100 Years Of Genocide, Or Why My Grandfather Didn’t Want To Be Armenian

This April will mark the centenary of the Armenian, Assyrian and Greek Genocide. This article was written to honor the occasion.

A 106-year-old woman sits in front of her home guarding it with a rifle, in Degh village, near the city of Goris in southern Armenia. (Image Credit: Armineh Johannes / UN Photo)

A 106-year-old woman sits in front of her home guarding it with a rifle, in Degh village, near the city of Goris in southern Armenia. (Image Credit: Armineh Johannes / UN Photo)

If my grandfather had it his way, he never would have been born Armenian.

A Bostonian to the bone, and a fish monger at that, he once spent an afternoon telling me about all the work he lost on account of his race. “To hell with it,” he said. “It’s not worth it.”

He was descended from Soo-ren Nahigian, an atheist Bible salesman who changed the “i” in his last name to “y” on the hope that it would get folks to stop pronouncing the “g” like a “j.” In the 100 years or so of Nahigyan family history, it has yet to do the trick.

Soo-ren came to America for his education, but when it was time to return to Armenia his father wrote to him saying don’t come back. My great-great grandfather was Kashador – or maybe Kachador – Nahigian, and he died with the rest of the Armenian Nahigians in 1915.

Read the rest on Thought Catalog.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s