A homeland is neither good nor bad

You can’t place the adjectives “good” or “bad” next to the word “homeland”. You can find other adjectives such as “dear”, “precious”, “sacred”, “powerful” and “beautiful”…There are many adjectives in the Armenian language, which sounds like music. Every adjective sounds like music, and the word “homeland” becomes like a song and symphony, a psalm, a treasure, a prayer, a call to fight and a song to march to…Martiros Saryan said the following about the homeland: “A person can’t discover himself and his soul without a homeland, without a close relationship with the native land…” There is no series of adjectives here. It’s simply a philosophy which, in this case, becomes a call. So, it’s not the words that describe the homeland, but the feeling because the homeland paves the way for one’s ego and the soul…

The idea of the homeland is closely linked to Armenian legends and history. Surprisingly, there is no homeland mentioned in the ancient legends of many nations of the world. There is no love and longing for the land, but the ancient Armenian legend of Hayk and Bel is about establishing and maintaining the homeland. The legend is about the homeland and the love for the homeland. That’s why we Armenians learn about epics during childhood, name our children after the characters in those epics so that the future Mhers and Davids represent and become a part of the homeland. The homeland (“hayrenik” in Armenian) is like a father, the man and the head of the house for us all. No other nation has turned the word “father” (“hayr” in Armenian) into the root of the word “hayrenik” like the Armenians…We Armenians are amazing in that regard. We’re a little self-satisfied and proud. Our love is the reason why we’re like that. Our values have made us like that.

An Armenian never appreciates his or her parents by using the words “good” or “bad”. Parents are incontestable, and so is the homeland, which has existed before us and will exist when we no longer exist. We’re simplycalled for enriching and reinforcing the homeland. We’re called for defending the homeland. Sometimes we get sad, angry and emotional when we see problems in society and all the injustice that seems like a big deal to us. We get offended by the homeland, pack our bags and leave the country, without understanding and realizing that one shouldn’t get offended by the homeland and that the homeland is just as we have made it. There is no assurance of a homeland in foreign countries. There is only food, but the homeland is the soul and essence of a person, the beginning and the continuity. How can we live without a beginning and continuity? How can we live without the image of the homeland? After all, how can we live without a soul?

L. M.


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