Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Armenian Wannabes

But then there were those of us who WANTED to look Armenian, speak Armenian . . . however, we did NOT look Armenian because we were Marashtsi (and Aintepsi) -- with mothers that had light brown hair (witness Peter going around singing I dream of Jeannie with the Light Brown Hair) and very light skin, fathers that had blue eyes and white skin and blonde hair (later light grey). . . brothers and sisters with blonde hair and blue eyes . . . and those of us who were Protestant and not Armenian Apostolic, who wanted desperately to look Armenian but to no avail, who spoke only English (the kindergarten and first grade teachers having told our parents that they should only speak English to us) . . . .

When folks asked Marash Girl what nationality she was (folks used to do that in the old days), she would answer Armenian.  "Funny, " they would say.  "You don't look Armenian."

And then the woman who asked Marash Girl what nationality her last name signified.

Marash Girl answered, "Armenian".

"Oh, I know.  Turkish, right?" replied the woman proudly.

Wow!  Somewhere, somehow the Armenian PR folks didn't quite make the grade!
Hopefully by today, everyone knows the difference.  If you don't, please comment below and Marash Girl will set you straight.

But, then, that was in the early 1960's, when Marash Girl studied the Armenian language at Harvard University under Dr. Avedis Sanjian, and learned how to read and write Armenian with Bob Mirak.


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