I am a Canadian of Armenian ancestry.
A Canadian who has, at times, struggled with her heritage. A multi-layered heritage born of an insidious act, that weighs on me.
Most Armenians living in diasporas around the world proudly identify themselves as Armenians. Solely so. Some might add Canadian, or American, or French, or any other nationality their family adopted as part of their emigration. But, the majority of Armenians were raised to fiercely nurture and preserve their Armenian culture and Christian Orthodox religion, and more importantly to teach it’s history to the next generation.
A history that includes the twentieth century’s first genocide.
A genocide inflicted upon 1.5 million Armenians by the Turkish Ottomans commencing in 1915.
With Pope Francis’ public acknowledgement last week, the world at large is aware on a grander scale of both the genocide and of its upcoming one hundredth year anniversary on Friday, April 24th. It must be said that Turkey does not admit to nor recognize that a genocide took place, preferring to state that there were deaths on both sides as a consequence of the First World War. You can read Prime Minister Erdogan’s statement here, made on the eve of April 24, 2014.
I am curious what term my readers would use when 1.5 million citizens of a nation of two million, disappears.
I’m not going to present a historical recounting of the Armenian genocide. There are scholars far more adept than I could ever be in this subject area. If you would like to read about it further, there are many online sites that provide documented details as well as newspaper articles, including those found in the Toronto Star recently, about its context, and it’s affects on subsequent generations. Continue reading Armenian Genocide: Unrealized Denouement