Hi. I’m Armenian.
Well, I’m American, as in I was born in New Jersey and grew up in Texas. My parents were born in the USA, too, in the early 1920’s. But my grandparents were all Armenian from Armenia. If you are reading this, you probably know the history, so I’m not going over it here.
And besides, this blog is about now. About how to keep your heritage in a slowly shrinking diaspora while moving forward with your life.
As a kid, I lived in the suburbs of Houston, where everyone thought I was probably Mexican – because I was the only one in my class with dark hair and a real nose. “Armenia? what’s that? a type of cheese?”
There were not even italians or greeks in my neighborhood, so it was a hard history lesson to sell.
Trying to get a proper pronunciation of my name was another challenge in a place where most girls were called Ann, Michelle, and Lori. Anything more than two syllables was some sort of travesty.
“Gar eeeeee neh” I would say. “roll the ‘r'” Texans do not roll R’s and forget the concept of an accent over the letter “e.” That just added to the suspicion that I was a really a closet hispanic just making this whole exotic heritage thing up.