a language, a religion, or a food. The main defining feature of nations is diversity.
When talking about Armenian identity, you should talk with facts. For this reason, Western Armenia TV presents a fragment from the series of miniature paintings from Western Armenia by the monument expert, historian Samvel Karapetyan, where Karapetyan told about his visit to Western Armenia.
A) It was August 18, 2007. I accompanied our two archdeacons, Ajapachyan and Chuljian, who were spending their summer vacation in Western Armenia. Reverend Chuljian was driving the car, Adjapakhyan was sitting next to him, Chuljian’s nephew and I were behind. I had taken back some of the pictures of the locals I had photographed in different places in the previous 2-3 years, some of them grouped in separate envelopes. Among them, I also had pictures of Kurdish schoolchildren from the village of Moksi Lchan, which I thought I would pass on if I happened to pass by. We had taken the road from Armenian Valley to Moks through Pesandasht and had already crossed the mountain pass separating the two provinces, from where Lchan could be seen buried in walnut trees. Our road did not enter the village, but went directly down under the village to the provincial town of Mocks. He had no intention of going off the road and entering the village for that one envelope. I only hoped that we would meet someone from that village on the road in the rural areas and pass it on. We were almost leaving the borders of the village and another man appeared on the roadside. In order to deliver the envelope, I asked Reverend Chuljian to stop by the person and at the same time ask if the person is a villager or not. Let me not forget to say that the reverend, born in Malatya, knows Turkish like a mother tongue. My request was fulfilled. we stopped and after finding out that the villager was from Lake, we handed the envelope to the man. A little surprised, the middle-aged Kurd first asked where we were from and what nationality we were from, then silently opened the envelope, looked at the pictures one by one, during which he seemed not so much to look at the pictures as he was thinking about something else, he silently put the pictures back in the envelope. and while we were waiting for the most one word, thank you, after a few moments of speechlessness, he suddenly said the following: “Even after a thousand years, it’s still yours,” he said and turned and left without adding another word. .. B) It was during the same trip. We reached the city of Arabkir. They were thinking of trying to see the great Mother Church of Arabkir or what could be left of it. On the winding road of the old district, Chuljian suddenly orders Ajapahyan. – find a person with a good face, let me stop, let’s ask the location of the church. Less than a minute later, Ajapakhyan says, “I found it, stop.” We stopped by the side of the road, near a man working in front of a sawmill. Even before answering our hello and inquiry, it was immediately countered with the question _where are you from? It was immediately felt that our simple answer put the person in a different state of mind. We are waiting for which direction he will send us, but instead we hear the following. _what an amazing people you are, there were only ten types of grapes, all good things did not go away with you, then after a short pause, as if he came back to reality and explained the location of the church… C) 2010. It was August 11. Accompanied by a middle-aged villager from the Zernak village of Khnus, we arrived at the Zernak fortress at the border of Varazhnunik and Hark provinces and tried to photograph the preserved walls piece by piece, and this man, who still in the village had found out for himself where we were from and what nationality we were, outside the fortress standing in a higher place invites us to him. We gather around and listen to the following words. – I will show you Armenia now, and pronouncing the old names, he points one by one to the villages of Hark (Bulangh) province, which were inhabited by Armenians until 1915. Continue like this… I am attaching to my writing the views from the Pesandasht-Moks mountain pass to Lchan village and from Zernak fortress to Harki (Bulangh) field villages.”