TODAY.AZ / Analytics

Armenia vs. Russia: Yerevan declares "cultural war"

03 June 2010 [15:55] - TODAY.AZ
Armenia has declared a cultural war on Russia, calling the country its sole political and economic ally. This was the leitmotif of talks over the past few days.
The Armenian government has developed a bill that calls for restoring foreign-language schools in the country. These schools were closed after the Law "On Language" was adopted by Levon Ter-Petrosyan's regime in 1993. Secondary education has been available only in Armenian in the country over the past 17 years. The new bill provides for opening schools that will offer lessons in English, French, Russian and other languages. The initiative has caused "a storm of public indignation” with Russian language being the main target. Armenian children who grew up learning the works of Pushkin differ from the Armenian children who grew up learning the works of Tumanyan, chauvinists argue.

First, lets describe the so-called "Armenian public.” In this country, any plan depends on whether the ruling junta likes it or not. For example, when an international agreement is to be signed by the Sargsyan regime, it cannot resist outside pressure. The authorities immediately resort to "just public indignation." Later, the junta announces to external partners that there is a political crisis in the country and disrupts its arrangements. The Armenian leadership has shown this pattern of action not just in the case of the Karabakh settlement, but also in case of the Zurich protocols.

In the meantime, the junta has shown how it values the opinion of "the public” during the March 2008 events when it shot at demonstrators in Yerevan. It is hard to say Armenian oligarchs are ashamed of their public scuffles between each other in the center of the capital and its suburbs either.

In recent years, Russia has sped up the process of "the Russian-language renaissance" on the post-Soviet space. Except for the the Baltic states and Georgia, which are not CIS members, this initiative would be greeted with enthusiasm in other countries in the post-Soviet world, unlike Armenia. Knowledge of the Russian language in this area is quite pragmatic. It offers many opportunities in the economic, political and cultural spheres. There is a large Russian community in nine of 10 of Russia's CIS partner states.

In 1993, the nationalist Armenian leadership deprived its citizens of the opportunity to search for a better life amid integration into the Russian-speaking space. In the meantime, the decision, allegedly promoting national purity, has become a political move targeted at "Armenia's only ally." The current orgy of "public outcry" is the continuation of this policy. Armenia never had and will never have allies because they have "only patriotism," which involves ethnic cleansing against other peoples, receiving education only in their own language, claiming all discoveries made by mankind, etc.

In fact, Armenia is a diaspora nation. The number of Armenians living in other countries is 3-4 times more than the population of Armenia. The children of 6-7 million Armenians, out of 10 million members of this nation, are educated in foreign schools. It turns out then that they are not real Armenians?

Here are a few examples of the "public" reaction.

"The structure of education in Armenia is already quite vulnerable, and the opening of foreign schools would mean the permanent loss of national spirit," argues one "expert," clearly hinting that the national spirit is a big problem.

The Armenian diaspora in Europe “calls for reforms in the faulty educational system instead of innovations that jeopardize the system. The right decisions will appear by themselves."

Anyway, some warn that "the opening of foreign schools would pave the way for the Armenian people to leave their native country," as if Armenians would not move abroad without this. Over the past 20 years, nearly a million Armenians have left the country.

In the meantime, I would like to let these experts know that foreign-language schools will also be able conduct secondary education in Turkish, should they open. If relations with Turkey are resumed, many Armenians will find a job via Turkish investments and we can assume that these Turkish-speaking schools will be packed. After all, Armenian children who grow up studying the works of Omar Seifaddin will differ from Armenian children who grew up studying Tumanyan.

K. Guluzade

Print version

Views: 7277

Connect with us. Get latest news and updates.

Recommend news to friend

  • Your name:
  • Your e-mail:
  • Friend's name:
  • Friend's e-mail: