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The Buzz on Interracial Relationships
By Michelle Papazyan
A survey of Armenian UCLA students was taken to see what young Armenians today think about interracial relationships. Our survey revealed that on the UCLA campus, there really is no consensus regarding interracial relationships. A few were selected from those surveyed to be interviewed in depth.
INTERVIEW WITH MARIAM, Age 18, born in Armenia
Q: What type of races have you dated?
A: I have dated Blacks, Hispanics, Whites, and Asians...never [an Armenian guy].
Q: Would you [date an Armenian guy]?
A: Yes, I would, but I can't find any that I like. I am not against dating Armenia guys but it's just that I am not physically attracted to them. I don't like their physical features. Usually guys who appeal to me are other races. I have Armenian friends. I see how their boyfriends and husbands treat them. They are so controlling and demanding. The wife stays home to cook while the guy does what he wants. But I want a career and I can't be with someone like that.
Q: Do you think you will lose any of your "Armenian-ness [if you marry outside of your nationality]?"
A: No, I know I will never lose my identity. I will always keep a strong and tightly knit family, just as I was brought up to have. I will also remain loyal, as I was taught to be. I hope my kids will also have these same "Armenian" characteristics.
INTERVIEW WITH LIANA, Age 23, born in Armenia
Q: Do you date a lot?
A: No, I do not!
Q: Why not?
A: Because I do not like to try shoes on, as the Armenian saying goes. People date each other and then throw each other away like a pair of shoes. Almost like it is a game or something. We shouldn't play games with humans. When you get married that should be the first person you dated. How could you kiss your husband or wife knowing that there were others?
Q: Don't you think that experiencing others while dating will help you find that perfect person?
A: Never, That would be like spitting in our ancestors' faces. I have never even been approached because I would not let anyone who is not Armenian come near me. I am Armenian; I have my own beliefs. I have my roots and I need to continue those roots
Q: Do you think that your mentality is racist?
A: This is not racist. There should be no shame in wanting to continue your culture and wanting to be like your ancestors.
Q: So what do you think of Armenians who marry out of their culture?
A: I think that if they can keep their Armenian identity within themselves and their children, then so be it. But if they don't keep their "Armenianness," then I hope they forget that they are Armenian. Forget our name, don't put the "yan/ian" in your name, don't speak the language, and don't tell anyone you are Armenian. We don't need people like that who do more harm to us