A Hayastantsi girl was getting married to someone with roots in Karabagh. The music, chosen by the groom, was pure Baku. A Hayastantsi I was sitting close to didn’t appreciate the music. “Let me tell you a story,” he said. “During the war, a group of Karabagh Armenians were brought to a village in Armenia. They were hungry, wounded, lucky to be alive. The villagers took them in. After all, they thought, these were Armenians, being attacked and killed by Turks. One evening, we heard them playing Turkish music. We told them hundreds, thousands of Hayastantsis had gone and fought and died in Karabagh, fought against the Turks, to save part of our homeland...and then asked how they could come here and start playing Turkish music. And what was their answer?
“They said, ‘You Hayastantsis started all this. We were fine with the Turks, in Karabagh and Baku. We got along with them well. We were living fine. Then you disturbed everything, started this war...’ after which a fight started, barely broken up before blood was spilled. These are the Karabaghtsis. They won’t change. They got along with the Turks all those years, intermarried, broke bread, everything, and aren’t about to change.”
Another Hayastantsi started arguing with someone in the groom’s family about the music. It wasn’t a pretty scene. To the Hayastantsi’s complaints, the groom’s family member said, “Why should we play your music all night...why can’t we play our music?”
Interesting in all this was that the groom and his family are hardcore Dashnaks. When one was asked how a Dashnak could be such a fan of Turkish/Baku music, he simply answered, “Why not?”
The Hayastantsi shook his head in disbelief...