Armenia: Mixed Marriages

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


  • Gary

    You know this topic is very important to me as I am married to a non Armenian.As shocking as it could be for many Armenians we am very happy and have a son who brings blessing to us.
    Unfortunately many/most Armenians identify themselves through their race.That means when they think of themselves as who they are, being an Armenian is the 1st thing that comes in mind,for many its the only thing.
    Never mind that they are human beings just like anyone else,created by God with is own image or identify yourself with decent human qualities …
    For the record, for Kara’s parents,friends and relatives not to accept someone just because of their race is the DEFINITION of RACISM and bigotry.
    Sepastasi, you seem to advocate against mix marriages but you are a good example of someone out of a mix marriage who CHOOSE to accept and live that culture.So why not give the benefit of the doubt to others.
    Just by clinging to its own race does not make it better.
    Be a decent human benign and your race will stand out and others will be good advocates for it.

  • Atilla

    But Armenians have mixed with and married Azerbaijanis with great ease. In Azerbaijan we have roughly 30 thousand Armenian brides/mothers. They are well integrated into the society.
    However, this could not explain the Armenian racism . May be its just Armenian women like Azerbaijani men more than other ethnicities.
    However, the fact the current armenia is a monoethnic coutnry well demonstrates and indicates the facsist and racist nature of these people.

  • Seta

    I have many friends who are half Armenian..and latley a lot of people i know are getting engaged to non-armenians..There is nothing wrong with that, i dont consider those people as less of an Armenian then i am. However, it is heart breaking because in the end it will have a major effect on our nation. Living in CA we already face the challege of fighting assimilation. Most kids who are 100% Armenian face teh challege of speaking reading and writing in their native tounge.
    IF all these armenians who are marrying outside of their race made an attempt to be involved in our community, our organizations..then i dare them to not fall in love with one of our men..
    We are in a fight here, a fight to keep our culture and nation alive. NOT only should armenians marry into their own race, they should work for the betterment of our homeland EVERY day.
    Armenia NEEDS us.

    • love

      The biggest challenge most people face is learning to live a life that is full of happiness and joy. what matters most in this world is the human race. We all have our cultures, but the one thing we share that is stronger is that we are humans and for those who are christians, you should realize that we are all created in the image of God. Therefore, no race or culture is better than the other. In the end guess what every culture slowly dies out because we will all die at some point. You can go to the grave having lived your life for other or having lived a life that was genuine, authentic, and full of love. Sometimes people use culture as a crutch so they do not have to use their common sense. There are many other nations and cultures that have lived through genocide (jews, rwandans, etc.). Although, it is traumatic, it can be overcome and it is important to sometimes make decisions based on the heart rather than fear. 

  • Ina

    I don’t really understand why you guys need to follow the CULTURE..What if you fall inlove in not from armenian???

  • WittyHye

    Atilla and the rest..
    You speak of things you know nothing about. In Armenia we have a pocket of many different ethnic groups. Kurds (some are Moslem and Yedzgi) a group of Yahudis (Jews) Jews go back centuries in Armenia and Armenians have played a huge presence in jerusalem’s old city for over 3 centuries.
    Lastly we host many Moslems from other countries to our country if we were bigots we wouldn’t allow them there.
    We also have a preserved Mosques (historical relics) that the last Iranian group visited in 2006.
    Yes, Armenia was the first country to adopt Christianity in 301 AD, but we have a high tolerance for other ethnic and religious groups. Mormans come from all over the world to study and have missonaries in our country.
    Turkey is an Islamic State and has a law Penal code 301 to preserve it’s ethnic and religion history, etc., one mention of their history of non-tolerance toward Assyrians, Balkans, Leabanese, Kurds and millions others they have slaughtered over the years is grounds for arrest.
    Israel is a Jewish state and has little or no tolerance for the Palestinians and many other Moslem groups.
    We are just like any other group that is proud of our ancient roots: Turks, Greeks, Assyrians, etc., we would like to preserve our culture in the next century and it is nice to meet and marry someone who has your same beliefs and background….these have proven to be the most successful marriages when we have more in common, socially, economically, ethnically, etc.,
    If others prefer to marry similiar to their own background why can’t an Armenian?

  • jillian

    Even in Japan there is increasing number of mixed marriages. Its gotta happen as more foreigners immigrate to Japan

  • Child of Christ

    My father is Armenian from Lebanon and my mother is Lebanese. I grew up in a complete Armenian community, school etc. It breaks my heart to see so many people pass up the opportunity to love an odar just because there are not Armenian and end up misrable with another Armenian. I’m not saying that’s always the case but, The bottom line is the foundation of the Armenian culture was established from Christian beliefs. But somewhere along in time we lost the true definintion of what a Christian represents. Do you think God see’s Armenians as being better or more worthy than any other race…no, however in asking an Armenian they feel more superior and dominant to other cultures. My boyfriend is an African American and after being with him for five years I have decided to tell my father who has esentially disowned me now and will if I decide to Marry him. This is not the definition of Love. Love is unconditional. When we die we all die alone and I dont want to face God and tell him I did not represent him by loving all people that he has created in his image but that I chose to represent Armenians instead of him. There is something greater than just preserving race it’s preserving your Christian faith and how God wants us to represent him. With a loving heart, without judgement. Ultimately he’s the one that judges our fate and that is all the should count, because death is inevitable and so is meeting our maker.

