here we are
They think I am Spanish.
Here is the South, that is what we are usually mistaken for. As we talk and laugh and tell stories in our foreign tongue, passersby always ask, is that Spanish? I smile. No. I reply. No, not Spanish (though I wish I could speak Spanish!) Back home in the West, we’d be mistaken for Italian, Greek, and yes, Spanish too… There were days that I was so saddened by the fact that people had never heard of Armenians. And then there were days when I was invigorated by this very fact. I loved that I had this treasure of a language – this rare gem…
No, friends, I am Armenian.
Here in the South, only in the South, did someone mistake Armenian for Arminian… oh, yes. And they thought it odd that I sang Arminian folk songs. “I didn’t realize Arminians had folk songs…” was this man’s response to us. Ah, me. I still feel a little odd, a little out of place (often a lot out of place) in this land. In this town with a certain centre of learning that I didn’t attend, didn’t even know about until I arrived here. In this town where everyone seems (note I say seems) to have some connection to that place of learning. There are deep networks here… this person knows that person who knew this person… and they all went to school together and… I don’t have that. I have never had that. In my city in the West, people come and go. We are a city of transients. I was a rarity having actually been born there. But it was home. It is where I sang and danced and lived.
Until God moved me here. And now I sing here, and I dance here, and I am learning to live here.
Armenian. Born in the West. Living in the South. Trying to maintain my mother tongue with my little ones. In this town, we are one of a handful of people who still speak the language… as I listen to my little ones carry on conversations in Armenian with one another, I am thankful and wistful at the same time… I long for others with which I can speak this language that I love. I long for others with which I can share my life story and listen to their life story and learn.
I haven’t “blogged” in months. There has been so much in my heart. So much that I have wanted to write but could not.
Here we are.
Posted in Living and Learning