2015 “Ari Tun” Program: Mariam Sakanyan: “We take advantage of every opportunity to tell the Chinese about Armenia”

The geography of the “Ari Tun” Program of the RA Ministry of Diaspora for Diaspora Armenian youth’s homeland recognition has expanded and has reached China.

Mariam Sakanyan, 15, is the first young Chinese-Armenian who applied to participate in this pan-Armenian program.

Hayern Aysor’s correspondent sat down for an interview with the Chinese-Armenian girl.

Hayern Aysor: Mariam, how did your family settle in China?

Mariam Sakanyan: My parents decided to live in China. They are from Yervan. I was two years old when we moved. When we settled in China, we faced many difficulties in the beginning. We had trouble adapting to the environment, but over time, we overcame all the difficulties and everything was on track. I learned Chinese and quickly became involved in social life. Currently, I’m in the 10th grade at the Sujo Singapore International School in China.

Hayern Aysor: What do you do to preserve the Armenian identity in China?

M. S.: There aren’t many Armenians in China, but Armenians from different cities manage to unite around an organization called “Chinahai” (Chinese-Armenian). We meet on a regular basis, organize discussions and celebrate Armenian state and national holidays. This helps us preserve our Armenian identity and feel close to Armenia.

We also try to let the Chinese know about Armenia. We take advantage of every opportunity to tell them about our country, our origin, as well as Armenian history and culture. You know, most of them don’t even know that there is a country called Armenia.

Hayern Aysor: How did you find out about the “Ari Tun” Program?

M. S.: My mother’s friend told us about this program. She had hosted one of the participants of the “Ari Tun” Program last year. She reminded my mother that I could also participate. I started searching for information about the program on the Internet, and the more information I got, the more excited I was.

When I came to Armenia, I immediately established close ties with the participants and people in general. I want everyone to know that I’m a particle of Armenia, even though I live far away from the Homeland.

Hayern Aysor: Mariam, what do you feel when you say ‘Armenia’?

M. S.: I feel warmth. At this moment, I remembered the warm, kind and sincere smiles on the faces of people living in Armenia.

By Gevorg Chichyan


Scroll Up