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Who Am I Today?
The first 200 words of this essay...
Who Am I Today?
Not too long ago, my twenty-three-year-old daughter asked me about where her great-grandparents came from. To her surprise, she found out that she is a sixth generation diasporan Armenian, with three different countries (Armenia, Syria, and Lebanon) that she could call hyrenik or her 'homeland'. Through the process of learning the history of our ancestors, Ani and I situated ourselves within our ethnic and diasporic landmark and constructed our identities as Armenians living in yet another 'hostland', Canada. Records from India and Italy between 1717-1789 show that Armenians were dispersed from their historic homeland throughout the world (Panossian, 80). Armenians have not had a fixed centre for centuries having therefore formed fluid identities.
Armenians refer to Armenia as Myre Hyasstan, meaning 'Mother Armenia'; however, not having a direct translation for 'homeland', we use the word hyrenik, which translates to 'land of our father'. This might be an indication that 'homeland' does not only refer to Armenia but rather to any country where our fathers were born. Our history shows that our ancestors were constantly on the move -- voluntarily or by force. Therefore, it has become a habit to ask each other,
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