What’s in an Armenian Name?

What’s in an Armenian Name?

I got an e-mail forward on Armenian surnames from a friend some time ago. The e-mail categorized them under four groups: surnames based on the name of an ancestor (such as Garabedian, Petrosian); surnames based on the name of a place (like Marashlian, Istanboulian); surnames based on a profession (Najarian, “carpenter,” Kouyoumjian. “jeweler”); and surnames indicating special characteristics (Geozebouyoukian, “big-eyed,” Mavisakhalian, “blue beard”). Of course, the above examples are derived more from Turkish and pertain to Armenians from the former Ottoman Empire to a greater degree, but nevertheless, they apply to Eastern Armenians as well, especially after a lot of movement across borders—voluntary or otherwise—which took place over the last century.

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What’s in an Armenian Name?

I got an e-mail forward on Armenian surnames from a friend some time ago. The e-mail categorized them under four groups: surnames based on the name of an ancestor (such as Garabedian, Petrosian); surnames based on the name of a place (like Marashlian, Istanboulian); surnames based on a profession (Najarian, “carpenter,” Kouyoumjian. “jeweler”); and surnames indicating special characteristics (Geozebouyoukian, “big-eyed,” Mavisakhalian, “blue beard”). Of course, the above examples are derived more from Turkish and pertain to Armenians from the former Ottoman Empire to a greater degree, but nevertheless, they apply to Eastern Armenians as well, especially after a lot of movement across borders—voluntary or otherwise—which took place over the last century.

read the rest

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The problem of co-ordinating Armenian efforts

The problem of co-ordinating Armenian efforts

SANTA FE, N.M. – There has been talk over the past year of creating a pan-Diaspora body for the Armenians, a representative organisation which would act as an umbrella group for the various political, cultural, educational, athletic, and perhaps even religious establishments of the organised Armenian Diaspora, taking on political and outreach activities as well as other efforts on a wider scale, alongside generally serving as a forum for the Armenian Diaspora and the world. Continue reading

A new name for an ancient region

A new name for an ancient region

Turkey, Armenia, Georgia and Azerbaijan have been dealing with crises of identity for much of their modern history. They look to the European Union for their future, and so many in these four states fancy themselves either already — or en route to — being European.

This is misplaced, in my opinion, and stems from the very different legacies borne by these four peoples, something that will serve as an immense hindrance to their ever participating fully in a European identity.

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