|The Armenian connection|
Saturday, 08 December 2012 14:13
Few people think of Brussels as the destination of their dreams at first (taking into account the climate as you know me you can imagine why). However, once being here one could be nicely surprised – especially if willing to openly declare him/herself as citizen of the world. I however declare myself first as a true European and then – as a true Armenian willing to explore the European culture, the culture of Armenians from Armenia and the culture of Armenians from different countries – like myself.
If you’re Armenian born in another European country and raised with the traditions of both your origins and the mentality of the local culture that’s not a rare declaration of identity. Now once again I felt the huge impact of the European identity footprint when by moving to Brussels I realized how Armenians over the globe (and yes, not only Europe or Armenia as a birthplace) could be so different and still so much alike at the same time.
If you’re part of a Diaspora like the Armenian sooner or later you discover similarities and differences thanks to your new home country and you are thankful for those. Armenians living and originating from different European countries for example could be absolutely different in mentality than the ones from Armenia, USA, Brazil. And that’s not a bad thing! However, as we have our national tendency to look for problems, we tend to forget that we share a common culture but live in different realities and share much more than just our origin – we also share the reality in which we are born, raised and educated. And in the world of today often these are more than just 1 reality.
For example, as I was first in Berlin, I had the great pleasure to meet a very small but very warm part of the Hay community in the local Hay dun cultural house and to grasp how close and open with each other people there aim to be.
Coming to Brussels, once again showed me how Armenians – although from different countries of origin – always find and search for new contacts with each other despite of the sometimes quite visible differences between their worldviews and understandings.
Hence, my first idea to connect here was to approach the local Belgian-Armenian community. Then I met the newly created Armenian Student association of Belgium “Hayasa”, the management of which managed to develop very fast a clear roadmap for the fostering of the local youth communities build up from mainly young people from Armenia who live today all across Belgium and to try to build fellowship with the communities from the neighborhood countries.
Still as I felt that I want to cross (for myself) Belgian borders in terms of an Armenian communal feeling, the idea to create two Facebook groups came as the place to start. The first is dedicated to Armenians living in Brussels, who however due to their country of origin are maybe feeling more confident to communicate over English. The second one is open to Armenians in Europe and aims to collect and popularize Hay events across European cities.
In any case, apart together means not only living with your culture as something which is part of your history and roots but also living with your culture as an essence of your presence, reality and future.
I leave you to explore and chose where you want to join us!
Facebook Group: Armenians in Brussels
Facebook Group: Armenian Events in Europe
Hayasa - Armenian Student Association of Belgium website
Communauté arménienne de Belgique
Armenians in Belgium - forum