EDITORIAL: Reflections on Armenian Independence Day

September 21st 1991. The date of Armenia’s second independence. Every year London along with many Armenian communities around the world gather to celebrate this day, to celebrate freedom from the Soviet Union.
This year London had the pleasure to see the notable artist Alla Levonyan. In a concert organised by the Armenian Community Council on Saturday the 20th September at St Yeghiche Church, we listened to the soft, traditional sound of Alla Levonyan. I particularly enjoyed the night due to the theme of her songs.

Her songs place a strong emphasis on the Armenian family as a cultural unit, and in particular the Armenian Mother This had me thinking, how beautiful it is to be part of an Armenian family. Yes, sometimes it can be stressful with the protective nature of the elders and the constant offers of food even when full. But it is most amazing when one takes a step back and tries to look at this cultural unit from alien eyes.

Centuries of tradition and lifestyle are preserved in the Armenian family, whether it is the songs the Grandad sings, the unique food or even the reminder that ‘marriage is around the corner’. It is undeniable that this is a culture, the properties expressed when a group of Armenians come together that they do not express as individuals.

And ultimately this is where and why independence is won. It is the family that produces smart sons and strong women, it is the family that instills a sense of confidence in its children.

It is the family that gives one its first sense of independence, by subjugating the young to its authority it is here where the fierce fire of independence starts its burn, independence at first in the form of rebelliousness, which becomes independence of the mind and then the need for independence of the way of life.

In this way, the Armenian family is where and why independence is won. The drive for freedom is born within the family, and it is projected onto a larger national scale to save that family, its relationships, its culture, which is ultimately the little maybe even annoying tendencies. It really is the little things.

Congratulations to all nations who celebrate their independence, as only when you lose something as great as freedom, can one really know its worth.

— Vahe Boghosian

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