A few years ago I was standing in the now closed Brand Bookshop in Glendale CA. discussing America’s war in the South Pacific with its Japanophile owner Jerome Joseph, an old white American, who at one point insisted on guessing what sort of Armenian I was after correctly guessing that I was Armenian.
“You,” he said confidently, “must be an Armenian from Iran.”
“No,” I said, “but I know what you mean.”
I think we all know what he meant, even those Armenians who responded with cries of “racism!” to my answer “Hayastantsi” to the top Google query “Why are Armenians so rude?” Even Americans are beginning to differentiate between different groups of Armenians, in this case between the common Adidas draped “beezness man” Hayastantsi and all other groups. I say “even Americans” are beginning to differentiate between Armenians because Americans have overwhelmingly deserved their own top Google query: “Why are Americans so stupid?”
Let those Armenians, American-Armenians all of them I’m sure, be careful not to take the maxim “When in Rome…” too far lest they become as stupid as the natives of the country whose knowledge of peoples and nations is limited to where on the map they have bumbled into a foreign quagmire.
So, why are Hayastantsis so rude?
The answer lies in the three C’s: Caucasus, Communism, and Congé.
The Caucasus is a cold, hard, brutal place. All the races native to Caucasus are fighters because they have to fight to survive. Next time in boxing or mixed martial arts you see a fighter from the rugged, cold Caucasus region matched up against someone from the Caribbean or anyplace where coconuts grow, no matter how big or black the opponent may be, put all your money on the Caucasian.
The Caucasus is such a terrible place, it was where Prometheus was sent as punishment by Zeus for giving men fire. The Titan was chained to a mountain-side where a buzzard pecked out his liver daily. And that, of course, is the origin of the Armenian saying “Jigarut utem”. Trust me, I’m an Armenologist.
Now, take this Titanic torture chamber and impose on it the inhuman system of Marxian communism which outlaws religion, commerce, and undermines familial affection in subservience to a foreign slave state enforced by terror and secret police.
Welcome to Soviet Armenia!
On your left you’ll find a man being arrested for selling plums. Did the man steal the plums? No. Are said plums poisonous? No. How does he stay out of a slave labor camp in Siberia for not committing a crime? Why, he must commit a crime and bribe the police.
If you look on your right, you’ll see what used to be the remains of a church that taught that God came to earth in the form of a man and was sacrificially killed to bestow life, fertility and atonement upon the people. Thousands of years before Christianity, this was already the religion of Armenia. But now the same building houses idols dedicated to foreign mass murderers who teach that religion is opium, and that man is born and dies for nothing except to perpetuate mob and slave insurrections throughout the world so that Communist party leaders cram caviar at a Black Sea resort.
As a consequence of this cynical political system, Hayastantsis are fatalistic to a fault, not just in politics, but in everyday life. Listen to west Germans talk about east Germans, or diasporan Chinese talk about Chinese from Red China: their complaints are nearly identical to diasporan Armenians complaints about the fatalistic, mean and ill-mannered Armenians from the former Soviet republic of Armenia.
As one critic rightly pointed out, when we talk about rude Hayastantsis we’re talking about Armenians from former Soviet Armenia living in Southern California; but contrary to what he/she absurdly states, they are still Haystantsis despite the fact that they no longer live in Hayastan.
The post-Soviet Armenians are newcomers in Southern Californa and therefore still in tourist mode. It’s normal that tourists in a foreign land behave differently than they normally would back home. By the same token, people freely blurt out the profanity of a language which they don’t speak despite being told what it means, while hesitating to utter the equivalent or far milder words in their mother tongue. For example, the character “Gemma” in the Armenian knockoff of Two and Half Men, “Kargin Serial”, in one episode repeats the phrase “fucking shit” at least three times when it aired on an Armenian language TV station broadcast in the United States in prime-time, and there was no controversy. But if she had said the Armenian word “kunel” which is merely the older form of modern Armenian’s knanal (“to sleep” ) but understood to be as vulgar as the English word “fuck”, the censors in Armenia would have kunel-ed the writers of the show.
So, in essence newly arrived Hayastantsis are “fucking shitting” up and down the streets of “Los”, because “Los” is as real to them as Lala Land. It’s not home or entirely real to them yet.
Combined, these three C’s, the harsh Caucasus, cynical Communism and the feeling of being on vacation in a foreign land, or Congé, contribute to making mean, pushy, ill-mannered, rude Hayastantsis.
Hayastantsi may be rude and semi-civilized, yes; but, is that worse than being soft and over-civilized like, say, western Armenians? The populations native to Anatolia, as opposed to the dwellers of the Caucasus, have long been known as unwarlike, even effeminate. The ancient Greeks considered the inhabitants of this region to have been born for slavery. It was these urbane western Armenians, with one notable exception, that compliantly abandoned their homes and cities and strolled into the Syrian desert when officials asked them nicely.
Famously, the only Armenians in western Armenia who resisted these deportation orders were the dwellers of Musa Ler, who did so for fifty-three, not forty, days. I guess Fifty-three Days of Musa Dagh doesn’t have the same ring.
Now, imagine if it were Hayastantsis who were ordered to leave western Armenia by Turkish soldiers. We all know how they would have responded to the soldiers:
“Es ova, ara?” “H@l@ esran nayi!” “Asuma vor bedk a helnenk dnits? Shat ban a asum! ”
There would very likely have been a Forty Days of Musa Dagh times 1.5 million. By my calculation, that would have made approximately 60,000,000 total days of Musa Dagh!
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