Armenia: Mixed Marriages

Onnik Krikorian reports on mixed race marriages in Armenia, public attitudes against them, and the difficulties that such couples face.


  • Kara

    Hello everyone

    Just to say it’s a real shame that Armenians unfortunately do not know how to mix. This has become a very important topic for me as I am not allowed by my family to enter a marriage with another race. And who said Armenians aren’t racist?

    It’s a real shame and i cannot express my frustration and exhaustion. I have decided to go ahead without my families approval either way!

    They are extremely concerned what the family will say. Just to add quickly also that this is a tragic story as I cannot get them to accept him. They have even called him a monkey to his face. How respectful are we as a culture. We seriously need to think!

    • rasta

      The racism that Armenian families impose on their children for the sake of “culture” is immense, no doubt. But for those Armenians that realize “tradition” is just another word for “racism” need to unite as a support system for each other.

      We are no less Armenian, and our children who embody multiple ethnic backgrounds will be no less Armenian. But for these new generations to feel accepted into our communities, the ignorant majority need to calm down a bit and understand the concept of “oneness.” If hearing this ignites anger for a person, then perhaps the understanding will come in another lifetime. But for those that can relate, we can only take the judgement and continue with what we know is right – treat others the way you want to be treated. A part of being Armenian is being Christian, and part of being Christian is to help “bear the cross.” The Almighty will never give you more than you can bear.

    • Tyson

      @Kara – Chill.

      First, I haven’t seen any Asian, White (or other race) parent want their child to marry a different race, they just don’t–similar to how they don’t want their children to be gay, but some are more open-minded and the rest aren’t. Therefore I suggest that you think twice before acting like a hypocrite by separating/categorizing/labeling “Armenians” –must be an Armenian thing.

      Secondly, it is your life–you are an adult who I assume has a job and is living on their own go fvcken live your life, sheesh, and just do what you want.

      Thirdly, blacks are just as racist as whites–I would know I lived in South Gate for a year (fun experience…haha). Blacks call whites: whitey, cracka, and other derogatory terms and if you so much as call them black or use the N word you’re racist, but need I remind you that the term “cracka” is equivolent to the N word (if you disagree, do try).

      Fourthly, I suggest you and everyone else in the world to just let go of stigmas associated to words, sheesh. By that I mean, when someone is called fish–which has a positive connotation if the person is swimmin’ but a negative one if they are being stared at in the face; so leading up to the “monkey” issue–come on grow up, a monkey could careless about what us humans so other than physical characteristics and habits there are is nothing derogatory to being called animal names–a fish is fast and slim with eyes that are too far apart, monkeys are strong…the list can go on.

      Fifthly, you don’t have to express your shame and exhaustion, since I don’t care (just bored here) and I presume no other sane person would either.

      Therefore, do whatever the FVCK you think is right for you, since you are Christian and livin’ in Good Ole’ America and not in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Eqypt, and you get the point right. So FVCKEN SUCK IT UP….sheesh….hahahaha

    • Salpi haytayan

      My family didn’t approve of my blackboyfriend either. It was never my intention to hurt them. He is now my husband of ten years and we have two beautiful children. It’s not their decision yo choose your husband it’s yours. They may have a shit fit at first but they’ll come around . Good luck

    • Stevie


  • Lyudmyla

    I love him but he has no strenth to go against the family and society!
    It is such a pain!
    It is not my guilt that I am not Armenian, I would like to be but it is impossible!

    How they can not understand that people should be djuged on what they do, not on what was given from birth!

  • leo aryatsi

    What was given by birth allows one to do great things and fight ourselves out of the bad situation we were put in by being passive. If you want to distort our culture and blur our objectives by mixing then do it without our support. I am not against mixing as long as you do it away from my culture and people, especially not in Armenia.

  • Mediator

    Dear Kara,

    Marrying a non Armenian its not bad, but the only thing that is painfull for us armenians is that when you have kids the culture slowly dies. If you were living in Armenia its a difffrent story. What makes a Armenian Armenian is the Language and Culture without that a person doesnt represent anything. And what is painfull for a grand parent or a parent is when they witness with there eyes the culture they have worked so hard to keep deteriate its a knife in there heart. Its true when they say Love is Blind. A parent would want the best for the kid and they would respect the love that the couple will share but witnessing a culture slowly deteriarate thats what hurts them.Especially when the kids that a couple will have is there grand children.
    And in saying all this yes its true a person should be respected on who they are and not what they have or what race they belong to. But this judgment remains on the individual.