    • Saro

      You are saying this just because being Armenian does not really benefit your wishes. Like they say “love is blind” and that is the reason why all love stories end up like a “Romeo and Juliette” story. Unfortunately, true marriages are not based on love.

  • Saro

    Chris, maybe you should reread what you wrote and hear the complete incomprehension you have about Armenians. We do understand your point of view, but you also need to understand our situation and the consequences related to intermarriage. Just like what Sebastasi said, intermarriage will make a situation more difficult for a couple to cope with, especially for diasporans. This will eventually lead to the assimilation of an entire people and help invading countries like Turkey and United States grow bigger and expand their culture throughout the world. In the end, they will be the ones smiling with nothing in return for us. And what about Japan, they seem pretty advanced and cosmopolitain oriented for a country who is pretty mono-ethnic. If one does not care or respect his/her own ethnicity by disowning it and becoming a patriot of another nationality, then that is your choice. In doing so, not only are you betraying your origins and kind, but you are also lacking discipline to sustain your own identity, strenght, morality, and dignity. Sorry to say this, but you pretty much become the bitch and whore of this dominating country by helping them assimilate the whole world in order to impose their own \arrogance\. There are many different cultures for a reason, and they should all evolve in their own path without the unfair interference of other countries. Although we should all accept to cooperate with one another in peace and learn from each other.

  • DialecticalAnalysis

    Okay being of non Armenian background, I read and analyzed this, I have several Armenian friends from living in an area with many Armenians, I do speak the language as well.

    But now I want to comment on the feelings against mixed marriage, firstly, to say that Armenians who marry into other races (ethnicities by the way, as racially Armenians have no difference to other near Eastern peple)
    will automatically leave and “betray” their homeland is an absolute fallacy, there are so many pure bloods leaving Armenia due to economic strife that saying that mixed marriages cause this is ridiculous, Mexican Americans leave Mexico to come to the US to escape poverty, same as Korean, Chinese, Irish and Armenians, if the Republic of Armenia had a better economy and stronger leadership (no corruption, or at least less as most nations have corrupt leaders, better labour laws etc.) then Armenians won’t move away from their homeland, mixed or not.

    Now as to culture, what is it?

    The music, the dances, the food, the history, the architechture all make up what is defined as culture, now why oh why do people think that “otars” can’t learn this, or for that matter mixed Armenians, seriously, its not the fault of mixed marriages if the pure blooded Armenians don’t even follow their culture and saying that intermarrying will quicken this is idiot, look at Irish Americans, many have intermarried with Mexicans, Blacks, etc. how come we never lose our culture even when mixed? Not all Irish people, but alot have tolerance to mixed people so we welcome them in as Irish regardless, chasing people away makes them feel like that culture ostracises them, so they will then indeed assimilate quicker, whereas if they and their “otar” (I can’t believe people are calling people by ethnicity instead of individuals) are welcomed, they will be more enthusiastic to learn about Armenian culture.

    People have said if there is war, then mixed blood Armenians will not be loyal…how about seeing what the war is about before choosing a side so you can make a moral decision, after all Armenians as a Christian nation surely must follow that part of the Bible, I prefer myself regardless of being an athiest (and don’t start as there are just as many Armenian athiests), to see who is wrong or right, not following like a puppet what my race, nation, culture,party etc.
    has to say, I am an individual and I have cognitive reasoning and I’m sure many Armenian here agree with me.

    According to statistics I found, of the entire world Armenian population, 55% are women, therefore if there aren’t enough Armenian men, what will happen, must these women be told never to marry, never have kids or become chattel to men? Surely no one expects nearly 400 000 women never to marry or else to become machines only there for reproduction.

    Also, why should race be important, why would it be wrong if an Asian, Latino or African married another race. But yet it is okay if the person in question is white, this is nothing but racism and also illogical, especially pertaining to the latino example as many latinos and Armenians look similar, not to mention have similar DNA haplogroups

    In conclusion, think about this, the Bagratid dynasty was itself of mixed Persian and Armenian descent, they did not destroy Armenia but made it better, just think about that before shunning people.

    When marrying, do so for love, whether its someone of your own ethnicity or another, because thats what is important above all, and as to parents, if you disown your child, you are not a good parent, as a child deserves unconditional love

  • mixed armenian

    organizations, what’s your definition (Armenian Mafia) I don’t like people who put themselves at risk to drive a bmw. Not racist part Armenian by the way.

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