These include the United States, France, Argentina, and the Levant among others. On estimate there are roughly 8 to 10 million Armenians around the world today.
On the international scale, "Armenian" has come to be the primary identifier of this group and was first put into use by its neighboring countries. However, according to census information released by the National Statistical Service of Armenia (2001), Armenians call themselves Hay, in testament to Haik, the mythic founder of the Armanian nation.
The Armenians as a group have shown remarkable tenacity in the face of tremendous adversity. One of the more tragic events to grace the pages of world history during the latter part of the 19th and the early 20th century was the ethnic cleansing of the Armenian people which commenced while the Ottoman Empire was in its waning years. Widely considered as a systematic genocide, According to Bournoutian (1994) "it claimed an estimated 1.5 Armenian lives starting with an incessant wave of persecution in 1894-1896 that culminated in the events of the Armenian Genocide in 1915-1916."( p. ...
According to TheHolyLand.org (1997) " an Armenian community has existed for over a millennium in the Holy Land, and one of the four quarters of the old walled city of Jerusalem had been called the Armenian Quarter" (n.p.) There are also traces of formerly thriving communities in India and certain parts of Southeast Asia. However, as mentioned earlier, much of the diaspora was a direct result of the 1915 genocide.
Within the diaspora there are several loose classifications of Armenians worldwide. For instance, Armenians tracing their roots to Lebanon are referred to as Lipananahay, while those from Iran are called Parskahay. Most members of the diaspora utilize the Western Armenian dialect, while those in Iran, Russia and most of the former Soviet States speak Eastern Armenian. There are significant differences between the two but they can more or less understand each other.
In the United States there is a fair-sized Armenian population; In Glendale, California alone there are 82,000 Armenians, an unusually high number. They are active members of the community and in the municipal government. There are also considerable Armenian populations in Canada, Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, and Mexico.
To conclude, the Armenians over the centuries have overcome tremendous prejudice and adversity to become healthy and productive members of the worldwide communities they are in, with considerable contributions to the arts, culture, and sports.
1. Minahan, James (1998) Miniature Empires: A Historical Dictionary of the Newly Independent States. p.3 . Routledge. London.
2. National Statistical Service of the Republic of