    • rasta

      This idea that the culture slowly dies doesn’t make sense to me. People of other races/ethnic backgrounds are capable of learning and speaking Armenian, as well as are eager to enjoy the culture – going to concerts, events, art exhibitions, etc. But when they enter into the community and Armenians stare daggars into their hearts, they simply can’t understand why the very people they love so much, with a culture that they enjoy and appreciate so much, can harbor so much unwarranted hate for them.

      Our first duties as Armenians is to be Christian – that is what our ancestors died for and what our parents worked so hard to maintain. Not to be racist. By allowing more races into our Armenian circles, we’ll begin to gain more understanding for our history and what we’ve gone through and live on through the multitudes of people knowing and understanding about Armenian history and culture. So far, the only thing that the rest of the world can say about us is that we’re racist. That’s not a Christian quality to me.

      But I understand where the older generation is coming from.. perhaps if we try too hard to bend a grown tree, it might just break. “Breaking a tree” isn’t very Christian either.

      • Tyson

        @Rasta- Your argument doesn’t make sense in this case. Although, I may not be Armenian, but I do know the Armenian culture to some degree. The Armenians that marry a different race don’t speak Armenian in their homes or care much about the Armenian culture–they tend to ignore the fact that they are Armenian and that their child is half Armenian, so their child isn’t exposed to the Armenian culture as a result. Therefore, the it is pretty fair to say that once Armenians mix that is the end of that lineage. Trust me I live in LA county which has Glendale Hollywood and other Armenian “hot-spots” if you will.

      • Stevie


    • Stevie


    • Stevie


    • Alice

      Well the armenian culture is shit. And yes many Armenians restrict their children in many ways . I will never marry from my ethnicity considering I can’t stand Armenians . I don’t believe in marriage or relationships anyways . This so called culture and their retarded traditions should have died off long ago , the Turks did a shitty job of destroying Armenians and Armenia.

  • guy

    yea they doing a rite thing because you see what america become there is no one know what they really are you ask a black man where you from they say america but they black you ask mexican where you from they say america but when you ask where you from they say armenia even no that its one of the smallest and oldest countrys in the world.
    as for you girls go marry your on race im not a racit but i dont think that a good thing to do

  • Sebastatsi

    I am 1/4 Armenian, and 4th generation American, and married a Hayastanci. Some would look at that as mixed marriage, others not, I don’t as I identify myself entirely and solely as an Armenian. I love my grandmother and mother, but their being non-Armenian essentially erased our heritage for my siblings and I, only by my personal interest did I revive it for myself, and my brother followed. The rest of my family has completely assimilated and there is nothing Armenian in them except the -ian surname. In fact, it gets much worse. I am judged for being “too Armenian” by my siblings and parents (even my 1/2 Armenian father!), and my being involved in my culture and homeland is 100% frowned upon behind my back.

    This is a result of mixed marriage, nothing else. For those of you who don’t understand what is so-called Armenian “racism” let me just say this: We are a nation of less than 10 million in the world, 3.4 million in Armenia proper, our neighbors have for centuries diluted our blood by rape and forced marriage, and we loose tens of thousands of our nation every year to expatriation and eventual assimilation, meanwhile our Turkish neighbors boast 72 million population in Turkey alone and are closing in on their goal with uniting a land link between them and their Turkish cousins the Azeri’s though Armenian land. There is nothing but 30km worth of land in Syunik Province separating them from one another and cutting off Armenia from Iran. Our national survival is at stake. We are not Turkey were a few hundred thousand mixed marriages a year won’t make a difference. Every Armenian who chooses a mixed marriage (lets not forget that who we marry IS a choice) is essentially pounding another nail in the coffin awaiting our nation.

    Look yourself in the mirror and ask yourself honestly if you have exausted every opportunity to meet and fall in love with an Armenian. Have you been involved in the church and community? Have you visited Armenia? Have you made Armenian friends and spent time with them so you have a good chance of meeting other single Armenians? If you cannot answer all of those with 100% certainty, don’t go blaming your parents or the society for their unfair treatment of you…

    An Armenian marriage is the greatest gift you can give yourself, but more importantly it is the greatest gift you can give your children. Having a heritage, a nation is something every child should grow up with, and I am honored to belong to, and through my marriage – further, this great Armenian nation. I suggest all to do the same.

