A 45-year-old journalist, known for his rich toasts, stood at the long table and congratulated everybody for the New Year. After wishing everybody a successful and healthy 2010, he turned serious:
“I wish a prosperous New Year for our country, Armenia.” After a short pause, he said, “I also wish we, as a people, would respect and carry on the culture our ancestors gifted us. I wonder if we’re doing that now.
“I was at a conference of journalists, and there were several Turks there, including a family, young and old. During a break from our activities, the Turks starting doing a folk dance. I knew it was our folk dance. But how could I say anything…they were dancing it wonderfully, like they had created the dance themselves. Later, a few of us tried to dance an Armenian dance, but we were pitiful compared to the Turks. I was embarrassed.
“I believe this is because of our strange attitude, I should say, lack of respect for our culture, always saying we want to be modern. This is crazy. Can’t we be modern, yet maintain our culture, without being ashamed?”
By now, our friend’s toast had finished, on a different note than it began, to say the least. But the conversation continued. “You know,” a quite patriotic individual said, “I was so disgusted with New Year television programming on Armenia’s television stations that I shut off the set. I expected National (Public) Television and ‘Armenia’ to broadcast their usual lineup of pop star presentations and cheap comedy. But when I saw Dashnaktsutyun’s ‘Yergir Media’ putting out a low grade rabiz show, with some of the so-called singers bordering obscene in their movements, I was shocked. They’re no different than the others, as it turns out. Why Dashnaks don’t complain, I don’t know…to me, this is a continuation of the Genocide, but worse in a way, seeing our young generation ruined by the onslaught of garbage on Armenian television.
“I used to think this was all done for an easy sell, broadcasting these cheap shows, but now I’m convinced that there is a program to ruin our nation, our culture, and unless we speak up, they’ll be successful.”