hamshens and armenians

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hamshens and armenians

Postby hosank » 02 Mar 2007, 08:57

hello hamshens...

i hope this is the right forum to find you...
i am armenian, and i would try to write in your dialect, but im sure you will not understand a word...i am actually quite able to understand alot of your writing, which, surprisingly brings warm feelings to my heart, knowing that we are not sooooo far appart..

so, i want to know what your opinion is regarding armenian or hamshen, or russian or turkish identity
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Postby avetik » 02 Mar 2007, 15:52

dear hosank,

welcome to this forum, that's what it is, we are here to discuss our culture and identity. unfortunately, though, there are no simple answers (i wish!).

as for me, i consider myself an armenian with roots in pontus, historic hamshen. other people may feel more attached to the countries where they live right now, but acknowledge our common culture at the same time. i'm yet to meet anybody who would be completely indiferent :)

regards, and again, welcome!
avetik

astegh badmutine hin
xarnevadza nerin hed,
kidista miy baberun azbarininq himi menq,
azbarininq menq... (c) Hamsheni Azbar
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Postby hosank » 02 Mar 2007, 21:09

i see...

look.
i have known about hamshens for some time, and have been considerably interested in the subject..
i mean, it is quite thrilling to learn about a branch of the armenian nation which has been isolated for centuries...

i think that throughout the armenian diaspora, there is an ever larger feeling of a pan-armenian sentiment, or belonging if you understand what i mean.
and i was wondering if that affected hamshens too?

i have read that turks call hamshens 'ermeni' which is also what they call us..
and i also know that there is a western branch of the hamshen family that are muslim and speak turkish..how do they feel about the armenian identity...

i want to know if on at least a general level, hamshens have a certain attachment to their armenian brothers who they have lost for so long, and is there a will for the muslim hamshens to convert to the armenian apostolic church, like the russian, georgian, and hayastantsi hamshens?
just ouf of curiosity
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Postby avetik » 02 Mar 2007, 22:41

hosank, ok, good point...

I can speak as a Christian Hamshetsi: we're always knew that we belong to the Armenian nation, no ifs or buts or any doubts. After being forced to live the land we lived in for almost 900 years we opened Armenian schools and churches on the new settlements accross the Black Sea (South part of Russia, Abkhazia). In Soviet time Hamshentsis in Abkhazia had about 50 Armenian-language schools, and now there are about 37 left due to decreasing Armenian population there (yet again).

I cannot say what to Muslim Hamshentsi feel about Armenians: we have some of them here on this forum and I'd rather let them tell. But generally, I think their attitude towards Armenians is positive. There is a great deal of curiosity on either side. As far as a sense of belonging to the Armenian nation, for the most part I think they see themselves as an ethnic Turkish minority, similar to Cherkess, Laz, Georgian, Abazin, etc.
But again, I don't think I can speak fully on their behalf.

astegh badmutine hin
xarnevadza nerin hed,
kidista miy baberun azbarininq himi menq,
azbarininq menq... (c) Hamsheni Azbar
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Postby avetik » 04 Mar 2007, 02:34

Dear hosank, sorry I deleted your comment by accident, please forgive me. :roll:

you were asking whether armenian dialect Christian Hamshetsi use is used in Armenian schools in that area: To understand how different is hamshen dialect from "proper" Armenian language (if there is a standard) you can read some of the "mani" ditties published here on this forum (look under Culture or Hamsheni Dialect topics). That will give you an idea. But in schools, of course, everybody uses proper Armenian, dialect in schools is strictly prohibited. However, I recall a few cases where an "unorthodox" teacher of physics would switch to dialect and explain some physical law in terms which would be easy for a village kid to grasp, then a dialect was used. But normally, even if you meet a teacher on the street somewhere you must speak proper language with them.

astegh badmutine hin
xarnevadza nerin hed,
kidista miy baberun azbarininq himi menq,
azbarininq menq... (c) Hamsheni Azbar
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Postby avetik » 04 Mar 2007, 02:36

Dear hosank, sorry I messed up your comment by accident, please forgive me. :roll:

you were asking

do the apostolic hamshens speak more like modern armenian? or do they speak their own dialect predominantly in their own? because you said that hamshens opened their own 'armenian' schools...


