The Diaspora Armenians are worried about the recent developments
regarding the establishment of foreign language schools in Armenia,
where all the subjects will be taught in a foreign language.
This contradicts with the Article 12 of the Constitution of the Republic
of Armenia, which says that the official language of the country is
Armenian. Yet the Minster of Education and Science has the audacity to
propose this anti-constitutional step and yet no one in the ruling party
seems to oppose it.
During the Soviet rule, Armenia managed to maintain the official status
of the Armenian language but the independent Republic of Armenia
seems not to care about this most important element of maintaining
national tradition and culture. Many Armenians, who during the Soviet
era studied in the Russian schools, lack the basic knowledge of Armenian
culture and still carry on speaking Russian. Continuation of this trend is
the Russian language broadcast programs that fill a large portion of
supposedly Armenian television programs.
We fully appreciate the importance of good knowledge of Russian
language in Armenia but by the same token, it is also important for all
Armenians to speak another European language as well. Do we want
to limit our overseas contacts to the former CIS countries only? Do we
want another political union detrimental to our identity?
Armenia has established the Ministry of Diaspora, whose sole aim is to
promote and improve the relationship amongst Armenia and the Diaspora
communities. This proposal will further draw these two sections of
Armenians apart, by weakening the most important link, the Armenian
We, the Diaspora Armenians condemn this proposal and see it as a step
towards creating a rift amongst our communities and more importantly,
beginning of the alienation of the people of Armenia from their own culture.
(name of organisation, city, country)
Recent Articles in the Armenian Press
Language is a Matter of Security: Arkady Karapetyan
15:19 • 08.06.10
One of the reasons of the uprising in Karabakh was that the Armenians
wanted to speak and to listen to Armenian in their daily life, said
former commander of Karabakh’s self-defense forces Arkady Karapetyan,
who has also joined We are Against Opening the Foreign-Language
“It can be said that one of the reasons of initiating the movement in
Karabakh was that we wanted to speak Armenian, to listen to Armenian,
we wanted the radio to be in Armenian, the TV to be in Armenian, that
there was an Armenian culture, and there is no culture without
language,” Karapetyan told a press conference today.
What worries the former commander is the re-opening of
foreign-language schools as he is sure that the language is directly
linked to a country’s national security.
“It is a big problem in our army, for example. In what language will
the orders be given and done. That is to say, if half of the army does
not speak Armenian, and the other half does not speak Russian, then
how will they fight, how they will understand each other?” said
According to him the draft on foreign-language schools will have very
bad consequences, should it be adopted.
“Whether it is done on purpose or not, it is wrong, and a mistake
should be corrected,” said Karapetyan.
Armenia Ends There, Where Armenian is Not Spoken: Khzmalyan
15:58 • 07.06.10
Armenia ends there, where the Armenian language is not spoken,
Armenian film director Tigran Khzmalyan told Tert.am as he
participated in a protest organized "We are Against the Opening of
Foreign-Language Schools" near the Government Building today.
The parliament is set to discuss today a government-backed draft
included already in the parliament agenda. If approved, it will pave
the way for the re-opening of foreign-language schools.
"I think that the authorities are trying to deprive us of our freedoms
and independence step by step, of course without a good will. [With
that step] they are paying with our future, our dignity and with
independence in this case, as Armenia is there, where Armenian is not
spoken. The Armenians may live in other countries, due to the rise and
falls of our history, and it creates a unique safety, may be that is
worth speaking about, but Armenia ends there, where Armenian is not
spoken," said Khzmalyan.
"That is to say, this is an encroachment on anything that was fought
for, for what our boys sacrificed their lives, for what we were
dreaming of in '88. We consider this as a betrayal in face of the
nation," said he, adding that they will not allow this to be
LANGUAGE IS NOT PROPERTY INSTEAD OF DEBT:"
ACTIVISTS PROTEST AGAINST RE-OPENING FOREIGN-LANGUAGE
"We are Against the Opening of Foreign-Language Schools" civil
initiative held a rally this morning in front of the sessions hall in
the Government Building as the National Assembly was preparing for its
last four-day session of this season when it will among other issues
discuss also the government-backed draft to make amendments to the
"Law about Public Education."
If approved that bill will make it possible the re-opening of
foreign-language schools in Armenia.
Earlier on Friday NA Standing Committee on Science, Education, Culture,
Youth and Sport had given its consent to include it in this coming
parliamentary four-day agenda.
The protesters held posters that read "Language is Not Property Instead
of Debt," "In Favor? Then Get Out of Here," "We Require Ashotyan's
Resignation," "Only Armenian Can Compete with Armenian."
Later they handed the package of their proposals to MPs as they
were entering the session hall. Some even welcomed the MPs with
Interestingly, the police did not hinder the protesters' actions but
rather urged on them to keep the hall entry free.
The organizers, in turn, distributed to the MPs their 4-point
requirements, including those about leaving out the draft from the
parliamentary agenda, holding hearings over it, and the issue to
what extent is it expedient that Armen Ashotyan remain in office as
Armenia's Minister of Education and Science.