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The Make Up Of An Armenian Family

1269 words - 5 pages

The Make-Up of a Family
“If the family were a fruit, it would be an orange, a circle of
sections, held together but separable - each segment distinct.” Letty
Cottin Pogrebin

So I fully agree with this quotation that a family is a unity of
different members and every person in this united circle has a right
to decide on his/her lifestyle though this orange rule never works in
the Armenian families. Armenian families are not like oranges they are
more like peaches. The two juicy and the most powerful parts of the
peach are the parents who govern over the seed, i.e. the child, which
remains inside until we eat the peach. As soon as the peach is eaten
the seed is freed.

The purpose of my presentation is to let everybody know in this
international audience what the traditional process of upbringing is
like in the Armenian reality, what stages it passes and how it results
in our society. Today I am going to present you what is a child for
us, Armenians, what is a teen and young adult, and what is marriage.
So let’s get started.



Children are the center of the attention. They are raised mainly by
their mother, but also by their grandmother and aunts. At birth,
children receive gifts, mainly jewellery (holly crosses, gold
medallions, etc). The first male child often is named after his
grandfather; the same may go for the first female child. The Armenian
mothers closely watch and constantly provide care/food to their
children. Feeding a boy with his favorite dish is important; he needs
strength to grow. At his birthday, he will receive cars, trucks and
construction blocks. His entire attention is focused on
male-restricted tasks. A little girl will of course receive dolls. She
will be taught to sew or knit dresses for the doll. She will play
house, a role she is destined to take in the future. Sexual education
is absolutely out of the question. Children are taught to behave;
otherwise they will be taken to the doctor or the dentist and will get
an injection!


The most important thing teenage girls learn, is their boundaries.
They can't go to someone's house without getting permission from a
parent. No sleepovers. Girls should not become friendly with guys. Did
you say dating? Parents will be furious! Going to a party? After
investigating and weeks of negotiations, we may allow you to go; but
we drop you off, we stick around, and we pick you up. A lot of
families keep a very tight control on their teenage daughters, while
the boys can do as they please, go where they want and even take the
car… Teenage girls are invited to participate in household tasks,
taking care of younger siblings, and get praised for doing so,
especially if they've cleaned their brother's room! Teenage boys come
in hungry from school and...

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