To understand how different is hamshen dialect from "proper" Armenian language (if there is a standard) you can read some of the "mani" ditties published here on this forum (look under Culture or Hamsheni Dialect topics). That will give you an idea. But in schools, of course, everybody uses proper Armenian, dialect in schools is strictly prohibited. However, I recall a few cases where an "unorthodox" teacher of physics would switch to dialect and explain some physical law in terms which would be easy for a village kid to grasp, then a dialect was used. But normally, even if you meet a teacher on the street somewhere you must speak proper language with them.

astegh badmutine hin
xarnevadza nerin hed,
kidista miy baberun azbarininq himi menq,
azbarininq menq... (c) Hamsheni Azbar
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Postby hosank » 07 Mar 2007, 08:52

ok i guess i understand...

so. it's like in switzerland right?
where they learn standard german in school, yet they speak their own dialect?
but, do hamshens write with the meshdotsian alphabet?

and, this standard armenian of which you speak, is it western or eastern?
and this means that hamshens speak both?

lastly, how are hamshens integrated in other armenian communities in georgia, or russia for example?
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Postby avetik » 07 Mar 2007, 15:15

hosank wrote:so. it's like in switzerland right? where they learn standard german in school, yet they speak their own dialect?


It sounds like it... Well, dialectology is Dr. Bert Vaux's area :) But I think any culture, regardless of its population size, would have some standard language and a bunch of dialects with lose ties to that standard.

but, do hamshens write with the meshdotsian alphabet?


Take a look here: viewtopic.php?p=42#42

This example is from 1970's book. I had some technical difficulties with OCR in Armenian so I had to type it :( What the original text missed was the "a" sound (like in "apple") which standard Armenian languages (whether East or West) don't have. So we had to use somehow use diarsis character (two dots above the ա letter to indicate that. I thought that Hopa Hemsinli didn't have that sound in their dialect, but when I heard a short song "Heydane" from theVOVA album and the singer (Remzi Tatar) sings with that sound "a", similar to what Janik/Ordu Hamshentsi's would sing it like. One of my Hemsinli correspondent confirmed that this soung really sounds similar to what they would hear in their village. Basically, neither Armenian nor Turkish Latin or Cyrilic alphabets are 100% suited for Hamsheni dialect, each of them is missing some sound.


and, this standard armenian of which you speak, is it western or eastern? and this means that hamshens speak both?


In schools it was a standard Eastern Armenian, definitely. But I heard that Western Armenian is spoken by some Hamshentsis, and those of them that lived outside of former U.S.S.R. probably used Western Armenian. Grammatically, Hamsheni dialects are much closer to Western Armenian.

lastly, how are hamshens integrated in other armenian communities in georgia, or russia for example?


Majority of non-Armenians (Russians, Abkhaz, Georgians, Laz, Turks) probably thinks that all Hamshetsi's are basically Armenian, they don't care about differences in religion, culture. Armenians see the difference and often emphasise it. Hamshetsi's self-views differ depending on their religious or political affilication. I think Hamshenis have a good reputation and respect amoung their neighbours. They are hard-working and peaceful people who love their culture and language.

astegh badmutine hin
xarnevadza nerin hed,
kidista miy baberun azbarininq himi menq,
azbarininq menq... (c) Hamsheni Azbar
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Re: hamshens and armenians

Postby LaLa » 15 Jun 2008, 17:20

....
Last edited by LaLa on 28 Jun 2008, 19:07, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: hamshens and armenians

Postby hagop » 16 Jun 2008, 15:10

Lala,

A correct conclusion, if I may say so. Understanding the Hamshen dialect requires a good knowledge of different dialects of Armenian (including regional dialects that are now disappearing), a good knowledge of vocabulary of agriculture, plants and animal in the nature, geographical features, cultural traits, architecture, religion etc. For example, even though the Western Hemshinli largely do not speak the language, their Armenian vocabulary about nature is probably more extensive than an average Armenian who is born in the city.
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Re: hamshens and armenians

Postby LaLa » 16 Jun 2008, 15:56

...
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But who Knows the Truth and Calls it a Lie , is a Criminal.
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