    • Lanna

      Dear Sebastatsi,

      I have to say you moved me by your reply. I am dealing with a friend who is contemplating having children with a Mexican girl who he has fallen out of love with, just because he is in a place in his life that the clock is ticking and he is getting older and that is the next best thing.

      He has held off on having kids because in his heart he felt that he couldn’t, due to the cultural differences. The story is long but this is what brought me to this website. I have three beautiful children with an Armenian man myself and I couldn’t agree with you more.

      I like, respect and befriend any non-Armenian I come across and treat them as my own, however for procreation, I feel deeply in debted to my people. I can’t just go and assimilate and have off springs with a different race. I feel an inherent deep personal responsibility to solidify my people and keep it Armenian for many generations to come. As you said, our numbers are dropping while every other race, especially Mexicans are multiplying exponentially. This is done deliberately by other races so why not we protect our race too.

      This sense of preserving your race is on everyone’s mind they just don’t advertise it. Even my cleaning lady tries to teach my kids Spanish to spread her race.

      I do not have hang-up on Armenians marrying Caucasians, even though their divorce rate is very high. Caucasians are already a mixed race and they have no problem assimilating with the Armenian culture, but MOST other races, cannot easily accept us and marriages of mixed races becomes a battle later in the marriage… So why not start it right and save yourself a BIG headache later on in life.

      As an Armenian, the best gift you can give yourself and your kids is cultural awareness and appreciation for a race that has endured so much pain and torture by others…

  • Robo

    Yes ko tsave thanem Sebastatsi jan!! We need more Armenians like you…

  • Chris

    People should marry whoever the heck they want.

    Yes, I’m Armenian but I think too many Armenians are backward and conservative.

    Armenia is a little Causcus country with a tribal mentality of one nation, race, and cultural. How can it compete on a global scale in terms of progressive mentality and cosmopolitanism?

    As if marrying an odar will dilute the Armenian gene pool. What a paranoid way to view the world.

    • Lanna

      Please do not generalize as we are a changing race and your assessment of writing off the whole race as conservative and backward, is in and of itself backward and conservative!

      That is exactly it! That is the way of life for the new generations of Armenians! They have to master the art of living a life aside and apart from the old mentality and break free into the main-stream society by getting educated. Being America-Armenian while adapting a modern mentality by going to school, educating themselves, setting higher standards to achieve, help others and adapt to a very modern lifestyle as part of the global scene! This is what we need to preach upon our future generations!

      I recently found out that late Steve Jobs was fluent in Armenian as his mother was Armenian (adopting family). How difficult is it to have your identity and be successful in a global world that we live in? Not that bad. I am doing it, everyone around me is doing it and you can too!

    • Stevie


    • Stevie


    • Stevie


  • Lyudmyla

    and I have one more question- why being so proud of your country and defending of your nationalism, you , Armenians, has been fleeing from your country for centuries

  • WittyHye

    Sorry you have no knowledge of history, politics, and how war plays a part in the economic and social hardships on people.
    My answer to you -we flee our country for the same reasons Mexicans flee Mexico for opportunities, or the Armenians from Lebanon from civil war and Christians being pushed out of government in the middle east, or what about the Hmong that fled Laos because the new governments in SE Asia were hostile to them because of their friendship with the US Military? These stories go on and on why different groups flee their country.
    None of us in America came from US soil, the only true people are the Native Americans.
    So why did the Quakers flee the Church of England and come to America?
    Just for the record I am 1/2 Armenian and Irish, this was very difficult for the Armenian side when my parents married my Armenian Grandmother didn’t even go to the wedding. The reason is there was so much prejudice toward the Armenians when they arrived in the USA, most people didn’t realize they were the first Christians and how many foods, inventions we have the Armenians to thank.
    Just for the record, I would like the Armenian culture preserved and I think it is great when a couple are both Armenian. We can preserve our ancient language, foods, customs (we celebrate Christmas according to the original calender on January 6th)
    The way the Hispanics (Illegal and Legal) are swelling in the USA by 2020 over 50% of Americans will have Hispanic Surnames, and the majority of the schools will have ESL classes, voice mail systems have Spanish and lastly here in California our damm ballots are in Spanish. So I think the Americans should worry more about turning into a Hispanic country rather than 1 million Armenians who want to preserve their culture, like the Greeks and Assyrians.

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